Wednesday, September 07, 2011

FM of K

I’m still unwilling to admit, Dear Reader, that I might be over-promising when it comes to the “frequent mention of knitting” part of my mission statement. Although I’ve barely blogged about knitting (or actually knitted) since Bee was born, I’m still one of those crazy knitters that thinks about knitting all the time. I’m always a knitter. Even now, I look at patterns and buy yarn and count the days until my town’s new yarn shop opens up (FIVE BLOCKS FROM MY HOUSE!). Knitterhood is part of my identity and I’m cool with that. I’m more than cool with it, actually; knitting is a source of pride and community and creativity and pleasure and comfort – even when I don’t have two free hands with which to clasp needles. But thank god there’s no $5 Ravelry Extra that logs our hours spent pattern-browsing* and yarn-cataloging (with a baby in one’s lap), that’s all I am saying.

Before I was a parent, “frequent mention of knitting” was not just possible – not only probable – but assured. In fact, knitting, and its frequent mention, was pretty much my idée fixe, a pursuit simultaneously requiring a certain elegant logic and allowing a wild inventiveness. Knitting was artistic, time-consuming, challenging, and fun, so I used to knit torrentially. With a complete lack of restraint. I made sw
eaters, stuffed animals, hats, mittens, baby things (for friends’ babies, and then for my own – before she was born, of course), socks, a burger and fries, all manner of cosy. You know. Knitting. All the time. All over the place. Always and forever.

That kind of uninhibited, gung-ho pursuit of a hobby worked out great when I was in my twenties and had, like many young people of my general socioeconomic situation, nothing better to do but work for a badly operated nonprofit, make pancakes for dinner, and go to rock shows with my boyfriend. Later, knitting still fit snugly into my pre-motherhood life, when career became somewhat more important but not all-encompassing. I could work and still knit, be married and still knit, buy a house and still knit, even go back to school and still knit. It was, as we used to say back in the ebullient ‘nineties, “all good.”

Along came Bee, though. Sweet, exacting girl.
Since I basically haven’t set the kid down in the last ten months, there hasn’t been a lot of knitting going on around here, and I now surmise that the Romans’ poena magna refers to the great pain of no longer having time to knit. Every now and then I glance longingly toward my workbasket – I caress my rosewood needles in passing – I ‘favorite’ every garment of seamless construction on Ravelry – I even place a Knit Picks order – but I don’t actually knit.

At least, not until two weeks ago.

Two weeks ago: that’s when I discovered, oh my GOD, that I can knit while Bee sleeps in my lap! (Because every nap of her life has been in my lap. I know, it’s insane, but, trust me, if it could be any other way, we would make it be some other way.) Now, if only I were smarter and quicker and had thought of this knitting-with-a-baby-in-my-lap scheme months ago! I could have been carefully and quietly knitting miles of Cascade 220 socks instead of hustling through the Fairacre series or watching TV on my laptop with headphones.

So, I knit again! And for the last two weeks, I have looked forward to Bee’s lap-naps with high glee, which must be how the parents of normal-napping babies feel every time they put their kid down in the crib to sleep. Coming in the next few days, Dear Reader, is a report on the FOUR active knitting projects I’ve got going on right now. (Four, friends. This doesn’t count some sad hibernating intarsia socks, a closet-living orange hat, and a still-to-be-seamed sweater of old, none of which I can be persuaded to look at.

But here’s an advance glance (“sneak peek” is a trifle overworked, don’t you agree?) at one of the little slip-stitch sweaters I’m making for (of course) Bee. I’ll tell you all about it, and other lap-nap projects, on the morrow. Or the morrow after that.

* knitting > free > construction:seamless > keyword:cardigan. Like a million times.


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