A few months before my Dad got sick, I spent him a whole lot of wool for him to crochet into a poncho for me. Crocheting was something he liked to do, and I wanted a poncho I could throw on during the cold Dunedin winters. Plus it was part of my connection with my Dad. He taught me to crochet, he took an interest in my life.
Then he got a brain tumour and couldnâ€™t remember how to crochet, couldnâ€™t follow the pattern, then a month or so later he was dead.
Mum sent me back the wool. I donâ€™t know why, maybe it was taking too much room in her home, or she thought I would want it. It made me sad thinking about it, I put it away in a drawer because I couldnâ€™t throw it out. But at the same time it was like the beating heart under the floorboards. Dramatic I know, but fuck my relationship with my father was so messed up.
My Dad, he wasnâ€™t a great parent, he fucked me over along the way. I mean he never touched me physically or sexually, but the emotional abuse, the fact he sacrificed me to my mother to keep the family calm and together, those things have hurt, and maybe in some ways even more than any actual beating. My Dad, it was like he was saying I wasnâ€™t worth keeping safe, that I was a tool to maintain a normal life. But at the same time, the only connection I have ever had with anyone, family or otherwise for a long time, was my Dad. It wasnâ€™t perfect, hell it wasnâ€™t even close to perfect. But it was there, in the quiet moments, at times I felt he saw me, knew me as a person, and not some creature that was there for otherâ€™s needs and twisted desires. I have good memories of my Dad, as well as the ones that rip me apart.
So a couple of days ago I was looking for socks. I have a few socks but none of them arenâ€™t riddled with holes and I opened a drawer and saw the wool there. And I realised it was time, I needed to do something with that wool. Now itâ€™s chunky heavy weight wool and someone my size shouldnâ€™t wear a jersey made of that sort of wool. It makes me look twice as fat, and considering its a brown colour Iâ€™d end up looking like a dumpy teddy bear. So I decided instead, with winter coming I would knit myself a scarf.
Iâ€™m a pretty good knitter, just donâ€™t do a lot of it considering the price of wool. So a scarf is pretty easy, and Iâ€™m doing it with a special style of stitch, with the unfortunate name of â€œfaggot stitchâ€. I feel good about finally being able to use the wool and Iâ€™m sort of hoping the scarf will be a connection to the better memories of my Dad.