Musings

A Sweater for Me

A Sweater for Me

For all the time I spend making things, very little ever gets made (or mended) for me.  I may sew for a living, but my wardrobe is riddled with holes, frayed cuffs, and is frequently held together with safety pins.  In what was quite a departure for me, as well as an excercise in discipline, I decided to both knit down my stash and be the beneficiary of the enterprise.

My sweater is off the needles, though yet to be blocked— and it needs it.  It is something of a bastardization of the beautiful Hiro pattern.  I used inappropriate yarn, lengthened the cuffs and added thumb holes, widened the collar, eliminated any waist shaping.  I still plan on adding pockets, but I haven’t decided where  or what style yet.  I made it ridiculously large to wear cross country skiing over leggings finished just in time for — ummm— spring.

I'm a big fan of thumb holes.

Let there be Mud!

Let there be Mud!

Yes.  Spring has finally graced our little corner of the world.  It seems overnight we’ve gone from snowblowers and parkas to throwing all the windows open and ferrying ladybugs out to safety.  Thick winter boots have been traded in for muck lucks to traverse wide swathes of mud.  And who could stay holed up in the studio when the landscape is finally inviting you to be part of it again.  Certainly not me and my ever faithful crew.  The front stoop become the official hookery of the day.

Bee for a Cause

Bee for a Cause

The next Bee in the Barn at Todd Farm will be a very special gathering.  Sewing bees have a long history of community gatherings for a common cause and in that spirit our next bee on March 19th will also serve as a collection site for handcrafting materials, tools, and supplies to donate to Syrian refugees.  

A Golden Rule

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
― Elie Wiesel

And let’s not forget the animals, our planet, our communities.

Remember When

Scrolling through my drafts, I found this piece from over a year ago that never got published.  I’m not sure why.  But for some reason reading it today gave me great comfort.  My now dearly departed Zoey lived six months past the writing of this, surprising us all with determination to live on and love well past her expiration date.

zoeyatthepoint
Sweet Zoey lived to be 16. Even though we only knew her for the last three years of her life, we feel the lucky ones for having had her.

 

maggieonourbeach
Sweet Maggie died just 12 weeks before her older sister Zoey. At 14, we had fooled ourselves into thinking we’d have her longer.

January 2016

The New Year is always a time of taking stock, regrouping, making plans. This year is more poignant than most. We have numerous life transitions going on, but the most important may be that our 16 year old dog is phasing out. She came to us as a 13 yr old whom we thought we’d have a couple of months, at best. Almost three years later, she is our shadow, our hipbone, our much loved and constant companion. And now she is dying.

We first realized how her ailments were outpacing her in early November. We didn’t expect to have her for Thanksgiving. Her appetite waned (usually the kiss of death for a lab!). She slept longer and deeper. We were preparing ourselves.

I thought we’d be burying Zoey at Christmas, then again after she got to see her favorite people, then New Year’s. She eats sporadically. I’d do anything to help her, but she confuses me. She is skinny as sin, refuses to take any of her medications, but she is the first dog to meet me at the door with wagging tail, loves to go for her walk (aka put-put), can’t wait for a car ride, dozes peacefully touching one of us—tucked on top of my foot, curled into the the crux of Dave’s arm. We swaddle her in love and sweaters. Gauging her happiness and comfort is a minute by minute task. We wish she could talk to us.

Our life is moving in big, bold new directions. It saddens us that Zoey won’t be on that journey with us. But what she has brought to our lives, and (we hope) we have brought to hers, is an immeasurable gift. In the meantime, we are gathering the strength to help Zoey with the best path for her final days, stunned with the knowledge that her only goal seems to be to let us know how much she loves us.

The Chunky Alpaca Cabled Afghan Knitting Pattern

The Chunky Alpaca Cabled Afghan Knitting Pattern

The sounds of my home waking up in winter are quite different than the warmer seasons when the windows and doors are thrown wide open and we are roused by the birds and the wind.  In the colder months, we are closed up and tucked in, insulated from nature’s alarms.  When I wake before light to start my day, our winter home offers the comforting morning sonata of the gurgling coffee pot, the furnace kicking in followed by the soft whir of the blower, and the gentle snores of my dogs (and sometimes husband) as they all linger in dream land.  It is this winter soundscape that will always be audible memory of writing this pattern.  Up before the rest of my household, my knitting would expand with the growing light.

Chunky Chocolate Alpaca Afghan

As winter projects go, there is none better than this alpaca throw.  Steaming cup of coffee beside me, I’d work tucked beneath the warmth of my work in progress watching the sun burn the mist off the field outside my window.  Core spun alpaca is a sensory joy too work with and it’s working weight would gently nudge my sleepy muscles to wakefulness.  Finishing up at over 6 lbs, this throw is a physical project with big broad movements as undulating cables are manipulated and the throw is rotated from row to row.  Back and forth.  The greatest pleasure may be rewards of seeing such a large project work up so quickly.  Knit on size 50 needles, progress is swift.  Cast on today and you will be snugly tucked in beneath your completed blanket in no time.

cream alpaca afghan in progress

The Chunky Alpaca Cabled Afghan is available as an instant download in my shop.  Happy Knitting!

Ombre Chunky Cabled Afghan