Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Power of Knitting

This is probably a good time to introduce you to my newest grandson, whom I will call Baby C. for now. He arrived last September but today is the day he will be christened and the family is gathering for the big event. It was his pending arrival that launched me back into the world of knitting and the fiber arts. My daughter had asked me to teach her to crochet so that she could make some baby things even before she knew she was pregnant. I bought her some yarn and a beginner's book but it was I who ended up making the baby things and using the yarn to make a scarf for her.

When she went into labor, I stuffed my bag with two projects and headed for the hospital at about midnight. I wanted to give my son-in-law a break and a chance to get a little sleep. He would need all his energy later. In the semi-darkened room, I worked on a baby sweater with hood in between my daughter's contractions which were steady but not accomplishing much. For the sweater I had chosen a baby blue (we were 99% sure it was going to be a boy) boucle yarn. It was miserable to work with! It would not slip and slide on the needles when I tried to knit with it, so I was crocheting instead. But that wasn't much better because I couldn't see my stitches in all the nubs and fuzz.

Next morning my daughter was transferred to a nice large room for the big event, but progress was still slow. I was sent out into the waiting room just before lunchtime. I switched to knitting the scarf with a gorgeous Ironstone yarn, called Circus, that I really enjoyed working with. I was winging it--no pattern--18 stitches to start and then garter stitch until I ran out of yarn on big wooden needles. The yarn was so spectacular, a blend of angora, eyelash yarn, and a metallic yarn, that fancy stitching was unnecessary and would not have been seen anyway.

As I sat there, all kinds of things ran through my mind. Was my daughter alright? Would the baby be alright? What was going on? I was happy that my daughter's dreams for starting a family were actually going to come true and I was sad that my husband was not there to witness the birth of his second grandchild. Knitting was the perfect activity to pass the time as I waited. I couldn't have concentrated on a book, and magazines can only hold your attention for so long. Knitting kept me in the present and stopped my thoughts from getting too crazy. It kept me calm and focused. Since I couldn't get down on the floor and start chanting, it was a good substitute for Yoga.

I walked across the street for lunch and took my knitting with me. I stopped at the florist on my way back to place an order for a basket of blue and yellow flowers. And then it was back to the waiting room and my knitting. As there was no maternity waiting room, I was sitting in the large general surgery waiting room. The volunteer who's job it was to notify a family of the outcome of their loved-one's surgery, saw me sitting and knitting all that time and finally came over to me and asked, "Who are you waiting for?" He suggested I go down to the nurses' station to ask about my daughter's progress but when I did that, they informed me that that was privileged medical information and that only my daughter could tell me how she was doing.

I began to think I was going to finish the whole scarf before this baby would arrive and decided to try one more time to ask the nurse how things were going. This time I tried to phrase my question more carefully and asked only if the baby had arrived yet. At last I was told that it was OK to go into the room and greet my new grandson.

Was he worth the wait? You betcha!

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