I finished my sweetie’s Color Affection shawl this week.
I took two full evenings to bind off. When I pulled the yarn through the last stitch, I marveled.
Finishing this shawl freed me.
When I completed that bind-off and sat with the freed needle dangling from my hand, I realized I could still finish projects. Even big ones. And I realized that I hadn’t believed that in my heart.
I used to finish a project without fanfare. I would give myself a short sigh of relief, and then march off to the finishing like a good knitting soldier.
This time, as I wove in the ends, I felt the finish seep into me. I gloried in the fact that I had completed the knitting. When I soaked it in a mixture of water and mild detergent, I took a picture to preserve this moment of completion.
In my usual ritual, I squeezed as much water from the fiber as possible. I tossed it out onto my new blocking mat (which I finally opened and assembled after letting it languish for months!). I retrieved my blocking wires and pins. Almost dancing, I pinned the piece out and stretched it to block.
The shawl stretched and stretched, changing from the bouncy enthusiasm of garter stitch to a light and airy wave. I imagined the elegance when my sweetie swept it around her shoulders.
After drying overnight under the watchful eye of Dolce, I released the shawl. I pulled the blocking wires and the pins from their places.
I picked up the shawl. The ends swung down in a looping spiral of grace.
Excited, I confronted my love, barely awake and sitting on the toilet.
“What do you think?” Beaming. Displaying.
And, because she is my sweetie, she smiles. “It’s so beautiful. And it’s mine.”
I left it draped over an unpacked box in our bedroom, safe from the floor and the attention of the pets.
I didn’t know my pain had held me hostage. I suppose I just didn’t let myself think about it. However, each time I felt it sneaking into my hand, I put my work down and despaired of finishing anything again. How could I make progress with only a row or two per evening?
Now, I have hope. I believe once more in my ability to finish something. It takes me a lot (a whole lot) longer and I can’t knit the way I used to (all the time with abandon), but I can finish something.
Even if I can only knit a row or two per evening.
I finished a shawl.
And it’s beautiful.
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