Back in April I started knitting up the Hitchhiker shawlette. I’d gotten the yarn for it at Eat, Sleep, Knit during our Whiskeyknitting excursion to the wilds of Smyrna. I’d been stalking the pattern for some time and was really excited to start it. It’s a super-fast knit, mostly garter stitch, and once started it was knitting up fabulously. I thought it would be a fun project and an easy blog post for May.
Then I saw a picture of a puppy in my Facebook feed.
In late April I was working remotely from Allison’s office (we work for the same institution) and saw the sweetest dog in need of a foster through Angels Among Us, an organization with which I regularly volunteer. This pup had been hit by a car and attacked by another dog, and then had developed pneumonia post-rescue while in vet boarding. The kid needed a quiet place to recover. Allison eyed me suspiciously. She said she could see Sane Shannan and Crazy Shannan duking it out for control of my brain.
She gets me.
I don’t normally foster dogs – I’m not set up for it – but I volunteered to foster this sweet pup through his recovery period while they looked for another foster for the longterm.
The heart-melting, exhausting adventure of fostering sweet Brittin is a story reserved for a pub night. This is a blog about knitting and whiskey, and the important thing you need to know is that after sipping my nightly dram, I absent-mindedly left my Hitchhiker project on the couch while I went to the bathroom. Brittin thought it was a new toy. C’est la vie.
So what we have here is not a May post about a quick and easy project, but rather a June post about how sometimes a split-second decision flips your plans upside down and inside out. And what seemed simple becomes all tangled up. And that’s okay.
Each night when I sit down to knit, I start by taking some time to work on untangling the jumble that is my Hitchhiker yarn, and as I do, I meditate on the mess. Maybe I’ll be able to unknot the jumble and create the project I originally envisioned. Maybe I won’t. It’s unclear at the moment, so I’m just working slowly and seeing what develops.
The tangle reminds me of the sweet puppy who lived with me for a time, who broke my heart wide open and freed me to deal with some mess in my own life that I had put in a box until I was ready to deal with it.
Brittin is now with his permanent foster and available for adoption. I — and my shawlette — are forever changed by the experience of knowing him and getting to be a part of his journey. As I tease out each maddening knot, I see the expression on his face when I dove for my yarn – no hint of mischief, just joy and innocence and love – and I am grateful for the entirety of what he left behind.