As I knit ...
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As I knit the tiny baby hat for the Caps to the Capital campaign, I consider the fact that perhaps a one-day premmie baby out there in the wide world, somewhere, will live because she (or he) had this little cap to keep her head warm. Quite an opportunity I have in this wee little bit of yarn and stitches to possibly make a difference in my own little way somewhere in our world. I catch myself saying a little prayer for that child as I knit, like those nuns who knit prayer shawls and use knitting as a means of contemplation, meditation, and of reaching and serving God. Knitting can be frustrating at times, certainly. Rewarding often, definitely. For me, the greatest value of knitting is the opportunity it affords me to think and sort and pray and consider many weighty and non-weighty things as I make my way around a sock or a hat, or down the row of a sweater, shawl, or blanket. I learned to knit when I was eight years old; an aunt taught me. That was when we were still living in North Carolina, where I grew up part way (when I was twelve we moved to Los Angeles). She taught me to knit and to crochet. I enjoyed both, but knitting is the one that got all up inside of me and stayed with me throughout my life. The first and most valuable lesson I learned from knitting, and I learned it back when I was eight or nine years old, had to do with solving problems. I was terrible about getting rat nest tangles in my yarn. Oh, how my yarn would tangle ... and often. I am grateful for those tangles because in their confusion I learned my best lesson. As I sat there untangling a particularly bad ball of knots it occurred to me that what the confusion needed was more space. I saw clearly that if I gently and patiently drew the yarn away from itself and put more space between the strands, that I would be able to see the parts of the knot more clearly and thus find a path to solving the problem. It seems a bit remarkable now to have had such a clear epiphany at such a young age, but I remember it distinctly as if it happened only yesterday. Years later I was thinking about it and realized that in that little moment of clear thinking I had learned a truth about solving problems ... that if you remain patient, and look at the individual parts of a problem logically, you will find a solution whereas if you become impatient and illogical you will squish the parts of the problem all in on themselves and you will not be able to see clearly to a solution. That one lesson is one of the most valuable of my life. It helped in raising my children (which I did alone from when they were little kids). It also helped in business, and was a key factor in my being able to have some success as a business consultant and a business writer. I have been knitting now for forty-one years ... that's a long run. A long run with a good friend. We are going away for the weekend. My husband's nephew is putting on a pig roast as a celebration for his daughter's third birthday and we're going down to his place to help set up for the party. This is the third year of the mighty pig roast and there will probably be about one-hundred people attending. My husband is going to make salt potatoes. Plus he takes tables and chairs from church down there, and a big party tent. We're also taking a camping tent and will camp out Friday and Saturday night, then we have a wooden boat show back up this way we are going to try to get to on Sunday. It will be a long, fun weekend. All new for me of course, and I am looking forward to it. If you have not had salt potatoes before, oh my. They are wonderful. He made them at the church barbecue back in July, which is their annual fund raiser. That day he cooked one-hundred pounds; this weekend he is cooking twenty-five pounds. He cooks them in big tall pots on big gas burners outside. They are cooked in rapidly boiling water with a ton of salt for about twenty minutes. The salt causes the potatoes to cook at a higher than usual temperature or something like that and they end up with this beautiful, smooth texture inside. They are not salty though, which is interesting considering how much salt is in the water. May you have a wonderful weekend ... I look forward to catching up with some of my compatriot knitting bloggers Monday morning. Best, ~firefly
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