Metaphorical knitting

Wednesday, April 02, 2014


The first thing I ever knitted was a pink scarf. It was a long, straggly mess, full of holes and imperfections. I was so proud.

One day last year, a Monday, I put my pink scarf in a bag with some circular needles and carried it with me. In a quiet waiting room, I slowly and deliberately pulled it apart. Line by line, stitch by stitch, I dismantled everything I'd made. The wool lay in scrawled loops across my lap, like a child's scribble.

Then I wound it back up into a fat, pink ball and began to knit again.

I knitted and I waited. Round and round my needles clicked, building row upon row of neat stitches. No holes. No imperfections. Not this time.

I knitted under the sympathetic gaze of the heavily pregnant nurse who checked me in.

I knitted with Fin beside me, his arm resting on the back of my seat. His fingers played a restless rhythm on the NHS regulation fabric.

I knitted as the woman sitting across from me began, quietly, to cry.

I knitted right up until the moment they came for me. Then they took me along a corridor, put me to sleep, and helped my body finish what it had started, in waves of pain and despair, five days before.

It had been nothing, really. Just a faint line, an outline on a screen. Except that it was everything. And it was over.

In the days that followed, I kept knitting. In tears, in silence, in mourning for the future that wasn't coming, I kept knitting. It gave me something to do. It gave me comfort. It gave me, eventually, a perfect, hole-free pink snood.

Then Smidgen ate it.



I'm trying not to place too much store in the little grey hat I'm knitting now. I try not to leave it lying around the flat for the dog to chew on, but I try not to worry about the holes, either. It will be what it will be. The little person who's going to wear it won't mind, and I won't mind either, because that little person will be here. This time, we'll have made it.

Just five more months of knitting, and waiting, to go.


Let's hope Smidgen doesn't eat the baby.




Images: 1. The ill-fated snood. 2. Hat pattern by Purlbee, washi tape download by Pugly Pixel. 3. More successful snood, more successful bump. Touch wood.

61 boats moored

  1. Beautifully said xxx

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  2. So sad - but then this is sneaky at the end, no? Or am I reading too much into it? This might be too subtle for my morning brain, or my morning brain is being ridiculous. xxx

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    1. Yup, sneaky! I added a picture, apparently I was being too subtle for eight in the morning ;)

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  3. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I love this blog post, despite the tears brought on my the first part, I am so happy for you guys!! You are getting a massive (in more ways than one!) hug on Friday when I see you lady xxx

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  4. I'm so, so thrilled for you both. Congratulations! And beautifully written. What parents you'll be x

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  5. Sending all the love and hoping all tears to come will be joyously happy ones. Uttterly wonderful news K!

    Px

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    1. There will probably be some knitting-related tears.

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  6. xxxxxxxxxx

    - Wendy

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  7. Oh this is wonderful. Congratulations lovely you xx (shh! I'm not crying!)
    All the love x

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  8. What a beautiful post and a wonderful ending. Delighted for you and wishing you well.

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  9. When I'm Queen, I'm going to make it illegal for you not to write. You use words so beautifully it's unfair to deprive the world of them.
    Congratulations to you, Fin (&Smidgen). I'm so sorry about all the shit that last year brought you.

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  10. So many congratulations to you both - what lovely news and most beautifully expressed.

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  11. Whoop whoop! This year is going to be so fun for blog-babies!

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  12. Oh Kirsty, I am so happy for you all. I was cying as I read the first part, and as I came to the end you had me smiling. I am sorry you had to go through losing your first wee one. And I can only second others on your beautiful use of words,
    I wish you all the best,

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  13. 2013 really was big bag of balls year wasn't it. Here's to 2014 and all the lovely knitted goods it brings. X

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  14. What a beautiful post for such lovely news. Thrilled for you - congratulations!

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  15. Yep, crying in Thailand too! You are so amazing Kirsty and I absolutely love how you express yourself! And even in the saddest posts you still make me chuckle! Naughty Smidgen :)

    Much love
    Xxx

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  16. I love the way you write, you paint such a beautiful picture with your words.

    Sooo many congratulations and so much love to you. The Peas are on hand to administer big sloppy kisses whenever your little person arrives. I'm teaching them to be gentle, I promise. xx

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  17. Oh Kirsty, congratulations! This was the most beautiful piece of writing. I'm so sorry last year was such a bitch to you, xxx

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  18. So happy for you, congratulations! And you really do write beautifully. This post was definitely worth the tease campaign on twitter btw.

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  19. Congratulations!! Lovely news and a beautiful post xox

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  20. Sending you all love & congratulations x

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  21. Oh Kirsty! Such happy news....hope you're not in too much discomfort.

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  22. See here I am late to the party, but you totally made me cry. What a lovely bump. xxx

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  23. Congrats to the pair of you! What lovely news.

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  24. Also, it's a bit spooky, but I was just thinking 'there hasn't been a post from Kirsty in a while, I hope she's OK', so I went over to Twitter and lo and behold! There was the link!

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  25. Beautifully written. So so sorry to hear about what you went through. But delighted for your wonderful news and sending lots and lots of congratulations x

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  26. You're such a wonderful writer Kirsty. I'm so sorry for your loss, and so, so happy for the grey hat. xox

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  27. Beautifully written, Miss K! The future granduncle in California.

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  28. What beautiful words for what beautiful NEWS. Congratulations! And superstitious critter that I am, I am touching all the wood. All of it. Not that you'll need it, I'm sure. xx

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  29. Many congratulations to you both!

