Have you ever grabbed your knitting or your crochet, searching for comfort in difficult times? Looking for the reassuring contact of the tool in your hand, the familiarity of the yarn gliding between your fingers, the repetitive motion, one stitch at a time. This is what I was doing last night, as my mind was lost far away, wondering about life and death and everything in between.
The explosions in Lebanon yesterday have been affecting me more than any of the most recent catastrophes have. It often seems far away, in a different country, but this time the explosions have blown the building of a dear friend’s flat, and his wife is now fighting for her life. I haven’t had the chance to meet her yet, but the way he always talks about her makes me feel like I know her too. As if this was not enough, my friend lost his best friend too. I have only seen a picture of him, but he leaves behind two young children, the same age as mine. What if...? What if…?
I don’t know personally these people, but I know my friend. And as I was trying to find words for him, trying to come up with ideas to help, I grabbed my knitting, and started to knit away. The soothing rhythm of the knitting, one stitch at a time, was much welcome in the storm of messages from other Lebanese friends, the sharing of videos, the calls for blood donations over there, which make us feel helpless over here.
As if 2020 was not delivering already! With the Covid situation all over the world, which is already hard on everyone, but creates added complications for expats. My friend for instance hadn’t been able to see his wife or his friend for months. Many don’t know when they will see their families again as travels are restricted. Here in the Sand Pit, we may be able to find repatriation flights… but we have absolutely no guarantee that we may be allowed back for many, many months, if at all. With all this in mind, I grabbed my knitting, to ease a bit the awkwardness of 2020, the lockdown, the indecision of what happens next…
Do you have a favourite pattern that you turn to in hard times? A texture? A shape? I know that some people have a favourite shawl pattern for instance. For me, it’s just plain stocking stitch. There is something about those little Vs, all nicely aligned in a familiar pattern, that I find soothing. It could be a sock, a garment, anything in plain, boring stocking stitch. So, this is what I did…
I have started a jumper for my daughter, in the incredibly soft and silky Colliston Yarns Single Merino, in the Lido shade, from the Stonehaven Collection. I am adding a few happy stripes with the brightest hot pink. And a contrasting pop of turquoise hidden in the folded hem. It is beautiful, soft, squishy and happy.
And as I was looking at my little project every few stitches, it filled me with a little bit of reassurance: I may not be able to stand beside my friend at the moment, but I can add some beauty and some love to this world. And hopefully, hopefully I get to see him again very soon, and to finally meet his wife.
For now, let’s fill the world with beauty and love, one stitch at a time.
In the Baa! Community...
As you probably know by now, Janice is commited to bringing all knitters and crocheters some woolly love and happiness at Baa! and in the crafting community. On top of excelling at selecting yarny goodness, tools and lovely books, she also has a talent for attracting interesting and lovely people. Today, we would like to invite you to "meet" one of them...
If you need a pick-me up (as I do), we would like to point you in the direction of the lovely Lorna, also known as Never at a Loose End, who wrote an inspiring blog post, on spending a "crafting holiday" at home.
Many thanks to all of you who reached out and asked for some help with the clues for our little Woolly Crosswords (which you can download again below). We are happy we could help.
APOLOGIES: I spelled Stonehaven's Castle wrong and missed a T out of it :(
And also spelled the Lorax' reference wrong: I put an S instead of TH. As a result, 6 Horizontal is SNEED in the grid, when a THNEED is all we need. Apologies to all Dr Seuss fans out there...
Please do not hesitate to reach out! Also, remember, send us a picture of your completed (or nearly completed!) crosswords by email, and we'll send you free Baa!-gical Mini Guide as a reward.
We will share the solution with the next blog post / newsletter. Get your entries in before then!
See you soon!
Zoom knit groups are also still going strong and everyone is welcome! Every Wednesday at 7pm and Friday at 10.30am (BST), we are holding our virtual knit group. Come and knit or crochet along with us as we discuss the most random subjects, including (but not only) crafting of course! Visit Zoom website or download the Zoom app, and click "Join a meeting". Follow the instructions, using meeting ID: 288-959-5554 and password 238462. See you there!
Finally, we would like to remind you that the shop is open. Again, there are a few appointments left for this week. Book a slot and come visit us! Alternatively, you may pop into the shop during working hours as long as there is no sign on the door that says "Appointment in Progress", and there are less than 2 persons in the shop.
We'd be delighted to see you!
Aurelie and Janice