Archive for the 'Knitting Essays' Category

Does confidence come before a fall?

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I’m still chugging along on this blanket. When I was first working on this, I’d thought I’d do 3 blocks across by 4 blocks deep (a block being 4 mitered squares) and had thought that was only 36 miters… but my math was wrong – that would be 48 squares. Since I’m pretty happy with the current size of the blanket, I’m sticking with 36, but obviously, only 3 block by 3 blocks.

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I’m knitting this for a baby that is due on the 7th of September and I’ve only got 8 more blocks left.  Now, you should know that the mom said that she doesn’t think he’s going to wait until the 7th.  But 8 blocks isn’t that much.  After that, I’ll only have to seam them and knit the borders.  I’m feeling pretty confident about my ability to finish this.

In a previous post about this blanket, someone left a comment suggesting that I must want to add some blue to the blanket.  And while I’m appreciative of that person’s kidn suggestion, at the same time I don’t intend to add any blue to this blanket for two reasons:

  1. I chose a color them of greens and neutrals and adding blue to the mix would kinda mess that up.  And I haven’t done all this work for nothing.
  2. I’m a feminist and one of the issues that peeves me the most is gender stereotyping.  I’ve pretty much decided that unless it’s a special request, I’m probably not going to be knitting any pink or blue baby blankets.  *I tried to write a few sentences explaining myself here, but nothing I could come up that was adequate could be said succinctly – so I think that’s going to have to be another post.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep knitting this blanket. And I’ll be sure that I’m going to finish it in about a month, never mind that while I’ll be working on this, I’ll also be doing the following:

  • Moving 1/2 way across the country again (see the box in the top photo)
  • Unpacking an entire apartment’s worth of stuff
  • Ending my summer job
  • Completing about 2 weeks of intense training for my new job
  • Beginning my new job
  • Leading about 2 weeks of intense training for my RAs (by intense, I mean 12 hour day…)
  • Completing orientation and registering for graduate school
  • Beginning Graduate school
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Comfort.

I had a post planned and mostly written about a recent (ok, it was 3 weeks ago, whatever!) trip to the Gee’s Bend Quilt exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. But now, I want to take a new direction in my writing, especially because of a recent shake-up in my life.

Everyone has something in their lives that comfort them. I’m not talking about parents or significant others (which may come and go), I’m talking about material goods which bring comfort.

At the Gee’s Bend exhibit, this quilt just struck me. I loved it’s aestetic, like I loved all the others, but the story behind the quilt stopped me in my tracks.

Missouri Pettway, 1902-1981. Blocks and strips work-clothes quilt, 1942, cotton, corduroy, cotton sacking material, 90 x 69 inches. Missouri’s daughter Arlonzia describes the quilt: “It was when Daddy died. I was about seventeen, eighteen. He stayed sick about eight months and passed on. Mama say, ‘I going to take his work clothes, shape them into a quilt to remember him, and cover up under it for love.’ She take his old pants legs and shirttails, take all the clothes he had, just enough to make that quilt, ahd I helped her tore them up. Bottom of the pants is narrow, top is wide, and she had me to cutting the top part out and to shape them up in even strips.”

I don’t even know what to write in response to that. The kind of love behind such a quilt… I felt honored to stand before it. I imagined this woman “covering up under it for love” during thunderstorms, difficult life crisese and feeling her husband near her through it all.

Now, I’m trying to find the things in my life that bring me comfort, because I need it right now. The obvious answer is knitting, but 2/3 of the time I’ve been knitting was when I was with my ex-boyfriend (ex as of Saturday evening) and the associations are strong. I knit more in my life with him than I knit without him. He was the one to whom I modeled my fair isle socks in pride. He was the one who was my foot model when I was knitting my dad some socks.

Don’t interpret that as me not knitting. I am. I picked up the Log Cabin Blanket again because even as I’m still knitting it, even though it’s not quite finished, I’m cuddling up under it for love. I’ve knitted 3 1/2 more strips, and, in honor of the Gee’s Bend Exhibit and doing what I want to do, I’ve introduced a new color, as you can see in the photo below. I only have to do 10 more strips total to reach my goal, but I may just keep going until I run out of yarn.

Even though the association of the Gee’s Bend quilts are also strong to my ex-boyfriend (we went to exhibit together, at least physically), I’m getting lots of comfort from the fact that this project was one of my summer projects, one that I knit as I grieved the loss of my grandmother. And she’d tell me to keep knitting. Just keep knitting. And forget that silly boy.

If I’d wanted pooling, I’d have gone to school in Florida!

 

Oh, pooling, how I loathe thee.
Sometimes my loathe is my own doing-
Thus, a part of me will always love the subtle socketh of spirals.

Sometimes, pooling, oh ye cunning fool thee be.
Thy pool in subtlety – in thus such an accpetable manner that thine doesth thou continue in thine ugliness with high hope that thy situation will rectify. Alas, it does not.

But, oh, pooling, how I loathe thee.
when thy pooling is stiped of brights and dark….
Oh, mine eyes! Oh, why dosth thy continue?

Why must I continue knitting, watching thy situation worsen
for it worsens so with each round and round I go…

I long to frog thee, oh pooling sock of bright greens and blues.
I long to see thee as an impressionist work of art as this blue piece demonstrates so well,
Bits of color sprinkled here and there, all over thine footeth.

But alas, thy crazy flashing and pooling continues
Despite shaping of calf and a change of stitch count.
Thy ugliness mocketh me. Thy pooling only grows thin.
Thy do not stopeth.


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Stuff on the needles – to complete, sometime.

Christmas Gifts to Finish
Mom's Sweater (the body is done)

Socks in progress...
Grandma's Socks
Koigu Scruncher
Monkey
Raindrop Lace

Other
Lace Leaves Scarf from Scarf Style
The Behemoth Log Cabin
The Swallowtail Shawl
Stupid Ugly Mitten
Felted Clogs

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