Knit Without Ceasing

Something Beautiful

Various knitters and their Carbeths, including my friend, the Rev. Stacey Simpson Duke, bottom left.

I follow a lot of knitters and yarn dyers and pattern creators on Instagram, and sometimes I will see a sweater in progress and click on a hashtag to see other knitters’ versions of the pattern. I enjoy investigating what kinds of yarn they are using and seeing the variations of colors. Often I navigate to Ravelry and look at the pattern, and I might even do the math on a yarn purchase, but I never actually make a sweater. I tell myself, knitting for others is more satisfying (it’s true I love to knit for others), or you know you prefer to knit socks because they are so portable (also true, they really are), and sweaters are *so* complicated (which, usually, is also the truth, but I know knitters who would gladly advise me), and there are more excuses available, but when I see my friends in their sweaters, I kind of wish I were among them, banging out a Carbeth or whatever the sweater of the moment might be. 

Here’s the truth that has mattered the most. What stops me from knitting one of these sweaters myself is seeing them on people who don’t look like me. The patterns may come in a range of sizes, but it’s hard to imagine what they would look like on me, since I am short and round.

This is the body I have.

And I wonder if knitting a sweater for the body I have might not be exactly the right project for what I am calling The Year of the Body? So I am going to go back to scrolling Instagram, but this year, I’m going to give it a try, and pick out a pattern and colors and yarn I love, ask for help if I need it, and make something beautiful for me. 

What are you going to do for yourself and your body in 2019?

#amwriting, Knit Without Ceasing, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo

2241 (NaNoWriMo bullet points + Knitting)

  • I’ve written 2241 words! 1063 this morning.
  • At that rate I’ll get to 50,000 on January 6, 2015. Ah, well.
  • Early morning is a great time for writing except for the fact that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and wake up with stiff hands. Adjustments may be required.
  • This morning I realized that if I want to write about a family, and that family lives in a house, I need to have a clearer sense of the floor plan of the house. I decided to save that research and contemplation for later, but it actually matters where and how these people live, so it can’t wait much longer if I am to have a hope of upping the daily word rate.
  • I’ll admit I didn’t write (or blog, for that matter, NaBloPoMo) yesterday. Sunday really needs to be a writing Sabbath for me, because by the time church is over, I don’t have much in the way of words.
  • Some of the most fun-sounding NaNoWriMo meetups in my area are on Sundays, which makes sense for people who work at other jobs Monday through Friday.
  • I did finish knitting a Christmas present. On an unrelated note, I have been knitting like a boss all through 2014, and some of my NaBloPoMo will likely be pictures and descriptions of Finished Objects.
  • This is my day off, and kathrynzj’s, too, but it’s more chore day than Sabbath. We’re blessed to have churches that don’t expect much, if anything, of us after worship, so although we start it late, the rest of Sunday really is Sabbath time around here.
  • This morning she found some unopened boxes, so they await me on the dining room table. We’ve only been here six weeks, and we are definitely still unpacking.

    Most recent (non Christmas present) finished object - I have been knitting baby blankets like mad this year.
    Most recent (non Christmas present) finished object – I have been knitting baby blankets like mad this year. More to come!
Knit Without Ceasing, Rheumatoid Arthritis

A pair of socks

Like so many other things in my life, knitting is compromised. I used to label these posts “Knit Without Ceasing” to indicate the time I spent knitting, but now it means something different. Every time I finish a knitting project, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Every scarf or shawl or pair of socks is a victory cry: RA did not take away my knitting!!!

This may not always be true, but for now, I’m still knitting. Not as much as I would like, but I am knitting.

eye of partridge heel

This is a plain old pair of socks, dolled up with an eye of partridge heel. I meant them for myself, and I am modeling them, but they really fit LP better (her foot is just a half-size larger.) So they are now hers.

The yarn is from Opal’s Harry Potter line, in the Lupin colorway. For fans, I think we see Tonks in the pink woven through with the werewolf grey. Click on the pictures for a closer view.

Next to go on the needles, a pair of socks for someone outside my household, as part of the Give Away Five Handmade Things Initiative of 2011.

I know I won’t be able to do these things at the rate of speed I would like. I can’t spend every evening knitting anymore. But if I pace myself, I can do enough to keep up my skills and keep my hand from getting stiff (or stiffer). I have several projects on various sizes of needles, and that seems to help.

All the Single Ladies, Knit Without Ceasing

Signs of life

Last year, in the midst of seeking a call and a considerable amount of personal turmoil, there were some parts of my life that I just dropped.

I didn’t knit.

I didn’t read much.

I stopped listening to podcasts.

I didn’t knit because the stress of life caused my RA to flare, and I just didn’t have the shoulder or the wrist for it. I think it was the first year in the past seven I didn’t give at least one person a knitted Christmas present.

I didn’t read much because it was hard to focus. I’ve been keeping track of the books I read on my blog for several years now, and I had an informal goal of 60 books for 2010. I didn’t even come close.

