She knit the first scarf for herself, something to do at work and in class. There were two skeins of Malabrigo in this incredible blue in her LYS, and she got it for no particular reason, just because it was beautiful and made her smile. She started with three stitches and an idea. She increased on each side until it was the width she wanted along the bottom edge, then she kept increasing on one side and decreasing on the other side to create a diagonal. She felt clever, her diagonal garter stitching coming seamlessly out of the original triangular corner. It made her feel good whenever she looked at it. The brilliant sky blue reminded her that better days were coming, coming fast. It wasn’t for her, exactly. She knit it to make it. She even tried to give it away, but it never left with the intended recipient and she took it as a sign. She wore it once in a while, but it mostly hung on her scarf rack where she could look at it and grin.
She knit the second scarf with someone else in mind. She had bought the yarn for herself, to make a hat. (Two skeins of Malabrigo for a knit watch cap. She has never had much of a sense of scale.) But it was the color of moss and forests, the perfect color for this scarf. Once again, she started with three stitches and an idea. The idea, now that she knew how the knitting was supposed to work, was to give him something soft and warm that she had made. She knit half the yarn up before she realized that it was turning out all wrong. So she started again with the second ball of yarn and knit half the scarf, then knit the first, messy half into the second, better piece. It was a metaphor for their relationship. Starting without quite knowing what’s going to happen, and reworking as things go on.
He loves his scarf completely, and his affection for it has made her love hers even more, too. Because hers was the beginning, and she took what she learned from making that scarf and used it to make his. She was able to recognize when things weren’t working, and figured out how to change it so that they did. She didn’t try to make his scarf exactly like hers, she left room for the pattern to evolve.
She still doesn’t have it all figured out yet, (him or the pattern) but the knitting is worth every stitch.
Happy Valentine’s Day.