Advent - Day 4

There is a new wool coat hanging on the tree. Mr. Spit asked me in his kind and loving way why I was doing this to myself. There are enough bad memories, a winter jacket does not need to be one of them. I think in his way, he is a bit exasperated that I didn't say something earlier. It's just that I felt so small and foolish. There are so many with no coat, and here I was getting rid of a perfectly serviceable one, for the sake of memory.

Thank you to the many of you who told me to burn the damn thing. I shall drop my old coat off at the local shelter. However cathartic burning it might be, I cannot countenance that there are still far too many people in this city of mine, that are cold tonight. That do not have a jacket to keep the snow off their body.

I will send the jacket on its way, and pray that it is warmth and comfort to another. Perhaps the jacket shall be like it was when I bought it - warm and comfortable, filled with optimism and a sense that I looked young and hip and smart in it.

I have been thinking about dyeing wool today. It's what I did this time, one year ago. Only a few hours before I was diagnosed by my midwife, I had been in the local yarn store, purchasing Alpaca wool to knit her a shawl.

I was very particular about that shawl pattern. It had to be lady like. My midwife, is above all else, a lady. She is quietness and gentleness and strength itself. I knew from the get-go that I wanted to knit her something. It took me a long time (25 weeks to be exact) to decide. And finally, I decided. A shawl. Cathy just struck me as a shawl kind of lady. I had never knit a shawl before, but that's never stopped me. I'd never had a baby before either. I had joked that we had a trade system going. She was going to bring me a baby (preferably in her black bag), and I was going to give her something hand knit. Seemed a fair enough trade to me.

So, I walked into the store, looking for a shawl pattern. I was particular. It had to be pretty. It also had to be reasonably simple. Now, my yarn store is used to me, and they were surprised that I asked for a simple thing. I patted my belly and told them my brain had gone to pot. I laughed. Someone had asked for my mother's phone number the week before, and I had gone blank. Totally blank. Nope, I patted my belly and asked for something simple.

And then we started talking wool. Which actually, in the knitting world, means feeling wool. I touched and touched and touched. But I had a particular colour in my mind. There was nothing that suited, nothing that lived up to the colour of agate in my mind.

No problem. I purchased 3 skeins of pure white alpaca, and then 50 packages of grape kool-aide. Today I spent dyeing wool. Waiting for it to dry. Wondering, if this baby was coming early, wondering if I had enough time to knit. I told Gabriel that he had to wait long enough for me to get his midwife's shawl done, and something for him to wear home from the hospital, since he was no longer going to be born at home.

I had consulted Dr. Google, but only a little bit. I knew about low dose aspirin, but not eclamptic seizures or kidney failure or IUGR. I knew enough to be concerned, enough to keep myself busy and not think too much that day, as I waited to see the Doctor.

I was quite firm. "You wait. I'll tell you when you can come." I invoked the "this is your mum speaking" and I poked him, just to be sure that he was awake and listening.

The wool was waiting for me, when I came home, long since dried, on the back of my kitchen chair. Ready to be knit. It's strange how grape smells of broken promises and sorrow to me now.