Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On to Knitting

Well, next to it, anyway.

That's where it sits. In a wicker basket, lined with green fabric embroidered with birds, next to an over-sized armchair.

Don't ask me what type of birds. I couldn't begin to tell you. Maybe they're knitting birds. They sit there, unmoving. Content to be in the same spot for hours on end. Doing the same thing over and over. And over again.

Like knitting.

Honestly, I do enjoy knitting. It's incredible to have the ability to design and create something practical, stylish and unique. The feel of the fibers while witnessing string turn to cloth can be cathartic.

Several years ago, I fell in love with a pattern for a sweater, for myself. It was an entire book of sweater patterns, actually, printed exclusively in color, displaying colorways that were simply stunning. I finished one for my husband, and he wore it in public, even. That was the true test. Now my turn. So out came the needles, here came the stitching for my personal creation.

And there, in the basket, it sits.

I remember learning how to knit. It was a hard craft to pick up, especially considering I've been involved in fiber arts as far back as I can remember. So difficult for me, it would be years later until I took the time to conquer it. My cousin taught me, standing in the living room one hectic holiday, grabbing a pair of plastic yellow needles and a spare ball of yarn from some forgotten project. I remember it well. Purl one, curse two.

Or three times, depending on how many stitches were dropped and found five rows later.

I developed interesting, never before seen stitch patterns in the process. Who knew that skipping, dropping and combining stitches actually has a name? And if that "spontaneous" lace knit project is a little more eccentric than hoped? I try to look at is as something suitable for an incredibly unique gift.

Unless it's too unique.

Then I hope I knitted it with wool. A few rounds in the washer and dryer sometimes shrink and combine all the holes and haphazard stitches into felt. It worked for that brand named sweater tossed in with the towels last year.


Why is it that something I enjoy so much never seems to end in anything but a coaster? Pile upon pile of small gauge swatches, meant to test stitch length and width for any given project have found a home, though.

Just look in the linen closet.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Thank Goodness for the Vacuum

He is a good little boy. Full of energy and affection, keeping out of trouble.

Most of the time.

(Why is it that paper napkins and tissues are a bigger draw than anything else that lands on the floor?)

We bought the little dog, thinking he'd make a good companion for our daughter. A faithful buddy, keeping her company whenever she needed it. A little ball of fluff, never to shed, never to cause even a hint of a sneeze for an overly allergic household.

But one thing we didn't consider was how low this guy is to the ground. Mowing a day or two off schedule means he's walking through a jungle.

And I thought I was short.

That's how I noticed it all. After vacuuming the latest evidence of the dog's journey outdoors, it seemed that no matter how long I vacuumed, the bits and pieces kept appearing. On my newish carpet. Ever by my side, he followed as I cleaned, dropping more of Mother Earth on the floor.

It's amazing how that beautiful, long-ish fur works about as well as hook-and-loop tape when it comes to bringing in the great outdoors. Especially when it comes to those long, stringy tree droplets that fall to the ground as beautiful green leaves open for the season. The skinny tan things, which disintegrate the moment they are plucked from fur, falling to the ground in a million little flecks. And, oh, how they hide, tucking themselves deep out of sight.

Thank goodness, they last only for a week or two. Thank goodness, the vacuum hasn't given up on me yet.

Too bad it doesn't work on today's gift. Sticks.