Friday, June 05, 2009

knitting surprises

knitting Elizabeth Zimmermann's "baby surprise jacket" is truly an exercise in faith. at some point in the process (it's amazing how quickly it occurs), you begin to question the design. about halfway through, you begin to question the designer. if you are the type who seeks ultimate understanding in all things (like me), you might eventually find yourself questioning the very nature of the universe - trying to imagine this object folded into a single sweater brought to mind quantum physics, string theory, and all that stuff that i usually consider to be the limit of my understanding...and that's coming from someone with a PhD in 'brain science.' EZ was a mad genius. she was Einstein, and Stephen Hawkings, and the Buddah wrapped into one unassuming package.

i am not certain yet who will be the recipient of my bsj and the coordinating Saartje's Booties. the colorway is named in honor of my boyfriend who shrank the hat i lovingly made him with the first skein i spun from that batch of dyed roving. there is so much personal interest in this yarn , that i am tempted to fold them delicately between sheets of tissue paper and tuck them away for the day when we have our own baby surprise.

Monday, June 01, 2009

things that remind...

i started knitting in an earnest effort to counter the stress of being in grad school. my very special someone supported this idea and even funded much of my early yarn purchases. spinning followed shortly after, and he also welcomed that adventure, purchasing my first 1/2 lb of fiber and the only professionally made drop spindle i own (the other spindles, i've made myself). my spinning wheel was purchased at a particularly difficult time, and he also paid for that - although, there was a large measure of guilt involved in that gesture, which i feel no shame in having taken advantage of.

in the beginning, i knitted because it was fun to learn and to watch the clicking of sticks magically turn into things i could wear. okay, so i made more scarves than most people would need in a lifetime, but i learned from that experience that my love is more with the yarn than with the actual finished items.

in the intervening years, i've definitely spun more than i've knitted, piling all of the finished yarn into decorative baskets and arranging skeins artistically on shelves. it pains me to think of sacrificing even a single yard to a knitted item. is this what a mother feels when letting go of adult children?

i've shared my home in the last two years with a very fat cat, who i am not afraid to say keeps me sane on most days, and who has become the object of my greatest love. as a gesture of his affection, he likes to leave "gifts" (and by this i mean dead things) in shoes. having been once traumatized by this habit, i routinely shake out my footwear before putting them on.

my cat, my Cupcake, is not fond of the typical cat toys purchased in the pet section of your local department store. he likes to play with my things, especially my knitted swatches. as i lay in bed last night, he was planning a sneak-attack on my most recent swatch, which he'd knocked onto the floor minutes after it came off the needle. i drifted off to sleep, smiling at his antics.

as i walked past the kitchen door this morning, what to my wondering eyes should appear.....?

he is the most special, most precious thing i have ever received, and i want to thank my special someone for sharing his cat with me. thanks, love.

p.s. here he is, relaxing in the space of the lower shelf normally reserved for knitting books and magazines (they were removed for cataloging in my Ravelry library). you have to love a cat!