I lost a ball of yarn. De Rigueur for a weekday morning at my house. It was around somewhere, but of course these things have a way of rolling away from us, don't they? I could have switched to another color for the swatch I was working on, but my inner three-year-old took over and I wanted that ball, not another one. Knitting is one of the very few places in my life where I want it how I want it, and I very often get it. So I started lifting things up in the neighborhood of my knitting chair. Under the quilt? No. Behind the basket? Nada. What's that box again? Oh yeah, the yarn for the adult-sized bee sweater. Heart aches a little, thinking of the now-lost original.
Oh, the bee sweater. Everywhere I've been, it's the favorite. Everybody loves the bees. Wants bees in an adult size. Needs a baby version for that newborn they're preparing to meet. Tells me this is the design that made them try colorwork. Begs me to buy the sample. Clearly I have to make an adult version, if I'm ever to be allowed out of the house unmolested. And so a few weeks ago, I took the original baby version to the yarnmaker's lair. I struggled and imagined and petted and piled skeins together, getting the combination just right for the adult bee. It has to be perfect, you understand, because the original is a lot to live up to.
Here's what I chose that day:
I think it's got everything. The colors, the hand, the fluffiness, the luminous depth that only this particular hand-painter can make. It's going to be outstanding, and it's going to be soon, because now that my sweaters are gone, I have such a hole in my heart. Not having my pile of work to physically point to is so bizarrely invalidating. It's like part of my reality has vaporized. Like all that knitting never even happened. The rebirth of the bee sweater in long-requested adult form will be a healing step into the future. What better way to move on? I lifted the box up with a new resolve to move this project nearer to the top of the pile. And what do you think was underneath that box?
Nothing less than the original baby bee. The real live little sample which should have been with its lost brethren in the stolen sample case, but which wasn't, due to my having taken it to the yarnmaker's lair. I never put it back in the sample case at all, only thought that I had. So all the hours and days that I sobbed for its loss, it was right next to my knitting chair, under a box.
Funny the way things are. Forgetting to put it away saved it for me. I only had it out of the case because I was listening to the Knitters, who wanted more. Thank you Knitters, for always telling me what I should do next. Listening to you saved this wee bit of my work; this small piece of my self.
The Bees' Knees were never lost, except in my imagination. I have one sample left from my book. And I am one lucky insect. Who says bumblebees can't fly?