I started knitting when my brother’s fourth child was about to be born and needed a blanket of his own. This was about four and a half years ago. I ordered a copy of Knitting for Dummies, because Mom knew how to knit but wasn’t sure how to explain it all to me.
Cricket was still teething. She was five months old and had just finished unraveling a wicker garbage can and eating her way through a miniature pumpkin. So when I dropped my pretty wooden knitting needles on the floor, she saw them as an extra special gift, for her. I kept the remaining shard of wooden needle to remind me to use metal or plastic in the future.
Then Cricket moved on to the yarn. She jumped onto my lap and grabbed the ball of yarn in her teeth and ran with it into my mother’s room. She ran under the bed, leaving a lengthening trail of yarn in her wake, creating a cat’s cradle that wound around the legs of the bed, over to the sewing machine and, eventually, ended up wrapped around Cricket herself, until she couldn’t move for the string around her legs.
That was at least better than when a ball of yarn fell to the floor and I didn’t notice, so instead of running away with it, Cricket chewed on it in peace under my feet, and used her paws and teeth to unravel it until she’d made the yarn into a nice comfy, wet pillow for her head.
Cricket can be anywhere in the apartment, and if I start to knit, within seconds, she’s at my knees, asking me to make room on my lap. Then she leans against my belly and lifts a paw, to push the knitting away. I wonder if she thinks the sweater I’m working on is the equivalent of another dog that I am petting, instead of her, because she asks for scratchies and hugs and if I try to go back to knitting, she puts her paw up again and pushes the yarn and needles away.
I’ve made a lot of knitted blankets and sweaters since then and in every one there are strands of Cricket’s hair, or drops of her spit; like a blessing.