Knitting as Solace
I want to clarify a couple of things from my last post (Reeling). First, the fact that I support Black Lives Matter does not mean that I am anti-law enforcement. Police officers do a difficult and necessary job, and I am grateful for all they accomplish.
In a hospital setting, mistakes are a Big Deal. They happen, of course, as they do to all humans everywhere. When they happen, they can have a serious impact on peoples’ health and even lives. In recent years, health care safety experts have started recognizing that there are different ways to respond to mistakes. When a near miss happens, or an adverse event, we look at the issue from all angles. We identify contributing factors and seek to find new standards and practices to prevent the same thing from happening again. One of the most important parts of this process is understanding the culture surrounding the event, and then determining how that culture must adapt in response. Implementing culture change in any setting isn’t easy, and hospitals are no exception. However, it is the single most effective way to keep patients safe. As a result, members of the health care team are all expected to embrace and promote practice changes, and to be transparent about times when things do not go right. It’s life or death.
I believe that most police officers are probably very good people. I believe that most people in general are, as well. It’s just that I know how strongly working culture impacts how people act, and it seems like our law enforcement culture is becoming more and more militarized and violent. We need a serious culture change. Again, it’s life or death. It’s imperative that law enforcement agencies truly examine the circumstances present when things go horribly wrong, identify contributing factors, and implement culture and practice changes so that these tragedies don’t keep happening. There is no other way that things will change. Until then, no one is safe.
As always, my best source of solace is in knitting. Over the past couple of days, I’ve done a lot of work sewing together a sweater for a friend from my LYS. It’s been comforting to take pieces of something and join them together, making everything line up just so. It brings a sense of order to my thoughts and feelings and helps me cope just a little bit better. My socks are off the needles and ready for a wash and a block, and I’m gearing up for the next couple of projects.
Counter to the intense sadness of yesterday, I had an experience which also brought me joy. The mom who ordered the knight’s set from me came to pick it up. She brought her adorable son and tried the hat on him. It fit perfectly and looked downright awesome. She stuck around for a few minutes and we chatted. She mentioned several of her friends might be interested in ordering things from me, too, and asked if she could pass on my information. Of course, I said that was fine. I did warn her that if I did a similar set again, I would charge significantly more as it ended up being a much larger project than I’d anticipated*. She completely understood, and thought her friends would still be interested. We then had a nice conversation about making things to sell (she does a bit, too), and how to value your time and work without being unreasonable. I got to hold her son (who’s turning 1 soon) for a bit and then she went on her way. She seemed really happy with the set and even hugged me before she left. This is all to say that I think the exchange went really well–she seemed to love the product, we connected a bit about making and selling, and we were both happy with how things turned out.
Just after the client had left, my wife looked at me and asked me why I was crying. I didn’t realize until that moment that I was! But, sure enough, I had teared up a bit. I just get so happy when someone really, really likes something I’ve made. It made all the tedious sword-making and pattern-altering worth it to see how excited she was. It brought me a sense of warmth and joy that I desperately needed. To add to that, she sent me a text later saying she wanted to make us a set of “fairy jars” as an added thank you! They are mason-type jars with silhouette cutouts on them as well as colored paper. When you put a tea light inside (the battery kind), you can see the silhouette and can use the jar as a nightlight or a pretty decoration.
She sent me some pics of her son wearing all the pieces. He doesn’t stay still for long, but you can see enough to tell that he looks super cute! Shared with permission:
I don’t think he could get any cuter! Little Sir J is definitely ready for a party! The diaper cover turned out almost like shorts, but I don’t think that’s a problem. If anything, I think it’s even cuter that way. His mom already had some ideas for a Christmas get up, and I can’t wait to get started! That is one knitworthy family.
If you have been similarly effected by current events in the US, I hope that you are able to find some peace and comfort somewhere, whether that’s through knitting, crafting, self-care, listening or talking. One stitch at a time, right?
*I wasn’t angling for more money, here. I stood by my original asking price. I just didn’t want there to be any unpleasant surprises for anyone!