Knitting Feeds

Dateline – Toronto

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 18:19

Reports are emerging from Toronto this afternoon regarding a prolific local knitter who used to really get sh*t done, but in recent weeks has finally come to realize that no matter what approach she takes, how many lists she writes, or how precisely her schedule is organized, there inexplicably remain only 24 hours in a day, and each of them only have the standard sixty minutes, no matter how many post-it notes she sticks to the wall above her desk.

Witnesses claim that the complete dissolution of a system that was barely working began two weeks ago when the knitter became a grandmother.  “I don’t know what she was thinking” said a source close to the knitter. “I mean, you can’t just add a whole other person to your life and not take a couple of the post-it notes down, you know what I mean? She just kept saying it she could fix it with organization, but I think that she’s in over her head. The baby, the Bike Rally, the Retreats, The Knitter’s Frolic thing… She’s going to lose it.”  The source went on to report that the knitter had snapped the evening prior while serving bagged salad and dry toast for dinner,  claiming tersely that it still counted as a meal and mumbling that the source was lucky to get anything, and to hang up his towel after he uses it because they are  (*&^%ing out of clean ones.

This trouble has spread to mostl areas of the knitter’s life. A “friend” of hers reports that yesterday she proudly turned up to an 11am appointment at 11:30, absolutely confident she was on time. “That’s just not like her.” He said. “Steph’s really not late often, she’s pretty together, you know? I know she put this in her calendar. I can’t figure out what’s going on. Plus she made me look at pictures of that baby again. The kid’s cute and all, but I think she’s already texted me all of them.”  He reports that when confronted with the reality that she was 30 minutes late for their appointment, she took out her phone, looked at that day’s date,  incredulously tapped on the calendar, then stared incomprehensibly at the booking for 11am. “That’s really not…. ” she stammered, and then was overcome by wave of apologies while simultaneously answering a text about a missing help number for a training ride this weekend and making a mental note to eat lunch at some point while writing a talk for The Frolic this weekend and composing a reply to Megan addressing her query about burping and if you should wake a baby up to do it. (For the record, no.)

As we have come to expect from previous encounters with this knitter under stress, housekeeping went first, and the knitting has been the last thing to go. While dust bison roam the knitters home, everyone is out of clean clothes and a smell that has gone past “weird” and into “disturbing” continues to emanate from the fridge, itty-bitty knitted things  pour forth unabated.

This tiny hat followed the realization that the new baby was indeed too tiny to fit the things knit for him during his gestation, but that the weather had not yet turned, and he would need something on his head.

(Yarn is Madeleine Tosh Tosh Sock in an old colour called “Happiness.” Pattern an old favourite from the Original “Homespun Handknit“)

A pair of bootees followed immediately thereafter, because his feet looked cold, and he didn’t match, and despite the absolutely impossible level of chaos in the knitter’s inbox and on her desk, that seemed like a priority.

Pattern is Baby Moc-a-soc (downsized slightly, and knit in the round.) Yarn’s the Mad Tosh from the hat,  along with a wee bit of the same yarn in “Antler”, and this reporter can attest that while we are all pretty damn sick of the baby pictures, these are only sweeter on his widdle feetsies.  (Ahem.)

Despite all of these challenges, the knitter has so far, with the help of caffeine and crying alone in the bathtub, managed to meet all deadlines, spend lots of time cuddling the baby and continued to mostly do her job(s), as long as you take her at her word that she does not now, nor has she ever considered cleaning anything her “job”. She has appeared in public several times over the last few days and on the surface, appears to be holding up well. (There are sporadic reports that she texted a friend something like “oh man what was I thinking I’m not going to make it” but no actual proof.) The only outward crack in the facade has been a shocking tendency toward spelling errors in emails written in haste, the fact that she ate celery for breakfast twice because it was all that was in the house, and yesterday – left a freshly knit baby sweater outside to dry, immediately before a torrential downpour, where it stayed until it was completely sodden and in need of re-washing. Of this lapse, the knitter would only say “For (*$^%s sakes.”

(Photo procured after evidence was removed from the scene.)

