Posted by: mick | June 12, 2007

A little inspiration, please

I’ve been knitting for almost nine months now, and have kept up a pretty feverish pace. I almost never have two projects on the needles, but as I’m working on a current wip, I always have ideas for the next one in mind. I oohed and ahhhed over every knitting book and magazine I could get my grubby little paws on, and never saw an end in sight to my fervor. And then suddenly, this past weekend…I hit the wall. I honestly have no idea what I want to knit, and I think part of the problem is overstimulation. I’ve bombarded my senses with so many possibilities that my mind and eyes have glazed over. I’m in the knitting version of a diabetic coma.

This all started, I do believe, with the insane amount of gift knitting I want to get done before the big move to Michigan (which is happening in less than two months now, yipe!). I love knitting for other people, and the majority of the things I’ve knit have gone as gifts: my first scarf and hat to my mom, a scarf and hat for Jason, Fetching for KV and Amy, two scarves for professors, the list goes on. I love knitting for others, and imagining how much they’ll (hopefully) like what I spent so much time and love creating with them in mind. It seems, however, that there is a limit to my knitting generosity. After the past two gift scarves, I’ve tried and frogged pattern after pattern of scarf with my Schaeffer Anne. I just can’t seem to decide and, recently, I’ve found myself not even wanting to break out the needles. I really do love the time I spend knitting but, lately, I’m at a loss.

I had to make a very last-minute trip back to Philly this weekend to see my ailing grandmother. I had a lot of grading to do, and am a nervous flyer, but I thought that emotionally I might do better with some swatching. So I brought home Jason’s gifted Cherry Tree Hill Supersock and my 0, 1, and 2 dpn’s to swatch for the Crusoe pattern that I’ve been salivating over for months. I couldn’t get gauge with even the 2’s, so I’ll have to try with 3’s, which of course I didn’t have with me. It’s strange because I’m usually a loose knitter with most patterns. Anyway, I’ve been home since Sunday and haven’t touched yarn or needles since. This has got to be remedied!

Part of the reason could be the emotional turmoil I’ve been experiencing lately, worrying about a very ill grandmother whom I love dearly and hate being so far away from. I don’t tend to express my emotions verbally, but it seems they’re coming out anyway in the lethargy I’ve been feeling. I’ve been in full-on mope mode for about a week now, and I think a really lovely, just for me knitting pattern that is challenging yet comforting will be a great choice for me. I’m feeling some distraction. The problem is, I have no clue what to start. I’ve got a ton of knitting books, a year’s worth of back issue Interweave Knits, the new Knitty just came out, and I’m still feeling sort of stalled. My birthday is coming up, so Jason has imposed a ban on all shopping for myself, which includes yarn. So the challenge is to knit a pattern that I truly love and will truly wear…from my stash (which is relatively minimal). Does anyone have any suggestions? Has this stall happened to anyone else? How do you break it? And what do you turn to for comfort knitting?

dziadzi beetsThe visit home, aside from the gut-wrenching goodbye visit on Friday, was quite pleasant. My Mom and I had many nice chats, though she wasn’t feeling very well, and it was great to have some mother/daughter time. On Saturday she and I ventured to South Jersey to visit my Dziadzi, who is quite possibly the cutest person alive. He is the most adorable man, and so incredibly sweet, I feel truly blessed and proud to call him my grandfather. We headed there for his famous blueberry pancakes, and then he showed me all of the work he’s doing on his house: painting all the walls, painting the outside, tons of flowers planted, and a new bathroom downstairs. This may sound like a lot for a 75 year old man who lives alone, but it’s no surprise when you meet him. The man took me to the gym with him one visit, and he flat out kicked my ass. One of my favorite memories of him will always be his face encouraging me to do one measly chin-up on the chin-up machine, laughing his adorable Polish dupa off at my puny upper body. He’s an amazing man. We then ventured out back to his enormous vegetable garden, where he pointed out his bounty: cucumbers, tons of tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, string beans, horseradish, onions, and beets. The latter he gave a bushel of to my mother, who couldn’t wait to get them home and make some borscht. Though I hate beets, she swears and I must agree: everything from Dziadzi’s garden tastes better. It must be the love. Visiting with him was the refresher I needed to get me ready for the undoubtedly trying times ahead with my grandmother’s illness (he’s my maternal grandfather; she paternal).

dziadzi garden

When I got home to Boston it was such a relief to see Jason waiting for me at the shuttle. A trip away reminds me all the more just how much I love him by missing him so much. Each day is an adventure, and he never fails to make me smile no matter how horrible I feel. Case in point: The other night I left the living room to get a glass of water and returned to find this:

jason fort

Jason’s voice, triumphant but muffled from the blankets, declared: I made a tent! Could anything be better? I sincerely doubt it.



  1. have you tried lace yet? old shale/feather and fan is a lovely stitch that takes little energy, but turns out beautiful. i like doing a stockingnet version. there are also some other simple lace patterns that are quite fulfilling…

  2. Here I am. Rock you like a hurricane.

    I finally made one of these jawns. I am so sorry to hear about your grandmom. I hope your family is doing ok, considering.

    Your knitting is really coming along! Love those socks! Feel free to add me… I think I added you. I am still learning the ropes of the wordpress.

    Love and miss, Becky

  3. Hello!

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