Saving Ms. Lizzie, Part 5

By: Corrie Habib

Releasing the spirit of Ms. Lizzie–

Feb. 25, 2022: The familiar wrist buzz of a text notification on my FitBit…it’s from my dad.

”Amazing: {wow emoji} The rim of the wheel is almost flat! I haven’t clamped it or nothing! I think the broken spokes/hub were holding it in a screwy position and it has now sprung (slow-mo) back to almost flat.”

March 3, 2022: ”The rim is flat +- ⅛ inch.”

When your father is my father, there is literally nothing out of the ordinary about receiving a text at 5:08 pm with such a random declaration. An event transpires–some neurons fire–a text message devoid of any context is sent. I get updates on the size of the front porch Joro spiders, NASCAR drivers, details about people I don’t know, news about Acworth, GA, etc. It’s also totally normal to receive such exact dimensions and measurements – I have no doubt he measured the deviation of flatness with calipers. He has been known to gift digital calipers because, “when you need them, you will be glad you have them.” Suffice it to say, it’s no surprise that his BS degree is in physics and mine is zoology.

When I saw this picture he sent of the now flat rim enjoying some Georgia late winter sunshine, it felt like a little whisper of gratitude emanated from the fibers of the oak. Lizzie’s wheel had been so crudely put back together with no regard for her elegant creation and near perfection – it was like I could sense the return of positive spiritual energy from the physical object now that it was back to its true form. Is psychometry real? Was the ghost of the real Ms. Lizzie delighted to see her wheel returning to its former glory?

When I first learned to knit, my knitting instructor said that you knit/crochet/weave part of your soul in everything you make so mistakes in a project are necessary to let your soul escape. I thought that was a very cool idea because I’ve always felt a connection to handmade items. It’s interesting to think that spirit or intent can be infused into something handmade or well used. Certainly, the quilts of Gee’s Bend have energy and spirit, and ancient textiles connect us to lives and an existence that we can barely imagine. It’s like time travel and an opportunity to connect with our nameless ancestors when you see something that you know was made by a person who, like us, was born, lived, loved, and created with intention. It explains why my favorite knitting needles are the ones I inherited from my husband’s grandmother who died unexpectedly when her age still started with a 6. I feel like she’s happy to be knitting again when I use them.

Dinner can wait a few minutes…I now NEED to find more info on knitting superstitions. To the Google rabbit hole I venture with a glass of Cabernet. Did you know:

  • The Amish say that all handmade things must have a mistake because only God is perfect.
  • Many Navajo weavers add a contrasting color strand from the center of the work to the edge to show the spirit of creativity how to escape
  • If you knit/crochet a sweater for your significant other before marriage, you will break up–it’s called the sweater curse.
  • If you start a handmade project on a Friday, you will never finish.
  • It’s bad ju-ju to make a handmade item for a baby before it’s born. I’m not accepting this one because my nephew just announced impending fatherhood and if I don’t start a blanket by July, it will not get done before the child arrives…so I’m going to assume that the bad luck is only for the first 12-weeks.
  • Don’t hand scissors to a friend, you will cut the friendship. You’re supposed to put them down and then s(he) picks them up. Who knew?
  • Don’t wash new mittens on an old moon or they will lose color and go threadbare.
  • To keep bad spirits out, add bright colors around the openings of socks, mittens, hats, and the like.
  • If you knit/weave/crochet one of your hairs into a gift it will bind you together for life.

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