Monday, September 21, 2009


The gathering yesterday at my LYS in honor of Sandy was amazing. I thought I had it together until I walked in and saw everyone there, gathered because of Sandy and the life she lived, and then, of course, I started crying. It took a while before I didn't start up again every time someone gave me a hug hello, too.

The thing of it is, there are obviously a lot of people for whom Sandy's loss is going to be a bigger, deeper, blacker loss than it can be for me; people in whose lives she played many and multiplex roles, who will have fewer places to turn that don't immediately remind them of what they've lost. It got me to thinking about the holes we leave in people's lives when we're gone. And of whether I'll leave any holes, and what kind they will be, and what kind I want them to be, and what that means about how I should live now.

Because let's face it, we all know people who, when they are no longer in our lives for whatever reason, leave holes that are shaped like regret and, guilt-tinged though it may be, relief.

The holes Sandy leaves aren't like that. They're shaped like sorrow, of course, but also like laughter, and good memories, and a profound sense of gratitude for having known her, however much I did get to know her. And I'm pretty sure, looking at that gathering of people yesterday, people who were brought together only and because of their gladness to have known this woman of generous spirit, that I'm not the only one who feels that way. It's a form of grace, and I hope, with all of my heart, that she knew before she went that this was the shape of her life, and of the loss that we all feel.

I spent a not insignificant portion of my weekend knitting quietly and thinking about these things, the image of holes being particularly salient in the knitting of lace, and considering what this might mean for me and for that quiet list of resolutions I keep in the back of my head (don't we all?), and by which I try, in my better moments, to live my life. All that thinking and knitting had at least one concrete result: I finished the Unbloggable Project (do I hear a sigh of relief?). It turns out that it's actually a Partially Unbloggable Project, or a Project Unbloggable In Its Details, and that I can tell you (as if you hadn't guessed, predictable person that I am) that it's Anne's latest, the Dovecote shawl, and that I can show it to you in its preblocking lumpishness.
This was a sort of dual test-knit for me, as I was not only working through the pattern (which was great fun to knit, with fabulous results; more on that when blocking shots come out), but also trying out some yarn that Jeane deCoster, my garment fit teacher at the Institute, sells. She wanted to put this lovely yarn through its paces, and when you ask me to put yarn through its paces, I think of lace, natch (does anyone still say that, or has it gone the way of ymmv?). The yarn is a lovely two-ply Shetland, and Jeane is dyeing it up in gorgeous colors, which you can see on that link. It's a fingering weight yarn.
The lace it produces is, as I knew it would be, rustic and looks handspun, which was exactly the kind of comfort I wanted in this shawl; I am feeling in need of comfort lately. It's soft and fuzzy, and I think it's going to be fabulously warm, trapping air in all the fuzziness. Definitely a good pairing, even if one that's rather atypical for me.

With luck, next time, I'll have a more knitting-centric post, and one with some bloggable progress. Meanwhile, happy Monday; be well.


Rachel said...

Thank you for another thoughts inspiring post. Holes, eh? I will have to think about mine this evening.

Your blob of a shawl looks really promising, will wait patiently for more detailed photos.

The yarn is tempting and the colors - oh my god, I want one of each pretty please :)

Wanderingcatstudio said...

So intrigued... I can't wait to see a post blocking picture.
I'm very sorry for the loss of your friend, but I think it's good when little things remind us of people we've lost. It's makes the time you did have together all that much more special

Gwen said...

(I'd say this is very much a knitting post. At least, it's all connected to the knitting one way or another.)

I'm glad you went. And I'm so glad you had a good long stretch knitting with holes.

Rachael said...

hugs for you & lol re natch, the 18 yos I work with don't use it, but everybody still knows what you mean!

Willow said...

I've been thinking about holes lately too. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

Lovely yarn!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that you lost your friend. I don't know what else to say.

Take care.

Miss 376 said...

That yarn certainly looks comforting, colour is lovely. Look forward to seeing the shawl in all it's glory

EGunn said...

And it's the holes that make lace beautiful, isn't it? Things to ponder...

Your unbloggable lace looks beautiful. I love grey! Can't wait to see it blocked out. =)

Lynne said...

I'm glad the yarn and the pattern were a good match.

Yes, we all leave holes - thanks for reminding me to be sure mine are the kind I want to leave!

Dawn in NL said...

I found your post resonated with me. The idea of the holes we leave behind linked with the idea of lace is strangely beautiful.

A few years ago I was moved to write "Thank you" letters to a few people who are so much part of my life that I normally never think to let them know how much they mean to me. It is one way to let people know what sort of hole they would leave in your life.

Thank you for your insightful writing.

Mary Lou said...

Another good post. I've been having similar thoughts since my Aunt's funeral, but not about lace...the personal connections we make with people, how the help we give, even though it seems small can change a person's day or a life.

KnitNana said...

Sweetie, this is why I visit, why I treasure your friendship. You have the nicest way of putting such things down...the manner in which your mind works, inspires me to be better, to think clearer.

I'm dying to see Dovecoat, LOVE the yarn...and am eternally grateful that this project came along precisely when you needed it.

Thinking about you, and your dear friend.

twinsetellen said...

Holes. Hmm. You know, sometimes the negative space defines the image.

I'll have to think about this some more. What kind of image do I want the negative space I leave to define?

And I assure you, the hole you would leave is enormous and just the right shape.

Bea said...

Oh Jocelyn, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Carrie K said...

I hadn't thought of grief, loss and memories like that but it's so true.

Stell said...

Oh Jocelyn, a Sandy shaped hole is a hard hole to fill .. but that shawl and yarn must be close to the best thing to keep your mind calm and busy and your hands fill right now. ((((hugs))) lots

twinsetjan said...

I'm so sorry to hear of Sandy's death and the loss to you and the community. It's reassuring though, to see how someone can have such a large impact on others through small contacts -- a very good thing for us all to remember.