Category Archives: Knitting

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Hoodies for Life

A dear friend of mine recently passed away at the age of 93.  She was a bright, smart, pragmatic woman.  She insisted on being called Mrs., becasue this was how it was done in Germany, her land of origin.  Once you became her friend, you were given the privilege of calling her by her first name.

She was also a patient of mine, who came to see me every 4 months at the office.  When she came, she would bring a knitting project she had completed or I would smuggle my latest project into the exam room to share with her.  She sent me a hoodie pattern that was a long standing favorite.  We would talk and laugh about current events, people in our lives, the latest struggle we were experiencing. I must admit,  I looked forward to seeing her as much as she looked forward to coming.  She would laugh during her visits and say “Imagine looking forward to coming to a doctor’s office!”  I would laugh and reply “What we do behind closed doors remains a secret.”

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Her heart started failing.  She called to tell me, “Lita, I just wanted to let you know… my health is heading West and I wanted to let you know how much I have treasured our time together.  If my health does not hold up until my next visit, I hope someone has the common sense and decency to let you know.” She came one last time to my office against my advice,  so tired that any little movement made her gasp for breath.  We again laughed and talked.  She said “you know… they told me the other day that my heart is getting worse.  I am so overjoyed.  What am I going to do at 93 anyway?  I am ready.”

I then went to see her one last time a week later after she had been transferred to a hospice facility.  She was asleep when I entered the room. I sat for 20 minutes in silence absorbing her presence.  Then her eyes opened and suprise and pleasure flooded her face.  We talked for awhile and she said, “You know… I always wanted to have you come and eat lunch with me and we could be friends.” My reply: “We are friends, we have always been friends.”

What else can you do to honor a knitting friend? Except knit a hoodie for a baby who has entered the world – to complete the circle of life.

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Pattern: Sweat Pea Cardigan from 60 Quick Baby Knits Yarn: full o’ sheep 100% peruvian wool ( Red Heart) weight #4 Needles: size 4
creative-hours

vacation with a toddler

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Turns out that vacation with a toddler is not exactly like those in my previous, pre-baby life. I take far fewer pictures, for one thing.

And in the car, when you turn around to calm a toddler? Turns out it’s pretty easy to accidentally kneel on your needle and snap that sucker in half.

I won’t show you the poor, broken end, lest you also start weeping.

Thankfully, Ithaca is home to the lovely Homespun.  Friendly staff with just the right needle (as well as some lovely Malabrigo sock that I plan to pair with some stash to make another Stripe Study shawl). Mom and I investigated that one together. But we were very restrained, I promise. Only 3 skeins of yarn between the two of us!

Thanks to the helping hands of my folks, I did a decadent amount of knitting, though. (And thanks to Greg for driving the whole way both directions). So here, my friends, is a sneak peek at what I think will be a lovely addition to my wardrobe (particularly for transitional seasons): hitofude

photo-(3)I couldn’t resist – light, steely gray? It’s like my kryptonite. I think the 25% silk of the Cascade Heritage Silk will also make the sweater drape nicely. Shall I challenge myself to finish it before the end of the month? Or is setting a due date just masochism when you have a Little in the house?

 

 

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in my ears

When we moved to Michigan in 2012, for a brief 9-month sojourn, I was going to work hard on my grad school portfolio. To bribe myself to work long hours in the studio, I bought an audio book – Sunshine, by Robin McKinley.

I listened to that book over and over for weeks on end. Not always while creating prints in the studio. I found that my happiest moments were often curled up in a particular chair, knitting industriously while paragraphs and pages unrolled in my ears.

This is the main project I remember making while listening to Sunshine. Colorwork mittens from laceweight yarn held double are NOT a fast knit.
This is the main project I remember making while listening to Sunshine. Colorwork mittens from laceweight yarn held double are NOT a fast knit. I think I got 000 needles for these?

You can’t listen to the same audio book forever, though. So here’s what’s been in my ears lately.

Funny – The Adventure Zone – expletive-filled live-play of Dungeons and Dragons with three brothers and their dad. If you like weird voices, Dungeons and Dragons, or comedic families hamming it up together, you’ll probably dig this one.

EncouragingOne Bad Mother – Their tagline might as well be, “You are nailing it! Good job!” They share their genius and fail moments, talk to other parents, and generally chat about diverse topics that caregivers run into each day (sleep regression, depression, baby fever, time outs, when to cut your kids’ hair, and more). As much as this podcast is about encouraging parents, it’s also got a few cusses, so you might not want to listen with your Littles around.

Creative Inspiration – Longform Podcast – conversations with creative non-fiction writers and storytellers, mostly journalists and essay writers. I’m not even sure what to say about this one – just go listen. You will come away wanting to read a bunch of things as well as look at the world closely and carefully every day.

Knitting - Knit.fm – this now-defunct podcast has a metric crap ton of useful information, ranging from weaving in your ends, to short rows, to stashing, modifying patterns, and more. I’ve listened to the whole catalog a couple of times, and am still gleaning new things.

What about you? Any recommendations for my knitting-time listening?

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Queue Review*

*idea of a queue review stolen from… Karen of Fringe Association, I think?

I’m entering that stage of the summer. You know, the stage of the summer where even thinking about knitting seems kind of… strange. So I thought maybe a queue review (queue is an awfully hard word to stop typing, don’t you think? queueueueueeue….) would bring back a little inspiration.

You know what, though? All my working through the Wardrobe Architect series makes me look at that list and feel… bored. It’s full of items that I’m not sure I will love love love.

Maybe that’s because it has an embarrassment of riches (87 items) on it?

Maybe it’s because none of the projects have pockets?

Maybe I feel I should be working on putting out my own patterns right now? Since that is, ostensibly, why this blog exists?

It did inspire me to do 2 things, though:

1. Cast on Hitofude in this lovely silver Cascade Heritage Silk

2. Finish the Deco cardigan. Yes, I know, I’m the one who made the decision to frog and re-knit a different size. But damn, knitting it a second time is just not as fun.

deco_cardiganI’m going on vacation soon, and so help me, the Deco Cardigan will be done and in my bag (the bag of things to wear, not the one of things to knit).