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With practiced hands

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With practiced hands

Quarantined at our house, Bill and I have Katie and Johnny (the twins), Katie's sorority sister, Augustine, and our youngest, Colton. It's quite a houseful.  I spend an inordinate amount of time cooking, but it's okay--I feel a little bit guilty admitting that I kinda like having everyone home again for a bit.

The other night Augustine wanted to see pictures of when Katie and the rest were little.  We spent hours looking at albums and scrolling through the  photos on my phone.  I ran across a picture of Colton at the beach last summer, and posted it to Instagram yesterday morning.  I look at the old pictures of my sweet boy, my last baby, and wonder, When did he become a man?

I feel so guilty sometimes--I started the shop when he was just two years old. His needs were so uncomplicated compared to those of his siblings.  He never gave us a moment's trouble, and he just sort of grew up in the middle of a family busy doing other things. I worry that I should have given him more attention.  He is probably just as happy that I did not, and has grown into a relaxed young man with a deep sense of calm.  My friend Amy, a wise mother of 7, has always said that children are best raised with benign neglect. I get that.  Sometimes too much parental attention is worse than too little.  As my mother's only child, ask me how I know this.

I've said many times that knitting is kind of like being a parent.. When we first become knitters, we worry.  Is this right? It must be perfect. So new at everything, we're not even sure what it's supposed to be like, so we obsess.  We fret about it, picking and prodding and reworking something that was probably fine, until it's actually a mess.  Fortunately, we figure it out as we go along.  Neither our kids, nor our knitting actually need our constant time and attention, in fact, they're probably better off without it. There are, of course, times that call for us to stop and focus--a crisis, a transition, or just a difficult situation.  But lots of knitting happens while we are doing something else entirely. At the end of the day, they are both fine. Those things we knit mindlessly with confident, practiced hands reflect the calm with which they were created and are every bit as lovely and well crafted as those over which we labored and fretted--sometimes even more so. 

Until we can once again gather in the shop, I look forward to seeing you on Facebook Live, or at one of our virtual hangouts.  In real life or in cyberspace, you are always welcome here.

~Ellen

Back to 22 April 2020 newsletter