Daily Archives: September 19, 2012

Diamonds and rust

Hello, and welcome to all you interesting and lovely people who did me the honour of reading the last post, the ranty one, showering me with compliments, and are now hanging about to see what I’m going to do next. I have no idea what I’m going to do next. I now feel a tad fraudulent – you do know this blog is mostly me whining about doctor’s appointments and just how horribly bad I am at menstruating, right? Sorry. *gnaws nails*

Or freaking out. There’s always me freaking out.

H and I took a few days off work. I won’t use the phrase ‘staycation’, because ‘staycation’ sounds like Day Camp for vampire slayers. But that. The problem with being at home with nothing to do except relax and enjoy yourselves leads to such behaviour as Visiting Ikea And Buying Storage Bins, which leads to Sorting Out The Knitting Stash, which leads to H laughing at me as I shriek: ‘How do I have this much yarn? I don’t even remember buying this? What is this? I have 45 litres of SOCK YARN! How am I ever going to knit all this? What was I thinking?’

And then you find the half-finished and abandoned knitting projects. I knew it would be in there somewhere, along with the scarf that came out too small, and the sock-I-can’t-be-arsed-to-knit-a-friend-for, and the half-a-pullover I’ve been havering about the neckline for.

It is most of a Shetland lace baby shawl, in very fine white wool, knitted on tiny needles. The sort of lace cloud a new-born is wrapped in for the home-from-hospital pictures, or for a Christening. It’s patterned with diamonds and trees-of-life and rose-buds, all chosen for their charming symbolism. I remember casting it on way back when H and I were still merely infertile, and, indeed, when I was still under the impression that as soon as we’d removed my uterine polyps and convinced Satsuma to just let an egg go once in a bloody while, I’d get pregnant. And, of course, carry the baby to term. Why shouldn’t I? I come from a Revoltingly Fertile Family. Carrying babies to term, through Hell or high water, is what we do. Or, what they do. I didn’t yet know I wasn’t one of them.

Of course, just about when I had nearly finished the body of the shawl and was trying to work out the maths (I am proper discalculic. Ask H. So this part was taking weeks) for the edging, I did get pregnant. And miscarried. And I didn’t have the heart to keep knitting. I told myself I’d get it out and finish it for the next baby. OK, for the one after that. Maybe for the third one. Damn it, not the third one. And since then I haven’t been able to face even looking at it. I think I have since once angrily announced I’d finish it if I ever got past the 12th week. And then I could use it as a fucking shroud, if necessary, because then there’d be something to bury.

Because you, oh Gentle Readers, are wise, and because all the above might have given you a clue that Not All Is Well chez the Psyche of May, you will be considerably less surprised than I was to discover that when I did unearth the shawl as I entirely expected to do this afternoon, still on the needles, still unfinished, I burst into tears. I flung myself into H’s arms and sobbed and sobbed.

‘What is it, darling?’ he asked, concerned, ‘A lace shawl? Oh, sweetheart, have the moths got it? No? What is it?’

‘It’s so beautiful,’ I choked out, ‘and it was for our first baby…’ and then I got snot on his shoulder (‘Dignity’ is my middle name. My first is ‘Lack of’).

Gentle Readers, this thing is beautiful. And so nearly finished. It breaks my heart.

H thinks I should just finish it. Partly because he’s feeling vaguely hopeful again these days, bless the dear eejit, and partly, well, because, did I mention it’s beautiful?

I could always auction it for a suitable charity, I suppose. If I can convince anyone to pay hundreds of pounds for it. I couldn’t let it go for less than hundreds of pounds, not even for the most excellent of causes. It has, after all, already cost me an infinity of grief.


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