Treading So Lightly

I have been treading very lightly recently. The sudden and very recent lost of my mother should have caused the sudden shift in reality. But it has not. I’m still me and that seems strange.

I’ve been waiting for grief to come. I prepared myself with days off and lots of ice cream, but nothing. I have given myself complete permission to cry, but the tears won’t come. What gives? I see the rest of my family in deep and obvious mourning and yet I feel completely. . . normal. Am I too much in shock? Has my mind just not been able to process what has happened? Or, as my siblings would say, I’m wired differently? I have only ever cried at one funeral and that was the one for my son.  But I wasn’t crying over just the lost of my son. It was the accumulation of all my losses that caused me to cry. The loss of a natural childbirth, the loss of my liver, the loss of good health, the loss of my ability to ever have kids, the loss of my husband being able to pass on his family name, the loss of a grandchild for my mom and in-laws, the loss of what use to be my life.

Then it occurred to me why I haven’t mourned the way I thought I would or should. After my son died, the first thing I thought of was to finish knitting the sweater I was making for him before I got sick. Why would I make a sweater for a child already gone and buried? Because I had to. It was my way of grieve. In each stitch I held on to his memory and also I learned to let him go. It was a strange thing to do, but for me it felt perfectly normal and right. I finished the sweater for him and I have kept it with me.

A day after my mom passed away, I went to Hobby Lobby and bought yarn. I didn’t need any. I didn’t even know why on Earth I had even stopped at the store. I’m guessing I just needed some place that felt safe and quite where I could wander around and just be with my own thoughts. I saw the yarn, felt it and grabbed for skeins of it. It was soft and I wanted it- those were my only reasons for buying it. I came home with the yarn having no clue what to do with it. I didn’t even look to see what yarn it was until I got home. Diva Sequin yarn. I searched Ravelry trying to find a pattern to use the yarn, but nothing looked appealing to me. I looked at my bookcase crammed with knitting books and magazines. What was the use of having all that stuff if I never used a damn pattern out any of it? Shuffling through Vogue Knitting and Knitter’s Magazine I stumbled upon a book that I bought months ago. The Prayer Shawl Companion looked up at me from its space tucked between magazines. I flipped through its pages and fell in love with the Sabbath Shawl. I don’t do lace and had never done anything that complicated before, but I couldn’t take my eyes of the pattern. Why had I never noticed this pattern before. “Because I never needed it until now”, said a voice in my head. I started on the shawl that night.

Each day now I work on the shawl. I find that I feel lost if I go too long without putting in a few stitches. I need this shawl to be made. It is comforting to knit. It’s soft texture and colors are soothing. It is pretty to look at. This shawl has become my way of grieving. With each stitch I remember my mother and I let her go. Her memorial service will be this weekend. Will I be able to cry then? I don’t know. But I will know that tucked in my bag will be my knitting needles and this shawl.

 

My shawl of remembering and letting go.

My shawl of remembering and letting go.

3KCBWDAY1- Color Me Bad

I’m the conservative type. Upon first meeting me most people get the impression that I’m more in line with the ascetics of Martha Stewart and Michael Kors. Yet, my knitting tells a completely different story. Behind the cover of my needles, I go from mild-mannered middle class young lady to a gothic she-devil! My knitting, unlike my life, leans heavily towards the dark side. Why settle for bubble gum pink and bright mints when I can knit with blood reds and deep plums? My own stash reflects my suppressed dark side with a color palate of  smokey greys to asphalt blacks.

Bright color knitting is this summer's must-see. . . .

 

This dark nature may have something to do with the fact that I’ve always been too chicken shit to go against the grain in my own fashions. I would see the Emo, Vampire and Goth kids at school and always envied their self-expression. I was always the good little girl wishing so hard to break out and be bad!

. . . but its the dark side of knitting that excites me!

 

So, my knitting has become my way of channeling my inner wild child. While other knitters are surrounding themselves with the bright cheerful colors of Spring and Summer, give me the secrets of the night and let my knitting color me bad.

Happy (Knitting) Holidays

I wanted to take this time to thank all of you for your humor, friendship and support this past year. This blog is such a blast and I hope that next year will be even better.

Whatever holidays you celebrate this season, please enjoy yourselves and make sure to at least do one thing that would make your mom blush. (You get extra points if you do something that would make your mom dis-own you for at least 24 hours.)

