Today we introduce Portraits of Mormon Women— a weekly post celebrating the ordinary and extraordinary in every life. This post was originally published at scenesfromthewild.blogspot.com.
Five winters ago I visited Kit and Kevin in their 420 sq. ft. apartment. I was heavy with unborn Mary and in a full-blown knitting frenzy.
The nesting instincts of pregnancy flew straight to my fingers where I spent several months knitting up hats, cardigans and light-as-air baby sweaters. The repetitive movement soothed my queasy stomach and the intricate patterns fed my need for creativity in a time where everything else felt out of control(I’m not a good pregnant woman.) More obsession than hobby, my needles followed me to the doctor’s office, book group and I really, really wanted to knit in church.
Delivery cures me of the compulsion, leaving half finished projects strewn about the house and a sweet little bundle in my arms.
Observing my progress on a little red & white cardigan, Kit begged me to teach her the wonders of knitting. I hesitated. Kit was in her 6th year of infertility, and inspiring her to knit baby sweaters seemed a bit cruel. Besides, I’m a lefty and a klutz at teaching.
But Kit is patient and clever. Following my inept instructions she began to cast on and cast off, to knit and to purl. I left her with a skein of red yarn and a set of good metal needles.
Alone with her new hobby, Kit visited a fragrant huddled yarn store in France where she purchased THE MOST COMPLICATED knitting patterns in creation and a dozen skeins of yarn to create a baby outfit. No one told her that beginning knitters usually stick with scarves and hot pads, no one told her that multi-color projects and cables and fancy stitching were reserved for hobbyists with years of experience. She didn’t know that most people end up with one sleeve 4″ longer than the other and pants two sizes larger than the top.
She didn’t know it was impossibly hard.
Kit carried her projects to doctor’s appointments and failed in-vitro attempts and of course, dozens and dozens of Kevin’s basketball games. Within months, her skills surpassed life-long knitters.
And then, two years later, a baby came to Kit and Kevin’s arms. And with 17 months more– another. Ryn grew too fast and I never got to see her in THE outfit, but petite little Elle has been wearing it comfortably for months.
I asked Kit, “How did you make this, how did you even begin, when you’d had so many disappointments?
Kit laughed, “But I always knew we’d have a baby. Birth or adoption, boy or girl. I knew I’d be a mother; it was just a matter of time. I’d be silly if I didn’t prepare.”
And so, on New Year’s Day when goals paralyzed me and I saw only limitations and impossibilities and age creeping on; I thought of Kit and her knitting needles, of dreams stitched into reality.
See that blue bump in the center? That’s baby girl number 3.