Loose Ends

Loose Ends

the creative impulse gone awry

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Let me tell you, quitting knitting cold turkey was a challenge.  Yes, occupying myself by spinning was fun, but there is something about knitting that I just NEED to keep sane.  Because of the concussion I had to put it down for a while and just stare wistfully at all of the things I wanted to do, but could not.  (newsflash, it wasn't only knitting.  I also really want to build a compost enclosure and a table, but I'm not even close to getting to use power tools again) I'm happy to report that after a few dabbles here and there (that did, in fact, hurt my head) I'm beginning to knit again.

After the accident, I knit a hat at urgent care for Clara in this lovely shade of green.  It was a simple little thing.  I made up the pattern as I went along and, feeling confident, I started a dress for Zoë.  I had knit it before, and figured it would be no big deal.  The truth is that reading the pattern and translating it into what my hands needed to do was nearly impossible. 

I struggled through the back, and finished, and after my initial appointment with my doctor where he instructed me "not to think too hard, if the knitting is too hard, you must stop" I realized that I had been pushing myself too hard. 

Did I stop?  pffft, no, of course not.  But when I started making ridiculous mistakes (mistakes I haven't made in years - like reversing the wrong side and right side and not noticing for several inches...) I had to admit it was above me and put it down.

Honestly, one of the hardest things about the past few weeks is missing my friend knitting. I was thinking about all that back to school knitting that I should be getting on top of.  Like sweaters for the girls, and mittens, and all of the things that I DO, my friends, these are the things I DO FOR MY KIDS, and I couldn't.  ugh.  I may be a neurotic mess most of the time, I may not know what we are making for dinner tonight, and there may be no clean pants, but no one goes to school without a new sweater.  No one meets that first cold morning of the fall without a pair of mittens. 

I was a bit beside myself.  Also, I have this friend who is having a baby.  I mean, seriously, not knit anything for a new baby?  Who am I?  That shit is just unheard of.  So it was entirely non-negotiable, new baby = warm woolens.  It just does.  So (in order to preserve some semblance of surprise here) I picked *cough* something, that was largely a trapezoid with a very very simple pattern -- something I would recommend as a first project for a new knitter.  I mean, a girl's gotta start somewhere. 

I will not say that the beginning was a cake walk.  I struggled, and I tired easily, but I paced myself.  I have a bit of time here, so there was no need to rush.  But it did start to become easier.  This weekend, I attempted to knit on Zoë's dress again, and it wasn't so painful.  I managed to finish and she adores it:

The lace pattern is a bit hard to see from that distance - and with the crazy purple/pink yarn she picked out.  So here's a close-up:

I know the pictures are terrible, but I don't have enough brain to get a proper photo-shoot and she really won't take it off (even though it is in the 80s and the dress is wool.  she just rocks it with less under it.  that girl...) which means I also haven't blocked it yet, but it's all good.

So the baby thing is now cooking right a long and I think most of my knitting fog may be past me.  I'm still spinning because a) it's awesome and b) my physical therapist just gave me 3 giant bags of gorgeous roving... and I have plans.  Speaking of plans -- I have some things picked out for the girls for back-to-school and I'm so excited that it's possible I will finish in time.  *and* I'll be using things from my stash, which is even better.  I hope I'm not rushing myself too much to recover, but feeling that yarn pass through my fingers and watching my little garments grow is so fantastic -- after a little time away knitting does really feel like magic.

I'm going to do my best to continue to take time to take breaks.  I've been reading more than I have in years, and it's good for me -- not just good for the concussion.  So my pace of knitting may suffer, but I'm thinking that I will not!  If there is one thing I can take away from this experience is that slowing down is not a bad thing -- feeling like I can't do things sucks, but choosing to not do them is just fine by me.

Friday, August 1, 2014

We have winners! (and it all starts again!)

Here at Bella Yarns KAL Headquarters, AKA my kitchen, we have winners for our first ever KAL!  woo hoo!

Check out our ever-so-scientific process for determining the winners:

First make tiny pieces of paper and write on each one the name of a raveler who completed the KAL

 Next fold them up and put them in an adequately sized vessel:

Next, made a pretend beard out of the remaining piece of paper (Optional):

Make sure all children are appropriately dressed and instruct one child to hold the vessel, while the other child chooses the first prize:
Woo hoo!  First prize goes to:

Next switch who's holding the bowl (fairness!) and pick second prize:

Yay!  Thanks for participating in the KAL, have you cast on for the Crazy Easy KAL?  Tell us all about it here!