Comfort Food or Comfort Yarn?

Do you think you can jinx yourself?  Is it really a bad idea to say something like, “Wow, I’ve had a really good week so far”?  Will disaster inevitably ensue?disaster

Once, when I worked in a hospital, I commented, “It’s pretty quiet tonight” One of the nurses glared at me and joking/not joking said, “You better knock on wood!!”.

Where is this going?  Couple things:

1) I keep a running list of blog ideas in a notebook for future use. One of them was the concept of comfort yarn instead of comfort food.

2) Recently I was thinking how healthy I’ve been and that I didn’t remember the last time I had been sick. Soooooooo, guess who got sick this week?  Sigh.

I felt it coming on Thursday night.  “Take extra Vitamin C”, I said.  “Get some extra sleep”, I said.  “You’ll be fine”, I said.  Yeah.  Didn’t exactly work out like that.

So Friday, there was still work to be done and I did it.  Well….most of it. But I did manage a nice big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup, because as cliche’ as it sounds, I really was craving it.  It turned out really well and apparently the other members of my family felt in need of comfort as well, because that large pot was gone in under 24 hours.soup-1335168_640

Finding the silver lining here:  When I’m down, and I feel I’ve satisfied the minimum requirements then I can pull out the yarn, make my tea and binge-watch to my heart’s content without the pang of guilt I might feel under normal circumstances.

As you may recall from Doing the Continental I recently learned to knit Continental Style.  So I viewed my downtime as a good opportunity to work on this.  Almost every day I had been doing a few rows of knits and a few rows of purls just to practice.  The thing I struggled with most was finding the best way to hold the yarn in my left hand and maintain the proper tension.  It seemed to constantly lose it’s anchor until I could no longer continue without stopping to reset and start again.  For awhile it seemed I was having to reset about every 5 stitches.  I knew that it would be slow going until I got the hang of it, but this was really frustrating.  But then, imperceptibly the shift happened and now I am knitting steadily along in this style without having to constantly struggle with the tautness or the looseness of my yarn.

Once this happened I cast on two new projects.  First I cast on a blanket using this  Scarf Pattern.

Scarf

This is a picture of how the pattern knits up although I’m using a rust colorway for the blanket. I will post a proper picture of it in a future post.

It is a 16 row repeat in sets of 16.  Since I had a large ball of yarn I had bought intending to make a throw blanket sometime this seemed the opportune time.  This has been going along well.  There are a few mistakes that I have not bothered to go back to fix since they are relatively minor and this is simply for practice and my own amusement rather than a display item.  It has loooong rows and I can only work on it when I have plenty of time and little danger of interruption.

So I also decided I needed a smaller simpler project that would be easier to pick up and put down.  I created a pattern for a simple scarf with a one row repeat edged in garter stitch.

It is cast on in an odd multiple of 2 + 8 stitches.

In my case I cast on 26 stitches : 18 plus the 8 for the garter edging.

I worked the first 6 rows in garter and then began the pattern:

The first 4 stitches are knit-body: p2, k2 repeating until the final 4 stitches which are knit.  I will continue this until I’ve got the length I want (I’ll know it when I see it) and then do 6 rows in Garter stitch to finish.

This is a perfect practice piece.  I can pick it up and put it down at will without having to see what row to work.  I’m almost halfway through it and I can see that I’m becoming more and more confident in this style and gaining speed as well.  Proving Kim right (see Doing the Continental) that it only takes the will to learn it to gain this skill.

yarn-1808935_640

Along with the comfort knitting I spent plenty of time on Instagram and my favorite online yarn shops coveting all the brilliant yarns and colorways that are coming out.  This is my yarn porn.  Fortunately, I was able (for a change) to resist the urge to buy since I have been buying a bit more than usual lately and maybe, just maybe, I should actually complete the projects with those purchases first?  We’ll see if I can hold out or not.  No promises.

I am starting to feel better and can be thankful for my comfort food, comfort yarn, AND that at least I didn’t have a MAN cold!

Wishing you comfort whatever the reason,

Jamye

Yarn Buying: Bloodsport

 

oldlady
You look cold!

Say the word “knitting ” and many people immediately conjure up the image of a sweet little grandmother contentedly creating hats, gloves, scarves and socks to the rhythm of her rocking chair.  No one within her family will be cold and likely, few people within a 2 mile radius of her house will be either.

However, most people who knit AND spend anytime online see the rising resurgence of knitting as a passion. Continue reading “Yarn Buying: Bloodsport”

For the Journey

 

Toward the end of every year I genuinely look forward to writing up a list of New Year’s Resolutions.  I’m odd like that. I’m ok with being odd like that.  I think I enjoy it for a couple of reasons:

1) I LOVE learning new things. There is always some new art or skill I want to learn and the list is a promise to myself that this year I will be learning something that I have been itching to try.

2) Also, my resolutions list has a bucket list quality to it, since I include things like the tattoo that I want to add or the trip I want to take. Again, something I really want to do.  So, even though my list may or may not include the ever-present “lose 10 pounds” or “organize the garage” they are deposited in with a plethora of things that delight my soul so they don’t seem as daunting or dreadful. Continue reading “For the Journey”

Doing the Continental

Although Fred and Ginger pull it off beautifully:

But my fellow knitters are aware that what I mean  is Continental style knitting.  I have always knit English style or “throwing” as it is called, in which the yarn is wrapped or “thrown” around the needle before pulling it through to the front.  In Continental style the needle goes through and “picks” the yarn from the other side to bring it forward.  It sounds like a small variation, but there is a decided difference in speed and form. Continue reading “Doing the Continental”

The Answer to Everything

 

A few months ago I started frequenting my local yarn shop (lys) Knit Witts Yarn Shoppe in Evansville, Indiana.  Of course yarn shops always have my heart, but this shop is like having access to a piece of Nirvana when I feel the need.  They have couches, tables and chairs for folks to just come in, hang out and knit.  Chances are there will be others who show up with the same idea and the staff are a wealth of information and expert advise. Kelly is my hero.

One Wednesday I strolled in and found a group of ladies there knitting away.  I struck up a conversation with Tesla (great name!) and asked about the shawl she was knitting.  She was working on the Hitchhiker and it was coming out beautifully.  When I commented on the edging which has scalloped points she responded.  Yes, there’s 42.  I gasped, “Because the answer to everything is 42!!”  Although I had heard of this project before, until that moment I had no idea it was a pattern linked to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.  She laughed and said “That’s the first time I didn’t have to explain that!”

Continue reading “The Answer to Everything”

Knitting In the Apocalypse

Newsflash!  Knitting is a therapeutic activity.  Ok, so maybe not a newsflash, but nevertheless it is true as this article (and many others) bears out:

Health Benefits of Knitting

But the truth is, many of us instinctively knew this was true before we ever read any article or watched any report on it.  I cannot tell you the number of times that during a very stressful period of my life simply taking a break to knit just about saved my sanity.  Sometimes, because of the frustration and chaos of those times,  remembering to take those breaks would fall off the radar as I struggled to keep up with multiple things coming at me.  But the moment I picked up the needles again the tension level started subsiding.  I still had to go back and deal with the hot mess I was facing, but when I did, it was from a better, more grounded place.

Continue reading “Knitting In the Apocalypse”