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More Than Just Knitting: The Autumn Lace Afghan

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When Jessie thought about her life, it was as a series of moments. Sometimes these were big events, like holidays, but often they were small—a bluebird's late-winter visit to the garden, the way her husband smiled as she approached. Sometimes the moments were sad, like when she’d had the diagnosis, and when she'd begun chemo and radiation.

Of course family and friends had been there all along, but she'd needed a steady diversion from the symptoms and side-effects. Knitting had kept her anchored and calm. Knitting had let her feel capable even when she'd hit her lowest point.

The pattern was called Autumn Lace Afghan—beautifully textured, with a kind of embedded story in every repetition. Each knitted diamond framed a stylized tree of life and connected to another diamond and another tree; the border was seed-stitch, symbolic of growth and hope. The yarn, an autumnal Hazelnut shade of Wool-Ease® Thick and Quick®, was meltingly soft, and became a fabric both durable and comforting. To make the knitting magic last, Jessie knitted mindfully, just a few rows every day. Thus she managed to stretch the project over several months.

By then the treatments were over. Slowly she felt more vibrant, and increasingly grateful. The afghan was beautiful, but was so much more than that. It was a knitted diary of all those moments—when she'd felt awful, when she'd known for sure that the worst was over, when she realized her health was restored. And when she draped the completed afghan over her shoulders, she felt lovingly protected by its warm, inspiring embrace.

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All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

A story by Selma Moss-Ward.

Selma Moss-Ward writes and knits in Rhode Island. You can find her work on our blog, as well as Lion Brand's monthly newsletter, Pattern Journal, which you can subscribe to here.

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