Thousands of tiny knots

crocheted tree coverings

I first learned to crochet while in graduate school. I needed a cheap hobby that didn’t feel like schoolwork. All I could do was add a border to the edge of a square flannel blanket. Once a week, I would learn a new pattern from Anne. She was a grandmother whose son and wife lived in the same condo units. She came once a week to babysit her granddaughter and each week I would stop in to see her and learn another pattern. Crocheting is really just thousands of tiny knots all in succession. Slight variations create new motifs that create bigger patterns, but it is really just a bunch of yarn tied up.

Most of the time knots are associated with something bad– “all tied up in knots” implies stress. Knots in your muscles from overexertion. Knotted tennis shoes. Tangled knots in your daughter’s hair. All these associations require working out the knots, undoing them in order to restore functionality.

For many of us going through life transitions, we feel tied up in knots. Thousands of tiny knots. Today and in the new year I am trying to view those knots in a positive way. I am going to stop trying to unravel each of them. I am going to use them in the fabric of my soul. They are part of the crochet pattern of my life.

There are stripes and shells, there are zig zags and swirls. The colors vary but they all belong . . . how could they not? Each color was placed by me. Each knot is tied by me. I’m going to weave the loose ends right back into the pattern and I am going to value the comfort my personal history blanket can provide for me.

Sometimes I think we want our life to look like a craft store yarn display. Every color and every skein all neatly tucked and wrapped. But those skeins haven’t lived. They can’t provide the warmth and comfort of a blanket. They must be unraveled and tied up in successive knots to be useful.

skeins of year

Take the knot of betrayal and tie hundreds of knots of loyalty around it until it is a beautiful flower.

Take the knot of lost friendships and build beautiful swirls of new friends and relationships.

Take the knots of true friends and make those patterns bigger and better.

Take the knots in your marriage and add relationship goals, go on new and exciting dates, try something crazy. Tie more knots of love and loyalty.

Scissors are the enemy of knots. Learn how to step back from conflict so that you don’t cut up all that you have created.

There is something meditative about crocheting. You must be mindful and quiet your mind and yet once you are in that place your mind can wander and contemplate other things. Try to find ways to get to that kind of mindfulness about the blanket of your life. Appreciate where you have been, enjoy where you are, and plan the patterns for your future. Those are my resolutions this year. Thousands of tiny knots– let them be a beautiful part of your life.

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