Monday, August 11, 2014

Baby Sweater

Because someone else having a baby is really just an opportunity for me to knit something cute and quick.

The pattern is In Threes by Kelly Herdrich and I have knit it in Malabrigo Rios in color 412 Teal Feather.

I do recommend the pattern.  It was fun and fast.

But we will see about the yarn.  It is superwash (the pattern calls for a non-superwash yarn, but that is just cruel to a new mother), but the dye came off heavily on my hands while I was knitting the sweater.  I will wash it until the water runs clear, but I cannot guarantee that this will not make for a teal baby.

At any rate, congrats to friends who are procreating.  I'll just be the one who knits.  I like to sleep through the night.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Portsmouth, NH

I'm afraid that I haven't been knitting, spinning, or crocheting very much lately.  I do have some projects in the works and I have been working on a dishcloth pattern that I will self-publish once I've finished it.  But I have been focusing on writing and soaking in my first summer this close to the ocean.

After all, could you get much work done if this was the view?

Monday, June 16, 2014


Well, I am now in Portsmouth, NH for the summer, staying with a friend.

I realize that it has been a while since I last posted.  I have had some knitting adventures, such as toe-up socks, entrelac, and a lace shawl, but I have also been quiet because I have been trying to put more energy into designing.

Designing, unfortunately, is often a solitary activity.  Sure, you can do it in a team, but you really cannot put any information about what you are working on up on the internet if you want to submit it to anyone for publication.  This is really difficult for me; I am definitely a sharer.

But I do intend to get back to posting on this blog.  I am going to try for a weekly post.  Hopefully the sunshine and sea air will get me inspired.  And I will definitely keep you posted if any of my patterns come out.

Entrelac Cowl in delicious Noro Silk Garden

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Back to Socks

My most recent creations are these Almondine socks from the pattern by Anne Hanson, in the book "Sock Knitting Master Class". I finally made a pair just for myself. I love the colorway and they are extremely comfortable. The yarn I used was Tosh Sock from Madeline Tosh in the colorway Plaid Blanket. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Yarn Lifeline

A dear friend suggested to me that I should be writing about how I am using knitting to deal with the grief of losing my husband.  And at first, I thought, no.  And I responded that nobody wanted to read my moping.  To which he pointed out that I didn't have to mope on my blog.  So I explained that I am a native Minnesotan, which means that my definition of moping is "admitting to feeling a feeling, ever."

But this got me thinking.  I'm not actually that good at writing technical descriptions.  I have the problem of being either too thorough and boring the hell out of everyone, or being too vague and technical and nobody knows what I'm talking about.  I am much better at teaching things in person, where the feedback is immediate and I can adjust my focus on the fly.

But one thing that I actually am good at is emotional honesty.  I have that wonderful habit of actually answering when people ask, "How are you?"  Sometimes people don't really want to know, but I figure if that's the case, then they should have just said hello and left it at that.

So, how am I really?  Well, not great, but incredibly hopeful at times and still reassuringly myself.  It depends on the day and the hour.

And the truth is that I did turn to knitting because of grief.  I turned to knitting because I like it, true, but part of why I love knitting is that it engages my mind in what is right in front of me right now.  Knitting is exactly how I keep from moping all day long.

Knitting is also a great way to control some of my little OCD-like tics.  Like counting.  I actually count a lot.  I find it soothing.  Knitting gives me a reason to count.  Sometimes, I am working on a row that I need to count and I think that I have forgotten to count and then I realize that I actually have been counting all along.  True story.  It's really no wonder that I like math.

And while there are little things about knitting that can remind me of Shervie, it has always been more my thing.  A kind of oasis of me.  I've been realizing that a lot of my identity and daily routine was extremely linked and associated with his.  Some of the hardest things are the simple everyday things, like clearing ice off of my windshield and cooking and brushing my teeth.  Even my last name has become dangerous since getting married. All of these evoke memories of him, some good, some not so good.  Knitting really doesn't.  Especially if I'm working on a new project.

And so I keep working, keep casting-on.  Because it gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning and it feels good to be proficient in something.  Knitting has become my brave face.

And maybe I'm starting to branch out and reclaim a little more.  I recently seem to have discovered that I still like math and physics.  And it turns out that my biggest fear: that I'm really stupid and just relied on him to help make me sound smart, is completely unfounded.  Because I loved these things even before I loved him.

My life right now is like a familiar landscape that has just experienced a massive earthquake.  It is recognizable, but it needs to be mapped again.  Everyday I try to pull out my survey equipment and add another area to the known world.

What am I knitting?  Here is the Chickadee Sweater that I am working on for mom.  I'm really digging making sweaters lately.

And the sleeves are even the same length.