Just Keep Knitting …

A Sunrise View from my Bedroom Window

The world is getting uglier and I am feeling more tense and anxious. I dislike conflict and I really despise lies and there is a lot of conflict and a lot of lies flying around in America in advance of the November election.

If I ruled the world, PACs wouldn’t be allowed to advertise. They’re the most hateful and dishonest advertisers. Candidates would only be allowed to advertise about themselves; what they believe, what they stand for, what they will do if elected. If I ruled the world, Facebook posts that call people names would be immediately deleted, even if it was calling someone a republican or a democrat, a liberal or a conservative or any of the mangled iterations of those words we’ve come to accept as normal.

To deal with my anxiety, I’ve been following some sage advice:

Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises.

Elizabeth Zimmerman
Gus in Green

This is my newest grand-dog, Gus. My son adopted Gus and asked me to knit him a sweater because … well, just because I can. I found a sweater specifically for Pugs on Ravelry, Pug Dog Sweater. This seemed a really good place to begin. I measured Gus and knit the XXXS, Sammie Size in a lovely shade of green. Yarn is Berroco Vintage, a worsted weight acrylic and wool blend that is machine washable and dryable. The pattern is a simple and quick knit, especially when you’re knitting a teeny tiny sweater for a little puppy. (Have a gander at the Pug photos in sweaters on the pattern page and you’ll notice that our Gus isn’t a typically shaped Pug.) The green sweater fit around him perfectly IF he isn’t wearing his harness but it’s a couple of inches too short.

So, back to the drawing board I went and knit him a blue version, also in Vintage, in the next size up, XXS. It’s in the mail as we speak and I am eager to see how this one fits. Pictures will follow.

Blue Pug Sweater, version 2

I’ve also been knitting socks like crazy for the 2020 Sock Challenge that we were having at the shop and that I announced to my FB followers. To my delight, some of my FB followers have gotten in on the fun! I’ve just finished my September socks … there are two pairs because I finished the main pair in record time and decided a pair of baby socks in a ball of yarn that I’v had sitting around forever (since before I knew that you needed three balls of this yarn to make an adult pair of socks, perhaps?)

The first pair are in Raggi sock yarn. I love this yarn and I love that it knits up so quickly in an Aran weight. These socks are Urban Rustic Socks by Elizabeth McCarten. This is a new to me (free) pattern that used a seeded rib (which I’d never knitted before) and a new-to-me heel construction. It’s a heel flap and gusset but knitted differently than I’ve ever seen. I love that there is no pattern below the ankle because my feet don’t like patterns on them, apparently. These socks come in two sizes, I made the smaller size. I can’t wait for boot weather now!

The bonus socks this month are a pair of teeny tiny baby socks. I had a ball of Patons Kroy Sock yarn in my stash that I’ve been itching to knit with because I only had the one ball. (I also have a couple of single balls of Regia baby sock yarn to use up.) I used my favorite sock pattern for this one, Yankee Knitter’s Classic Socks #29 by Melinda Goodfellow. If you don’t have this pattern, you need it. NEED it! I did my best without sweating it too much – because I am knitting to be LESS anxious, right? – to match the two socks and they’re pretty close. I love this yarn and they’re really soft for baby. I have more yarn and will knit more little bitty socks as time allows.

Hope Cardigan by Amy Christoffers

My Hope Cardigan is once again on the needles … the first half of the sweater, pictured above, is done and I have gotten most of the way up the second arm. This sweater is knitted from cuff to middle twice and then stitched together (don’t ask me how, I’ve not read that far ahead.) I am not sure what I did for the first sleeve, however, and I’ve reached the end of the written instructions for the second sleeve and it’s about two and a half inches shorter than it needs to be. So … today I’ll be having a closer look in the good daytime light to see what I did on the first sleeve so I can complete the second sleeve and move on. This pattern is only available in Making Magazine #3, Dots. These magazines are a bit pricey but they’re so worth it. I love the variation of crafts that they feature in the books and I have made quite a few projects out of them. I’m knitting my Hope Cardigan in the suggested yarn, Berroco Remix Light. I love the drape and weight of this yarn. I also love the feel of it against my skin.

