The Twenty-Year Sweater

I’ve been knitting a sweater for the last twenty years. It’s true, I am a really slow knitter but I’m not that slow. Well, I am. I have quite a few “one socks” without the other—I knit one, it takes me forever, I never get around to knitting the other one. But this sweater is something that I am going to finish—I have one sleeve to go. I am determined.

This sweater has a story (you would hope, right?) It begins with a dream to own a farm, which I did make true in my twenties and thirties. The farm had chickens and horses, but it needed a few sheep. So one spring morning, I drove my VW Rabbit diesel to another farm that raised sheep for hand spinning and bought two lambs—one white, one black. I stuck them in the backseat with some hay. Then I drove the two hours back to my farm, the lambs looking out the window, having never been in a car before. When I got home I put them in the pasture I had prepared. It was a lovely space bordered by a stone wall.

Then next morning Dolly and Miranda (that’s what I named them) were gone. They had climbed over the wall and disappeared. I searched the woods, I met a neighbor who had a flock of sheep and said he would keep an eye out for them; I gave up hope by the end of the day. They were coyote food. I went to bed depressed. The next morning I got up at the dim early light of pre-dawn and went to let the chickens out. And who should appear, emerging from the woods across the road? Dolly and Miranda.

“We’re back,” they seemed to say. “Nothing much out there.”

When Dolly was a year old, I sheared her and it was from this first fleece—a rich dark brown—that I spun the wool to make the sweater.  Dolly didn’t like being sheared—as a matter of fact for a sheep, Dolly had some strong opinions. But we both persevered, in our stubborn ways. I got the fleece, and she got kicks in.

I want to justify taking so much time to knit a sweater and this is how I’m going to do it: I’m going to believe that this sweater is more than a bunch of loops in dark brown. It’s about dreaming a dream and staying stubborn in the belief that living your life the way it matters to you counts–whether you’re a human or a really stubborn sheep.

sheep

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “The Twenty-Year Sweater

  1. Deb, that was superb! Truly the most wonderful story I’ve heard in a very long time. But for me, a 20-year sweater needs no justification — I can’t knit at all. LOL.
    Here’s to hand-spun yarn, stubborn opinionated sheep, and especially to living in the way that matters to you!
    Cheers,
    teagan
    (Yes, I’m teagan when I sign, but Teagan when others address me. Stubborn in my personal humility, but not modest in my self-respect. And always a walking conundrum! 🙂 )

  2. Thank you for your warm support Teagan. And thanks, as always, for reading and posting your wonderful comments. Much appreciated.

  3. Hey there, author friend! I will post a photo when I’m done, but don’t expect much. I’m a slow knitter and I’m a not very careful knitter. My knitting motto is: “Just Forge Ahead.”

  4. Pingback: Tying Up Loose Ends | Debra Paulson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s