Sunday, December 5, 2010


No, it is not a metaphor for Autism, I just like knitting. I have known the basics of knitting since I was very young. My grandparents owned a wool shop in England when they were alive. Their house was attached to the shop and I remember walking from the kitchen to the shop many times a day when we visited to walk around and browse all the yarn. Each visit I would passionately start some project and then drop it as I lost my focus. One summer when I was in high school (or was it early college?) I decided to try something more complicated than a stockingstitch or garter stitch scarf. My grandmother taught me to read a pattern for a basic cabled hat. It was a success and it drove me to try more things. I moved on to crochet and made a brown and blue blanket for my college bed. I didn't do any major projects for a while after college. After Maya was born I started to pick up knitting again. I heard an interview with Debbie Stoller (Stitch and Bitch books) and I tried a few of her projects with varying degrees of success. I ordered a book of baby knits because baby projects move a lot faster than projects for me. Below is my first attempt at something for Maya - a basic rollneck sweater. the neck it too wide but the rest worked well.

The second project for Maya looks ok but it isn't very practical. This green cardigan is way too stretchy because I just icked the wrong yarn for it.

I made a few things for myself that I like and one or two that I don't. I also made a beautiful Debbie Bliss sweater for Maya with pockets and everything but she doesn't like it because the neck it too high - sigh.
Now I am working on a striped cardigan for Maya . It is a Debbie Bliss pattern made with Cascade Pima cotton yarn . I started it a long time ago but I had to put it aside for a few months. After Maya was born I got a small patch of eczema on the middle finger of my right hand. It slowly spread over the next year and by the time I was pregnant this summer it was fully covering three fingers and spreading to the other hand. My skin was craking and bleeding pretty much every day and knitting really hurt. This sweater was supposed to be a Christmas present for Maya and a while ago I gave up on that idea. Then, out of the blue about 2 weeks ago, my hand eczema cleared up. I have no idea why. Pregnancy keeping down my immune system so auto immune issue are reduced? I stopped throwing up a few weeks ago and I can keep down my vitamins and DHA? WHo knows. But now I am furiously working on the sweater agsain. I don't know if I will make it! I have finished the body and I am a third of the way through a sleeve. I have to finish this sleeve, make the second one, sew it together and then make the button band and collar.

That photo is from early this summer before I put the project aside.
I don't really know why I like knitting. Making your own sweaters certainly doesn't save money. There is no guarantee that the lovely sweater being displayed on the pattern is what you will get in the end unless you are very good.
I have always like to make things - painting, photography, sewing, knitting, etc. I have nowhere to paint these days. Sewing isn't practical at the moment with the kids always around. I don't have a room where I can set up my machine easily and also keep tthe kids away from the needle. I recently had the machine fixed up and I am thinking about trying to use it after the kiddos go to sleep if I can keep my eyes open.
Knitting is actually a little easier for me to work on around them, especially in the summer. I work on circular needles and keep a ball of yarn in my pocket while and follow them around in the backyard.
People ask me if it is relaxing. Most of the time I would say no. I work on projects with fury, always thinking about finishing. It is the same way I read - finishing the book in 24 - 48 hours. I am also always thinking about what else I want to make. There is something though about the rhythm of the needles when I am sitting down in the evening. I like the feeling of getting a few rows done before bed. I often think about whether I am getting the same type of satifaction from the needles going in and out of the loops that Sam gets from tipping a cup or a book off the table 1,000times in a row. I guess the difference is that I have a vision of where my activity is leading. There is an end in sight, not just a sensation in the present.
My next project is a kimono sweater for Maya using another type of Cascade yarn. I tend to shop the sale items on
The pattern is this one:

Back to knitting if Sam can manage not to break anything for a few minutes : )

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