On the needles and off

I have been knitting. In snatches of time, waiting for Kate or Bruce, listening to a lecture, watching Jon Stewart (my sanity-check during the election season), here and there, and in church. And, despite my crazy busyness, I have managed to finish things, almost without my noticing.

I did notice when I finished a pair of socks that are officially my favorite socks, which is funny as when I was in the midst of making them, I wasn’t sure they’d fit at all well (they do). Their information and photos can be found here: Edwardian boating socks. They are kind of a distant memory as I’m already working on another pair of socks (Rivendell socks), and am so deep into them that I’ve managed to finish one and am well into the second sock, again without too much awareness on my part as if my hands are just churning out knitting without my being terribly present for the process. Unimaginable to me six years ago, but I now wear more hand-knit socks than not. I was not a sock knitter and really didn’t see the value in knitting something someone would walk on and wear out rather quickly compared to a cardigan or an afghan, but now? Now I do. So yes, I’m a convert. I’m a sock knitter. I think I owe that to our move from NYC to Rochester and the almost immediate and happy coincidence of meeting an inveterate sock-knitter and all around terrific person named Peg, as well as her sock-knitting disciples.

I’m also a cardigan knitter. I finished Alys (above) a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t consider it finished-finished until I found some jewelry findings that are perfect as closures. The pattern suggested hooks and eyes, and after using the lovely silk/camel combo that is Nautilace to knit it, I simply could not use a plain hook and eye set to close it. So I shopped on Etsy and came up with this sterling silver set. I like the combination very much. The sleeves are three-quarter length, and the garment is very light. I will probably wear it in the spring and summer.

I’ve started Sprössling (above left), knit with Loft (all three photos are clickable and will take you to corresponding Ravelry pages with more information should you require it). I’m nearly done with the lacy back already. I think it will be a quick knit, and I am enjoying the work of it. Loft is lovely to work with and I am enjoying the color. After declaring my deep affection for Essential, it may strike you as odd that I’m churning out more cardigans, but the truth is I am a little worried about wearing out Essential too quickly, I wear it that often. Just this past week, in between finishing a paper and beginning to prepare for my next class, I repaired the fraying sleeve edges of one of my favorite pullover sweaters. It is an unpleasant task I’d rather not repeat too soon. And so I am trying to build up a rotation of cardigans so that none will be too overworked.

And when I am certain that I have 40 minutes or so to knit without putting my work down, I work two rows of Cerus, a scarf knit on the long edge. It takes about half an hour to 40 minutes to work two rows. And if I put it down in the middle I am in danger of forgetting which row I am on. I’m working it with two hand-dyed skeins, alternating skeins every two rows to keep the beautiful and varied colors from pooling and striping. The colorway is named for Tina Turner — the Tina Turner I know, that is, not the one of whom I know. So far, I have found these generous blocks of time about twice a month. Which makes for very slow progress. Maybe by Christmas it will be done?


About pattiblaine

Raised under the name of Snyder in the upstate NY town of Vestal, I've worked as a typesetter, a fast food salad bar tender, an art reviewer, a waitress, a part-time nanny, and a very-bad-with-phones temp. Once upon a time I was all-but-thesis toward a Masters in Art History. Now I'm just a mom with a lot of fiber squirreled away throughout the house. We call it insulation. In 2013 I completed a life-long learning program at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and am a postulant toward the diaconate in the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, NY. In addition to coordinating volunteers for the soup kitchen, I volunteer as a tutor at a deeply impoverished city elementary school, and am a docent at the Memorial Art Gallery.
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5 Responses to On the needles and off

  1. Sarah says:

    It is all so beautiful!

  2. Bridget says:

    Oh, Cerus, how I love you. And it took me *forever* (for a scarf). Of maybe it just felt like forever. And then a couple weeks later I took out the bind-off on MrJ’s and did it again, because the first one wasn’t stretchy enough. AND THEN I MADE A SECOND ONE FOR MYSELF, because clearly I am crazy. But I really do like linen stitch. One big problem I had is that it was hard to knit on the subway – my commute is just long enough that I always ended up having to stop in the middle of a row. FLAILFLAILFLAIL. I spent more than average amounts of time sitting on benches in subway stations finishing rows.

    • pattiblaine says:

      It’s taking me forever, too, Bridget! It’s amazing how much concentration it requires of me to be sure I’m slipping the stitch with the yarn in the correct place. Makes me feel like a thick-headed idiot more often than not. And I can imagine sitting on a subway station bench just to finish a row, too!

      • Bridget says:

        So many rips and pick-ups. Eventually I got really good at fixing the stitch by dropping down instead of ripping back across the row, but for the first week or so… sigh. So much sigh.

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