I’m still on Ohio time, apparently. My body (mind?) can’t seem to figure out its back in California. So here I am, wide awake and making coffee at 3:30 in the morning. The upside is that it’s raining and oh-so-peaceful. Perfect time for a fire and some uninterrupted knitting.


I’m on the home stretch on my Tangled Yoke Cardigan, one of my all-time favorite projects. I’ve picked up the stitches along the neckband base and marked where I altered the pattern a smidge to put a couple of decreases in that will (I hope) encourage the neckband to lie a little flatter. (You pick up the best warnings about these things on Ravelry!).


Yesteday, I read Jared Flood’s post on his BrooklynTweed blog in which he talks about how long-duration projects remind us of where we’ve been as we’ve knitted them. He says each project has its story. My Tangled Yoke Cardigan’s story is interwoven with my mother, as so much has been this past year….

I started this sweater in North Carolina, the start of September ’08. My husband and I took my mom to the Biltmore for her 80th birthday. It was one of those “whims” otherwise known as intuitive thoughts. Or nudges from a higher power.


My mother’s an amazing, very accomplished woman, fit and smart and lively. It was a challenge to keep up with her as we hiked miles through the woods – and keep in mind this was in the Olden Days when my husband and I were runners. Little did we know that 11 months later would find Mom unable to even stand or speak.


The North Carolina trip was filled with the awe-inspiring interiors of the Biltmore House, long walks through Olmstead-crafted gardens, the tastiest birthday cake we can remember, laughter, story-telling, and horses. I’m so grateful for the time we had together before the stroke stopped Mom in her tracks.

Happily unaware of what was coming, and a fine argument against omniscience, I think I finished half the body and one sleeve of my sweater during that trip. Flash forward a year plus some, as I finally get around to the Tangled Yoke neckband, I’m glad Mom’s back in her home after months of rehab from her stroke. I’m glad I was there to intercede when she was given the wrong medicines. (Dope up my mother??? No way!) I’m glad I have the great good fortune to be able to make sure she has good care. I’m glad she has fabulous friends who come to see her all the time, braving the frustration of one-way conversations. A step at a time, Mom can navigate her hallway if not the wooded trails. Her spirit is phenomenal. A gift to her daughter.


Run, Mama, run.