I stopped listening to podcasts, and that is provable by the way iTunes stopped getting new ones for me. I lost track of Fresh Air, and This American Life and the NPR Religion podcast. I didn’t have the detachment to laugh at Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. This meant I didn’t know much about what was going on in the world, since I relied on Fresh Air to tell me about the movies I don’t go to see and Wait, Wait to point to any news stories I might have missed. And This American Life? I turn to it for the comfort of knowing I’m less messed up than most people, and that didn’t seem very honest.

A little at a time, those things are coming back.

I’ve been knitting, and I’ve finished two projects in 2011!

I’ve read 15 books, which while not on the pace for 60, is encouraging.

The last holdout is podcast-listening, and I  don’t know if it will ever come back all the way, because I listened a lot while I was walking with Sam. With Hoagie I listen to music, and our walks are too short to listen to much of a podcast anyway.

But just today I thought, wow, I really miss Fresh Air. I wonder who Terri Gross talked to last week?

Like the hyacinths Hoagie stopped to sniff today — and he stops a lot, I need to tell you — these are signs of life.

Finished Objects 2011, Knit Without Ceasing, Physical Therapy, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Physical Therapy

Today I saw the physical therapist to get some help with range of motion issues in a couple of major joints that have been affected by rheumatoid arthritis. We talked about knitting, and how much I love it, and how I try to strike a balance between knitting enough to keep my hands flexible but not so much as to bother my shoulder. I've got to use, but not overuse, my joints. The same principle applies to all physical activity, and we're working together to figure out what will be therapeutic for me. Step one is a series of yoga-type stretches. Step two is using that elliptical machine we have upstairs. And step three is realizing that knitting counts as helpful, too. 

So the socks I finished tonight? Are physical therapy. And to keep myself knitting, I'm going to try and record my finished knitting here.

I've been a pretty big failure at that kind of record-keeping in the past. 

Finished Objects 2011 002 But who knows? This may be the year. It's just that you (and I) may have to settle for quick phone camera shots such as the one here. 

This is a pair of socks for #1 Son. The yarn never made it to the stash, I think I cast on as soon as I got the yarn home from the store. It's Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the colorway Marias Falls, which is deep blue with purple, warm brown, chocolate & dark green. It's meant to be used on big needles, for a bulky sock, but I ended up using size 1 needles and getting a dense, tight, soft sock. #1 Son tried on the first sock when he was here in October, and it's taken a ridiculous amount of time to get around to finishing the second one. These still need blocking, but at least they are off the needles!

I enjoyed working with the yarn, but the proof is in the wearing. 

I have three other projects on the needles (at least I hope it's only three), and my goal is to finish two of those before I pick up anything else. The third is a sweater for LP. I started it quite a while ago and need to assess whether it will still fit and suit her, probably more the latter than the former. 

Tomorrow I start the stretching…more on that when I have something to report.

 

Knit Without Ceasing, reverb10, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Make — #reverb10 day 6

December 6 – Make.

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

(Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I made a new stash house for my yarn.

I've been avidly collecting yarn for about six years now, after a long knitting hiatus. It's been in bags and plastic bins, mostly, and in a pretty basket given to me by the lovely people of First Parish Church in Freeport when I finished my interim ministry with them. 

Dresser 001 But the rearrangement of our lives left what was once my Daddy's large dresser without a user, and since LP really needed a bigger chest of drawers, we swapped one for the other, and I now have beautiful yarn storage in my bedroom. 

On top is a long ago attempt at a stole for Advent, made from yarn that stretched to a size far too long for this short preacher.

Which brings me to the last knitting project I completed, if memory serves. I made a stole for my advisee who was recently ordained, using a Noro sock yarn in a delicious array of dark purples, black and green. I believe it will not stretch to a ridiculous length. I hope I'm right. The pattern was a K3, P3, K3 just like the prayer shawls (as was the pattern for the stole on the dresser…). 

I have a several projects in progress: two pairs of socks, a shawlette and a sweater sadly laid aside last year when I couldn't manage sufficient knitting time due to rheumatoid arthritis complications, but it's a good thing, because I only knitted the body in the round from the waistband up and stopped before the armpits and LP is taller now, so when I do start again, it will be okay.  

Really, it will.

Church Life, Knit Without Ceasing, Ministry of the Meantime

A thing of beauty


DSC01920

I thought the announcements were over, and I was ready to move us on to the Introit, when a dear person stood up and said words kinder than I would dare to quote, and three women came forward and presented me with this stole.

Many hands made it, many clever and loving hands. 

(They included knitting!!!!) 

One of the sad things about doing interim ministry is saying goodbye so often. But one of the sweet things is that since you're leaving, people tell you, or show you, how they feel about you.

I have a month to go at Y1P, but since it's summer and some of the hands involved will be out of town, I go this gift in plenty of time to say thank you more than once.

Which I am already doing.

I hear it looked great in the pulpit!

Thank you, thank you, to all who took part in creating it. I will wear it with fond memories of my time among you.

Here's a close-up of a pair of flowers:

DSC01918