Its been a tough week. Not for me personally. I wasn’t dancing and drinking my cares away in a bar in Orlando, Florida when a terrorist walked in and started murdering people. All I had to deal with is the aftermath, the fall out and that was hard enough. And for the record I am sick at heart not just from terrorism and murder but from the way every politician/journalist/opinionated butthole jumps at the chance to use a tragedy to further their personal agendas.
I write a yarn blog. I write for a here-is-a-safe-place-to-rest-your-eyes website. I think people need that and if the world keeps going the way it has been, people are going to need a lot more of it. People are going to need something to help them cope. I suggest making things with yarn.
That is what I’ve been doing, making something with yarn. I always am of course. Knitting and crochet is my passion and my constant companion. But on the day that a first-generation American opened fire on a gay bar in Florida, I found myself halfway though a baby sweater for a future first-generation American. So what started out as a simple project to knit a baby sweater for a pregnant friend became a very meaningful and very important act for me.
A little back story: A friend of mine is a (legal) immigrant from France. She finds herself away from her home and family, pregnant with her second child, and the sole source of income in her family. She works a tough job (I don’t care what anyone says, 8 hours of on-your-feet customer service when you are heavy pregnant is hard) and she sneaks me free coffee. She asked if I would make her future baby a sweater if she paid me. I said yes to the sweater and no to the payment.
So I’m making a February Baby (aka Baby Sweater on Two Needles), design by Elizabeth Zimmermann. I think the last time you saw it, it looked like this:
Now It looks like this:
I knit it while I listened to the stories from the Orlando survivors. I knit on it while I avoided the speeches made by politicians/journalists/opinionated buttholes. I knit on it to distract myself and to cheer myself up. I knit on it to cope.
Its still needs a few things. I needs to be washed and blocked (its drying as I type this out). Then I’ll sew up the under arms.
I’ll make up some Dorset buttons using a few plastic stitch markers and some left-over fingering weight yarn.
Then it gets a label. It gets this specific label, which I pulled out on Sunday after I heard the terrible news reports.
I’ve been keeping that with me and the in-progress baby sweater ever since because handmade is love. I don’t claim to have the answers or the solution to fix the absolute mess the world is in. I’ll leave that sort of thing to the politicians/journalists/opinionated buttholes. But I do think we need more reaching out, more in-person connections, more care, and more love. Collecting “likes” and twitter followers and sending messages on social media only takes you so far (and its not very far at all). Make something by hand for someone who wants and or needs it. When you give a handmade gift, you are giving love.
And I think we are going to need all the love we can get.