Monday, December 19, 2005

Yarn Of Yarn

This is a yarn about yarn and three generations. It starts at a time when there was such a thing as the USSR but glasnost and perestroika were blowing winds of change. We subscribed to a Soviet magazine whose name I forget. It went out of publication when the country ceased to exist giving the final issue much historic significance.

In that last issue was the pattern for a sweater than my mother and I loved. The model was a pretty Ukrainian teenager. That winter I came upon a sweater like hers in the color of burnt amber instead of periwinkle blue like in the picture. I have worn it sparingly and it is one of my favorites. My mother loved to knit and I had plenty of hand made sweaters growing up.

This morning I wore my favorite amber colored cardigan. J looked at it admiringly - I thought I saw some longing in her eyes as well. I asked her "Do you like my sweater ?" and she said "Yes, I do". I told her "You grandma knit it for me many years ago. You can have it when you're big enough to wear it" J declared promptly "My grandma is knitting a pretty sweater for me right now. I'm going to have my very own" My heart went out to J when I heard that. She has no way of knowing why.

When J was born, my mother and I picked up some beautiful yarn and decorative buttons and browsed sweater patterns together. J was supposed to have the prettiest dream in knitted yarn come true. My marriage broke up, the balls of yarn and buttons traveled with me half the way across the world. They lay forgotten in the closet for many winters - four to be precise. Each time my mother went back to them, something fairly cataclysmic happened and she had to abandon her project.

The two half way knit sweaters that should have been J's bear testimony to the battles of the last four years - the heavy toll it has taken or our otherwise uncomplicated lives. The first four years of J's childhood are now past - her grandma has not been able to knit for her like she would have loved and longed to. It is one among the many memories J will not have. That I should have more than I have been able to give my child makes me wistful.

Maybe J is right - her grandma is knitting once again. Maybe with other yarn, another time - a happier time. J will wear something like my favorite burnt amber sweater and remember all the loving that went into making it.

6 comments:

Teri said...

Love your "yarn." I am working on an article called "Old Favorites." Thought it interesting at this time of year that we are on a similar thought pattern.

Have a great holiday...

Priyamvada_K said...

Don't worry, HC. J will have her sweater. Meanwhile, we'll just wrap her in hugs and keep her warm :)

Priya.

Heartcrossings said...

Teri - Yeah, seem to be feeling more than usually nostalgic. Have a wonderful holiday

Priya - Thanks much :) Sometimes I wonder if I don't smother J with too many hugs trying to compensate for all that I think is missing in her life.

bharath said...

priyamvada put it nicely :-)

LaughingEyes said...

Yarn has a funny way of fraying over time ...J will have memories just as precious to remember you and Grandma by. They just won't happen to be knitted, but woven in the fabric of her life that will stand the test of time.

Heartcrossings said...

LaughingEyes - Just what I tell myself. Yet sometimes I long for J to have the things I once took for granted and only now realize how priceless they were.