Posts for : December 2014

A Somewhat Tipsy But Nonetheless Heartfelt Year-End Tribute To Knitting 2

“It doesn’t seem coincidental that the language of knitting has a whiff of narcotics about it.”

That’s the first line of an article on knitting in the Dec 11th edition of the Irish Times. The whiff turns out to be needles and lines, which is only mildly funny, but I love the idea. I think it appeals to me because my experience of knitting and the ideas so many people have about knitting diverge so fundamentally.

It thrills me that science is finally catching on to the radical act that knitting is. I’ve posted about this before, but every time I see another story  in the news, I get excited. I think about all the people who might read the article and give knitting a try, and I think about what a wonderful place the world would be with more knitters in it. posted a great article this week about how knitting is able to physically change the brain and even the body. Knitting (and crafting more generally) can reduce stress, relieve depression, fight inflammation, and . . . (are you ready?) . . . “dampen internal chaos.” Pow! I want that!! Oh, wait! I have it! I have it every time I knit!! Hallelujah!

As I’ve said before and will say and say and say, knitters are some of the most amazing people on the planet. The Irish Times article with the great first line describes The Big Knit, a campaign in which knitters knit to raise money (over £1.5m, so far!) to fund services for older people in Ireland. Through this effort and so many others, knitters change the world. Charity knitting is one practical, visible, measurable effect of the good that knitting does.

Here’s my finished Adele’s Legacy sweater, which is making its way across the country as I type, soon to be worn by a child who needs a sweater. Adele and her successors have been putting a school’s worth of children in sweaters at least once a year since 2003.




And how about the knitters knitting sweaters for former battery farm hens? Nothing could make up for what we do to these animals, but this project is a tiny step in the right direction.

Just look at this list of groups knitting for charity, and this one, and this one. And just today I read the article, “Ukraine Keeps Army Going With Knitting.” Think about that: Ukraine Keeps Army Going With Knitting. !!!!!!

And in my own corner of the world this Christmas, I’ve knit my father a hat, my mother and aunt a cotton washcloth, my husband a funny little pair of house slippers. Knitting is love.







This Time of Year 0

Is it always this stressful in December, or is it just 2014? Or just me?

Work is crazy busy, daylight is brief, holiday-related expectations are high. I’m knitting, knitting, knitting, every spare second, and that helps keep the demons at bay, but wow—it’ hard to breathe sometimes.

This article on BuzzFeed, “51 Books That Prove Reading Can Change Your Life,” helps. I wonder why there’s such comfort in knowing that other people love the things we love? Knowing that other people besides me knit to stay sane is right up there with knitting itself in the essential things department, and it’s the same way with books. When I came across the results of this BuzzFeed poll, I felt a huge sense of satisfaction, and relief even, something along the lines of, “oh, thank goodness—there are more of us out there.” I certainly don’t need a web poll to tell me that books (or knitting!) can change your life, but solidarity is especially welcome this time of year.

So on to knitting . . . Here’s where I am with the Mystery Knit Along Shawl.

Clue 3 Row 46 ds

I’m up to Clue 4, Row 46. It’s very hard to tell much about the pattern from this picture, but it’s turning out to be pretty. I’m still enjoying the yarn. The color progression is keeping things interesting, and the cotton is a nice deviation from wool. I’m definitely a wool girl at heart, though. I love the sproing, which the cotton lacks entirely.

The Adele’s Legacy sweater is almost finished. I’m about half way down the second sleeve, and then I’ll just need to figure out what to do about blocking. I’ve been reading about blocking acrylic, and the advice online ranges all over the place. I’m considering just throwing it in the washing machine. We’ll see.

And since I’ve gone ahead and mentioned reading, I might as well tell you that my talisman against the dark right now is Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings. I’ve just started. It’s good.