Two cabled baby sweaters

Adulting: how to & how to not

I have found myself living a bit of a dichotomous* lifestyle lately.

On one hand I feel a proper adult, waking (slightly) earlier than normal to have a bit of a stretch before work, making (wee bits of) progress with wedding plans, putting the recycling bin(s) out for collection (occasionally).

Adulting: I obtained a new career which sent me to Guatemala, and I traveled, alone, with only my knitting and Dragonriders of Pern to keep me company. My perennial airplane drink of choice is tomato juice. It goes great with dragons.

Look at those healthy food choices. If that is not adulting, I'm not sure what is.

Look at those healthy food choices. If that is not adulting, I’m not sure what is.

Not Adulting: remember this duo of two-at-a-time baby sweaters? Well. Those sweaters have sat, finished and forlorn, on my dining room table, for about a month. Ends weaved. Yarn snipped. Not yet blocked because…

Don’t mind the light. My best procrastinating happens at night.

…I made a terribly disappointing (and hilarious) miscalculation in sizing. To quote the bearded fellow, “Jeez, those sweaters are all arms.”

Stretch Armstrong ordered a baby sweater.

Stretch Armstrong ordered a baby sweater.

S’okay. You can laugh.

After walking by this lonely pair for a few days I decided that there was not much else to do but bite the bullet, take a deep breath, and…

honeycomb baby sweater

…make a third, completely different, thankfully proportional, sweater.

Makes sense. Seems logical. And yet, here I am, still stuck with two very lovely, very non-blocked, very non-proportional sweaters on my dining room table.

Before these cabled conundrums become permanent placemats, it would be best for me to contact the experts: you!

Tell me straight, can the sweaters be saved by blocking? Have you found yourself in a similar pickle in the past? Do you know of any babies with really, really long arms? Should I scrap the lot and take up golfing?

Any and all recommendations are welcome and warranted, with many thanks, of course.

*Not to be confused with hippopotamus.

Magic loop method two baby sweaters alpaca Eastport yarn

Knitting in Circles

It was laundry day, which, for me and the bearded fellow, meant a solid block of time spent at the local eco-laundromat. Clothes in the dryer, knitting in hand, I sat down to make some serious project progress.

I knew she was there before she started speaking.

Lady: (Appreciatively gazing). Ooh, what are you making?

Me: (Announcing, with far too much enthusiasm). Two baby sweaters!

Lady: (Now blankly staring). How…?

I looked down at my project. Continue reading

Because I Do Not Knit With My Toes

Or, Ode to an Ankle.

I am thankful that I do not knit with my toes.

Sprained Ankle
For, if I knit with my toes, I would be far more upset at myself for tearing a ligament.

If I knit with my toes.

Thankfully, I do not knit with my toes*. Therefore, thankfully, this injury has not stopped me from knitting wooly goodness on a snowy day.

Traditional knit wool mittens

These will eventually transform into mittens for the bearded fellow. Eventually.

Oh, the foot? Let’s just say that I will not be winning any fancy awards for my rather-enthusiastic-cross-country-ski-clad-gymnastics in the snow this past weekend.

I am forever grateful to the designer who decided that ski boots should be supportive, rigid, and tight enough to allow the wearer to cross-country ski for several miles, over hill and dale, without the slightest hint of injury.

Until the wearer takes the boot off, that is.

Libby Hill Forest Cross-Country Ski Trails, Gray, Maine

It was a rather spectacular day to be on the trails, unknowingly gimpy or not.

*If you knit with your toes, please do prepare your mailbox for the thousands of handcrafted high-fives that will soon arrive.

The Why to My Knitting

People are bound to ask me why I knit. And I am bound to answer.

It is fun! It passes the time! It gives me carpal tunnel!

They ask, I answer. Easy cheesy. And yet, sometimes, when I am frogging an entire row of tricky cables or painstakingly reviewing overly complicated Fair Isle charts, I begin to question myself, as if I am not so sure of the answer: why do I knit?

And then, as I begin that seemingly impossible lace section (for the third time), or block a sweater whose arms are two inches too short (I knew that would happen), I remind myself of the why: it is fun. It does pass the time. And, yes, it does give me carpal tunnel.

But it gives me something else, too. Something simple, and yet, not simple enough to explain. Something I get, a feeling, in exchange for the time, effort and (let’s be honest here) blood and tears, that I put in.

If you knit (crochet, stitch or felt), you get it, too (even if you cannot explain it either).

It is the image of the bearded fellow wrapped like a mummy with the second scarf I ever made him, topped with the first hat I designed myself, surrounded by hurricane force winds in the first blizzard of winter.

Blizzard Juno hits Portland Maine, and the bearded fellow is ready with warm woolen knits.

It is the smile of absolute elation on my brother’s face as he opens his Christmas gift, not expecting what the seemingly innocuous package had in store, and dons the fluffy dwarf beard with as much pride as I could have ever hoped for.

No hair will go unbraided on this viking dwarf helmet set.

It is learning how to crochet doilies, and then hearing from my grandmother for the first time that her mother, too, crocheted doilies.

Vintage handcrafted doilies from times gone by make their way into popular crafting today

Do you see what I mean?  There is a reason why I knit. A real reason, many reasons, in fact, why I knit. Why we all knit. Even if it is easier to feel than it is to describe, it is there.


First Snow Fingerless Mitts and Equinox Cowl

I recently finished a batch of my Equinox Cowls and First Snow Fingerless Mitts for PacaNaturals, so this morning I snapped some quick pictures for posterity.

Four colors of Equinox CowlWe had a cute snowstorm last night that sprinkled happy snowflakes on the ground, fitting for taking pictures of the fingerless mittens so aptly named First Snow.

First Snow Fingerless MittsAs I was taking these shots I noticed little snowflakes landing on the darker mittens.

Dark Brown First Snow Fingerless MittsSure, we have all seen pictures of what unique snowflakes look like up close, but I could not help but imagine what snowflakes with their own unique personalities would look like. When I imagine a happy snowflake, it looks something like this:

Up close view of a snowflake

Super stoked to be a snowflake.

First Snow Fingerless Mitts

Three Levels of Knitting

This morning, as I shuffled down the pathway to my office, I decided to take a moment to ponder what knitting projects I brought with me. Perhaps it was the early morning sun awakening my curiosity or the crisp breeze reminding me that winter is on its way.

In reality, it was because I was early for work and wanted to take a moment to verify that I brought enough projects to work on during lunch.

Wait. (Insert tire screech sound bite.) Enough projects? More than one project is required to fill a one hour lunch break, in which eating must also be a part? Yes. The answer is yes. I carry at least two, if not three, small projects in my knitting bag, each a different skill level, attention demand, and overall ease of knitting rating.

For example: Continue reading

Do you Believe in Magic (Loop)

Anyone else have the Lovin’ Spoonful song Do You Believe in Magic in their head now?

Back on track: we are here for this kind of magic: the magic loop. Have you heard of it? (You probably have.) I just heard about it last week. (I know! That rock I was living under was rather large.) Nine years. I have been knitting for nine years and have yet to knit anything tube-like using this magical loop method. That is, until now. Magic Loop Knit Fingerless Gloves Continue reading