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  30. hooray, the first sighting of the bump which is my great niece/great nephew.Stay healthy my lovely,I know Fin will take good care of you. xx

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  31. Thank you for such a poignant post and reminding me of my many blessings. Congratulations on your wonderful news x

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  32. Hurray, Congratulations!!! Beauuutiful post too.

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  33. Congratulations!!! What exciting news! (Really, 2013, you were such a jerk. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. xx)

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  34. Congratulations honey such a lovely end to a sad post, so glad it's worked out for you

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  35. You sneaky mcsneak, making me feel all sad and weirdly impressed by your perseverance with knitting. And then BAM you're having a baby. You gorgeous thing. Actually the best news I've had today, hoorah x

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  36. Thank you so much, every one of you. You're my favourites.

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  37. Kirsty, you are utterly brilliant. 2014 still has some difficult times ahead, but the thought of the wee grey hat and its wearer will help us along. Love you xxx

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  38. Oh Kirsty, I am so touched, so thrilled, so heartbroken, so filled with... life? That sounds cheesy. But it's true. A million hugs and blessings from over the other side of the world. I am so sorry for your pink hat and I'm so pleased about your grey one. Love. Also: 5 weeks in, and it is life changing and brilliant.

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  39. ...oh Kirsty! I know exactly how that goes. Three times over for me. But we pick ourselves up to climb again... Congratulations to you both, and take exquisite care of yourself :)

    You had me snorting with laughter about Smidgen! :D And for that I can tell you have that strength of character to take each day as it unfolds til you reach your goal...

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    1. Oh, Beka. I'm so sorry. It's so shit. Glad I (or more accurately, Smidgen) made you laugh! And thank you.

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    2. ...I know. It's crap, right? Truly the first was the worst and very surreal. Not good :/ On the 'up' side (if there is such a thing), I did get two lovely boys out of it, so it's not all bad, though at the time you feel like the world has ended and you have no answers for why.

      As for Smidge, he/she (I'm sorry I forget), won't eat the baby. As soon as he realises this new creature in the house makes a whole heck of noise and bad smells, he'll be outta there :D Besides, a new extra squeaky, squeaky toy should be enough distraction. Though you will probably have some fun teaching Smidge the difference between dog toys and baby ones. Oh fun times are ahead. Fun times indeed... ;)

      *hugs*

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  40. Since tweets are so fleeting I'll add my huge congratulations over here too! Lovely news, here's to 2014! xx

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  41. I've just had my first bit of knitting unraveled 6 weeks ago. I'm fine mostly and then there's days like today when a friend announces and Im not (Everyone is having babies dammit!!!). It was hard to find anything on the blogosphere talking about it, and then I found a few that had. and i did too and despite 200 views only 3 commented (that may just be the new face of blogging though.. or umm my blog). and now Ive just read your news and for the first time since it happened to me, someone (you!) has announced they're pregnant and instead of feeling like my hearts breaking with selfish sorrow, you've given me a little tinge of hope and a little hint of normalcy to my story. So truly congratulations from the bottom of my heart and happy knitting. xsx

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    1. Oh, I'm so sorry. Huge hugs. It really is hard to find anyone who has written openly about miscarriage - it's the kind of thing people seem to keep quiet until they have good news to share, or unless someone else says they've had one and then you whisper, "me too." I wish I had been brave enough to write about it before I became pregnant again, but I'm glad that at least writing about it now has been even a tiny bit helpful to you. As for people not commenting, sometimes people just don't know what to say, or feel it's not their place to say anything, but it's so hard when you've put something personal out there and don't get much back. I'll go and leave a comment on your blog now with some blogs that I found helpful when I was at your stage in the hope that they might help a little. Thanks so much for commenting xx

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    2. ...I don't know whether you have found her, but Diana of OurCityLights.org has written some about her experience. When my own journey began it was before blogs really were the centre of things (that sounds really old, but in blog-terms it really is not so long ago, honest!), and so I sort solace among a few forums dedicated to the topic of miscarriage and infertility. So many people bury their experiences and don't speak of it online or off, and it makes those travelling through it so very isolating. It is only compounded when people speak all too loudly of the positive experience, or make light of the topic as so-called humour.

      You both have my deepest empathy and support along your journey, if you would like to talk ever.

      xo

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  42. I fear I've been a terrible friend and fallen of the reading others' blogs wagon!!! BUT I'm so glad I stumbled upon this post on a day I decided to pick it up momentarily. Beautifully written and even a more beautiful ending. So so so happy for you all and I cannot wait to see Smidgen with a baby!!!!! The cuteness overload it will be!!!! Big hugs from Chicago my love! Xoxox

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  43. I look forward to sending you the most appalling American baby clothes I can lay my hands on. "No, don't worry, this is an ironic infant."

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  44. This is the most beautifully written baby announcement I have ever written.
    And thank you so much for including the part about your miscarriage - your incredibly brave to talk about it, hardly anybody does, and it has given my a tiny sparkle of hope to have a complete knitting one day myself. so thanks.

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  45. So sorry about your first loss but congratulations on your now happy news.

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  46. Oh hunny. Big hugs for the past and for the present. I'm so happy for you xxx

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  47. Congratulations, that is wonderful news. xxx

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  48. I loved this post - so beautiful & brave. Looking forward to seeing the babe wearing the knitting. Thank you for writing about your miscarriage, it is so honest & am sure helps others in similar situation. I've seen from friends experience how hard it is and how difficult a subject it is to talk about so thank you.

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