For A. W. and those who will miss her.
She had finished her project. It was lace…her first lace. She had been knitting for what, to her, seemed like ages, but to the experienced, seemed so short a time. It was made from the thinnest, white, cobweb strand of fine wool she could find. She wanted it to be beautiful and light but also something for warmth and comfort. She knit stitch after stitch; sometimes changing patterns and stitches, sometimes making mistakes but always, always trying her best to fix them. She knit this lace around her family and her friends; they knew she was making something beautiful.
It was done before she thought it would be, and though she had followed all the instructions, in the end, her project looked nothing like the pattern. She was frustrated and disappointed and angry. It sat there in her lap, and it was small and looked like a soft mass of yarn and confusion. She didn’t understand what had gone wrong…
Then her friend came along. A good friend. The friend had written this pattern just for her. The friend reassured her that all the work was there–that the pattern was complete, but that she couldn’t see it all with it there in her hands and in her lap. The friend took her project and helped her lay it out; together they stretched the lace and pinned down the high points and the low. Together they stretched every stitch until the beauty of the pattern emerged. She would never have believed it–that this work she had finished, that was difficult but worthy, that had looked and been at times so confusing–was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.