Monday, March 26, 2007


When I started knitting again about 4 years ago, I was an uptight knitter. I knit off and on from the time I was 8 years old. If I made a mistake, I either ignored it or ripped everything out. I know I made attempts at fixing errors, but it was not relaxing to me.

Then in the summer of 2003, I discovered sock knitting. My youngest son has Down Syndrome and he had started wandering away from home. His first escapade took him 8 blocks from home and earned a ride home in a police car. He had accidentally let our dog out and decided to round him up himself. In those days, when the dog one could catch him. He was only gone a few minutes when we discovered it. We all ran different directions but my hubby had the forsight to get in the car. He almost immediately got on his trail. People said they saw him go "that way" and to this day we wonder why in the world no one thought something was wrong with the picture of a little boy, obviously one who didn't look like he should be running down the street alone, barefoot no hot pursuit of a runaway dog! He managed to get downtown and some kind soul along the way knew this didn't seem right and they followed him across one of the two very busy streets he had to cross and managed to get him into a pizza parlor and called the police. We'll never understand how the policeman managed to get both him and the dog into the patrol car...and then hubby flagged him down to alert him that we had an escape artist...only to find out the little stinker was in the car. Well....after that...dear boy thought he was a HERO....he caught the dog AND rode in a police car! Then he started taking the dog out looking for the police!

Needless to say, I was a bit of a wreck. I spent sleepless nights fighting off the "what ifs", but had to realize that time after time, he was only gone a few minutes and every single time, we got right on his trail. We asked everyone we knew to be on the lookout for him and life settled back down. We know that God has shown us over and over that He has His eye on that dear child.

During this time, I decided to start knitting again...little realizing what therapy that has been. How I went from being so uptight in my knitting to confident and able to fix mistakes is beyond me. I guess I finally bloomed as a knitter.

One decision I made was that no matter what, I was going to enjoy the journey. If I have to tink and frog until I get it right...I will. I would just look at that as part of the enjoyment of the finished product. I have learned not to put big pressure on myself by thinking I have to finish something by a certain time. I have decided instead to just get it done when it is right. If I have to take it out over and be it. I am learning along the way....and I am enjoying it!

I told our son's therapist once that rather than knit her socks for an occasion such as Christmas or birthday and put myself under huge pressure, instead I would do it just because and the event is to say *I appreciate you*. I don't knit socks for just anyone (especially considering I have 12 feet in my own family to knit for!) so if someone happens to get some, it is a way for me to say I am giving you my best.

The wandering of the boy has pretty much come to an end although we know a big part of that is because every single ear in this house stays pretty tuned in to his presence. He has a little more understanding that this is not cool. I often wonder where I'd be today if I hadn't started knitting again!

Where is all of this coming from? I have spent the last several months struggling along...leaving a trail of unfinished projects behind me. Some of them will eventually be completed. Some served their purpose by keeping my hands and head busy for the moment. Some of the yarn has landed in other people's hands because I couldn't ever see finishing the project I started. Some of it I still love and will either finish that project or start something else.

However...I am realizing that during this crazy time, knitting has carried me once again. If my hands aren't actually holding the needles, I am thinking about it, planning what to make or how something will work. And learning that is part of the journey also. that satisfying? I'd say so. I can't think of anything else in life apart from my relationship with God and my family and friends that has brought me more comfort!

And with all of this, here is my latest experiment with my Louet Gems Merino...that I am loving. This one may end up in a frog pond and I think I may have a solution figured out for what to do. It looks great on but tight going over the heel. I may knit the cuff in size 2s, then switch the sole needle to a 1. I didn't like the looks of the fabric in 2s on the little baby socks I knit but I think it will be ok with the cables because I need a bit more stretch. (Please forgive the picture, I had to take it with a flash and it's a little fuzzy.)

I also have a Springtime in Paris sock started with this yarn but the pattern repeat is 6 stitches and it's either too small or too big. I may try the same solution with that sock if it works.

Ok...back to knitting!


Liz said...

Good story. Having your son wander like that must have been so scary, my grandmother's done it a few times too (she has alzheimer's). Knitting really can be a great thing!

Melissa said...

I loved your story!! I find it odd that no one found him wandering around to be a little out of the norm. Glad he was okay though.
I have a cousin with Downs who just celebrated his 55th birthday. He's such a joy to be around, although I don't see him that often.
I love how your experiment with the Louett is going. It looks great!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I found your blog today while surfing google's blog search for all things DS.

I have a two year old who is also a wanderer.

I also know someone who recently had a child with DS who also loves knitting. Her blog can be found at: