I do knitting and crochet repair and finishing work for our local yarn shop. I don’t particularly enjoy it (I would rather be knitting), but there are rewards, and it helps pay the bills. I’ve been doing repair work for at least fifteen years now, and am getting a little better at it. My favorite kind of job is the one where Grandma began a sweater for dear daughter, and then passed away before it was completed. If I can figure out how to finish the job well, the sweater becomes a precious memento of the dear departed. Another job I really like is when a knitter begins a project, puts it down for a while, then gets confused or lost, and just needs to be straightened out and relocated in the pattern. Some people just love to knit and crochet but hate sewing, and are happy to pay me to sew the pieces together. My least favorite kind of job is when the expensive machine knit cashmere sweater gets pulled out of the closet, and is found to be full of moth holes. The moth larvae actually eat away the fiber, so there is often no remedy but to lasso the hole with matching sewing thread and pull it shut like a purse string. It works, but it’s hard on the eyes, and often leaves a little pucker in the fabric if the hole is
bigger than a pencil eraser.
This week I was given a well-loved baby blanket to repair. It had a hole in it as big as my hand. Oftentimes a hole like this is the result of a bad pull or snag that causes just one strand of yarn to break, and then all the surrounding stitches unravel. This repair was just a matter of snagging the stitches and knitting them back up again, then grafting the edges together. The final repaired area was a little irregular- a few spots were too tight, a few too loose- but it was ready to go back into service as a useful and well-loved blanket once more.
As I worked on the blanket I couldn’t help but remember a few times when there was a snag, a sharp pull, a broken heart, and an unraveling of the fabric of my life. The love of my life who broke off with me. The eagerly anticipated babies who didn’t live long enough to be born. Thanks to the healing powers of God’s love, with plenty of support from family, friends, and church, and lots of time, my heart is raveled back up. It will never be quite the same as before, perhaps always a little more sensitive or scarred in places, but it works. I am whole again.