I’m so many things right now — happy, relieved, honored, sentimental, and proud. I began designing this piece at the beginning of 2008, and I finished knitting it in May, just as I was about to learn that something was really wrong with me. There were tests, feverish knitting, more tests, and more knitting. The shawl was a lifeline all through the designing and knitting. I felt so powerful, so full of a creative force, and so much myself as I worked on it, even as I got closer to knowing that I had cancer.
I sent it off to Clara with joy, tempered by hope that it really was something that could find a place in her book, and not just a mess of tilting things. I loved the tilting blocks, but I also loved their balance, and the overall symmetry of the shawl. I think I needed to find some of that somewhere just then, because all I could feel was the frightening tilting of my own life.
Now, more than a year later, I’m able to look over my shoulder at the long road behind me. The dreadful mountains and dark valleys, the few soft grassy places — everything, all of it, bordered by the sweet river of that blue shawl.
It occurred to me that I needed a Falling Waters of my own, so I began this one a couple of weeks ago. I’m almost finished now, and I’m deep into the rhythm of the knitting. I’m soothed again, just as I was when I knit the first shawl. I’m finishing the journey. And it turns out that yes, I think I can tilt and yet remain balanced, in knitting and in life.