Threads of Time

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Knitting is like life, there are ups and downs, holes and breaks. There is much that can change and grow.

Submitted: June 20, 2018

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Submitted: June 20, 2018



Lucy sat on the soft sofa, the sofa she had known for the past ten years or so. It was getting older, softer and more comfortable. Like she was. Yes, she was getting older, yes, her children had grown and her two boys were off exploring the world. Her daughter, her youngest wasn’t as far.

She held the two cool, matte silver knitting needles in one hand while studying the pattern for a moment, taking in the instructions for each stitch. One mistake and the blanket lost its beauty. One mistake and the blanket warped, becoming different from the norm, different from the expected and different from the other hundred, or thousand blankets out there which came from the same set of instructions.

Her children were that way, her two boys were alike in physique and similar to their Father. They had been long limbed and awkward to begin with – like the very first scarf she had knitted. Her daughter was different, Maeve was similar to Lucy herself, she had dark hair and bright eyes. Maeve had been the completion, like her wobbly Scarf, Lucy’s family had been uneven and lose, the tension had come and gone and occasionally a stitch was dropped and everything had to be unravelled to pick up the straggler.

They had left Maeve at the shop once, she was in her pram – a cheap and nasty thing, they couldn’t afford much else. Maeve had slept the whole walk along Bank Road and down toward the Bakers before Lucy had felt her stomach lurch. She had the two boys, Jacob holding her hand and Ryan attached to her with his reigns. She had forgotten the pram, but she had stalled her plans, rewound to get to the drop in the scarf.

That Scarf, that winding and wonky scarf had come to an end a while back, it contained holes of loss, it contained tight stitches which made the shape even worse and it had a long tail, a tail that showed the end of the chapter. The ball of wool had gone on, gone on to tell another story, a story when the bright colours of primary children had finished and the pastels and autumnal colours remained in her wool stash.

Jacob was into mechanics – aeroplane mechanics. Now, aged 30 he had a degree and a life in Missouri, miles away from the wilds of Scotland, a cable knit Arran jumper next to a mohair crocheted scarf. Ryan, he wasn’t as far, he was in Physio – as a career, not a patient – and worked in London. His cable knit had moved on to a felted woollen Jacket and nothing but Harris Tweed would do.

Maeve was the youngest, the little one – not an afterthought as many had expected – she was a good bit younger than the boys, who were only ten months apart. There were seven years between her and her eldest brother. Maeve was always the different one, in a world of wool crafting she wasn’t knitting on crocheting, she was weaving. Every bit as unique, every bit as special but with a spark of extra work, of extra shine and with an air about her of something unusual.

It was with Maeve she found herself knitting. This blanket told another story, a new tapestry of things that were changing. In this blanket, Lucy saw the things she had learned in life, learned since she had been the same age Maeve was now. Lucy had learned to take things at a pace she enjoyed, not to rush on for the finished product, she had learned to balance the tense moments with the relaxed to pull the threads through.

When things got harder she was attentive, she was safe with her stitches and tried her hardest not to let things drop. Derek had been the holes in her scarf, a spattering of holes. He had been special, he had made her laugh, and made her cry. He had made her so mad that the strand of wool that made them a pair would split in half and she would need to return back a few places to remind herself what made the garment worthwhile and to mend the broken threads.

He had been a lorry driver, nothing fancy, but it brought in the money and had brought it in since a young Lucy had discovered she was pregnant aged only eighteen. That was when the story had begun, and where their scarf had begun. The scarf had won her over on those anxious nights when he was driving in the black ice and determined winds. The scarf and the fact it wasn’t finished had kept her going, their story wasn’t over. She remembered the scarf getting longer over the winter until it covered her swollen belly for the second time.

The holes had come in the centre. The accident. Maeve had been a January baby but the winter had come late that year. Lucy had sat up with her newborn waiting for her husband to come home, to come out of the foot-deep snow, shuffle his boots on the back step and step into the warmth with a red nose and cheeks. She had been knitting when she heard the news, where the stitch had dropped, where her husband had died and dropped from their family story altogether.

The colours of the Scarf carried on, the blue for Derek ended there, at the dropped stitch as his life was done. Another colour had been added near the very end, just a few short rows before the scarf was complete. A Lilac for Maria.

Maeve had always been unique, a little unusual and her threads never matched right with the colours of the others, was never in harmony until Maria came into their lives. It had made sense to Lucy then, made sense that Maeve did not match the harsh and dark, hearty colours of the men in her world, she matched the soft and sweet, she matches with the other girls.

Now, having finished the scarf, having taken the product from its conception as the fleece on a Ewe to a finished, washed and shaped product, Lucy knew the Scarf had met its time. Now, as she continued with her cast one row she riled in the new beginning. 

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