It feels good to knit one of your favourite things for somebody else, even if it's the kind of project with a lot of time-consuming ends to run in.
This pair of Stoddart wool/mohair boot socks, as you may recall, is going to a friend down the street. Did I say why?
I am lucky to have many friends who look out for me and offer support even when I don't know I need it, and especially when I absolutely do. Though these are not for her it would be wrong of me not to point out that Trish is one of them - she's saved me from so many complicated, tough situations with her practical outlook and many life skills and generosity. Probably I should be knitting socks for Trish but she might think that was another evil scheme to get her to stop hating the knitting of socks. I'll have to ask her about that.
Though she herself doesn't knit, my neighbour is as true a friend. The morning Les died, she showed up at the door with breakfast things from our local bakery, and a few hours later she came by again with cut fruit from her mom, who also lives in the neighbourhood. She just kept checking in on me and staying to talk, and as a result what I remember about that day is not that terrible empty wracking grief, but being cared for.
The following summer, she came to the door with an orchid in a pot. She said she remembered it was about a year since we'd lost Les, and she thought I could use some cheering up.
I've had lots of losses, and I try always to acknowledge those of others with gestures of support, but I've never thought of doing something like that. It was really special and it did cheer me up.
A few years ago - long before Les' death - I was faced with a disaster for which I was completely unprepared and had no coping skills whatsoever. All I could do was talk through what I was experiencing, hoping to identify the core problems so that I could try to resolve them and make the others manageable. Unsurprisingly, Trish set herself to the task of organizing anything that would help. But otherwise, you can probably imagine how socially desirable I was at that time! It's not a surprise that new friendships withered and even some long-valued old ones fell away for a while. Remembering that, I try to watch now for any excess whining and stop myself before I drive anybody away.
But somehow, with this friend whose frequent kindnesses I appreciate so much, I find myself wading right into that pond every time we chat. I've apologized for it, and thanked her for bearing with me, and I think she really doesn't mind. She is that nice.
I think she needs a pair of these amazing socks anyway though, especially because I kind of wish I was keeping them. She's sacrificed so much time and thought in helping me, it feels important to offer her the time it takes to knit a pair of really warm socks - not to mention the gift of warmth, in the coldest winter we've seen in years.
Aren't we lucky to have a skill that channels our gratitude into useful vehicles for expressing it?