24 April 2007

Kindness, forgiveness, and knitting frustration


Before I write anything else, I want to say a genuine, heartfelt thank you to all of you who left comments and/or sent me e-mails after reading about our girl Abigail. (I really will write back to all of you eventually.) I mean it when I say that hearing from so many people, most of whom I've never met, made me feel so comforted and not so alone. Everyone at our house was touched by your kindness, and I can tell you that I'm sure that Abigail is pleased, because she loved it when people would pay attention to her, and talk to her. Like any loss, you don't really get over it, you just have to get used to it, and so we are going along the best we can, since the world isn't going to stop and wait for us.

It does suck, though, as I'm sure you know ...


Last week, after the shootings at Virginia Tech, I was reading several articles, as well as my usual knitting blogs, and it was interesting to see what different people had to say. I was struck by the number of people who mentioned that it was important to remember that the student who carried out the shootings had a family too, and that they were not only dealing with a loss, but with behavior that they did not expect from their son/brother. When I first heard about the events, it seemed that most people were ready to celebrate the suicide of the shooter. And it struck me that just a few months ago, when the guy shot the Amish schoolgirls, all of the news outlets and reporters were falling all over themselves, talking about how the Amish people were kind to the killer's family, and had a true sense of forgiveness. The contrast seemed to be striking.

I remember reading an article in some health-related magazine a couple of years ago, where they discussed the positive power of forgiveness. They studied people who had experienced pretty terrible, life-altering events, at the hands of someone else. As the people in the study were given the tools to learn how to forgive, their overall mental and physical health improved. It was fascinating, and though there are times when it seems impossible to forgive someone (well, it's hard for me, at least), I think that it's worth making an effort. I certainly don't succeed all of the time (most of the time?), but if I have tried, it makes me feel better about the situation and myself.

Anyway, that was apropos of nothing, really, I just have been mulling it over, and felt like sharing. :-)

Knitting frustration

I am making slow (as in, snail's pace) progress on the Shamrock Shawl. That's the good news.

The bad news is, I'm totally frustrated by my other project. I had planned to make a sleeveless summer top from the Manos Stria cotton yarn shown in an earlier post. I dutifully swatched, and it took four tries until I had the proper gauge. Then I started knitting away, thinking it would take no time at all to complete. The pattern suggests that once you have knitted approximately two inches, you should check your gauge again, before going any further. Well, of course, I wasn't even close. So I swatched again, tried with another needle size, and still didn't come close. I gave it two more tries, without any better results.

I have decided that I will put the yarn away, and work on something else. Because I'm supposed to be knitting for fun, so why let myself get frustrated and aggravated about the project??

Now, though, I can't decide what I want to knit. The Shamrock Shawl is my "finish a project" project, so I can start a new one. But I'm not inspired by anything at the moment. Well, that's not totally true - I would *love* to try this pattern. I see this sample (entry for April 18, 2007) in the window at Loop, every day on my way to and from work. But I am trying (so far successfully) to keep with my Knit From Your Stash 2007 plan, at least until Maryland Sheep and Wool, which is the weekend after this coming one. And I don't have any yarn in my stash that I could use for the aforementioned pattern. Therein lies my dilemma (plus, I just used "therein," how cool is that?) ...

I am going to try and pull out a bunch of leftover Encore from my stash, and start working on some hats for the Charmed Knits project. At least until I see what/if I buy anything in Maryland. And if I am still obsessed with the pattern in the window at Loop, I'll allow myself my "free pass" and get the pattern and the yarn I want to use.

And all I can say is - I'd better get the gauge right on that one. Or someone will pay. (They always do ...)


Kim said...

Anyone who has ever lost a pet would never make light of Abigail's death. It troubles me to know that some around you were unkind.

And, brava on the family thoughts. We could/should all remind ourselves that not all victims have visible wounds.

teabird said...

The Amish people inspired me to have compasion on the families of people who have done terrible things, too. (I'm not quite as enlightened when groups of people do terrible things, however. I don't think I'll ever get there.) I guess the point would be that fury and the wish for revenge are more poisonous for you than forgiveness, and certainly put better things back into a damaged world.

On a lovelier note, I wish we could see the new shawl as she grows -

Carol said...

Forgiveness is more powerful than hate, it's just more difficult to come to. Get the pattern and the yarn-don't wait!