Month one

It’s been a little more than a month now since I began my official dating hiatus.

Some days, it feels great to be off that roller coaster of “OMG, did he text?!” and then joy or despair if he (whoever the current “he” may have been) did or didn’t text/call/seem happy enough to see me. Other days, I can feel intensely lonely.

It’s easiest when the kids are home, of course. They need to be fed and helped with their homework and carted around to their various activities and appointments. I get all the snuggles I could want, even if “Wild Kratts” isn’t necessarily what I’d prefer to watch while cuddling on the couch.

But when I head home from work, or wake up, and the house is empty, that’s when the relentless need to distract myself can set in. Texting, scrolling restlessly through Facebook, flipping through Netflix, looking for something to keep me from being alone with my thoughts.

© Designs by Romi

Knitting frequently helps. I love the rhythm of it, the click of my metal needles, the connection with generations before me, and the blossoming of something beautiful from what was just a ball of pretty, woolly string.

Currently, I’m working on a lacy shawl made with baby-alpaca yarn. I ordered the kit on a whim , and I didn’t expect the yarn to be so fine that a fellow knitter would inquire if it was “cobweb weight.” (It’s a real thing. I checked. Fortunately, it also wasn’t what I was knitting with.) I had started the shawl when I was dating C., and he was always impressed as it unfurled from my needles.

Shortly after we broke up, I woke up one morning and my first thought was, “I’ve been going from store to store looking for something I have to make myself.” My thoughts are rarely rational first thing on any given morning, so I paid attention to this one. And the first analogy that came to mind was my shawl. It doesn’t matter which big-box store you go to; you won’t find a lacy, handmade, baby-alpaca shawl at any of them. The only way to get one is to learn how it’s done and then put your knowledge into action and persist until you’re done.

With a pattern this complex, I sometimes discover I somehow have too few or too many stitches. Maybe I’ve forgotten a decrease, dropped a stitch, or missed a yarnover. Usually it’s fixable, but sometimes it isn’t, and I have to rip back a few rows. That led to another insight … if your pattern is off, you can’t just keep knitting and hope it will be okay. It’s never going to look right unless you look at where you went off track and fix it. Sometimes it’s a quick fix, and sometimes you have to backtrack quite a ways — but either way, if you don’t make the correction, you aren’t going to end up with what you’re expecting to.

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