From the book
"One of the best kept secrets in the knitting world is that knitting lace appears to be much more difficult than it is. If you can knit, purl, knit two together and put the yarn over your needle to form a new stitch, you CAN knit lace."
--Myrna A.I. Stahman, Rocking Chair Press, designer, author and publisher of Stahman's Shawls and Scarves--Lace Faroese-Shaped Shawls From The Neck Down and Seamen's Scarves, and the soon to be published The Versatility of Lace Knitting--Variations on a Theme
I love A Good Yarn, and I'm grateful for every minute I spend in my shop on Blossom Street. I love looking at the skeins of yarn in all their colors and feeling the different textures. I love my knitting classes and the friends I've made here. I love studying the pattern books. I love gazing out my front window onto the energy and activity of downtown Seattle. In fact, I love everything about this life I've found, this world I've built.
Knitting was my salvation. That's something I've said often, I know, but it's simply the truth. Even now, after nearly ten years of living cancer-free, knitting dominates my life. Because of my yarn store, I've become part of a community of knitters and friends.
I'm also married now, to Brad Goetz. A Good Yarn was my first real chance at life and Brad was my first chance at love. Together, Brad and I are raising our nine-year-old son. I say Cody's our son, and he is, in all the ways that matter. I consider him as much my child as Brad's; I couldn't love Cody more if I'd given birth to him. It's true he has a mother, and I know Janice does care about him. But Brad's ex-wife is... well, I hesitate to say it, but selfish is the word that inevitably comes to mind. Janice appears intermittently in Cody's life, whenever the mood strikes her or she happens to find it convenient--despite the parenting plan she signed when she and Brad divorced. Sadly, she only sees her son once or twice a year. I can tell that the lack of communication bothers Cody. And Janice's cavalier attitude toward motherhood angers me, but like my son, I don't mention the hurt. Cody doesn't need me to defend or malign Janice; he's capable of forming his own opinions. For a kid, he's remarkably resilient and insightful.
On a February morning, my store with all its warmth and color was a cozy place to be. The timer on the microwave went off; I removed the boiling water and poured it into my teapot after dropping in a couple of tea bags. The rain was falling from brooding, gray skies as it often does in winter. I decided it was time to start another knitting class. I maintain several ongoing classes and charity knitting groups, and I usually begin a new session four or five times a year.
As I considered my new class, I was also thinking about my mother, who's adjusted to life in the assisted-living complex reasonably well. In some ways, I suspect that moving her was even more difficult for my sister, Margaret, and me than it was for Mom. Although Mom hated giving up her independence, she seemed relieved not to have the worry about the house and yard anymore. I wept the day the house was sold, and while she never allowed me to see her tears, I believe Margaret did, too. Selling the house meant letting go of our childhood and all the reminders of growing up there. It was the end of an era for us both, just as it was for our mother.
While I drank my tea, I flipped through the new patterns that had arrived the day before. The first one to catch my eye was a prayer shawl. Lately, I'd seen several patterns for these shawls, some more complex than...