I’ve been working on a haphazard knitting project for some time now. They call this type of project a “stash-buster” because it’s the kind of design that very literally ties up loose ends. You take a bunch of your leftover yarn from different blankets, hats, cowls or mittens and you knit them all together patchwork style for a unique scarf or throw. My Grandmother Esther would have been so all about this because that woman didn’t waste an ounce of anything, trust me. Anyway, I liked the idea of a colorful mis-matched snuggly scarf and I’m a mis-matched kind of gal as you may have guessed, so it was a perfect activity for me.
Anyway, I had eleven different types of yarn that varied in color and texture and I knitted them together just as they came to me, without a vision, one at a time. I didn’t pay any attention to how the colors flowed, but I used everything from variegated earth tones to even a bright neon orange that I never could match to anything. That’s part of the fun – weaving all these opposing colors and thicknesses together while connecting them to the next skein of errant and wild tendrils of yarn.
I took it to my yarn shop for critique and it was suggested to me to crochet a border around the scarf in order to connect each different panel to another with a consistent frame. A color that unites the scarf and all of it’s circus-like randomness. So last Saturday night that’s exactly what I did. I had a sweet husband yelling expletives at a college basketball game so it seemed like a good time to border a scarf and create my own inner zen.
I chose a hand-dyed teal-ish colored yarn that was a gift from a friend and crocheted a border all along the scarf one crochet chain at a time. It was peaceful and dutiful work and as I worked along I couldn’t help but be hit in the face by the obvious metaphor that was literally LYING IN MY LAP.
Holy shit balls, I thought to myself. This scarf is actually my life. The new border I’m crocheting is my sobriety. Before you ask me where I purchased the obviously stellar dank weed THAT SURELY I MUST HAVE BEEN SMOKING to get so reflective and cheesy over a sloppy scarf, stick with me for a sec.
My hands fumbled over the dark purple yarn appropriately named “grape jelly” for a friend’s baby blanket for her firstborn daughter. I came across the ridiculously thick yarn that I learned to knit with and I swear, now it’s like knitting with rope. My fingers lingered over the beautiful orangey-apricoty Alpaca yarn that I knitted my very FIRST scarf with, still just as soft as the day I bought it. All of these different yarns have been stitched together as a tapestry, just like the last forty-nine years weave the scope of my life.
The contrasting and distinctive yarns reflect the different periods in my life; my optimism, and my despair. And just like my life there are patterns. Straight and tight stitches like typewriter keys lined in perfect order, knitted so closely together you could barely slide a safety pin through them and then there’s the wildly zigzaggy yarn that has no rhyme or reason or discernible pattern whatsoever and it’s absolutely chaotic. Then there’s a border that doesn’t truly match any of it yet somehow it binds one piece to another, and that, is my sobriety. My sobriety is the thread (or in this case, the actual yarn) that is holding this whole fucking scrappy scruffy scarf together. C’mon, I’m no Sigmund Freud but YOU SMELL WHAT I’M STEPPING IN, DON’T YOU!?! I’ve always enjoyed my metaphors but it truly did strike me as a sincere representation of my life, and more importantly, my life NOW.
We all know what happens when you pull on a loose thread, right? Well, it’s exactly like that with my sobriety. If it begins to unravel you might as well accept right now that you are going to find that scarf face down in its own vomit in a parking lot somewhere or worse yet, you’ll find that scarf holed up watching an SVU marathon drinking Fireball in dirty pajamas when it should probably be at work.
And with that, I’m off to work*, wearing my new snuggly and warm mis-matched scarf.
* I had to face reality and get a temp job whilst I wait for Oprah Winfrey to discover this little blog and offer me a book deal because really, ISN’T IT ABOUT TIME ALCOHOLISM STARTS PAYING ME BACK?!?