Sunday, 4 November 2012



Its easy to get lost in the waves. to tune in to the next onslaught, to cling against the next back wash. And when the surf's really pounding it's enough to make it from one lull to the next without losing my nerve.

I'm always hedging about where is the best the place to be - out deep past the break line or closer to shore? I know I'd rather be deep because nothing beats riding those enormous almost breaking rollers. But it scares the crap out of me when I am in over my head and something breaks down on me and I get caught in a pull I have no hope of resisting. So sometimes I figure I'll just hang back where at least I can stand, surely that's safer. And then some crasher catches me behind the knees and I'm eating sand and grazing my thighs.


The here and now obscures the longer range patterns, the waves seem to override the tides.

As this awful awful year starts to march towards the end I'm doing my best to look out over the waves and think about that tide.


I'm contemplating a future without knitting, at least without the kind of unbounded enthusiastic knitting I've known for the last decade, thanks to arthritis and some compound tendon and bursar injuries to my shoulder and neck. And my desire to rail against that is battling with my acceptance that on some things the tide just goes out.

Either way, any substantial improvement that may be coming is a long way off - so much further than I anticipated when I was told back in May to lay off the needles for a few months. I shed quite a lot of yarn a while back but I fear even what I retained may last me a lifetime and still not get used.


I'm going to have to be very strategic about what I knit if I take the needles back up - focusing on the things I really want and need.

The two projects I abandoned back in May have been taunting me for a while. The second half of a second sock in cute black and red striped yarn I dyed literally years ago for the purpose really needs to be finished. I have such bad luck in retaining hand knit socks and these ones actually fit and I love them. I'll be keeping them in the hopes I will get them done one day.


The other is my partially knit Aranami shawl. I adore this pattern. Adore. I love the colours of the yarn, I love the wave motif from afar, the garter ridged scallops up close. It makes me think of waves and clouds and mountain ridges, of raked garden pebbles and knitting. The construction is clever and neat, the finished shawl a useful wardrobe piece.

And even though I have knitted a lot of the shawl, the reality is that there is an awful lot to go and if I can only knit a very little - this is not the project I want to use all my stitches on.


When I started the project I cast on at the same time as Amanda, and we had a mini knit along. I started out strong, but she overtook me. Now her shawl is finished, and it is stunning. Her looser tension compared to mine suits the design better and has made it a good size.


She came to visit me yesterday to tell me she just doesn't love the yarn. She enjoyed knitting the project and loves the way it looks but the rustic roughness of the yarn just isn't her thing. In an act of amazing generosity she's given her completed shawl to me.

She knows a thing or two about tides and wanted her shawl to go to someone who valued the work not just from an end product perspective but from the knowing all the stitches way.

I couldn't be more honoured or touched. I value the work, and I know what each stitch means, now more than ever. Thank you so much Amanda xx

Honored to receive


Ali said...

What a beautiful thing friends are.

jodie said...

Amanda is a good egg. I miss you.

Leonie said...

If these are knits you want done but don't want to spend your precious time knitting on, send them my way, I'll return them to you once they're done :-)

Earthy Spice said...


formandreform said...

love. love. love. That is the most special gift from a very special friend. Go Amanda! One day I'm going to knit one of these - I feel the same way you do about it - undulating and powerful. It's a lovely design.