Sunday, January 20, 2008

New Shop

I went up to PA to teach at Heather Sweitzer's wonderful new shop, Sweitzer's Countryside Fibers and Gifts. It was great fun. I met 5 lovely knitters who did a great job in the classes. In spite of being "on leave of absence" from Cloverhill, I seem to be teaching plenty, with daytime private lessons and pro-bono opportunities at church. I'm helping with a Project Linus blanket with the teen-aged girls and scarves for cancer patients with the women. It is typical for me-if I have time I will fill it up. It has been good to be home when I need to though. That has been the big change. I can tell Eric is calmer knowing that I won't be gone on Wednesday nights and then again on Saturday. It seems like a big sacrifice, but considering he has never pressured me to bring home a real paycheck and he pretty much supports my every move on the planet-both wise and whimsical, it pretty much evens out. He works hard to support our family, and I feel like our roles are completely complementary and equal. I am just grateful that knitting fits in around it all so I can stay sane, be creative and have an ambition for the future, when I will no longer be at the center my kids' universe.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Knit on with confidence and hope...

So I've recently met A. who lives in an assisted living home. She is a member of my church, and we are pretty active about taking care of each other, so I get to watch over her. I already love her to pieces. She likes visits pretty much every day. I was stressing about this, thinking that I just really didn't have the time. I love old people. I love looking in their eyes and seeing them look out at me through years of living. The other folks in the lobby of the facility are starting to know me, and it is a very good place to be. But every day??? For crying out loud. I have way too much to do, I thought. A. is anxious and worried about everything, but just having someone there brings her a little security that she hasn't had before. Her life has had a lot of pain, so I determined that I would be a safety net for her. Today it clicked. Today I grabbed my knitting to take with me (don't know why I didn't think of this a month ago) and after we did a little word searching in her Giant Puzzle book, she said, "Now I want to watch you knit." I knitted, uninterrupted, for an hour. She listened to the volunteer piano player, dozed and asked about the vest. She was calm, happy and resting. It was like magic. It reminds me of the days when, after I would sing them lullabies, my kids would ask me to get my knitting and just sit outside their door for a little while longer. In this crazy world, if someone can just sit there and knit, then things can't be too bad, right?

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I finished a PhD. gift for a friend and it turned out really well. It is a beanie in UMD colors with a secret message of congratulations knitted into the lining. Many people are nervous about wool these days, that I've taken to lining a lot of things I give away. This was done in Knitpicks Palette, so it is a fine gauge-about 7 sts per inch. I used white and yellow from the Palette line and some red Satakielli from Schoolhouse Press. I used Rowan Cotton Glace for the lining and it came together nicely. I know a cotton lining is not ideal from a technical, wicking standpoint, but it feels pretty comfortable. I wore it around last night while it was drying, and my head was quite cozy and warm. It has the heft and feel of an expensive beanie from the sporting goods store. It is a teeny tiny big big on me, so I'm hoping that means it will fit my friend Clint really well. I'll try to talk him into a photo with it on once I give it to him.

Sam's vest is ready for the armhole steeks. I'm excited to move on and get this done. I love the cable pattern. It is a twisted stitch pattern, which means all the knit stitches in the cable panels are knitted through the back loops. That makes them stand up a bit more and look more embossed from the reverse stockinette background. It is a great design and I am knitting it pretty much per Meg Swansen's specifications, except I'm using Galway instead of the Berrocco Alpaca blend.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hold Bag

So, I looked through my hold bag at Cloverhill and it has easily 300 bucks worth of stuff in there. Holy Cow! I wasn't inclined to put much of it back though, just a few patterns. So, I will endeavor to bring a bit of it home every paycheck until it is gone. I just wish I could get tired of yarn. Hasn't happened yet.
Also, the new cycle of classes has begun and it is very strange not to be a part of it. Though I feel it is the right thing to do, and I am still doing plenty of teaching in spite of being on a "leave of absence," I feel the void of not being part of the camaraderie of the staff of the shop. I love working with those gals.