a knitter with no direction (following skills)

Knitting accomplishments and knitting fails, baking wins and baking so bad even the birds wont touch it in the dead of winter (that is truly bad);  This is what my February has been marked in.  This slow, snowy month has been a clear display of my boys admiration for one another and their lack of need for mama to entertain.  In fact they prefer I stay out of their play often responding to my interjections with, “I was talking to Rowan.”, or “No, Miles not Mama.”.  Oh, so matter of fact.  Which has left me to my own devices, which of course includes knitting needles and flour and colored pencils and fabric and my guitar.  It’s not so bad, this life I lead.

But, if I am being very honest I will let you in on a secret.  I am not a good knitter.  Not by any means.  I watch my friends follow a pattern with such ease, rarely tearing out, or at least having the patience to do so when it is necessary.  I like to think of myself as more of a renegade knitter, a knitter without a cause, a knitter only searching for a final product and a means to pass the time.  I am not a perfectionist or a good follower of directions, which tend to be things knitters have in common.  Not this one.  After a recent knitting win (in my mind… though it was filled with lots of loose cables and a sort of improvised top… I ran out of steam for following the chart), it was time to move back to an old faithful.

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Ignore the terrible photo, I ran out of steam for that too apparently.  This is pattern is habitat and I used was habitat and I knitted it in Imperial Columbia wool.  

An old faithful by a knitter whom I envision to be a bit more like myself.   One who was without the fuss and without the drama and just went ahead and moved forward if there were minor mistakes without so much as a thought.  Elizabeth Zimmerman; The garter stitch champion of the world!  I have knitted one million (or about seven) baby surprise jackets and let me promise you, not one has come out perfect.  They are chock full of mistakes and it doesn’t bother me in the least.  I knit and I gift and I see loved ones warm and cozy and it fills me with joy, and I suppose that is the whole point of this crazy hobby anyways.

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Here is to the new baby Yoshi and the in utero baby boy of my friend dear friend Meg- may these sweaters be done before they fit your next child!  And I hope that this candid review of my knitting skills has inspired other non direction followers who have yearned to pick up a set of needles to do so!  I am a self proclaimed fiber fanatic despite my clumsy hands and scattered brain and you can be too!

a royal hat

Every once in a while or so, a package to end all packages arrives at the post office marked in swirly colorful handwritten letters addressed to me.  (Which is a treat in itself, but the inside of this package really is the ultimate knitters paradise … oh my….)  The truth of how you cease to exist once you have children is not really so harsh, but it does make a gift meant for mama’s hands alone that much sweeter.  The contents of this surprise package never fails to inspire me.  Hand dyed, hand spun wool in vibrant purples and perfect ocean turquoises,  mossy greens, earthy browns and every shade in between, stitch markers, yarn bowls, soaps, patterns, chocolates… the list goes on.  This thoughtful friend of mine.  I have no words.  Check out her blog  http://www.reachperspective.com/ Her talent is tremendous.  She loves all things soft, fluffy and wonderful (things like dough, wool, and clay… basically the three best things in the world)

So, with a intensely strong need to cast on immediately, I began the promised and long sought after purple hat for my royal son.  

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(Don’t mind the smoothie face… strawberries, spinach, blueberries, yogurt and a cozy new hat… a grand way to start the day)

This is the slouchy hat from Harvesting Color, a tremendous library find a few years ago which I intend on purchasing someday!  I have already cast on one for myself.  I used Misty’s two-ply yarn doubled for the extra bulky recommended on the slouch section, and as a single strand for the brim.  This pattern is forgiving though, so it feels like most anything would work.  Nothing like a nice big needle project for instant gratification.  And believe me, this is only the tip of the iceberg.  My current knitting to do list is long, the fireside is warm, and the yarn is a plenty.

charitable knitting

My first charitable knitting project is complete!  The only cables I have knitted up until this point have been little owl mittens for my sweet niece.  After this project -though I feel ready to knit cables of any shape and size- I know my days are too hectic and my brain is too fried to attempt another for sometime (and still enjoy knitting too).  So, I have cast of this little number and started a nice garter stitch and ladder stitch scarf for Lee.  Ahh…. my brain is resting up for a more complicated pattern, I can feel it.

A grandma somewhere far away who has lost a child and is caring for her grandkids alone will be wearing this cowl someday soon.  My group is intending on knitting 100 before the holidays.  I wish I could say I would be contributing more than 1!!

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the thursday crazies

Lately it has occurred to me, while watching my sweet brother start his new tiny family, how much easier it is to “do” this whole thing with those you love in close proximity.  Stopping in for supper, heading off to the market alone, date nights, overnights, holidays, birthdays, you know the reg…. these things are better done in packs. Packs of those you love and know and have files and files of stored up memories of similar events together.

I keep thinking back to the last four years, the last four moves (the last four states!) and I think about how different this adventure looked without the comfort of my own by my side.

I was once told a story about a mama I admire oh so much, a mama of four children, the oldest being approximately my age, and how she too spent her first few years in motherhood far from the reaches of her own mother and father.  My friend told me, her mama said those were some of the best times.  At the moment I laughed and brushed the comment off.  But, a few years later, the words have stuck with me.

I understand this now.  Though its sad to see the pages on the calendar flip by, or to sob in the doorway with each goodbye, there is one thing I am not thinking about.

Things are hard, you miss your mama, and then times passes, and you join a knitting group.  Or, you start one (woot! woot!  Rustic Knitters!), and you meet some ladies.  And they are your life blood.  Oh my goodness yes.  They are every dose of medicine you could ever need rolled into one evening of laughter and commiseration and wine and french fries and fiber and tears and life and life and life.  Have I told the Lacey’s, Liz’s, Tabatha’s, Danielle’s, Sarah’s, Jess’s, Caitlyn’s, Kerry’s, Beth’s, Laurie’s, Lauren’s, Rebecca’s, and Sheri’s of my life they filled a void for me that I can never repay?  And thank you?  Because Thank you.  Thank you!

Even now, only three hours away, my thursday night knitting crew (we sound badass don’t we?) is all I need to get by.  When these two have the crazies and they are passing them onto me, I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and exhale… my mantra…

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Thursday….

And I say this with a smile on my face… cuz you know the crazies aren’t so bad when you get some time to breathe once in a while…. 

Happy Thursday Everyone!!

this moment

{this moment}

. . . . . . . . . . 

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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