When last heard from the knitter in question was typing frantically at her laptop, with her life in tatters all around her, softly mumbling “next week I’m going to get all this together” while her family stood nearby, shaking their heads gently.   We attempted to reach the knitter for comment, but all we received was a reply was an email that read “Isn’t he the most darling thing ever?” and the attached baby picture.

This would have been more annoying, did this news outlet not agree that he is freakin’ adorable. We will continue to follow this story closely.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:00

www.knittedbliss.com

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week How to keep your brain young while you age. This is a breathtaking reason to encourage seed and crop diversity. That is the most beautiful corn I’ve ever seen! Tips on ditching regret, and getting over the past. Yesterday was Poem in Your Pocket Day, a collaborative effort between

The post Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Wallowing in Wool

Knitting | Work in Progress - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 11:00
One of the few things I love about winter is the unbridled opportunity to wallow in wool. From scarves and shawls to cardigans, mitts and afghans, every woolly item sees action on a regular basis.



Spring has arrived and summer is on the horizon, so an ode to the wonderfulness of wool may seem odd, but like many of you, I work with it year round. From 100% wool to fiber blends, I value the springy resilience that keeps my stitches even and helps pieces rebound after blocking.


Years ago, I discovered wool's inherent versatility years ago, when I worked in an environment where business suits were daily attire. After much experimentation, many false starts and lots of wasted dollars, I discovered the solution: classic, tailored suits in fine wool fabrics. They traveled well, required minimal maintenance and lasted a long time.




When I used my noodle and chose wisely and well, a few suits and a handful of separates offered countless variations that made it easy to dress for work and pack for business travel. In concession to our hot and humid summers, I had a few summer weight pieces, but overall, my work wardrobe consisted of a year-round core of wool and wool-silk blends.


When I began knitting in earnest, I had to relearn this important lesson. Early on, I made an oversized gansey in a wool-acrylic blend, followed by a sweater jacket in 100% wool. Both pieces survive today, but the difference between the two is notable. Pilled and rather limp, the gansey is restricted to at-home use. The all-wool jacket, on the other hand, looks fresh and (nearly) new, so it's quite wearable. (One day soon, I'll try to get pictures of both.)



All of this is a long way of saying, with a few notable exceptions, wool is the common denominator in the yarns I love most. Warm weather may be on its way, but one way or another, I'll still be wallowing in wool.

PS: The photos show some of the wool and wool-blend yarns currently on the short list for summer knitting. Subject to change, of course!


Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Life Lately: Lila’s Birthday and Georgia O’Keeffe

Knitted Bliss - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 11:00

www.knittedbliss.com

April is a crazy month for me, and I suspect that’s true for many people. Doesn’t it seem like there are just so many birthdays, events, gatherings, conferences and everything else you can think of all crammed into April? Maybe that’s just my little corner of the world. Lila turned 5 recently. Her birthday technically

The post Life Lately: Lila’s Birthday and Georgia O’Keeffe appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: A Very Special Rye Hack

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 11:00

www.knittedbliss.com

Original Pattern: Rye Knitter Extraordinaire: Heather (Ravelry ID, website) Mods: Adjusted gauges from worsted weight to fingering weight, and chose to work a stranded fair isle design on the heel flap. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Heather participated in a Tin Can Knit’s pattern hack KAL at the end

The post Modification Monday: A Very Special Rye Hack appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Knitting through the heat...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 04/23/2017 - 14:03
Hello there! Pattern~ Skedaddle Yarn~ Fondant Fibre Superwash polwarth in the color Harmony. It is a warm (very warm) Sunday here in Arizona, so what does one (me)knit when the heat is on? Thoughts of knitting on my scrappy blanket are all but gone as the temps are going to... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

WIP | Not-So-Scrappy Scrapghan

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 04/23/2017 - 12:30
The last time you saw my not-so-scrappy scrapghan, it looked like a hot mess. The strips had been seamed together and I was starting the border when the sun emerged briefly, so I grabbed a quick shot:



I'd hoped to be sharing a finished afghan today, but the past couple weeks have been so hectic and jam-packed, it just didn't happen. 