With the new year comes a list of new excuses to buy more yarn and knit more items. Have fun with the after-Christmas sales, but don’t go too crazy on wools. Remember, summer is just around the corner, so make sure to stock up on some cotton too.

I’ll be busy with my own family traditions this next couple of weeks. I also have the job of keeping my Boy Toy from going overboard with the Christmas cookies and spiced wine.

So, I am wishing all of you fun-filled holidays along with a new year full of yarn and enough time to knit everything  your heart desires. See you all in 2012!!!!

A Knitter Is Thankful

I am thankful for:

The many balls of yarn that own me.

The store containers that Costco sales for me to hide my stash.

Bamboo knitting needles

Shiny crochet hooks

Patterns that actually knit up into a garment that looks like the picture.

A husband who loves me enough to still wear the ugly sweater I knitted for him while we were dating.

Mink and cashmere blend yarn

Sheep

Sock knitters

Every person picking up a pair of needles or crochet hook for the first time

My blog

Red Heart

Stitch markers

Yarn sales

Sanguine Gryphon for giving me my big break.

Ravelry.com

Men and women who knitted because they had to, so that now I can knit because I want to.

My wonderously creative hands

2×2 rib stitch

Babies that need knitted stuff

Family and friends that I deeply love and who are not ashamed to  loves this crazy knitter.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Even Princesses Knit

So, Iw as in the grocery store the other day and stopped by my favorite part of the store- the magazine section. The adult in me wanted to look at Time magazine and Newsweek, but the kid in me reached for the Disney Princess magazine instead.

As I flipped through the brightly colored pages of games and crafts, I came upon a page that made me smile. It was a page with a simple game of cats playing with balls of yarn. The goal is to find which ball of yarn is the one that’s attached to the scarf that Cinderella is knitting!

Cinderella Knitting Her Bit

That’s right, the princess that can scrub floors just as well as she can sweep a prince off his feet also knows a thing or two about wielding needles and yarn. This picture was just too cute not to share.

Now the question is, who do you think will be the lucky recipient of Cinderella’s scarf?

(Hey, did you notice the crown tips on those knitting needles? I bet their real gold too. Now that’s what I call royal knitting!)

 

Yarn Molester

Scene: In the yarn section of a major craft store.

Boy Toy and Liver Chick are checking out the yarn selection. Liver Chick reaches out for a skein of yarn and holds it in her hand.

Boy Toy: What are you doing?

Liver Chick: Looking at this yarn to see if I want to buy it.

Boy Toy: No, I mean, what are you doing with your fingers?

Liver Chick: What? I’m just touching it.

Boy Toy: No, that is not what you’re doing. You’re fingering the yarn.

Liver Chick: I’m not fingering the yarn.

Boy Toy: Yes you are. You just grabbed the yarn and then stuck your fingers in the little side holes.

Liver Chick: I’m just feeling how soft it is.

Boy Toy: It does not take sticking your finger in the hole to find out how soft the yarn is.

Liver Chick: Well, that’s just how I do it.

Boy Toy: Stop moving your fingers in and out of the yarn like that. People will think you’re some sort of yarn pervert or something.

Liver Chick: I’m not a yarn…

Boy Toy: That’s what you are aren’t you? You’re a yarn molester. You come inside stores and molest poor innocent yarns.

Liver Chick: No, I do not molest yarn. I just like to touch them.

Boy Toy: Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

Liver Chick: Whatever.

Boy Toy: Don’t ‘whatever’ me. I’m not the one that’s going to get YPS called on me.

Liver Chick: YPS?

Boy Toy: Yarn Protective Services. You keep molesting yarn like that you’re going to get caught. And then you’ll be labeled as a yarn predator and we’ll have to move and change our names.

Liver Chick: But what if I buy the yarn and take it home and molest it?

Boy Toy: Then you’re just paying for services. So the truth comes out now. All this time while I’ve been hard at work you’ve been cruising down yarn aisles looking for yarn one-night stands and knitting quickies. Is this what our marriage has come to? You having affairs with yarn behind my back?

Liver Chick: Yes. And I’ve also been sneaking around and seeing cross stitch and bobbin lace on the side as well. What can I say, I’m a fiber nympho.

Boy Toy: I don’t even know you anymore.

Liver Chick: I must say, I’m impressed over how you managed to turn my knitting into sex.

