Tag Archives: mittens

creative-hours

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?

image

Intoxicated

I thank my daughter, Mackenzie, for allowing me to be part of Rain and Moon. I’m not sure if I’m the rain or moon, but I am, with great pleasure, part of the environment.

My knitting life was born three years ago. I had completed a stint of 22 years of homeschooling my three children while working evening and weekend shifts in the hospital as an RN. Those years were packed full of teaching, nursing, being a wife and mother with no time for the development of hobbies. My one side interest was flower gardening. (I found this very therapeutic since the children soon discovered that if they came out in the garden to ask a question or need help, they were put to weeding. Thus, small amounts of quiet time were captured in my too-busy-life.)

When my youngest son , Avery, was a Junior in high school, I realized that I could think beyond hospital work and imagine going into other avenues of medicine. This brought about 2 years of nurse practitioner training in my early 50’s. This in turn took me to an 8-5 Monday through Friday job with evenings and weekends free. I had no hobbies other than gardening. I felt many losses but also joy – children in college or graduated and doing well. My son, Aaron, said “Mom, you need a hobby.” I joked and said the first hobby I had in mind was developing a tolerance for alcohol. (I am proud to say I can now drink 1/2 beer with success.) My daughter, Mackenzie, said “I think knitting is for you.” She had decided to pick up knitting, and through watching you tube videos  became an accomplished knitter. She knit this pair of mittens for me and I found them truly enchanting.image image(1)

They are the warmest mittens I have ever owned. Their intricacy and beauty are beguiling. Every time I wear them I think of my daughter.

Learning to knit a pair of socks was my ultimate goal. My first project was a pair of felted slippers for my husband. These were a grand start because the felting hid all failures. A pair of socks was my next conquest with much assistance needed. Then lace knitting? Sure, why not? The Leda scarf followed.

Soon I found myself knitting this sweater for my mother – with massive revisions, of course. (I wanted to desperately make something for my mother, as she had devoted and still devotes so much time making quilts and food for others.)

Jali Cardigan by Pam Powers Knit with Sublime baby merino silk dk. 75% extra fine merino, 20% silk, 5% cashmere.
Jali Cardigan by Pam Powers Knit with Sublime baby merino silk dk. 75% extra fine merino, 20% silk, 5% cashmere.

Every evening now finds me anxious to get home from work and start on my next knitting project. The feel of the the yarn, learning about fibers, figuring out which one works best for the project at hand, and the feeling of my hands moving and swaying with yarn: slipping, looping, sliding….. the finished project, the smiles when something is given away…. I am intoxicated! Thanks Mackenzie – you were right. Knitting is for me. And my knitting tolerance far exceeds my alcohol tolerance.