18 December 2010

Knitting Neglect, Part 17

I've barely knit a stitch since summer.

Losing complete interest in the activity due to a flurry of life. Or, I should say, temporarily lost.

Twenty ten has been an insane year. It has not been a bad year by any means--in fact, it's been one of the best years of my life--but it's been tough as hell. Last year was unimaginably awful by comparison: I lost my job after a year-long stretch of depression (which was really an outgrowth of a life informed by the illness), and my then-boyfriend was laid off from his job, suffered a nasty sports injury, and lost his step-sister to suicide. The lone bright spot in that entire horrific year was the birth of my niece Makenzie, who is slowly growing into a beautiful little redhead.

This year: I intentionally cut many poisonous people from my life, including kicking out my deadbeat roommate. I ended my last relationship when I realized that we no longer wanted the same things out of life, and by that I mean that I wanted to continue growing as a person and he didn't want a single thing to change, even for the better. (He turned out to be a childish prick in the end, something I didn't expect. That still stings a bit, but I've come to accept his willful absence from my life.) I quit a deadbeat job and made strides to redirect my career--I start graduate studies in nonprofit management next month, which makes me ecstatic. I started a film blog that I frequently update, which forces me to write almost everyday. I'm in a BAND. If you'd told me that I'd be writing songs and playing music with other people even six months ago, I would've laughed in your face to hide my longing and sense of personal failure. I've met many really cool people, several of whom are already becoming very close friends.

It's been a year of setting myself up for the future, of directing my own life, of choosing joy and curiosity and excitement over dead ends and ennui. Understandably, in all this madness a hobby that I picked up incidentally during one of the most depressed periods of my life fell by the wayside.

But I've started knitting again. What was inspired by a status update on Facebook in which I bitched about having no interest in it anymore turned into a burning desire to pick up needles again within days. It's interesting because the requirements for successfully knitting a beautiful piece--planning, aesthetic choices of yarn color, stitch pattern, etc., swatch knitting, seaming, blocking--are all techniques that have in a weird way seeped into my other creative outlets. Knitting has informed how I do virtually everything, which is something I took years to recognize. It's like I instinctively gravitated towards an activity through which I would teach myself the skills necessary and applicable to my life as an artist during a time that I was emotionally and psychologically unable to produce work. In that way, it saved my life.

Earlier this year I began work on a shawl for my grandmother for Christmas. She's 75 and the closest thing to a mother I've ever known. (She's even described me as the kid she got to raise the way she wanted to raise her other five children. I'm kinda her do-over, or reset button, as a parent.) I finished the vast majority of it in August and assumed I'd pick it back up in time for the holidays. Well, I'm leaving to visit family in five days and the thing is still in three pieces, awaiting grafting, edging, and blocking.

I hope I finish it before I leave. But I already have other projects swirling through my head, and I also want to finish all the projects that have been sitting in bags in my apartment for months.

That should explain why I haven't updated this blog in so long, but I hope to have more updates soon, with photos. Especially once I finish this shawl, which may be the crown jewel in my knitting cap, if I might horribly mix metaphors.

28 September 2009

I Finished Something!

Terrible photos, but I finally finished my first "real" project in ages, the Nimbus vest from Winter 2008/Spring 2009 Knitscene.

I started knitting the gauge swatches for this at the end of July, taking a month and three different swatches in order to make gauge. Persistence paid off in this case, resulting in what I feel is the first truly wearable piece I've ever knit.

Knit Picks Harmony Wood interchangeable needles are, by the way, worth every penny.

05 January 2009

No News...Good News?

