I would wake up and crave turning a bare skein of yarn into something beautiful. I enjoyed the entire process. Tying the yarn so it wouldn’t tangle, soaking all of the yarn, setting up my work station on the kitchen counter, adding just the right amount of water in the pot, experimenting with how the colors play together, rinsing the yarn in my favorite scent of Tuft Woolens wool wash, and hanging the skeins outside to dry. It is a very meditative process for me. It makes sense to my body and my brain.
For the next year I would continue to enjoy knitting and dyeing alongside working at Starbucks. And then everything changed: I got pregnant. It was only a few months after my husband Doug and I got married but I was still terrified. I felt like my entire life was over. We weren’t going to be able to travel, I wasn’t going to be able to find my dream job and build my career. Before I could completely freak out I started getting ridiculously sick throwing up multiple times a day. It was so bad that I had to go on leave from Starbucks, I had to stop dyeing yarn, and I even had to stop knitting. I lost who I was all over again. But slowly I began to remember. I was able to dye yarn occasionally, I was able to get out of bed, I was able to pick up my needles. And then I experienced the worst thing I could have experienced in this situation, I lost the baby. It came as a complete shock because there were no symptoms and I was past the first trimester. No one thinks of a miscarriage at sixteen and a half weeks until you have one. I hit the lowest part of my life. I felt numb, empty, and experienced the deepest sadness I have ever experienced.
One of my best friends offered to run and grab clothes and whatever else we might need while we stayed a few nights at my parents. I asked her to grab my toffee Fringe Field Bag that had my Madewell Cardigan by Joji Locatelli in my yarn in the “Rattle” colorway. The first night I let myself fall a part, but the next day I needed something. My husband and I grabbed coffee and then sat on the couch together, he encouraged me to try to knit so I did. I couldn’t stop. The cardigan was maybe a fourth of the way done before I picked it up again. I finished it that week. I needed more. So I went to a yarn store in East Lansing, Woven Art Yarn Shop because they are a flagship store for Quince and Company. I grabbed a sweater quantity of lark in the “Iceland” colorway for the Boothbay cardigan by Hannah Fettig. I finished that sweater in a week while on a family trip in Wisconsin. Knitting gave me something to focus on, something to do with my hands, something that helped me ignore the world and everybody’s questions about how I’m doing. Knitting became my lifeline.
Once I started working through my miscarriage and talking about it with friends and family I started healing, but I honestly don’t think I would have ever gotten to that point if I wasn’t a knitter. As the months began to pass I kept clinging to knitting to keep me going. The project that really helped me forget about the world and just focus on healing and filling back up was the What the Fade Mystery Fade Along hosted by my favorite knitwear designer, Andrea Mowry. The combination of color, brioche, and garter stitch consumed me. Everyday I would wake up, grab coffee, turn on knitting podcasts, let my pug Esther fall asleep on my lap and knit on that shawl for hours. I owe so much to that beautiful shawl and to Andrea Mowry, because honestly I don't know where I would be without it.