an old aunt keeps herself alive by knitting. several suicide attempts left her with a shattered hip and her unwillingness to undergo rehabilitation confines her to a wheelchair. she has lost her husband a few days after her grand-nephew’s birth. she is rich and depressed an as incontinent as her dog.
so she buys wonderful, expensive wool in colours that she chooses with great care, not to please her but to please us (and succeeds!) and she knits, to pass the time, to keep her hands busy, to have something on her mind.
but .. she … can’t … knit.
it’s a pity, really. the garments turn out crooked, loopsided, with bad seams and visible knots. she can’t tell knit from purl, doesn’t seem to notice when the yarn splits, can’t count rows or stitches, doesn’t wash or block.
but it’s what gets her through what used to be a life.
so i sit here, sighing, spending my precious knitting time to repair the holes in her creations, washing the scent of smoke out of the wool, drying it carefully, putting it away in the closet.
they are not heirlooms, they are therapy. but does it really matter?