Monday, January 28, 2008

Knitting Socks for a Good Friend . . .

I have a wonderful friend. She's smart, funny, accomplished, curious, generous, focused and we just enjoy letting one another be who we are. Can you believe she doesn't KNIT? And, she has a wool allergy.

I love to knit for people I love, and of course you know I love to knit socks, so I've wanted for quite a while to knit her some socks. Finally, I'm doing it. I'm using Panda Cotton from Crystal Palace Yarns in the Sable colorway, which she chose from the colors I had on hand. And I designed a motif specifically for her, deconstructing and recombining various stitch patterns I liked.

Here's a peek at the socks. I'm increasing the gussets, toe up, right now and hope to have these completed by Wednesday when she's here to have dinner with us.

Monday, January 07, 2008

My nifty homemade knitting bag . . .

Nifty and cheap, that is. Jules posted a comment to my last entry asking about the bag and the two strands of yarn feeding from the openings. Yes, I made it. I simply took a shopping bag (whatever size works for you best, this is one that works great for 2 socks at once on 2 circs) and applied two 1/4" grommets to the side.

If you are extremely ambitious and have two pairs of socks going at once, and your bag is large enough for the 4 balls of yarn, then put two more grommets on the other side of the bag. Three pairs at once? Put one additional grommet in each of the side gussets for a total of six holes.

This really works well to keep the yarns tangle-free, and also is a great place to pop the sock into when you are taking a break from them. The handles make it so portable and also serve as a means to hang them on a peg or the back of a chair.

Got to love those shopping bags, right? Just one more reason to get out there and shop, shop, shop. Good for the economy and good for your knitting!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Knitting Resolutions 2008, an unbridled year of knitting . . .

un·bri·dled [uhn-brahyd-ld] –adjective
1. not controlled or restrained: unbridled enthusiasm.
2. not fitted with a bridle.

Since I took up knitting seriously in early 2005, I've subjected myself to various imposed or self-imposed knitting deadlines, constraints, and requirements. None of which I've regretted and all of which I've enjoyed. Is there even such a thing as bad knitting time?

First, there was a sampler afghan which was part of a knitting Bible study. Then various other learning projects I did to teach myself different techniques. And then very soon, designing felted bags for Crystal Palace Yarns, and then launching my book planning, knitting, and publishing. Along they way there have been knitting exchanges, special projects for CPY, the always-present knitting for holiday gifts, and the many designs that come to mind in odd moments of the day.

I realized a few weeks ago, in the midst of another non-knitting-related mini-crisis, that there is very little in my life over which I have absolute control. Tag, knitting! In 2008, you're IT! I can control you when I can't control anything else around me. I need to control you. I need to make you more precious, more intimate, more mine. I need to possess you.

I resolve that 2008 will be the year in which I only knit when I want to, as much or as little as I want to, with what I want to, for whom I want to, and why I want to. Whew! All that being said, I realize it sounds so selfish! Yet, it also feels so liberating! It feels empowering. It feels new and somehow forbidden.

When I want to design a pattern, I'll do it. When I want to knit mindless washcloths, I'll do it. When I want to luxuriate in sock yarn and tiny, perfect stitches, I'll do it. When I want to do another book of collected patterns, I'll do it.

I promise myself not to feel guilty about saying 'no'. I promise myself not to feel guilty about saying 'yes'. I promise myself that I'll enjoy each and every stitch that slips past my fingers, whether fruitless or fruitful. I promise myself to enjoy the miles of yarn I've collected and to knit with abandon, with purpose or without, and with senses fully engaged in the moment when each stitch is birthed from left needle to right.

I promise myself to let creativity off the leash. I promise to try not to be afraid of that creative muse! I promise to embrace knitting as a function that is as involuntarily as breathing, knowing that each breath is a precious gift and so is each stitch, each garment, each swatch, each mistake.

Yes, I'm looking forward to 2008 and to what it brings. Will being unbridled be as productive as being bridled? Will it be more so? In the end, does it really matter?

Cheers! And may all your knitting this year be unbridled!