Sunday, June 17, 2007


This is a picture of Norbert with my beloved cousin, Sister Clemente -- known to family as Margie. Margie is, without a doubt, one of the most wonderful, loving, caring, good, genuine, forgiving, accepting, and encouraging people anyone could ever hope to meet. She is smart and funny and quick and talented and generous and modest. It is Margie who keeps my language mostly clean here. I figure I shouldn't put anything into writing that I would be embarassed if she read it! (Thank G-d she teaches Chaucer -- I don't have to keep it too pure!)

Margie is a Dominican sister and lives in community in River Forest, Illinois. She recently "semi-retired" from teaching, though she is still researching a book, caring for the elderly and infirm sisters, and teaching one class a semester. Oh, and playing violin in a community orchestra.

The last time we were out to visit -- if memory serves me right it was Holy Saturday -- it struck me that, as much as I love and value her, I have never knit a single thing for her. Shame on me, right? I decided,then and there, to knit something for my beloved cousin.

I decided that knitting for Margie should be a prayerful experience. I settled on a "prayer shawl" -- a wrap that would keep her warm in chapel and was knit during and as a physical manifestation of prayer and meditation. I am not perfect -- occasionally my mind wanders, but I try to keepher in mind. I have had a wonderful time as I knit on her shawl, remembering the wonderful times we have shared, the tears, the laughter, all the good good advise and love and support and encouragement. I have been so lucky.

So far, this is what I have produced:

Each of the 21,488 stitches (to date) knit with love.

It is a simple pattern -- Margie tends toward simple, classic lines. Like most lace, unblocked it looks like so much canned ass, but I can tell it is going to be lovely. The yarn is so soft -- 100% baby alpaca given to me by my old friend Julie Pack who moved from Denver to work in a the wilderness of New Mexico. She had to reduce stash -- much to my benefit! I still have about 8000 yards of cashmere/merino lace weight that I haven't planned yet!

Anyway, I have been going through a rough time lately, and this prayer shawl has really been a good thing. It has helped to keep me centered, it has kept my mind focused on someone positive and wonderful, and it has kept my fingers occupied.

If you have a chance, pick up your needles and pray for someone you love.


Diane said...

Isn't if funny how knitting usually benefits the knitter more than the person we are knitting for? The shawl is really beautiful. I hope by the end of it you are finished with your rough time and back to being the Aiden I've been missing in blogland.

SarahA said...

How about if I still watch tv while I knit, but during the commercials I mute and pray for you?

I was going to say that most of knits are for myself, but it's not as if I don't need them, too.

Nat said...

That's lovely, Aidan! I'm glad you are knitting and finding comfort. You were missed at WWKIP Day, many people asked about you, and are hoping to see you again. I hope you'll join us on Monday nights at the Hyde Park Art Center sometime, you are missed.

Thanks also for the idea of the yarn crawl, it went over very well, and we'll have to plan another.

hugs said...

I love prayerful knitting. I'm sure she'll love it. I'm always worried the prayerful part is completely negated by that one time when I cuss at what I'm knitting and throw it next to the chair.