Friday, November 03, 2006

The Bed Jacket

Mambocat's blog entry about a sweater for her mother invoked a wistful trip down memory lane for Clickety-Clack Ewe.
When my mother became ill late in the fall of 1999, I felt compelled to knit her a bed jacket. It was knit entirely of an intense longing to provide some comfort for my mother and an effort to banish the helplessness I felt by not being able to provide her a cure for her cancer.
There was not a whit of skill involved - only determination, as I only had been knitting for about nine weeks. The pattern was a free internet download from Yarnforward, a frothy lace number I attempted from Lion Brand mohair. I had no idea what some of the instructions meant. I had to look up how to make a yarn-over. I did not have a reference that explained "k 2 tog tbl" for instance, so I made up a version of what I thought it might mean. I plunged ahead with my interpretation of the pattern, determined to finish it before my mother left the planet.

I quickly found out that I was sensitive to the mohair. The upside to the sneezy, eye-watering fiber was that it concealed the fact that there was no identifiable pattern in the lace. It took an entire box of Sudafed to knit the project.

When I presented this creation to my mother, I explained that there were more lacy holes than was intended in the pattern, but every hole was filled with love to surround her. She accepted it gracefully, not inspecting it for the mistakes I assured her were rampant. Like Mambocat's mom, my mother wore that bed jacket in my presence when she was able, and otherwise kept it at the foot of her bed. My mother showed her appreciation until she died a few weeks after she received it.

After her death, her best friend requested to keep the bed jacket. I gratefully sent it along to her, with the hope that the holes, filled with love, gave her peace as well.


Opal said...

What a lovely story and you know it's a lovely sweater too! It doesn't look all that bad for a first time sweater.

Anonymous said...

Jess that is such a heartwarming story, the kind of thing that makes people smile in the face of sadness. Thanks for sharing.

- mudnyc