I rolled into Vancouver yesterday – a day early for Knit City, because a few months ago my niece Savannah moved here with her Fiancé Kosti, and I miss her. (Them.) Sav’s a midwife, and so when I decided to tack an extra day on to this trip to be with her, I kinda knew I might not be with her. There’s always a chance she’ll be called to a birth, and I knew she was on call, but the odds were great – and the worst thing that can happen is I end up hanging out with Kosti for the day, and I like Kosti, so it was totally worth the shot.
Yesterday, when my plane landed, there was a text from Sav – saying that she’d been called to a birth. I sighed, took the train to her house, Kosti let me in, and I knit, chatted, answered emails and we went to lunch and it was lovely, and against all odds, Savannah walked in the door just before suppertime. We sat, and had a lovely talk, and we thought about where we’d go to dinner, and Sav started bringing out the knitting projects, things that haven’t worked out quite right, and asking me about them.
Now, this is part of our relationship, me and Sav. I “help” her with her knitting projects all the time – if by “help” you understand that Savannah will inquire about what could possibly be done to rescue a project in trouble, and I’ll start to tell her what needs doing, and then she’ll look at me and I’ll realize that she just wants me to fix it, and then I do, because I’m her auntie and I love her. Yesterday she had an extra good one though. About a year ago, Sav dropped by my place and asked about gauge, and borrowed a needle, and I “helped” with another knitting project, and she was starting the Grace Cardigan. She had some great yarn, it was all wound and she was off to a good start.
Well, I guess something came off the rails at some point, and her mum Kelly was in town, and Kelly’s a very good knitter, and Sav got Kelly to “help” with the sweater, which means that Kelly took it home with her to Vietnam, and knit it. On her last trip back here, Savannah got the sweater, all done, with just one little glitch, which is that Kelly was too far away to exactly nail sleeve length, and they were a little long. “What can I do?” Sav asked, in exactly the way that means “What can you do?.”
What could I do indeed. Well, it’s a top down cardi, so I unpicked the cast off on the sleeves, ripped it back, picked up the stitches, and re-knit the cuff. I got half of one done, and then it was time for dinner. The three of us (four- if you count the cardigan) headed out, and we were no sooner at the corner than Savannah’s phone rang, and she was gone. Kosti and I had a nice dinner, and came back to the apartment, and hung out and I worked on fixing the sweater, and then I went to bed. This morning – still no Savannah (birth can be slow) and Kosti was asleep and I got up, sorted myself out, and tried to finish fixing the sweater.
In walked Sav, we had a quick chat, and then – having been up for more than 24 hours, she fell into bed. I sat there, by myself again, and decided to sew the buttons on the sweater, and I was thinking a little bit.
I was thinking that here my niece lives far away from me, and I don’t see her much, and then I’ve come to see her and the fates have decided that might not totally work out either, and I still feel good about it. I feel like I’m with Sav, doing something nice for her, contributing to her well being. When I leave here today to go do Knit City, Sav will have a sweater that fits, and is cozy, and as the fall advances and she’s chilly she’ll shrug it on, and that’s a connection between the two of us. I sewed those buttons on.
I was thinking about her mum Kelly too – Kelly’s really far away, and I don’t see much of her, and this – unpicking sleeves and re-doing them, sewing seams, finishing sweaters… Kelly and I have been doing this together for a long time too – it’s not the first time we’ve worked together to make a project happen, and that made me feel connected to Kelly too – Maybe it’s just jet lag, but even though I can’t be with Kelly and Sav, I felt like I was with them as I worked (and reworked) their stitches. It was re-assuring – the more things change, the more things stay the same, and we may not be in the same city or country anymore… but we’re connected, as long as it keeps taking three women to make one sweater, like it always has.
PS: Savannah, while you were sleeping, I fixed the edge of that blanket you knit. You’re welcome. See you next time.