Thursday, January 31, 2008

Can I knit a cocoon?

This week, my baby got her driver’s license. For her, a milestone in freedom and independence. And, as we remind her often, in responsibility. For me, the next step in the “mother journey” – the continual exercise of letting go.

I’m happy for her, really; and I’m proud of her ability and her new skills. But there is a place deep inside me that wants to knit her a cocoon to keep her safe – from other drivers, from herself – and, heck – from the whole world. I want to wrap her in something thick and soft that will shield her from any harm. Like woolly bubble wrap. But little butterfly that she is, I know she’d eventually find her way out. And that’s as it should be.

Perhaps what I really want is not to knit, but to unravel. If life were more like knitting, I could gently pull the yarn of time and go back – to hold the tiny baby she was (and will always be to me) and to be able to control so much more of life’s dangers. I could re-knit the same pattern, but omit some of the mistakes I made along the way.

Life is not a sweater, however. Her life is changing, and so is mine. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But if you see my baby out there, treat her carefully. She’s precious.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Franklin in Michigan!

The weather was snowy -- the driving was terrible.

But I was first in line in the Threadbear parking lot yesterday to meet Franklin Habit. Which was good, because I had a baby shower to attend and the line got long fast.
See, this is how I know I am officially middle-aged -- my biggest celebrity crush is on a knitter. Who, by the way, is delightful in person. He does a great job of making his photo subjects feel completely at ease. Which is a real gift.

I knit on the scarf for the 1,000 Knitters project.

I talked to Franklin.

I watched him work.
I got my picture taken with him.
I was smitten. I want to fix him up with my brother.

Then I went to my sister-in-law's baby shower for another dose of feeling old. I actually heard myself saying things like, "Wow, they didn't have those (insert name of coolest new baby gadget) when I was having babies." Oh my God, it's exactly what my mother used to say when I was pregnant.

There was a lively conversation about the value of disposable vs. cloth diapers. I suggested to the women on the cloth side of the debate that I think we should return to cloth diapers as soon as all women are also ready to return to torn rags for sanitary feminine products. Not so many takers on that idea. Ah well, it's tough to be cutting edge.

Laura looked beautiful.

And she loved the peapod sweater set. Now, I just have to deal with my daughter and her friends who want them knitted up in their sizes.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Peapod Finished!

I finished the peapod sweater and hat for my sister-in-law's baby shower tomorrow. I love the pattern, and I designed a pair of baby socks to go with. Leaves on the ribbing and a little leaf on the heel.
And tomorrow, before I go to the shower, I am going to Threadbear to see Franklin! Scott laughed a couple of weeks ago when I saw Franklin's post that he was coming to Lansing -- because I squealed like a middle-school girl with a crush. Who'd have thought knitting bloggers would make me swoon?

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to meeting him -- and I would LOVE to be part of 1,000 Knitters. But I'm not sure how that process works.

So, I may be late to the shower. But hey, I could get a chance to meet Dolores.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Where in the world?

You know, I've had statcounter on my blog for a while. And really, I was stunned to find out that anyone besides my sister was reading it.

But then, the other day, I realized that statcounter had a little map feature on it. So you can find out where your readers live.




From the map, it appears that you come from all over -- Berlin, Norway, France, Ireland, London, Cincinnati, British Columbia, Lima (Ohio), Brazil and other US cities too numerous to mention.


I'm feeling pressure to write better. To be more interesting. To lose more weight before I post another picture. (I'm at 43 pounds and counting -- although, over Christmas, the counting came to a screeching halt. Because Christmas cookies and eggnog make a screeching sound, right?)

So ... next blog post, we'll have POETRY!! (Because really, I know that's what you all want to read. Right? right?)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Feeling productive ...

The knitting part of my life feels productive lately. I've finished the Ice Queen -- I really loved knitting this, which surprised me, because the only time I knit with mohair in the past -- I have to be honest -- I loathed it. But the Rowan Kidsilk Haze is soft, silky, delightful. I'd make something with it again in a heart beat. I've gotten lots of compliments on this; the only thing I would change would be to make it a couple of inches longer. I chose not to switch to the smaller needle for the bind off because I really wanted a loose drape around my face, not something tight.

And Scott's Norwegian hat is also in the "FO" pile. He loved it. I was pretty pleased as well. The leftover yarn will now go to a pair of mittens for my son, who has very specifically requested what he wants in a mitten.

I'm also making great progress on the peapod sweater for my not-yet-born nephew, Joseph. I'm using Reynolds' Seasoft. It's nice, with a lot of bounce. And Kate Gilbert's pattern is completely adorable.

It is good that I am making progress with knitting, because I haven't spun since the last guild meeting, and the weaving is languishing on the loom. But I bought a book on rigid heddle weaving from my sister's bookstore, so I'll be studying that shortly. I feel like the little engine -- I think I can, I think I can.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


We woke up this morning to cold air blowing from the furnace vents. Scott is in the basement even as I type, trying to figure out what's wrong with the blasted thing. Meanwhile, let us give thanks for wool.

Yesterday was our monthly Spinner's Flock meeting. This is a great group, and I am thankful for the years of help they have given me (and many others) in learning to spin.

There was spinning and chatting --

shopping (so much fleece, so little time) --

and a happy gathering of fellow fiber addicts --

Not all of our members are, precisely speaking, human. This little guy provides some lovely angoraEspecially after his haircut --

I bought a few books about weaving, which serve to teach me that there is so much I do not know. Lessons are clearly in my future.

I am casting off the Ice Queen and am hoping to wear it this week. And I finished the Norwegian-patterned hat I designed for Scott.

Pictures will follow, but my fingers are getting too cold for the keyboard. I hear Scott on the phone with the furnace-repair guy, so I'm going to head out for practice driving with my daughter --- the car will be warm, and the adrenaline rush will keep me alert.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Old car, new life

The other day, we sold my 1999 Ford Escort. It was time for it to go to a new home, and I was glad to sell it, but it was bittersweet as well.

When I got divorced in 1998, this was my first major purchase. It was the first new car I'd had since 1982 and it became a sign of my independence. I really could do this alone-- raise two children, earn a living, go back to graduate school. Over time, I've bought other cars, gotten better jobs, married a wonderful man. My son drove the car through high school and half of college. It now sports a rock station window sticker that somewhat negated its "mom car" status.

It never broke down, never needed more than routine maintenance for more than 150,000 miles. And for me, it is a symbol of what I could do -- of strength I didn't know I had. In so many ways, that car never let me down.
In remembering the time of my life when I bought the car, I thought about other things I counted on. My family and friends -- there aren't words to express what they did for me.

And oddly, I also thought about knitting. I began knitting for my children in the midst of a marriage whose difficulties exceed description. I won't even try. But knitting became my distraction -- something close enough that a screamer couldn't come between me and it. It became a way to express love to my children and family, a place to focus my energy and anger. I knitted through some horrible times -- and in some ways, it was the knitting that kept my sanity intact.

Now, I knit for creative expression, for meditation, for the pleasure of yarn in my hands, and color and pattern before my eyes. Now, I knit for joy.

Happy New Year!