I made a Khamaseen in 2017 with this yarn and I love wearing it alone and with a shirt under it.

Humulus by Isabell Kraemer

I wore my Humulus sweater for the first time this week and I was so excited about the way it fit! It’s going to be one that I wear a lot this fall and winter. I love the colors that I chose and I love the weight of it. I have loved this sweater since I saw it on the MDK March Mayhem pattern bracket back in 2017 (I think.) I loved the colors that the original sweater was knitted up in (yellow and grey are my colors!) but I wanted something more sedate and I wear a lot of blue so … when we got a shipment of Ella Rae Classic Wool into the shop, on sale no less, I jumped and bought enough for the Humulus. I went back a forth a few times with the contrasting color for the yoke but I’m very happy with the blue that I settled on.

While I’m knocking knits off my list, the list isn’t getting any shorter. My step-daughter has requested an afghan for their new house for Christmas in a denim-y blue. A college friend asked me to knit a family favorite Christmas stocking for her nephew’s new fiancee. And I still have at least six sweaters worth of yarn in my stash. I can tell you that once the Hope cardigan is finished, I’ll be casting on my Dissent Cardigan by Andrea Rangel. I have black as the main color and a cream for the contrasting color. I’ll diverge from the pattern, which is written to knit back and forth, and knit this one with a steek. I much prefer to knit in the round if at all possible. I look forward to wearing it and honoring the Notorious RBG.

Gone knitting!

More details about each of my projects is on my Ravelry Project page. I’m lindar on Ravelry. You can follow me on Instragram @QueenBeeKnits and on FB at Queen Bee Knits by LindaWarner.

Nevertheless, She Persisted

I was raised by a Yankee lawyer. My father’s family was well-to-do or as we say today, “privileged”. My father worried about what the neighbors would think. We went to church on Sunday and we voted Republican. I was a Republican because that’s what we were.

I was raised with the old adages “children are to be seen and not heard” and “good girls ________” (fill in the blank but I often heard “are quiet”, “don’t swear”, “don’t cry”, etc.) I was a good girl. I learned to sew and dance. I learned to be quiet and to silence my voice. I did what I was told. I followed the rules. I was afraid that if I did something that was NOT what good girls did that the police would show up and arrest me. How would I explain that to my father? I desperately wanted his approval.

I married a man who my parents liked and I thought I loved right out of college. That was, I was taught, when I would be happy and I would be complete. (I wasn’t given a middle name when I was born but was told that I’d have a complete name when I married.) I struggled to be happy for nearly 28 years before I divorced. I did everything I knew how to do but it was always “my fault” that the marriage was a failure or that he didn’t come home or ___________ (again, fill in the blank). If I’d only kept the house cleaner or the kids quieter. If I’d had a job to help pay the bills (because money I inherited that helped to support us didn’t count, it “wasn’t mine”.)

It has only been in the last ten years or so that I have been finding my voice. I have worked with a therapist, tentatively and then more assuredly voiced opinions about where I wanted to go for dinner and what color paint I wanted to paint the walls. I bought my own clothes. I spent money on real jewelry. I paid my rent, bought my first car entirely with my own money (and a little help from my wonderful son.) I learned to listen to my gut. And I learned that I was smart and sensitive and really good at many things. I learned that I could move to a strange city and find a job and make friends. I learned that I could be lonely and survive. I grieved the loss of my “old family” and gave birth to a new one (no, I didn’t have new babies but my relationship with my children changed) that included step-children and a new husband.

When the Senate told Senator Elizabeth Warren to shut up and sit down last night, it struck a chord with me. I found myself furious. A high school friend posted an article on my Facebook page this morning. I found myself insulted and angry. I will not be silenced. I will not shut up and sit down. I can be a bleeding heart liberal or a “snowflake” or anything else. I will listen to my heart and follow it – I will protest for women’s rights and a woman’s right to choose. I will protest for clean air and water. I will protest for the education of our children, our most precious resource. I will protest for the voiceless, the impoverished, the mentally ill, the refugees and immigrants who want to build a new life in a country full of possibility like my great-grandparents. I will not be silenced. I will call and email and write letters. I will put my money where my mouth is.

Because I always was complete. I have always been enough.

Gone knitting.