Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sticks and How they Support Me

I have a confession to make.
I've become addicted.
Maybe even more so this time.
I cannot seem to stop knitting, not counting the times when I am at work, eating or in the shower. I knit at home, while watching t.v, while waiting for stuff to download on the computer, between games while playing in the billiards league we belong to, while on the phone with my mother, and even squeezed in "one more row before work". I've even been in the bathroom and found myself thinking, 'I could have brought that hat in here and not been wasting all this time'. I haven't resorted to bathroom knitting yet, but it sure is tempting. When I'm not knitting, I'm thinking about it. Or knitting blogs. Or knitting needles. I picked up a pair of bamboo needles at a yarn outlet sale, and I'm still trying to figure out if I like them. I like the warmth, their silence and the earthiness of them, but they aren't as easy to knit with as my favourites. I inherited a pair of metal (aluminum?) needles from my Mom and I seem to knit fastest with those. They have points that, while not SHARP, can go into the back of a stitch without shredding the yarn. The bamboos seem to be a bit more tension difficult. But I'm sticking with it, just in case love comes late with these sticks that so many seem to like.

On those bamboo needles right now is a baby/toddler hat made with a Phentex baby yarn. Not sure of the exact colour name, but it is a light blue with a silver thread running through it. (I picked this up at the aforementioned yarn sale) I'm two rows past the ribbing, so it's still new, but I can tell you I LOVE this yarn! It's soft, looks great and I think it's got the potential to be talked about for some time. I have knitted a preemie hat in a Phentex mint green sport yarn, as well as a newborn hat in the same yarn. I have started a pair of booties, with only one being actually completed. I am knitting my Dad a scarf in grape-koolaid-purple, by request. On another set of needles is a multi-hued scarf for my Mom, fondly called the Crayola scarf around here. I made my youngest son very happy about a month ago when I made him a scarf in the colours of his coat. It was the first time I had tassled anything. A few friends and I have decided we're going to knit & crochet for charity, so we have a box started for a hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario that is looking for peemie and baby items, as well as a box for our local Out of the Cold program. I have more inspiration than fingers and time!

Remember the blogs I mentioned? I've recently discovered The Yarn Harlot. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is an obsessed knitter and author, and Canadian to boot! She has a blog that is intensely popular, and I think it's safe to say that she's a role model for a great many; if the comments to her blog and popularity of her books is anything to go by. Betty (the brave housemate and best friend) is bringing me home a few of the Harlot's books sometime today. Looking forward to that!

Well, the needles call, and so does breakfast!
Learn something new today!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Pathetic how much time flies by before I realize I haven't written anything here.
When I was much younger, my mother went through a back to the land phase, like many folks in the seventies. It was an interesting time, and one that made a huge impression on me. She taught me how to do many things. A few never quite stuck, and some I did for a while and let drop. Knitting and crocheting were a couple of those. Knitting was a craft I'd pick up in the winter when I had nothing else to do, so it was very much an on-again-off-again kind of thing. I have knit a sweater, and a pair of socks; neither of which I am proud of today, but they were learning experiences.
Lately though, it seems to have gripped me again, and this time is refusing to let go.
I have knit preemie hats and newborn hats. I have knit a bootie (whose mate will get finished), three scarves and swatches. I hear you non-knitters asking "What's a swatch?" It's a piece of knitting of no determined dimension (other than small) that allows one to get gauge and see if they like the stitch being used. For example, a basketweave stitch looks different in chunky yarn than in baby weight yarn. The drape is different and it feels different. I was thrilled to be able to offer my mother a swatch in a stitch she had not yet knitted, and in a yarn she wanted to see that I had gotten on sale.

Knitting is bringing me back to my mother. Back to the values she tried to teach me. I am knitting preemie things to send up north to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. I am knitting for the less fortunate here in my own town of Cambridge. I am knitting to learn, to share and so that I may do something productive for my neighbours. I can't change global warming, but I can make my fellow man a little warmer.