I have not posted any updates because:
1) I haven't finished any projects in months. I made major progress on an incredible sweater, only to be suffering setbacks because the design--bottom-up, with front/back/sleeves attached and knit in the round to the yoke--is far more complicated than I expected. While contemplating frogging the sweater yet AGAIN and reconfiguring the pattern (and I am way worse at this math thing than I used to be), I'm suffering from second legwarmer syndrome. I've finished half of it, but I just can't seem to stay seated long enough to blow through the rest!
2) While my PC technically isn't dead, it's terminal. I broke down and invested in one of the new MacBooks (I'll use Vista over my dead body), which arrived a few days ago. Once I recharge my poor, abused digital camera and pray that it's compatible with a Mac, I'll be able to post photos!
3) I've been busy, or distracted--snuggling on the couch watching old movies and episodes of No Reservations, volunteer work (when I can), cooking and baking up a storm, attempting to read War and Peace, traveling to see my family over the holidays, adjusting to the new job and its responsibilities. I'm in full-scale hibernation mode, as even this winter fanatic's social life has taken a hit during this oddly brutal season.
4) My morning commute involves walking and standing, because my stop is too far south for me to find a seat. The plan is to eventually move further northwest (not because of my commute, but because rent is cheaper...but I've moved so many times in the last seven years that I will stay where I am for awhile), but until then I can only do post-5pm KIP.

Once I figure out what to do about the sweater from hell and finish that legwarmer, I'm at a loss. I'm suffering from acute project indecision. Perhaps something challenging, like Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts? I bought the yarn for this project ages ago, and I want to tackle something a little more complex, even considering my hatred of all things sized 0 (including DPNs). Twist and Shout from the last Knitty is also crying out to me, but I'm a bit sweatered out at this point.

Other plans for the new year include more exercise, more writing, maintaining better contact with loved ones (including you, Noelle!), and hopefully participating in the RPM Challenge, which is like National Novel Writing Month for music.

Anyway, happy new year, good tidings to all! I hope that 2009 is far more productive than 2008.

What are your plans for new knitting projects?

29 December 2008

Organic Wool?

Ever wonder just what makes wool organic? According to my Living Green calendar "the Organic Wool Network brings together suppliers who raise sheep without synthetic hormones or pesticides, on land that’s not overgrazed. The sheep must also receive organic feed and be under continuous organic management from the last third of pregnancy onward."

I recently had the extreme pleasure of knitting with Lorna's Laces Green Line DK which is organic wool. What an experience - I've never touched wool that felt so... not like wool! It was soft and luxurious. I made Hubby a pair of socks and he says they are so soft and comfy that he feels like someone is hugging his feet when he wears them. Awwwwww :-)

14 November 2008

Interweave Knits Winter Preview


I think this is the first issue of IK that makes me want to knit EVERYTHING. Well done, Eunny Jang and Co!

04 November 2008

Please, for the love of God, vote today...

...if you haven't already.

Don't just vote at the polls--vote with your dollars, your words, your actions, your knitting needles.

This PSA brought to you by the Disgruntled Knitters of America.

24 October 2008

KIP in Dear Abby

Someone else passed this item on to me. What do you know - KIP mentioned in Dear Abby!?!

Dear Abby:

"Curious in the Sunbelt” asked you if it was inconsiderate to knit or crochet while attending a meeting or other gathering. (You said it was.) While it may seem that someone can’t give undivided attention to a speaker while doing something with his/her hands, that person might have attention deficit disorder or be a “kinesthetic” learner. While most people absorb information through seeing and hearing, some actually need to keep their hands occupied in order to listen.

Literature on “multiple intelligences” and other learning theories support this view — and as a former classroom teacher and current psychotherapist, I have personal experience about this reality. As long as the individual is quiet and not terribly distracting, consider this behavior a better alternative than constant fidgeting.

— Jaelline Jaffe, Ph.D., Southern California

Dear Dr. Jaffe:

Thank you for your professional expertise regarding learning theories. I also heard from a pilot who knits while flying an airplane and a woman who pointed out that if knitting was good enough for Eleanor Roosevelt during United Nations Security Council meetings, it was good enough for her. Most readers agreed that if the individual is not disruptive to others, then what’s the harm? I stand corrected.