Luckily some progress has occurred, but you might be hard pressed to spot it. The border is nearly finished, and as you can see, it's curling so madly, I'm a bit concerned. I've used this technique many times because once it's properly blocked it tends to magically relax and lay flat, but at this point it's difficult to believe that will actually occur.



I'm now diligently weaving ends and striving with all my might to work slowly and carefully, because this isn't my strongest skill set and I want both sides to be attractive. If you look closely, you can see the tapestry needle in the upper left:



I can't speak for you, but once a project reaches this stage, I'm so eager to see the finished piece I get antsy. Clearly, patience isn't my strong suit, but if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's an important quality to cultivate as a knitter. 

Like this afghan, it's something I'm still working on.


Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 15:01

www.knittedbliss.com

Anyone else feel like the weeks are cruising by at warp speed? Between work, writing, 3 rounds of family visits and two birthday parties for Lila (the family one last weekend and the ‘friends’ one this weekend), plus the long weekend I feel like I’m gulping for air most days. But hopefully after this weekend the

The post Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Knitters' Insider Terms: Deciphering the Code

Knitting | Work in Progress - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 10:30
Recently, we took a quick look at some of the acronyms and abbreviations knitters use in blogs, comments, social media venues and everyday conversations. 

Today, let's tackle another part of the picture, and look at the meaning of some of the most common insider terms knitters use.






TERMS

Audition. To experiment with different color combinations and/or textures to see which ones play well together.

Cold Sheep. To stop buying yarn and focus on using yarn from stash.

Destash. To sell, donate or give away yarn to reduce the size of the stash.

Dismount. To decide to purchase yarn after a period of cold-sheeping.

Frog. To rip out completed work, because "rippit, rippit" sounds like a frog.

Frog pond. To put a project aside, with the intention of frogging it in the future.

Hibernate. To put a project on hold indefinitely.

Knitworthy. The ultimate compliment, describing someone who appreciates your handiwork and for whom you'd cheerfully knit.

Marinate. To put a project aside for a time, while you figure out the next steps.

Mileage. Refers to how much yarn a specific project may require, how quickly a project progresses, or literally how many miles of yarn a knitter has knit.

Moderate Merino. To take a balanced approach, acquiring yarn as needed without overdoing it. 

Non-knitworthy. Describes someone who doesn't appreciate your handiwork and for whom you wouldn't knit.

Odd ball. Refers to unusual or challenging one-of-a-kind yarns.

Orphan. Refers to one-of-a-kind skeins lurking in the stash. 

Partial. Refers to leftover skeins that are partially used.

Reknit. To rework all or part of a project.

Simmer. To put a project on the back burner and let it evolve slowly.

Singleton. Refers to any lone skein. 

Stash. Large or small, it refers to your personal collection of yarn not in active use. 

Stashbuster. Projects or patterns designed to use large amounts of stash yarn.

Stashbusting. To focus on using yarn from stash.

Stash enhancement. A phrase used to describe recent yarn acquisitions, often used to describe new yarn for which you have no immediate project or plan.

Stitchworthy. Essential stitches to have in your repertoire.

Swatch. As a verb, it describes the act of knitting a fabric sample to test a stitch, establish gauge and determine how the yarn behaves. As a noun, it describes the finished fabric sample itself.

Time out. To put a frustrating project on hold until you have the patience to deal with it. 

Tink. Knit spelled backwards: hence, to undo completed work stitch by stitch.

Unknit. Same as tink: to undo knitted work stitch by stitch.

Unvention. Coined by renowned knitter, Elizabeth Zimmerman, it describes a new-to-you stitch or technique that has most likely been discovered (invented) by other knitters before you.

Yarn chicken. To continue knitting, even though it appears you'll run out of yarn before you finish the piece.

Yarneater. Describes projects or stitches that eat up lots of yarn.

Obviously, this list isn't all-encompassing, but hopefully it captures the most common terms used in knitterly conversations and online venues. Of course, we haven't even begun to tackle the abbreviations and acronyms used in patterns and stitch dictionaries, but we'll save that topic for another day. 

