As a woman of a ‘certain age’ I often reflect back on my life and try to remember those sweet details of a wonderful childhood. Friends, pets and secret notes are all memories that are beginning to fade. Imagine if you had something to look at, something you treasure that would trigger and bring back all those memories.
I have the privilege of working at a local Montessori school. A truly exceptional 5th grade student by the name of Sofia attends school there and has quite a talent for knitting. She learned to knit from her mother’s friend when she was in the first grade. She said she practiced and practiced and it took her about a year to really get the hang of it. What came out of her knitting has become a wonderful and beautiful thing.
At first Sofia just wanted to knit a really long piece. Then she started adding things such as keys from a friend’s trip to Spain, a tag from a shirt she got in Florida, beads, an Altoid box, and magnets - all little moments captured in time. It has now become a timeline of her life.
Sometimes friends will help her measure it, roll it into a ball, untwist it and even help her think of things to put into it. I asked if there were any secrets in that big ball of yarn and she said yes. There is a dead bee whose head was cut off by a dead fly! It’s part of the mystery of what is hidden inside.
Her knitting takes place mostly at school during her classroom read-aloud time, but sometimes she takes it home. It always goes home with her during summer break. She rolls her yarn into a large ball first and then knits from there. She likes changing patterns between purl, rib and seed stitches and likes using random colors.
She measures it once a month and it is now 216 feet long! She’s not sure when she will finish adding to it, but we talked about and imagined how long it would be when she turns eighteen. She says she’s sure she will remember all the stories she’s woven into the timeline of her life as she gets older. I imagine that big ball of yarn will hold Sofia’s memories forever.