Some days I’m so grateful that I’m a knitter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always grateful I’ve found a hobby that I love and that I’ve found something as delicious as knitting. Some days though I’m extra grateful. Today I got some unexpected waiting time due to different circumstances and that waiting time was also unexpectedly nerve wracking. Luckily I had my knitting, an interesting pattern that helped me take my mind of things and I feel grateful that knitting give me such pleasure and such calm that it’s something I can use to take my mind of things and help ease the most difficult of times. With a knitting in my hand I can relax, I can calm my nerves and it helps me make sense of my surroundings. I’m grateful it’s portable and light so that I can bring it everywhere, it’s always forgiving (except when it’s not) and always, always welcoming. It’s something completely familiar and it gives me a sense of coming home. There is a line in the movie Center Stage (one of my favorites by the way) where the ballet teacher tells one of the dancers that No matter what happened in class, performance, last week, five minutes ago… if you come back here… you’ll be home. The ballet teacher points at the barre but that quote can just as easily work with knitting too. When things are rough (or happy), you can always pick up your needles and knit a few rows and you will always, always feel better. That is truly something to be grateful of.
I don’t know about you but often when I see people knitting in TV shows (quite often it’s Miss Marple I watch) I wonder what they are making. Well, that is perhaps not the strangest question, I am myself a knitter after all, but that is the thing. I am a knitter and I can almost always tell what someone is making without asking by just looking at the work in progress (depending of course on the level of progress). If you are making a sock I can usually tell even before you’ve reached the heel on a top-down sock. If you are making a sweater I can tell by the amount of stitches. If you are making a shawl I know by the texture and the shape of your project. The cuff often tells me if it’s mittens you make and the circumference tells me if it’s a hat. With TV knitting though, I keep asking. Most often when someone is knitting in a TV show (Miss Marple has one (1) exception in all six seasons, where she’s saying that she’s making a sweater and her project could actually pass for a sweater. You will not see her knitting it though, she only holds it) they are making something in garter stitch that is about 6 inches (15 cm) wide and about 4 inches (10 cm) long. The yarn is most likely DK or heavier with an at least somewhat matching needle size. What is it, I wonder, that mysterious square? Are they all making scarves all the time? Miss Marple, for example, is an experienced knitter, she brings her knitting everywhere and picks it up where ever she can (much like I do and yet I have never had a knitting that looks like her’s) but she always seems to be making scarves (or washcloths). Sure, she can be a devoted scarf knitter but she has mentioned that she makes other things too, and it has been implied that she intends to knit a baby sweater.
The true reason behind all of it is most probably that the prop master was told to find a knitting and got the simplest ever, a knitting is a knitting, it should not be complicated and the audience need to be able to recognize it as knitting. Also, it has to be simple enough so that the actor can concentrate on her lines and the things that goes on in the scene instead of calculating the amount of stitches to pick up for the gusset on her lace sock (Miss Marple doesn’t knit very fast and doesn’t make many stitches in each scene). I understand all this but I still find it strange to see that garter stitch square. Again, what is it?
Tonight though I have made my own garter stitch square for the first time. It really looks like TV knitting but the difference is that by the time the scene ended - the scene being a book club meeting - I hade a finished slipper. From now on I will think that every garter stitch square made on TV will eventually become a slipper. That should, hopefully, ease my mind a bit the next time I come upon that TV square again.
Another busy day! Good busy, filled with great things, but still busy. I have at least managed to sew buttons onto two baby sweaters and delivered one of them. I have also gotten all material I need to wrap up the Christmas knitting which is really something. A few mitts, a shawl or two, a hat or so and I should be good to go. That’s doable, right? I mean, it’s not yet November. On the other hand, if my time will continue to be as limited as it has been, these few things might still be stretching it. But then again, it’s not yet November. Christmas is two months away. That’s, like, oceans of time, right? Right?
