Using repurposed bicycle musette bags, I cut them up, reassembled them, sewed them together and tied on tzitziot (fringes) from a kit I bought online. The whole thing took about a week to make, a week during which I had stayed home, reeling from waves of depression and fear. But I could still sew. My mother (z' l) had taught me how when I was a child. So I stayed home from everything for a week, and in between the bouts of sleep and crying and depression and quiet, I made this.
But this past winter, as I wrestled with my inner stuff and began to gain some clarity about it, I could feel that the time was coming when I wouldn't want to wear a black tallit anymore. So I began gathering up other bicycle musettes, and this past week I began cutting them up and rearranging them and reassembling them into what would become my new tallit.
Today, I finished it. This time, I used plain cotton package string for my tzitziot. I didn't particularly care if a rabbi had blessed it or whatever, and I already had the string in the house. There was no ritual about making this, or tying on the fringes. Maybe making it was the ritual in and of itself. I only know that however many hundreds of stitches I made, passing the needle through the fabric and pulling the thread through to the other side, was a calming thing, an exercise in quiet and calm and stillness. As my hands flew, my mind grew more quiet. And I felt at peace. And this afternoon, I said the blessing for putting on the fringed garment, and wrapped myself in my new, mostly white tallit.