As always, if you spot a term that's missing, just let me know and we'll add it to the list.


Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

What a Relief: I Actually Do Like Knitting After All

Knit and Tonic - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 22:58
Any serious sock knitter who takes themselves seriously, in all seriousness, has at least one pair on the needles, another pair whose second sock is knit halfway, and at least one new skein in the queue to be cast on.... Wendy
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Those lurking little jerks

Knitting to Stay Sane - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 22:31
Now that we’ve been enjoying a few weeks of spring here in southern Ontario, I’ve been pulling out a few accessory knits that haven’t seen use in a few months. My fingerless mitts and shawls tend to see more action in fall and spring as transitional garments – you probably also have a bundle of […]
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Dear Elliot

Yarn Harlot - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 18:41

I did not know, my sweetness, what it would feel like to be a grandmother. I tried to imagine it, and I wasn’t able to, not the whole time that you were on your way. I knew I would love you, that was certain – but the rest of it was a secret I’m only just now figuring out. My own mother has turned out to be such a wonderful grandmother, that I felt a lot of pressure, so I hope I do okay. It has started like this – you are so beautiful that I have shown your picture to every person I have encountered in the last 10 days. (The lady at the wine store agrees that you are perfect, and the guy who does our taxes (your Poppy Joe sent that one) agrees. Several taxi drivers have concurred, and I like to think that the lady at the grocery store can’t wait for an update.)  I have not been so besotted of a human since your Mum and Aunties were in my arms. I cannot get enough of you, your tiny fingernails are miraculous, your little mouth, so like your mother’s, I could look at it all day. In this way, my Elliot, becoming a grandmother was like becoming a mother. You are like sunshine, I can watch you for hours, and holding your small body in my arms almost hurts, it is so divine.

It’s different than being a mother though, because I am not afraid.  I don’t worry you’ll stop breathing, I am unconcerned by your snuffles and sneezes, I am not anxious about hypothermia if your hands feel cool, and I don’t fear for your future when you sleep through a feeding. I felt that fear for your mum, and it was all used up on her. I’ve seen how it goes now, and I know you’re not as tenuously here as it seems. When your mum asks me if you’re okay, it’s with an easy heart that I can reply that your are not just okay, you’re perfect. You changed that – promoting me from fretting, over-concerned mother, to confident, unworried grandmother, and it’s a change I’m enjoying. it is no longer my responsibility to make what feel like crushing, all important decisions about life and death matters, like whether or not you should have socks on. That is for your mum and dad, and the part of me that remembers the feeling enjoys watching them fuss over you. (The present debate centres around your fingernails. Do they need cutting? Are they too long? What if you scratch yourself? How should they cut them if they are too long? They are beautifully finding their feet as parents, and seeing them take on the role and the responsibility so well is almost as compelling and satisfying as your eyebrows.)

You’ve rippled through our whole little family, reminding me that babies are huge that way. Though you’re tiny, you’ve had an impact on all of our lives. Our whole dynamic has changed and we’re all looking forward, and dreaming, and imagining who you’re going to be, and what you’ll be like. So far, you’re easygoing, thoughtful, and worried – a lot like (me) and your Great Uncle Tupper, who’s name you bear. I’ve been thinking a lot about him this week, and I thought a lot about my own grandparents too,  as I did with your mother and aunties, wishing that they were here, wishing they could see you. I was blessed Elliot, with the most wonderful grandparents in the world, and though I only had them until I was in my teens, they remain two of the most powerful people of my life.  It was this that was in my mind when I started your blanket. The centre panel is Lily-of-the-Valley. It was an easy choice – for it reminds me of my own grandmother. It was a favourite of hers, and at her house a long bed of it bloomed every spring, and smelled like heaven. Your mother is named for my grandmother, and you’re the child who makes me a grandmother, and so Lilly-of-the-Valley it was.

Surrounding that centre is a wee border of ring lace. Tiny, perfect circles, meant as a symbol of the whole family that surrounds you. We are a small family, but we are tight, and we know how to operate as a team. it’s been said that we’re a hard family to break into – but you, little boy, are in, and the force of the wee and fierce McPhee army stands round you.