Underbara Clara, a Swedish blogger, recently wrote a post about how to keep your inspiration going. When you are a creative person and you do things where you need to keep the creativity flowing it can be hard to always have it ready when you need it. She has some very interesting thoughts on creativity and I agree with most of them. For me a new experience or new input, or a workout, often sets of a flow of creativity, but, as Clara writes in her blog post, it’s also important to rest. I completely agree, I need rest after a new experience so that I can take care of the creativity and inspiration that comes from that experience before I get new input and I think here we have the core of the knitting problem I’ve felt this fall.
This fall has been so full of new input and new experiences that I’m completely lost. I have rarely any knitting ideas, probably because I don’t have time to rest in between things. I’m so glad I found an explanation to the problem even though I’m fully aware the problem still exists despite me figuring it out. This explanation means that I at least know what to do about the problem even if it might be a while before I can do that. I need rest. I need to process my experiences and input and once I do that I’m sure I will get so many ideas on what to make. Till then I will stay with familiar projects that I know most often work out and I will try to concentrate on small Christmas gifts. I’m glad I figured this out, or rather, I’m glad and ever so greatful to Clara for helping me see what needs to be done and that there is actually an end to this madness.
Hello couch, did you miss me?
Somewhat unexpectedly I cast off my slipover today. I managed to get a lot done during a couple of meetings and in the evening there were only a few rows left and all of a sudden it was finished. I was sure I was going to knit on it for at least a few days more. Now I can block it on Saturday and hopefully by Sunday I can sew it together and start the neckband. I’m not really sure what to do now. I can start a new project but what shall I pick? A hat perhaps? This was a most pleasant surprise and I really needed one of those today. I hope your day was equally good!
This really isn’t my month. So much to do and my things hasn’t really gone my way. First I had a cold, then I hurt my knee and now I’ve gotten another cold. It’s no fun at all, I can’t do the things that I want and things that I have to do take twice as long. I have at least finished my pink socks and managed to block them so I guess that’s always something. One has to look at the bright side. I’m going to go hide under a blanket now.
Ah, vacation was such an easier time. No cares bigger than what the weather would be like and how many museums we would have time to visit. But now things are back to normal and I’ve spent the day catching up and preparing for the week to come, doing laundry, studying and so on. I’ve also tried to sort out the knitting. The beret from the trip is blocking and I realized I’ve used the wrong needles for the front of my slipover so I ripped it down to the cuff and will try to reknit it as soon as possible. My plan is to finish the pink socks tonight and for next week I hope to be able to attend to the things that I blocked earlier this week. So many knitting projects in different states of finished right now, I really need to take a day to just weave in ends, sew buttons and take pictures. Until then I will try to look the other way and continue to sort things out and finish the knitting part on my works and progress. It will be a busy week to come but I’ll try to take one day at a time. Luckily I can only knit on one thing at a time, it seems like all my projects require 5,5 mm needles and I can only find one set. At least I won’t risk having the wrong needles with me since all the projects require the same pair, that’s always something.
We’re back home again. We’ve switched palm trees, the Mediterranean sea and the Riviera to changing leaves and grey skies and everything that is everyday life. The three hours long plane ride helped make great progress to my second mitt and there are just a few rows left now. A hat and almost a full pair of mitts and the ocean, what a vacation. I’m spending the evening on the couch knitting and dreaming of breaking waves and wind ruffling the palm tree leaves.
It’s been another rainy day and we’ve taking it easy apart from a gym class this morning. Some shopping, some knitting. I actually got a lot more knitting time than expected and a fingerless mitt is almost done. The other will get some attention on the plane tomorrow. We watched the ocean and it was very dramatic and very blue. I might have to knit something in its homage. We definitely have to come back because there are still things to do and see and eat and much, much more. But for now, how about that mitt.
After a very rainy day where we spent quite some time at different art museums (we are in France after all), it was nice to sit down at a café and relax with some knitting and tea while our coats dried up a bit. As you can see it’s obviously necessary to match your knitting to the café decor and china. A few rows and a few sips and we were ready to move on. I really like that my way of relaxing can be brought in a purse and can be done anywhere, it would be much harder to do yoga in the middle of a museum or a coffee shop for example. It would be fun to try tough, I wonder how people would react?