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Entries in knitting (2)


Knitting - Making Things With Purpose

I absolutely love to make things. I always have. I come from a family of makers. Sometimes I have been driven by practical reasons to create when the things I wanted would have been to expensive to buy.  I just looked at an item I admired and told myself, "I can can make that!" Over the years I've really come to appreciate my ability to be a maker, especially in a "mass produced" world market. There is a great deal of satisfaction in knowing how things are constructed, if they are well done, and what "some assembly required" actually means.

I make a lot of things - specifically greeting cards that you all know about. But I love to bake cookies, occasionally I sew and sculpt my dolls, and a lot of my free time is spent knitting. Knitting is my "time not wasted" activity. There are always a number of knitting projects in various stages of progress waiting for my interest to return. Almost everyone of them is a gift for someone. My Tuesday night knitting group often discusses the number of hours invested in this sweater or that scarf. It's a constant running joke that we would kill anyone who threw our knitted gift in the wash machine, or even worse - THE DRYER! There are labels that you can purchase to sew in a garment that say that very thing!

Here is an example of what making things looks like!

Inside these baskets is the promise of a winter hat, a baby sweater, afgahn squares, at least three new scarfs and a gift exchangew for my knitting group. I'm going to be bold and tell you that cedar chest is full of more projects. 

From the beginning cast on there is so much promise in those first stitches. Of course there is the delight in what the fiber looks like when all that beautiful color is knit. And then there is the complexity of design, not just in the pattern you choose, but in the very idea that you can just make little loops and turn a long strand of fiber into - "Something, Anything!" That's pretty glorious in it's self, but now add in the joy that comes with giving something you created.

As makers, we all know that until the gift is given, the project is not complete.

I know I've shown you this before. It's titled "A Knitty Christmas"
from Left is Uncle Bob, husband John, Aunt Margie and John's mom, Jane - all sporting hand knits from me.
They were funny to see all lined up for a photo but they were worn for many years!

 I'm wishing all of you, my friends, a Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season!
May all of your hand made treasures be loved and appreciated for many years to come! 





Snow days are good for the soul

Does it look like I made dinner?A snowy day in the middle of January is a good excuse to declare, “I’m going to knit all day.” I mentally run through a list of excuses to justify my decision to settle into a comfy chair and knit. It’s too cold to work in my studio today. I prefer to do the laundry while I’m working in my studio so it could wait also. Quarterly taxes aren’t due for 10 more days and the QuickBooks is nearly caught up. John is out of town so making dinner isn’t a priority. Okay, it looks like I’m good to go. And believe me, I do.

I have a project with a deadline. I can’t actually give this project true “delivery date” deadline status because; 1. I’m not getting paid to do it, and 2. It’s for me so there is no one waiting for me to deliver. Just the same, I have an event at the end of the month and I want to wear it on the occasion so I have determined this deadline is of high importance.  Now that all of my priorities are adjusted, I spend the entire day working on my project. It’s a good day, indeed.

A serious knitter will look at my pictures and say, “Ha! That’s not knitting, its crochet!” True, but I am not of the higher order of knitters who delegate the crochet hook to picking up dropped stitches and nothing else. I like both, and whatever gets the job done is the path I choose. In this case, crochet looked prettier on both sides than knitted circles. So let’s just get past that. I was inspired by a little scarf I had seen on Ravelry, called the Kaleidascope Cashmere Crochet Scarf by Sharon Sorken.  I’m not a flower girl so I knew I couldn’t make the scarf as shown, however, I rarely make anything the way it is presented. I decided something bright and geometric would better represent me. My knitting friends, Sara and Judy, helped me define my project and Sara helped me choose my yarn and colors.  Once I started making the circles, I quickly realized I had a lot of yarn endings to work into my circles, a lot of color changes to make and a composition to design. Sighhhh.  Not to be held back by a challenge, I decided I would just start making circles, and made about a dozen big and small ones. How are they going together? How do I make it lay flat? Why do I always do this? So many questions, but I like to behave as though I’m fearless, so onward I go. I thought this would be a little portable project, it’s not. I thought it would be pretty mindless and perfect for the car, it’s not. I thought it would be stunning, it is! With the details resolved, it has gone together effortlessly and quickly. It looks like a lot more work than it is. 

Because I have decided to take snow days, I think it will be ready for my event. I’m busy with paintings to frame, postcard distribution, catalog mailings, cookie baking and other various duties with deadlines but I have determined this scarf will be complete.  And because I’ve taken the random day off to work on my project, I’ve been able to stay grounded and calm in the midst of the nail biting, risk taking starting of a new business. My fingers are crossed that my business launch is a success, but no matter what, I intend to have my picture taken wearing this scarf.