That motif gives way to a pattern of dog paws, meant to acknowledge your dog Penny. (She’s the border collie who keeps trying to lick your face, and comes over every time you fuss to make sure that someone is taking care of her people-puppy.)  I am not a dog person, but Penny is a very good dog, and I suspect she’s going to be your first and fiercest friend.

The largest border on your blanket is your heritage – where you come from, in the context of the great big world. Your mother is Canadian, so snowflakes for her – and your father is Nicaraguan, so the little flowers are Nicaragua’s national flower, the sacuanjoche. (It is hard to knit one, but I think it’s close. Maybe when I teach you to knit you’ll come up with something better.)

Finally, the edging I choose for you is an old one – unlike the dog paws, snowflakes or the flowers, I didn’t have to make it up. It’s a variation of Print O’ the Wave, and besides being beautiful, it’s a symbol of much. The water we all love to be near and in,  and the water you were born from and into, the wave of love that carried you here, and it isn’t lost on me that it looks a lot like the climbing plant in your living room that your parents both love.

All together, your blanket is just over 2 and a half kilometres of silk and wool, soft and strong, like I hope you and life will be. It is a great thing to be resilient, and gentle.  It took me months to make it, and it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever made. I shudder to think how many stitches are in it, but know that I didn’t resent a one of them. They all hold my hope and joy, and there is so much of that – I couldn’t have knit a stitch less.

I know that right now, we don’t know each other very well. You’re young, and you’re perfect and you sleep a lot, and so much about you is yet to be revealed. Will you play the piano, like me? The guitar like Joe? Will you be tenderhearted, like Erin and your mum, or dangerously witted, like your Great Grandmother Bonnie or your Great Uncle Tupp? Will you be able to write like your Grammy or my Grampa, will you love crosswords and languages and travelling like Ian? Will you be fierce like your Aunt Amanda? Resilient like Samantha? Are you the child who is finally curly-haired, like me? Will you be tall? What will come from your father and his family? What will be all yours – the things that make you your own self, that we all come to think of as your gifts? We can’t wait to find out, and I am weepy and overwhelmed thinking of a lifetime of learning you.

You will go on to do a great many things, but know that even though you are so little, you have already changed the world. Though I will do my best to stand between you and sadness, you are going to have bad days. It is my fondest wish that on those days, you remember this.  You are a wanted, longed for, and deeply loved person, and you are everything we ever hoped would happen. You are my grandson.

Welcome, and I love you.

Grammy

Categories: Knitting Feeds

spring mix

Autumn Geisha - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 13:49

We are in the heart of springtime here in Maryland and enjoying every minute of this beautiful season. Easter was a quiet affair since I had to work. But the Bunny did stop by to bring the little guy some treats to feed his sweet tooth....and also left a little yarny goodness for me:


Can't wait to cast on a pair of spring/summer monster socks with these speckled mini-skeins from havirland....as soon as I finish the other two pairs of socks that are still on the needles. Still trying to resist the urge to start new projects but it's hard when there are so many pretty patterns and yarns floating around. I finally caved in last week and casted on a Campside with the beautiful Rifton yarn from Jill Draper Makes Stuff that I bought last year at Maryland Sheep & Wool. The colorway is appropriately named Spring and is lovely to knit with.


Here are some other things that are making life grand at the moment:

*Going for nature walks and enjoying some relaxing time with my little guy who is on Spring Break this week.
*Practicing & improving on my lettering skills.
*Spending time at the various fishing piers scattered around the island, especially at sunset.
*Fresh & healthy meal bowls like this and this.
*Fun covers of some favorite mid-century songs from this soundtrack.

So, what's currently in the mix for you? Any fun new projects or favorite easy meals?
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Wanderling

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 11:00

www.knittedbliss.com

Original Pattern: Wanderling Knitter Extraordinaire: Lino (Ravelry ID) Mods: Changed the pullover to a full cardigan, added striping at the cuffs and hem, and eliminated the pocket. Details can be found on Lino’s project page can be found here. What Makes This Awesome: The original pattern is beautiful,  but Lino really improved on it with her gorgeous

The post Modification Monday: Wanderling appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Ombres & Gradients: Which Would You Choose?

