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The Unwinding Cable Car

I started a new crochet project a while back - a new project made up of components of an old one.

Granny square afghan, but not the one I'm writing about.

You see, a few years ago I crocheted an afghan with gigantic-sized granny squares for my bed. Shortly after I finished it, I got a new bed - a bigger bed than the old one and the afghan I had just finished was never going to fit it. So I packed it away figuring it would be useful at some point. I completely forgot about its existence until I was changing the sheets on my bed last week and looking for a clean afghan to use.

I pulled the old afghan out of the linen cupboard and tried to spread it out on the bed. Of course, it didn't fit. It wasn't made for the bed I sleep in now. I left the afghan on the bed for awhile, though, because there was something bothering me about it that was not its size.

The pattern.

The answer came to me eventually, after thirty minutes of doing other things while I let my subconscious brain work it out.

The granny square pattern was not working with the colors in the afghan. So I started taking it apart.

And this is the place where I tell you my crochet skills are not as impressive as you may think they are. I'm a one trick pony when it comes to crochet projects. I know granny squares and the stitches that go into them almost as well as the back of my hand, and I have crocheted hundreds of squares in the decade or since I started. That's how I knew when I looked - really looked - at the afghan in question that something was wrong.

Taking an afghan apart is painful work, just so you know. I rewound so much yarn in the process that the muscles in my arms were protesting movement for days afterward.

Doing that and beginning to make something new from it has me a lot of time to think, though - time to think about how my life has been in a state of unwinding not unlike the cable car in  that Anberlin song. So much changed so fast back then that some days I felt like I was in a tailspin. I've screamed more, cried more, unloaded more (for better or worse) in the last fifteen months than I can ever remember. Rough is a kind word to describe the process.

Also not the afghan I'm writing about

But it's been a necessary one.

I think that if I could describe what I've been through in the last fifteen months, it would be like what I had to do with that afghan. Something wasn't right with the pattern, and it needed to be taken out and redone. Part of the reason it's so hard to do is because no one likes to admit when they made a mistake, much less go back to fix it. It's a brave few who do, and when they finish, the story and the afghan are so much more spectacular for having done so.

In my situation, neither the real nor the metaphorical afghan are done yet (they're not even caught back up to where they were before they were taken apart) but the pattern emerging now is a much better fit than the old one. As painful and uncertain as things are at the moment, I'm much more content with the path I'm on now.

And I look forward to seeing the end result.


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