Boy Toy: It’s a gift.

Liver Chick: Well, if you remember, we’re here shopping for yarn for the hat you wanted me to knit you.

Boy Toy: I already got the yarn. Its in the cart and I didn’t have to finger it to find the one I like.

Liver Chick: Well good. You can go pay for everything. If you need me, I’ll be in the other aisle fondling stiff thick rods in the knitting needle and crochet hook section.

Boy Toy: Pervert.

Liver Chick: Yes, and that‘s why you married me.

Little Red, Where Are You?

So, remember that red mohair yarn I talked about making into socks awhile back? Well, I did start knitting socks with them, (which knitted up gorgously by the way), but in the process of working on the leg portion I got struck with another idea to turn them into a pair of leg warmers. Well, it so happened that a couple of knitting opportunities have arise and my leg warmers seem like a perfect fit for one of them. So my once mohair socks are now  a swatch with sketch design for leg warmers, currently on their way to being considered for a magazine. Crossing my fingers. Wish me luck.

As The Web Spins

Spider webs everywhere and not a spindle in sight

 I am seriously considering spinning spider webs into yarn. This year, due  mainly to the strnage weather we’ve been having, there is an unexpectedly high number of spiders in the area. I spray spiders and sweep down their webs only to find twice as many webs up the next day.

My hubby thinks I should look into training the spiders to spin yarn and open my own yarn shop to sell the ‘specialty’ skeins. I could name the store, “Charlotte’s Web”.

Besides the obvious copyright name infringement, I may have a problem with spiders working for me. As keeping a room full of spiders with no legal paperwork and no health benefits, I may be accused of running a sweat shop. Then there is social security, workmen’s comp as well as paying into unemployment should I have to let a spider go. And heaven forbid if they gather together and form their own labor union.

As nice as it would be to provide such a wonderful specialty yarn to my fellow knitters, I’m afraid the overhead and legal issues would be just too much to handle. Instead, I will just continue to spray and sweep. However, if I should wake up one morning to find a skein of freshly spun spider webs at my front door, I would be open to negotiations.

 

Knitter’s Proverbs and Sayings

We’ve all heard them. Those classic proverbs and sayings like, ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’. Well, I wondered how some of these saying would go if it was a knitter who first spoke them. Below are some classic sayings reworked in a way I’m sure all knitters will understand.

If at first you don’t succeed. . . hide the evidence in the back of the closet and pretend like you never knitted it.

The early bird. . . gets the last 3 skeins of discontinued yarn on Jimmybeanswool.com

Early to bed. . . early to VooDoo Donuts before Sock Summit.

A penny saved. . .means you’re one cent closer to getting that Cashmere/Mink blend you’ve been drooling over.

You can’t party with the sinners and . . . not learn the effects of drunk knitting the next day.

If the shoe fits. . . buy it and knit a pair of socks to go with it.

You only live once. . . so buy the yarn now. You may not be around for the sale.

Beauty is in the eye. . . of the knitter who just spent a month knitting that sweater for you. So put it on and say thank you or you’ll never get another birthday gift from them- EVER!

A fool and his money. . . will soon find his house taken over by his wife’s ever growing yarn stash.

Better to have loved and lost. . . then to have wasted good yarn knitting him a sweater.

All roads lead. . . to a great little yarn shop.

Curiosity killed the cat. . . and yarn was spun with the fur off his back!

What does not kill you. . .only makes your kitchener stitch even stronger.

Time heals all. . . remaining guilt from your last yarn shopping spree.

Nothing last forever. . . except Red Heart Super Saver Yarn.

A wise man knows. . . to give his wife the credit card and don’t ask questions.

If you can’t say something nice. . . stitch it in duplicate stitch.

You’re nobody. . . ’till you’ve got a fan group on Ravelry.

Behind every great man. . . is a happy knitter.

Money can’t buy you love . . . but it can buy a Starbucks frappuccino and several skeins of alpaca yarn.

What goes up. . . can usually be fixed by adding a three-inch knitted border to the hem. 

If  life is a highway. . . make sure to pack plenty of yarn for the journey.

When life bring you lemons. . . add vodka and sip while knitting.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. . . just use bigger needles next time.

Lovers come and go. . . but good knitting needles last forever.

When faced with a fork in the road, I take the road. . . that has the most yarn shops.

To thine own self be true. . . and let your knitting tell little white lies!