Thursday, September 16, 2010

Socked In

Although the sun is trying to creep in just now, we've been socked in for a couple days. No, I don't mean the cozy knitted kind of socks, but the kind of socked in that keeps you from seeing far into the future. It can be concerning on a bike and probably in a car, but I don't drive a car these days so I wouldn't know... In general the weather has been making me step back and reflect a bit.

I've been thinking a lot about this blog and what I'm doing. Eventually I'm going to be merging it into wordpress, so hang tight while I figure out all the glitches. But, technology aside, I've also been thinking about the purpose of this blog. Today, I thought I would share a little bit more behind the scenes of knitting in a tree.

I don't believe I've mentioned that I'm currently working on getting my masters in public health and there is a reason why I haven't. Yes, it's mainly for privacy purposes but it's also because I need to keep these two threads--The MPH student and the aspiring Master knitter--separate for a while. Of course, I'm always juggling both in my mind and knitting helps me process what I'm learning as an MPH student but on here I need to focus on the part of life that is keeping me whole for now and that seems to be knitting and carving out a life with S where we both are at home and find joy.

When I finally decided to study public health I broke down in tears. Why? For several reasons, first I'm kind of a sap, second, I knew it's what I had to do and third, because I knew that it would force me to engage with parts of myself and parts of humanity that I've been avoiding for a long time. So, what does this all mean? Ultimately, I'm so glad and grateful to be studying public health. I love learning and being part of a field that is progressively expanding ideas of health. But, when it comes down to it, everyday in my studies I'm learning that our hope for a better future coincides with stories that are too depressing to share on here. It's not that they can't be shared, it's just that often times I'm not sure where to put them or what words to give them, so instead I pick up my needles and start knitting.

This week S and I went to hear Terry Tempest Williams speak. She once had a large presence in my life when I was in college. It was good to have the opportunity to hear her speak in person, and also interesting to recognize what has changed in me since college. Her words didn't leave as strong of a hold as they did at 20. However, she still shared some nuggets of inspiration.

"Beauty is not optional. It is a strategy for survival. When we can work together as a whole community to make something beautiful...this is how healing can occur."

For now, what I'm doing feels right, even though it might not be a full reflection of who I am and what we're going through. For now, this is all I can give. Like Rumi says, "let the beauty you love be what you do." Create and share your beauty with your community in the hope that healing can occur.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Have you supported your LYS, lately?

Okay, Charlottesville isn't really local for me. But, I just was going through some old photos and found a few from my lovely visit to The Needle Lady. What a dear place.

If you remember I spent some time visiting these two yahoos in Charlottesville last month. It was a fun time and so hot I didn't know what to do with myself.

Anyway, S and I have also been spending a bit of time at the Quilt Tree, our LYS. (S is working on a birthday gift for me! Sigh.) Our time at the Quilt Tree reminded me that back in the Spring I went on a little rant about my love hate relationships with knitting stores. Well, I'm happy to announce that I approve of the Quilt Tree. Sure, there is room for improvement and it isn't the needle lady, but this weekend I gave it the thumbs up! And, to seal the deal, I spent one dollar and got the punch card.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new: a six items update

Last month, I enthusiastically said that I was going to keep this six items or less thing going... I am and I will and I want to, but I'm not as enthusiastic about it as I thought I was. And, while at one point I said I was going to do this for a year, I think I need to step back and take it month by month.

First, a quick recap on my August items, then a reveal of what I'm wearing in September.

Here goes... One of my August six started coming loose along the seams and I had to do a quick fix. It's not easy when the one item I found myself wearing the most was out of commission for a few days. It also made me think about the production and lifetime of a garment. This was a soft and comfortable item but it was cheap. Perhaps there is more to the overall construction of clothing then just the cut and fit? I'll need to keep this mind when I start buying clothes again. On the positive, this experiment was so efficient for traveling and in my everyday life. I found that I really do have more time in my day and when it comes to outfits I think more about accessories which I haven't spent much time doing. I am enjoying that part of the adventure. One thing I should mention. I'm really lucky right now because my lifestyle is such that I don't have to be at a eight to five job everyday. So, I don't have to worry about people wondering if I ever wash my clothes, etc. I wonder how this experiment would play out if my current lifestyle had obligations that required me to be out and about in the professional world.

It's time to share what I'm wearing. For many reasons September is my favorite month. So let's hope I did not disappoint her. My first two items may look familiar.


We are having a gray day in Anchorage. I don't know much about adjusting the light for photos. But, I've recently been playing around with it and gave it a try on my last four items much to my amusement.


And a little closer.


And, again.


One more time.


A little bit further

And, a little bit farther, now.

And, that's a wrap.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Quite Contrary Cowl

If I can keep my wits about me, I'm going to try a once a month post about knitting I've done for friends. We'll see if I can keep up. But, for now and without further ado, let me introduce The Quite Contrary Cowl made for my mensch of a pal Mary.

Mary, drew up the design that she wanted and I knitted it into reality while I was visiting her last month. I'm planning to share the pattern at some point this month. In the meantime, take a look below and let me know what think.

The pictures of course don't do it justice because the best part about this cowl is how soft it is. Of course that's because it's made with one skein of Malabrigo Twist (100% Pure Baby Merino Wool) color swatch 411 Green Gray. And, one skein of Symphony, Custom Dyed Yarns by Prism (80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon) color swatch 742 Mojave. What a dream to work with, I didn't want it to end.

As you can see, it's quite versatile just like my friend Mary.