I’ve been knitting a lot during the Pandemic. Aside from my sacred knitting, I like to create garments and I enjoy the calming effects. My husband and I spent five months of 2020 in a 29-foot RV. It’s a long story.
One morning, I came back to the RV from walking the dog and I noticed his coffee cup was sitting on my latest swatch. I had been creating lots of swatches because I like to have more than one project on the needles at a time. I like these new coasters you’ve been knitting, he said in an attempt to be supportive of my craft. I started to explain what a swatch was but then I realized he had given a new identity to what was just information to me. The swatch was nothing but stitch and row counts. It wasn’t a “thing”. But my husband saw it in a new light. He opened my eyes to see something beyond the obvious. I decided to make them beautiful. I decided to celebrate something that I had forced myself to make in the past. Instead of enduring the swatch, I lived into it. I quit worrying about whether it was going to be perfect the first time. I was making beautiful coasters, and, in the process, I would figure out the right combination of yarn and needle size.
Henry Nouwen wrote a book called “Making All Things New”. It’s a wonderful introduction about how to live a spiritual life. We must stop worrying, he says. He describes how our preoccupations of our lives; our busyness keeps us from being present in the moment. The present moment is all we have. The past is a memory and the future has not come to past. When we worry, we are living in a future that may or may not come to pass. When we do what is right in the present, we are creating the best possible future. Swatching in the present, will lead us to the best knitting creation. Exercising and eating healthy foods will lead us to a healthier future. Our life is now. We can learn from the past and plan for the future, but we need to live in the now. We need to celebrate the now. This is how a swatch that I “had” to knit became something new – a celebration of that moment in time.
Rows 20-28 of Pattern # 26 from the Japanese Stitch Bible