Sunset Highway

For years and years, I’ve been knitting and avoiding color work.

Several yearns ago, I made a pair of snowflake mittens and I had caught the bug. I liked the smaller, more manageable projects, though. I admired other’s beautiful sweaters, socks, vests, blankets, etc. but there was no way that I was going to attempt a bigger project, say than a hat!

Well, then my friend and co-worker, Peggy suggested that we both knit Sunset Highway by Caitlin Hunter. Fingering weight yarn and a color work sweater for me?!?! Yeah, maybe not. Or maybe so. We started playing with yarn choices one slow afternoon at the shop and before I knew it, I’d bought some new On the Round yarn because nothing that I had in my stash would work. (Right!?)

Iteration 1 – I started with the smaller needle size, knitted up the ribbing and began the color work with the first choice of yarns. I had chosen a burgundy solid and a tonal “gold” and I didn’t like it. The fabric was too tight (and I thought it would be too small.) So, I put it away in a project bag for a few months and let it sit.

Iteration 2 – I frogged the first iteration because I didn’t like the colors and returned the yarns that I hadn’t used and bought the On the Round yarn in the Eclipse colorway. (Note … my stash has already grown by two skeins!) I was still going to use the gold … until I didn’t like them together and bought a second skein of On the Round in the Always a Bridesmaid colorway. I had a skein of Wicked with most of it left over from a baby gift that I had to make … but I didn’t really love the green at that time so I went back to my stash and found a skein of burgundy-ish that I did like. (Stash addition down to one skein.) Forging ahead! By the time I got past the colorwork chart and on to the main color, I wasn’t loving the Rebel colorway that I had chosen but I forged ahead again. I really love the yarn and although the colorway is busier than I would probably have chosen had I known ahead what it knitted up like, I still like it. Until I hit the second skein which was quite a bit different. Rip back and start over or keep going? I kept going.

Tonight I reached the bottom of the body of the sweater. There is a “line” that I can see where the skeins changed. I wish I had thought to start with the two skeins that were the same and leave the third skein for the sleeves but I didn’t. So, I am going to finish it and I think I will like it. If I don’t, I can always frog is later and start over! 🙂

One of the things I love about knitting is that it is not finite. It’s fluid. It can always be changed – frogged, re-knit, changed. I’ve learned a lot about acceptance from knitting. Accepting those imperfections, even loving them. Learning all the way.

I’m learning. Gone knitting!

We’re Growing! It’s a … ?

In late December I will become an aunt again. My younger brother (my nearly-Irish-twin brother, sixteen months my junior brother) and his wife are having a baby! Their first.

The last time one of my brothers’ had a new baby, it was my youngest brother who has not quite hit the big 5-0 yet … and his youngest is into the double digits!

My brother and sister-in-law have waited a long time for this baby (relative to their chronological ages) and it’s going to be a great occasion when he/she is born.

So what does that mean for our family?

Joy! Growth. Gratitude. A reminder of what is really important!

While we have had our relationship ups and downs, we’re all “older” enough that we realize how lucky we are to have each other. We all have friends who have lost family members. We have all lost our parents. We cherish every minute together and we make time to be together. As you may remember, we’ve added a new brother and sister and their respective families into the fold in early 2009 and we’re still reveling in that new addition. We’ve added two great-nephews, too. And now, again, we’re growing!

Family means the world to me. In a perfect world (at least in MY perfect world), we’d all live within a short walk of each other. But the world is far from perfect and we’re spread all over the map (U.S. map, anyway!) California, Louisiana, Arizona, Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Florida … none particularly close to the other but today we’re closer than ever. Because I’ve not been working for someone else, I’ve been privileged to travel to each of my brothers’ homes and to my children’s’ homes, too, in the last year. Last summer all the brothers and their wives and some of the kids and one of my kids and their dogs all took part in the Messalonskee “Camp Smedley” R&R week. 13 people, 8 dogs. And we hardly ever left the campus!

This new baby will join aunts, uncles, cousins, fur-family, grandparents … a couple of generations of family who love him or her already. Just because his/her parents love each other and because we all love them. That’s what family is about, isn’t it? Loving each other as we are and holding each other up when we’re down. Leaning on each other. Accepting, sharing, laughing, making time to be together.

Gone knitting!

 

Second Iteration?

So, you’ve seen the Malabrigo Rasta cowl that I knitted (in a simple seed stitch and in a lousy photograph) a few posts ago.

Poor color (not accurate) and not a great look!

Well, I decided to redesign it … which meant frogging it and then re-knitting.

I totally love the yarn and want to work with it but it’s just not working with me … or for me! I’ve knitted three really long 5-stitch I-cords and braided them together and this is what it looks like now!

(photo coming soon!)

I’m still not sure I’m in love with this and probably will frog it, too! I really want to use this yarn for something that I love love love … something that I will wear or carry or otherwise use on a regular basis! For now, it’s going to sit on the needles and we’ll see where it takes me!

Knitting is a lot like life – you never know where you’re going to end up. One day you may be very productive and other days, never get out of your own way. It’s learning to recognize each day for the value that it adds  and accepting every one as it is. Judge me not, I don’t get a ton accomplished every day but over the course of time, it all balances out and I’m proud of where I am today.

Gone knitting!