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 04/16/2017 - 12:30
Knitting time has been as elusive as the Easter bunny. This means my rainbow scrapghan is progressing at a turtle pace, but the finish line is in sight so I'm striving valiantly to stay focused.

Several fresh afghan designs are clamoring to be cast on, however, and a knitter has to plan, right? That may explain why I've been scouring the stash, playing with color, and experimenting with various ombres and gradients as time permits.

Here are five combinations I'm considering:


1. With its blues, lavender and purple, this cool gradient would make a nice counterpoint to the vivid brights of my rainbow afghan, but don't you think it looks a bit bland and boring?



2. With livelier shades of green, turquoise and purple, this cool gradient offers (to my eye) a bit more visual interest and appeal.



3. With shades of teal, sage, jade and grayed greens, this tonal ombre speaks to me, partly because green has recently been on my radar screen.


4. With soft yellows, varied pinks and a subdued red, this gradient feels slightly tropical. (You'd think my stash would be overflowing with shades of red and rose, but I've done such a good job of knitting orphans, partials and leftovers, the choices are limited.)

5. With bright yellow and warm coral tones, this spicy gradient has an earthy look that lands somewhere between the heat of August and the harvest colors of fall.


I confess I'm stumped. I like all of them for different reasons, and most will eventually find their way into one project or another. That said, if I had the opportunity to cast on tomorrow, I don't have a clue which one to pick.
If you were in my shoes, which would you choose?

Meanwhile, I hope you're having a lovely weekend, and I wish a Happy Easter or Happy Passover to those who celebrate.
Categories: Knitting Feeds

April Indie Dyer Feature & Giveaway~ Dyed inThe Wool Yarn Co.

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 04/16/2017 - 07:11
Happy Sunday! Here we are into another month in the year where we get to be treated with a little Q & A from another wonderful indie dyer. The month of April we celebrate- Vanessa of Dyed in the Wool Yarn Co. So grab your cup of tea and let's... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

On the Outside

Yarn Harlot - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 01:39

I have started and deleted this post about twenty times. Editing, deleting, re-writing, deleting, trying to say the right things about Elliot’s arrival, and what it was like. This time I’m just going to write straight through, and whatever happens, happens, because like all the times I try to write about big things, it never seems right, but now that I’ve realized I was writing about the wrong thing, maybe it just will be.

Elizabeth Stone wrote “Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.” I’ve always felt this, as most mothers do, to be absolutely true, and wonderful, and horrible and risky in its truth.  Motherhood for me has been all of those things. Fabulous and heartbreaking and easy and hard and dangerous and frightening and glorious. Usually all at the same time, and while you are doing laundry.  I tell you this, because it perhaps explains what happened to me when Megan told me she was pregnant. I knew it was coming. I’d even suspected it for a while, and I thought that when they made the decision to get married a baby was what they were really after, but somehow – when Megan said that she was expecting, I did something horrible. I congratulated her and Alex, and then I excused myself, and I went to the bathroom and cried. Not happy tears either, not “I’m so happy for you” tears, but some sort of heartbreak that took me by surprise. Everyone knew I was crying, and it was days before I knew why, or could even start to explain myself. I think that people thought that I didn’t want to be a grandmother, or that I thought she was too young (she’s not) or that I’m bad with transitions (I am) or that I was too young (I’m not.) It wasn’t that at all – I was fine with me being a grandmother.  I was heartbroken that Meg was going to be a mother. That her fine, young, happy heart was going to start going round around outside her body, and that with that, she would get all the joy, and also all the pain and work and risk that motherhood brings.

