I heard mention of a crochet circle while I was sitting around a dinner table, getting to know people. I was immediately intrigued. My friend Leanne gifted me a hand crocheted rug last spring, and I had been thinking about trying it out ever since. I love the way it feels under my feet. I love the way I am reminded that a kindred spirit in Michigan loves me when I put my feet in the middle of that circle. I had even gotten as far as buying the fattest crochet hook I could find on Amazon, and spending my lunch break obsessively watching videos of people hooking rugs on YouTube. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but I was at the beginning of a season where I did not have very many words (sorry about the silence on the blog) and it was as though my hands sensed that they would need something else to do for a while. Sitting still isn’t a great option for them. I mean, I can’t even speak if my hands aren’t moving.
I couldn’t wait for the crochet circle. In January I went to a thrift store and bought twenty dollars in sheets, turquoise, blue and navy. I came home and began tearing the sheets into strips that my fat crochet hook could work with. Snip, rip, attach, wind. Snip, rip, attach, wind. Slowly the abandoned and worn thin sheets became a ball of frayed, flat, one inch (or close enough) string. The sheets that were no longer needed sat in their new form, waiting to be made new.
I too feel ripped and reworked. I feel reshaped and waiting. I have been wondering when the promise of “all things new” would come for me.
I watched the video one more time and began my rug. Loop after loop I circled around and around and around. My rug growing, my work visible. I was making progress, and it felt good. I continued on and on and on.
But then, but then things became wonky. When I laid the rug down it did not lay flat but rather waved up and down. The edges came in like a bowl. I googled the problem (who else but Google does a You Tube student have to ask?) and discovered that while I could try washing, or wetting, or flattening, that if I really wanted the rug to lay right I would have to undo the progress that I had already made. I would have to pull that handmade string and watch my progress fall into a pile on the floor. So I did. I pulled and pulled until the rug lay flat. Then, I tried again. And I had to undo a little less the next time, and again and again until I realized that after the initial sheet, I can only manage to crochet a flat rug if I am sitting on it, slowly spinning it or my body to match the progress. Even then, sometimes, the undoing is simply a necessity of the process. It is just the way the rug is made, by me anyway.
I managed to finish that first blue and turquoise rug. It sits in my kitchen and my dog likes to lay on it. Somewhere in the undoing I felt the Spirit pull on the string of my heart. I felt some things unravel where the tension had been pulled too tight and things had become bumpy. I felt a pile somewhere in my soul of things I have long believed about myself, about my worth, about why it is I matter. And I can feel the spirit slowly reworking these threads so that my whole self will lay right. My understanding of my God is beginning to smooth out.
It is okay. This is just a part of the process. We could go around it, but this spot is going to come up again and again. I promise, it can be different this time. The loops are loose, the hook is ready, if it doesn’t work, we can try again.
And as I work the sheets into something new and beautiful I can feel something move in my heart as well. These experiences I have had are not wasted. They are being made new. It was bumpy last time, the tension was off. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s try again. We are slowly working this life of yours into a symbol of love.