When last I blogged, I was looking into a pattern for dog booties. I couldn’t quite find what I needed, so I made something up.
I gave the prototype to the owner who had requested the booties. She said it was perfect and asked for three more.
As it turns out, they weren’t so perfect. A few days after handing over the rest of the booties, I got a request to make four more–double in length with a drawstring at the top. Back to the drawing board!
In the meantime, my brother requested that I knit two of my Basketweave Hats for a friend’s mother who was looking for some handmade Christmas presents. I hopped right on the request and got two hats finished in two days. I’m a rather slow knitter, so that’s fast for me! Each hat took me about four hours to complete.
I should probably block these hats, but I never do. They seem to block out on their own as soon as the wearer adorns them.
With these requests lately, I haven’t had time to get any of my Christmas knitting accomplished. When should I panic?
You have to read that title as if you are Santa in Chris Van Allsburg’s The Polar Express, holding up that sleigh bell and presenting it to the little boy. If you didn’t, go back and try again.
Okay. So, I’ve done a bit of holiday knitting already (cup cozies for my mom to give her hair dresser), but this is the first project I’ve completed that I’ll be giving as a gift. I call it my Moonstone Cowl.
It’s a pattern of my own design (and I’m stretching the terms pattern and design here). I made one for myself last year out of Patons Lace Sequin in the Moonstone colorway. It’s simply 140 stitches cast on to 16 inch size 9 circular needles, joined in the round, and knitted for approximately 80 rounds. I used a size 10 1/2 needle to bind off. That’s all! It makes for a stretchy, ethereal cowl that can be doubled over or worn over the shoulders almost as a capelet. I’ll be giving this cowl to my mom. It’s knitted in Patons Lace Sequins in the Crystal colorway. This yarn is an Acrylic/Polyester/Mohair/Wool blend that is flecked with sequins.
It’s very soft and warm! I love how the sequins catch the light. I’ve used a similar yarn, sans the sequins, to knit a scarf on size 15 needles. This made for a lovely, airy scarf.
I have lots of gifts to knit, but a coworker has asked for some socks for her teeny dog. Any suggestions? I’m gonna see what I can come up with!
Before his dementia completely took over, Granddaddy asked me to knit him a red scarf. I took up the request immediately and would sometimes knit at his side. I remember one particular night when I sat and knit on the scarf at the kitchen table with Granddaddy. In the span of a couple of hours, he told and retold stories about his mother being such a wonderful homemaker. I relished every minute. When it was time for me to leave so that my grandfather could be assisted to bed, I packed up the scarf, gave him a hug, and told him I loved him. As I walked out of the door, I heard Granddaddy say, “She’s a good girl. She’s a good girl.” I hope I never forget how that made me feel.
I finished the basketweave scarf and presented it to Granddaddy. He loved it and wore it for several winters.
I lost my dear Granddaddy in 2013. The scarf came back to me. I wear it every now and then, but I always wear it on Veterans Day in memory of Granddaddy and his military service. Whenever I have it on, I can almost feel Granddaddy watching over me–like he’s giving me a hug or has his hand on my shoulder.
It’s amazing how knitting can teach us so many lessons on life. Take it one stitch at a time. Find the good in your mistakes. Persevere. This past week, knitting reminded me that sometimes you just have to let go and move on.
That cowl I was so fondly knitting in the park?
I had it stowed in my nightstand, and I failed to push the drawer completely shut. I literally left about a 4mm crack. That was enough for my sweet, little, wool fiend of a cat, Oliver, to snag it out and destroy it. For a moment, I held the project in my hands thinking I could salvage it, but no. I might have let the anger and frustration eat me up inside, but why? I had to accept what had happened and move on. That wouldn’t be the only time I’d be forced to accept things and move on this week, but I digress.
To bring a little cheer into these days, I got started on my Christmas projects. My Mom requested that I knit a couple of cup cozies for her hair dresser. I modified a pattern from Love of Knitting magazine and whipped these up in no time.
The original pattern calls for knitting them flat and sewing up the seam. I abhor sewing seams, so I knit these on DPN’s. There are a lot of simple, free patterns for cozies. This Coffee Cup Cozy from Knitting With Karma looks nice. Karin Michele’s Holiday Cup Cozies would be a quick knit that would also provide a bit of color work practice.
I want to knit lots of Christmas presents this year. Maybe a cowl for my Mom. Perhaps a scarf for my brother. My nephew loves knitted hats, and I owe my niece a blanket. I really want to make a Smitten by Julie Weisenberger for my husband (and me!). If I’m gonna finish in time, I just gotta keep on keeping on.
One of my favorite things to do is to take my knitting outdoors. I love throwing a blanket on the ground and knitting while listening to the wind blow through the trees. While engrossed in the process of creation, I feel more atune to the world around me. I’m keenly aware of the warmth of the sun and the cool of the shade dappled on my skin. Birdsong feels like company. Time seems to stop.
Today, I was able to spend some time in Mammoth Cave National Park. My husband and I took our time walking the half-mile nature trail at Turnhole Bend. We stopped often to take in the fall colors and enjoyed the calm serenity of the forest. And I knit.
I couldn’t ask for a better day.