It was a maternal reaction, I see that now. Some wild urge to protect my daughter from… well. Let’s be frank. I wanted to protect her from everything she’d ever done to me, and it took me a few months to settle down, but I did. (As an aside, this trait must run in the family, because I think my mum went through the same thing.) As the months went on I started looking forward to it, and as a retired birth worker, I was over the moon when Meg asked me if I’d come to her birth. She was planning a home birth with midwives – a practice I wholeheartedly support, and the way I had my girls, and she set about preparing herself, and her husband Alex did the same. (A little note here, let’s not debate home birth in the comments. I know it is not the case in much of North America, but here in Ontario we have educated, licensed midwives who are registered primary care attendants, and they are covered in our provincial health care plan. The research where we live is clear. Low-risk healthy women and babies are more likely to stay that way if they give birth at home.) I (eventually) became beyond excited.

Let’s fast forward to last Thursday, when I was about to get on a plane and leave my daughter to work at the DFW Fiber Fest. I’d booked the work before Meg was even pregnant, and although it was a tiny bit of a risk, I felt sure that it would be okay. First babies are seldom early, and almost never that early, and so with Meg’s blessing, I got on that plane and left. Friday morning I texted her and said something like “Whew! We got through the first night without you having a baby!” and two minutes later the text came back… “About that…”

Meg was (maybe) in labour. She’d started having contractions about every ten minutes that morning. I swore, and then I went to breakfast.  Sometimes labours start and stop. Contractions didn’t mean a baby was coming – so I went to work. I taught the morning, and then at lunch, Meg texted that they hadn’t stopped, and I spent the next 15 minutes having a complete nervous breakdown. I tried to find the part of me that could stay at work and miss the birth. I tried to imagine the part of me that did that, the part of me that has been to so many births for clients, but misses my own daughters, – and then I called my friend Jen (student midwife) and she told me what I already knew. “Go home.” She said. “I’m supposed to work two more days” I said. “Imagine that it’s twenty years from now” she said. “Where will you wish you had been?”

Right around then, a representative of the DFW Guild walked into the room, and I told her everything. I might even have almost cried. I told her I was trying to be the sort of person who stayed and taught while her grandchild was being born, but that I was failing. Then I stood there, and looked at her, and… Blog, I will be eternally grateful for this…She said “Family first. What do you need to get home?”  (Here I must note: my eternal thanks go out to the executive of the DFW Guild, and the knitters who were booked to have a class with me and missed out. Your generosity and kindness was a tremendous gift, One that I will never be able to repay, though this time next year, I’ll try.) A quick call to Joe, and I was tentatively booked on the 7:30pm flight to Toronto. (It was the soonest one.) I taught the rest of the day, then checked in with Meg to see if things were still underway (they were) then Joni (the spectacular teacher liaison for the guild) drove me to my hotel, I bugged out faster than a MASH unit, and she drove me to the airport like James Bond. I was at the airport about 45 minutes after class ended.

The whole flight home, I was wild. What if the baby is born before I get there? What if I go home and the baby is born in three weeks and I left for nothing? How mad will the knitters be? I was my dear blog, a mess.  (Photo below of the guy who sat next to me on the plane, and upon learning that I was flying home for the birth of a grandchild, showed me 837364557 pictures of his granddaughter, born just months before. He was reassuring.)

Joe picked me up from the airport at 1am, the baby not born yet, and he was so excited that when he got out of the car to put my case in the trunk, he forgot to put the car in park and had to chase it. The family text group was on fire. No baby yet, contractions continuing… Meg was going to try and rest. By 5am her contractions were at 5 minutes apart, and we all knew it was showtime. I spent the day knitting on the blanket, checking my phone to make sure the volume was on, and trying to deal with Joe, who was (still) so excited, that when he got on the phone with Air Canada to cancel his flight to Calgary that day, as he explained to the agent that his daughter was having a baby, cried from joy enough that she didn’t charge him a change fee. By late afternoon, I was crazy. I’d been texting with Alex, who kept assuring me that Meg was doing beautifully, but knowing Meg, and knowing how my labours had been, I had the feeling that she was farther along that she was letting on. I had a sneaking suspicion that her ability to cope so beautifully was making it look like her labour wasn’t intense, when really, she was about to bomb drop a baby on us. (I know this, because it’s pretty much what I did with her and her sisters. McPhee women specialize in having a grip, often to our own detriment. We are stealth. You never know when we need help.) Alex, who was doing a spectacularly wonderful job and knows this about his wife, snapped and called me and the midwife around suppertime.

