Eleven years later, I cast on again. After our first baby was stillborn one February day eleven years ago, and the little striped white & blue baby outfit that I'd been knitting got put away, I realized that I couldn't pick up my needles again, and found a new passion in crochet (I've written about this chapter of our life a few times in the past, here and here).
At the dinner table not long ago, I was lamenting the fact that I'd searched every single store in our area, in vain, for a black wool cardigan, but people don't seem to be using wool any more (how do they keep warm?). My elder boy shrugged the problem off, and stated the obvious: "Why don't you make one?!" Ouch ...! Isn't ironic when your own lifestyle is thrown back at you? But my boy was right: why didn't I crochet one?
I didn't because I've already made a crochet cardigan for myself, the Chevron Lace Cardigan by Milobo which I love, and I didn't want a second one. Plus my recent looking around and searching the internet didn't turn up a pattern that suited me. In fact, while there are tons of patterns for doilies, lacy things and granny-squares, there seem to be very few patterns around for more simply-textured crochet sweaters: just a practical garment to keep warm. Truth is, if you limit yourself to crochet alone, the options aren't too great, or at any rate, not as ample as for knitting.
So, why didn't I make a cardigan? There are tons of knitting patterns out there, and I can knit, but I don't knit, or I haven't knitted for eleven years ...
But, eleven years later, there's something I have understood: I will never come to terms with our losses, I will never accept them, and certainly, I will never "get over" them. How can a mother give birth to three stillborn babies, and then lose two more pregnancies, and accept and forget and "get over" it? What I understood in eleven years is that those losses aren't something that I need to get over: those losses are part of me, they're part of the person I am now. And eleven years later I haven't gotten over them, but I've learned to live with them -- to live with this heartache and this melancholy, which with the joys & sorrows, the high & lows, the beauty & tragedy of all life experiences, all make up who I am.
Eleven years later, I also realized that not knitting is a statement that I don't need to make. So, when my boy said "Make one!", I followed his advice. I picked up knitting needles, and cast on.