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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : Knitting My Life Back Together

Customer Projects - Get Inspired

Would you like to share a project that you have made from our yarns or our patterns?   Hundreds of thousands of people who care about your favorite craft will see your work.  Any submissions, particularly original ones are welcome, as long as the project was made from Lion Brand Yarn. 

Click here to post it!

Knitting My Life Back Together
Created By: Ilene Hochberg

I learned to knit when I was eight years old. I knit a pink hairband, and a burgundy mohair dress on jumbo needles. But, when the dress was completed, I put my needles down, and didn't knit again.

Many years later, when I was grown and married, my husband faced a debilitating illness. Our lives were put on hold while he was hospitalized and underwent treatment. Days turned into weeks, and I sat by his bedside, keeping him company. I could not read, as I wanted to focus my attention upon him. Television became a droning background noise, as I could not sustain the attention span necessary to follow the storyline of any program.

One day, while speaking on the phone with my mother, I told her of my sad and monotonous daily routine. "Why don't you knit something? I taught you to knit when you were little. It's just like riding a bicycle. Buy needles and some yarn, and begin."

I stopped into a small yarn shop on my way home from the hospital. Seeing the colors and touching the various textures awakened something deep within me. I selected a multicolored bulky yarn and size 11 needles. I didn't even purchase a book, or a pattern, preferring to see where the yarn would lead me.

The following day, I took my place at my husband's bedside, and began to knit. The yarn decided to become a sweater with a matching muffler. It knit up quickly. My hands held the needles with ease, and my fingers resumed the rhythms abandoned so many years ago.

As if by magic, a lovely sweater emerged from the balls of yarn. I could still keep my husband company, and the time seemed to move more quickly. Knitting was the perfect balm for my broken life. Garments of every color and description flew off my needles at his bedside as the weeks went by.

My husband's condition did not improve and one day he passed away. I put my needles down, pushed the unfinished sweater into a tote bag, and put it away in the back of my closet. I could not bear to finish that sweater. I could not bring myself to knit. I could not do anything at all.

One day, while dressing, I stumbled upon the bag with the unfinished sweater. A year had passed since I had shoved it to the back of the closet. I looked at the pretty yarn, at the unfinished shapes, and I held the needles in my hand. I began to knit. Slowly at first, with tears spilling over my cheeks. But in time, the tears dried, and I kept on knitting. I knit until the sweater was done. Then I knit another and another.

I am the author of books. Humor books. But I did not feel funny. I had nothing to laugh about. But there was one thing that felt good and whole in my life. Knitting made me feel strong. I was once again in control. So, I wrote a book about knitting. It was good. It was funny. (Stylish Knits for Dogs) I felt like myself again.

And in time, my empty heart was healed. I was doing productive work, I had friends, I was loved. My life had a purpose and would go on. Knitting had provided a focus, and I realized that beyond being a fun and creative hobby, it had held my life together when I thought that everything had come apart. I had knit my life back together, and I promised myself that I would never lay my needles down for good ever again.

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