I arrived, walked in the door, and Meg fell into my arms. It was very, very clear to me that there would be a baby soon, and she settled into the birth pool, and then… oh Blog. She proceeded to break my heart into a million pieces, over and over, and over again. She was graceful. She was gorgeous. She was strong and she was gentle and she was… she was perfect. Her labour with her babe was just like my labour with her, and I was carried on waves of remembrance and of pride and while on the outside, I helped her and Alex and the midwife set up. While she breathed her baby out and let it carry her, on the outside of me, I held a cool cloth to her brow and held her hand, and laid out towels and birth supplies, and on the inside, there were no words. Never, in my life has my heart walked round more outside my body, never have I felt more keenly the cord that connects me forever to a person I gave birth to.  There are no words for her strength. She was absolutely perfect. Absolutely beautiful, and absolutely something I had always hoped she would be.

At 8:17pm, her baby slid from her, and the midwife gave him a little push, forward between Meg’s legs, and he rose up, right in front of her in the water. She sat back on her knees, looked at him swimming there, and then reached down, and lifted him up to her, up out of the water, and into the world of air, and wild things, and love.

I had expected, Blog, that in that moment, I would be possessed with my grandchild. That his small self would be the star of the moment. That I would see him, and he would be my moon and my stars and the focus of all of my heart. I thought he would sweep me entirely… and he was lovely. He was perfect and tiny and early and his ears are like little shells, and his small hands are everything I have ever needed or loved or found beautiful, to be sure, but Blog… I was all eyes for my sweet Meg.

My grandson is beautiful, for sure, but he was not my star.  Friends,  have you seen the glory that is my girl?

Save

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Sticking to my knitting

Knitting to Stay Sane - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 16:45
My knitting friends, I can attest that being in the middle of a knitting slump is probably the least fun experience to have as a knitter, and is even less fun to talk about. But it’s a glitch that happens every so often and is always temporary. For me the most reliable way  to get […]
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 11:00

www.knittedbliss.com

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Loved this hilarious take on the email responses we wish we could write. This is a long read, but I was riveted- we expect gratitude from refugees, but do we deserve it? If you are interested in the Pantone 2017 colours (full roster), here is a great post

The post Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

FO | Colsie Mitts Green Gradient

Knitting | Work in Progress - Wed, 04/12/2017 - 12:00
Slowly but surely, spring is creeping forward. Several untimely freezes managed to zap the buds of early blooming trees, shrubs and flowers, so the colorful display that makes this time of year so appealing is more subdued than usual.

On the other hand, tender shoots and leaves are beginning to emerge and the grass and dandelions are growing at an alarming rate. To celebrate all this burgeoning greenery, I finished another pair of spring-weight fingerless mitts, this time in seasonal shades of green and teal.



Mitts | Colsie Green Gradient
Pattern: In development
Yarn: Cotton Fleece (Brown Sheep)
Size: M
Needles: US 8 (5 mm)
Yardage: ~81 yards

With it's blend of cotton and wool, Cotton Fleece is perfect for the season, offering warmth without a woolly feel. As a bonus, the mitts were super fast and easy, and allowed me to use up several small balls of leftovers and scraps, Right now, the only thing they complement is my Lucben Tidepool afghan, but they should work with a teal and lake shawl in the planning pipeline.

In contrast to the Colsie Rose mitts, this pair incorporates a seven-stage gradient created with just four colors. From top to bottom, they are:
  • Rue
  • Light Jade
  • Sage
  • New Age Teal
I suspect it makes me sound like a simpleton, but I'm having such fun making these gradient and ombre mitts, I've already selected more leftovers for future pairs. A few weeks ago, I casually said I could see these in every color of the rainbow. Considering the array of Cotton Fleece leftovers tucked in the stash, that possibility seems more likely every day.

What knitting obsessions have captured your imagination this week?


Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pages

Subscribe to Furiously Eclectic People aggregator - Knitting Feeds