My Hands

Michael’s Sweater

Michael, wearing the sweater circa 1985

When my oldest son was a toddler, my oma knitted him a beautiful orange sweater. He wore it until it was too small, and then it was passed on to my second son, and then a third, before I folded it up to be carefully stored until it would be time to pass it on to my grandchildren.

It even got lost on the city bus once, when I was in college and transporting my third son to daycare on the way to classes. It ended up in the bus company’s lost and found, and I tracked it down and retrieved it. My oma had died several years before, so the sweater was even more treasured to me.

Which is why I still ask myself what the hell I was thinking when I lent it to someone. The someone was considered a good friend, but even good friends can lose touch with each other, which is what happened, and I never got the sweater back. I like to think that the person still has the sweater, and is keeping it safe in the hopes she can return it to me. Of course that’s just wishful thinking. If wishes were horses, they’d all be wearing sweaters.

One day not long ago, my mother brought me another batch of thrift store yarn. And in that batch of yarn was a ball of variegated orange wool that struck a resonating chord within me. It was very, VERY similar to the yarn used in that old sweater. Not an exact match, but close enough to bring tears to my eyes and an ache to my heart. There was not quite enough of the orange to complete the sweater, but I managed to find enough yarn in complementary shades in my stash to make everything work, and I spent the next several days recreating, from memory, a little piece of heaven.

Small wonders, random memories – they make up our bigger pictures. It’s the little things that keep us going. This little sweater represents so much more than a basic stocking and garter stitch pattern. 🙂