Category Archives: knitting

Glorious Chores

I used to knit.

A lot.

Sweaters, socks, slippers, blankets — useful things that kept my family warm and my hands and creative energy sated. And I had this friend. And she had a friend. And together we decided that we would open a knitting shop. And, despite the whispers of an inner voice I heard telling me that something was wrong with the big picture, we did. And needless to say, it didn’t work out. Say what you will about partnerships of three being recipes for disaster or business ventures with friends being the beginning of the end, I was idealistic and I ignored the whispers and dove in with my heart (and my family’s life savings). Now, almost four years after leaving the business, and two years after the gag rule expired (yes, it was that bad) I still don’t care to talk about it, but suffice it to say I no longer knit. Not really, anyway.

So was I hesitant, even scared, to turn my love of photography into a job? Did I—do I—worry that the joy will disappear and by the sheer definition of the word ‘work’ remove the pleasure from the act picking up my camera? The simple answer is: yes. I do. But it was a calculated decision. A risk and choice. This time, I’m listening to the whispers. The voice inside that’s telling me ‘Don’t forget that you love this. Don’t forget to do this for you.’ So even when it takes extra effort, it’s my plan to build shooting time into my life.

Sounds easy, right? But I can hardly build time for a daily shower into my life right now. Sometimes it’s a chore. But life is full of glorious chores and I’m pretty convinced that you get out of it what you put into it.

So today I promise myself I’ll photograph something, anything, that isn’t for anyone else. And the results might suck.

Or they might be amazing. Either way, I’ll be okay with it.

The photo giveaway is still open until Wednesday – check it out if you’re interested.

Off The Hook

You know that I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel get jobs at the chocolate factory and the conveyer belt is moving faster than they can work?

(The punch line is that the chocolates end up all over the place—under their hats, in their dresses, stuffed into their cheeks, etc.)

That’s how my life feels right now. The projects are piling up.

Every year before the holidays it’s as if someone yells “speed it up” into the control room.

Those of us who value handmade seem to put rather a lot of pressure on ourselves to make. Everything. All the time.

For me, it’s partially about living up to holidays past where everyone got a personal handmade gift. Some of it is due to my general distain for the holiday commercialism in our culture and not wanting to literally buy into it. Add to the mix that we celebrate Chanukah around here, which falls in early December this year, and the heat is on.

No matter what the reason—when it gets this way I lose some of the pleasure in the process of making.

So this year: I’m only going to do what I can do.

And I’m going to be okay with that. I have kids that need my attention—now. And web sites that need designing. And a husband who needs attention—now. And a body that needs sleep. And a house that needs attention.

I’m letting myself off the hook.

And if this sweater magically gets finished

all the better.

But these cookies needed making.

and I have no regrets—well, almost no regrets (I may have eaten too many).

Used Goods

What is it that’s so pleasing about handing down a beloved article of clothing?

There’s so much satisfaction about finding new life in something that otherwise might spend eternity pressed up against a moth-ball.

I spent years knitting sweater after sweater for Jake and I never expected, or even really hoped, to have another child of my own to hand them down to.

Still, most of them I kept.

Now that he’s eleven, this Mama finds tremendous pleasure in seeing his old sweaters on his two year old brother.

I’ve said it here before but it bears repeating. Ann Budd’s Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns may as well be the only knitting pattern book in my library. It, coupled with a good stitch dictionary, is all I ever use for knitting sweaters. This one is a basic raglan, knit in the round from the bottom up. I knit in random stripes of three or four different colors – one of which is variegated. The yarn is Supermerino from Artyarns and has worn and washed very well.

Thank you for all of your interest in the Moments project. The description and list of participants can be found here. It’s been wonderful to meet so many new people and to feel so supported in my efforts to showcase all the different moments that make up a life.

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