I lost a piece of my soul this week, and there is a gaping hole in my heart. My constant companion, my guardian and protector, my funny, smart, loud, engaged, entertaining, opinionated and beautiful Freia is gone. I have cried more tears than I knew I could possess. She was a unique dog and we had a bond like no other. My house is deafeningly quiet. She changed my world when she entered it and has changed it again as she passed. I held her close telling her over and over how sorry I was to let her go and how much I loved her as if telling her so many more times could make it any more true or any less sad.
Cody was nearby as she went, so understands that she's gone. He's learning to be an only dog and working on being brave. He came to me as a fairly damaged rescue, skittish at the wind blowing in the trees or any loud crack of sound, and I've seen some regression the last few days. And yet, I can also see he's trying so hard to find his feet and his own strength now that Freia's no longer by his side. I'm fairly sure I'll be getting another dog sooner perhaps than I thought, but I'm going to let him grow into being an only pup for a little while and watch him learn to face, and embrace, the world with all the courage of the cowardly and brave little Lion he is.
I took some time off work this week as my mind and body would have it no other way. I spent the first day pretty much in shock, feeling as though my heart had been ripped from my chest. I lay on the sofa, Cody curled up tight nearby. I tried going in to work the next day without much success. Grief plays tricks on the mind and scatters the thoughts, so I was hardly present. The third day was maybe as hard as the first as I succumbed to sadness all over again, plus I was now fully in the throes of the flu, so back to the couch. This time I picked up some yarn and started to knit. I slowly re-assembled my jumbled brain and wrote down instructions and kept on knitting. I ignored the pain in my stupid thumb, took some painkillers and kept right on knitting. I knit all that day and late into the night. The next day I looked at what I'd started and realized that I'd been creating a design for a knitted wrap that is an allegory for the relationship between Cody and Freia,- how she was always there for him, teaching him about the world, his support, his protector, his rock, and now it was her time to go and he would have to stand on his own and fill her shoes and be strong.
I have never used knitting to help me through grief or other deep emotion, and have never understood how it has worked for others - until now. I'm slowly coming back together, now I wear Freia's tag around my neck and sometimes it jangles and reminds me of her and it's OK.
So I knit the final rounds of my PomPom and Tuft Hat this morning and just needed the finishing touch of a big puffy pompom.
Key words - "big" and "puffy". Big is easy enough, there was about a 1/4 of the ball of Super Bulky yarn left after the knitting was done, but how do you turn this floppy pom in to a fluffy one?
Steam is the key!
1. Find a small-ish saucepan - ideally about the same diameter as your pompom. This is because - yeah, steam.. it gets hot. So if the pan is small then your hand will be out of the way of the steam. (note this is NOT a project for kids - not kidding on the steam... ) Fill the pan with a couple of inches of water and heat to boiling.
2. Hold the pompom in the steam coming off the boiling water. You will want to rotate the pompom around to get it evenly heated and fluffed. Your strands may curl up a bit so you will probably need to separate them from each other and then they can be more evenly steamed.
ABout Tina Whitmore
Yarn Dyer, Designer, Dog Lover, in no particular order.. Founded Knitwhits in 2003, and Freia Fine Handpaints in 2010, introducing gradient yarn to knitting stores worldwide. Getting Hygge with it - warmth, comfort, color, texture, design, nature.