The past 2 weeks have been difficult ones for our family.
My Father-in-law Les (Pop) passed away last monday.
Flash was in Wellington on one of his regular business trips and had planned to fly to Dunedin and spend a night catching up with his Dad on the Wednesday as he had a meeting there on thursday.
Flash couldn't get an earlier flight to Dunedin, the first flight they could get him on was the one he was booked on, there was a brass band convention and hairdresser and netball competitions in Dunedin - the flights and hotels were heavily booked - I felt terrible that I couldn't be with my husband and that he couldn't be where he needed to be, but eventually we managed to find ways to get everyone there and find them places to stay.
Dunedin is cold, Mosgiel - where Pop lived and was buried is even colder.
I couldn't find a decent hat to wear to the cemetary and decided that knitting one was the best idea, I chose the Grace beret pattern I had made for Blaise, and paired it with Naturally Harmony 10ply wool in charcoal. I worked the first few rows the night before my flight, then while waiting for flights and to keep my hands busy while we sat in Pop's kitchen and talked about what needed to be done, while Flash wrote the words that needed saying, while we had an extended breakfast as family members arrived and were appraised of plans (thank you so much to the staff at Nectar in Princes st who were kind and lovely and made great coffee and food.)
I tinked and re-knitted rows that had gone off course and an hour before the service I put it on my head and called it done, Flash loved it, I loved it.
Pop has died peacefully in his sleep, at his home of 52 years. He was seen off with a fantastic service put together by his 3 children, over a hundred people attended to celebrate his long and active life, when you have to go you can't ask for much better can you?
Knitting the Grace beret had kept me graceful during times when I wanted to react to comments made in grief, when I needed something to concentrate on, counting to do in order to keep tears at bay, something concrete to hang on to, to keep me centred for Flash and the girls.
Unfortunately it didn't stop me from catching cold! so since I have been home I have spent my quiet (Flash is returning today after settling his Dad's affairs) evenings knitting on my versions of Shelley Kang's Sock yarn blanket it's another one of the baby blankets I am knitting to get a head start on the flood of grandchildren we expect in the next 10 years - and I'm glad I got a head start because Flash's son Michael let slip that his partner is 5 weeks pregnant - so here we go again!
I love this blankie, it is so addictive because each square is complete, so you get lot's of finishing success. I am making this one 8 squares by 8 squares - perfect size for a cot - so thats 15 rows of little mitred squares - and I'm a 1/4 done after 2 nights! I'm using the pinker shades of my sample dyed organic merino superwash, and bits and pieces of DK from other projects. I don't know if I will ever have the patience to knit this in 4 ply - but it would be a great way to use up the box full of sock yarn ends I have...we will see.