Sunday, November 16, 2008

Knitting Knotes....and other 'purls' of wisdom

So many things going on....much on my mind. I loved what my friend, Meags, wrote on her blog just the other day. She has been away from blogland for a while and she recently wrote that she had be 'thinking'...that October and November are 'thinking months' for her. I found that to be such a 'right on' statement, for I have found the very same to be true for me. The paradox is that as the Earth begins its dormant stage and prepares for a winter of slumber and rest, my mind revs happen that encourage me to look for the lesson within. Every fall I have this grandiose idea of a quietness edging in...the beginning of rest and huddling in. And every fall I find that events happen, things arise causing much reflection and learning from. Instead of being the squirrel in the forest fluffing up my nest in a hollowed tree for the winter and checking on my stash of acorns, I'm the one standing in the middle of the forest, hands on my hips going 'So what's up with this?? What's the lesson to be learned from this?? And quite frankly, this wasn't part of my autumnal plan!!!" Nothing more disconcerting (or bemusing) than an indignant squirrel who has many lessons to learn, whether she wants to or not.

But I digress, a bit.

What I have been learning is how to refine my knitting technique. Oh sure, I whip out autumn scarves with a flurry like falling leaves and mindless glee. But I've always wanted to 'get down'....and I don't mean all James Brown-like. I've wanted to work with smaller-sized needles, with lighter yarn, with a more 'delicate' pattern. There are patterns that work on circular needles, double-pointed needles, using stitch markers and 'reducing down to shape a crown'. I'm dying to make a pair of socks!! I've been all over the internet looking at pictures, patterns, videos. One such sight had the adorable picture of a
'pumpkin' hat (and a pair of matching booties) for a little one and I instantly fell in love! I had to make that pumpkin hat!!


I know...I know... then why make a little one's pumpkin hat?? Because I wanted to. It was just the project to try my goal on. And know me and autumn! So off I went to purchase yarn and smaller needles. May I just say I am a needle snob!?! I will only use bamboo needles. I adore the feel of a natural product (as opposed to aluminum) and I make sure to always use my 40% off coupon from Michael's to make my purchase.

As I am rather 'butt-bound' due to my knee (this is killing me, by the way, that I can't go to yoga OR work in my garden during this glorious weather, but I digress again...), I have been using my spare time to work on my little pumpkin. Knitting is relaxing, rhythmic, calming...almost like a tangible form of meditation. I've totally enjoyed working on my technique with the smaller needles and yarn. I did alter the pattern a bit by not working 'in the round'...choosing to go 'tubular' and then sew at the seam and top 'vents'. I knitted the leaves and added some curly vines to the hat - every pumpkin should have at least a curly vine or two!!

And voila'! A pumpkin ready for picking!

On another 'knote'...I have to mention that last weekend I was given the priviledge of teaching a class at a women's retreat hosted by my church. Now mind you, this is soooo not like me. But my pastor (she is just an amazing woman!) and our spiritual director knew of my early post about making a 'prayer mala' and wondered if I would mind teaching this at the retreat. I was honored and excited to share this with the gals! But to be honest, there was a part of me that was a little concerned that it might not be received as enthusiastically as I am about it. I was a bit afraid the women might think stringing a bunch of beads onto some wire and calling it a 'prayer mala' might be a little ....oh...too 'new age' or weird for them.

Shows how much I know.

The women couldn't have been more receptive or eager about the whole project! The spiritual director and I had gone shopping for gemstones and beads a few weeks earlier. I had typed up a info sheet that describe each gemstone/bead and the meaning behind it (some offer peace, abundance, calming, etc.) They gathered their choice of colors and types and began stringing and it never stopped! I was crimping and finishing malas up until after the end of the day! I was so thrilled that so many 'strangers' were eager to share this with me! Several made two - some even making one for a friend in need. It really was a powerful thing to see. I know how much I use mine, and how much it means to me. Something tells me that those women are getting much out of theirs, as well. I know I did out of the whole experience.

Plans today include working on a gift for a dear friend who just received a very tough medical diagnosis. Maybe a pot of chili for dinner. Typing up sub plans for Tuesday's workshop and hopefully, beginning a new knitting project! I guess that fluffled-up nest will have to wait another day.


Chickenbells said...

Oh...that is the cutest hat ever!! I am still in the middle of what it becoming an epic knitting project. I'm liking the little cap you made better though. I love bamboo needles as well...I need to get more though, the aluminum one's are so much more slippery aren't they?

Have a beautiful Sunday!

Jane said...

Cute!! I wish I knew how to knit, I have tried a few times and I just can't get the hang of it. That really is a darling hat.

Sorry the knee is still bothering you!! Love the beads, what a fun class you were able to teach.

Nonnie said...

you have been one busy lady!!!! i would love to revive my knitting skills...actually i would have to dig them out of the basement, dust them off and THEN try to revive them....them may not be revivable! :)

thank you so much, vb for your words of support for this 3-Day walk!!!! they mean so much, and YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we waved and waved and waved to the children gathered at the fences across the street at YOUR school!!!! my neice that walked with us, is a teacher and we had told her how wonderful schools were in supporting us along the way....and YOURS was her first experience and she (and of course we) LOVED the support, waving, cheering and love felt by YOUR school!!!! how fun that we were waving at each other.....even though we have never met!!!! please tell them their support was soooooo appreciated!
hugs and a heartfelt thank you!

Susie of Arabia said...

Love your pumpkin hat! It's adorable! And glad to hear about the retreat class going so well. Hope your knee gets better real soon!

Just Joni said...

I just love that little pumpkin hat and you sound like me when it comes to knitting...I don't know why, but I want to knit a pair of socks so badly and don't know how (maybe it's the purist in me) I enjoy the idea of relishing the organics...this age of convenience doesn't always fit well with me (too mind cluttering). So here's to using these quiet months to scamper around the forest to find knitting resources while everyone else hibernates...they might have a surprise waiting for them!