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Knitting for Dummies, by Pam Allen, Tracy Barr, and Shannon Okey, is my lifeline! It breaks down knitting to its simplest - keeping me out of trouble when that project has presented a new challenge. It is also the perfect accompaniment and teacher in learning new skills and tricks of the trade. What would I do without it? While not every problem in life or in parenting is as easily solved as the challenges we face in knitting, through this craft, I have managed to learn a lot about myself as a human being and as a parent. I hope I can share these experiences with you, and in turn, we can spend some time together learning from each other...

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June, June, June





If you have never seen the YouTube video phenomenon of Leslie Uggams butchering (and I say that painfully because I love Miss Uggams back from her days in "Roots" - the ground-breaking mini-series!) "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" from Carousel, you SHOULD.  Here, let me help you as this video is this post's foundation:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mrma76T5Wa4!


Have you ever tried lace?!  Well, I do to lace what Leslie Uggams did to "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" in that performance!  Man!  My hands with any fine yarn and small needles are not friends.  Like Miss Uggams, most of my lace work often comes out a big ol' mess...

On parenting...


Recently, I was chatting with a fellow parent, a mom at my son's violin studio (Hi, J!)  Together, we were commiserating on how difficult summers felt.  Most often, they are crazily unstructured.  We longed for the routines we had lost with the end of the school year... and how good these routines are not only for our kids, but for us, too.  I suppose it's exactly what that Staples commercial celebrates in the fall:  the return to the school year marks... the most wonderful time... 

Summers, in essence, end up feeling a bit messy, like a bad piece of lacework (i.e., my attempts at it to say the least) or a bad rendition of "June is Bustin' Out All Over"!  (Did you watch that video?!)

To avoid this lack of structure and because this year my son whom I often call "P" rebelled against camp, we are trying something new.  At first, it looks like a big ol' pile of activities - again, much like my attempts at lacework.  But upon closer inspection while there appears to be no structure to our summer activities, I am learning from knitting - as I have learned from his Montessori education - that everything has structure, even our impromptu work.  I love it.  P has a series of small camps and a whole bunch of activities at home.  The two of us are attacking every day and every week like a complex pattern:  a stitch at a time.  Similar to lace as well, our summer schedule (or our "pattern") seems to change every day/row, therefore, the two of us are trying to pay close attention to avoid having to unravel the work.  He is doing great, and this "life knitting pattern" of our own seems to be working... I love spending time with him and watching him grow.  Don't get me wrong; I'm still longing for the school year, but until then... What a treat!

As with other things, today, I am taking a page from life to inform my knitting, and I am taking a page from knitting to inform my journey through parenthood...


On Adam, Eve, and their knitwear...

Following the story, one day, Eve needed a hat...


Lace.  Lace.  Lace.  I'm not giving up on you, but I need to better understand how you function first!  We must try and try again.  Here we go...

In the beginning... Wait.  Could I try something other than lace?  My mom's shawl did not go well... Could I try something else?  Hmmm.... 

In the beginning... there was a man, some needles, and some beautiful yarn... some of his favorite.  (Yes, let's start with some of my favorite yarn!)  Using Berroco Ultra Alpaca - my "go to" yarn for beanies - I tackled the workings of lace.  Yes, I know... I have heard it already... worsted weight lace is for chickens, but remember, my method was to better understand the workings of lace and how it can be just like any other project, right?  (YIKES!)   I wanted to create something simple, quick, inspired by the 1920's, and that allowed me to explore something lace-like.  I wanted it to feel pretty, and I wanted it to feel girly.  To that end, I felt like adding a little adornment: a rosette.  After all, Eve was fussy about her looks as we learned later on during Sunday school...  ;)


The hat follows my quick recipe for a beanie incorporating yarnovers (YO) and knit-two-togethers (K2tog).  It was pretty straight-forward until I tried to use my preferred crown shaping which gives my beanies a rounder top and a spiral decrease.  Nothing was complicated; keeping track of the adjustmensts was a challenge - just like our summer schedule!

For the adornment, I experimented with both dyed (pink and green - see left) and natural color yarn (see pictures above) creating a long I-Cord (18"), folding it in half, and wrapping it into a knot.  Before doing so, I "opened" the I-Cord and continued knitting together one or two leaves (all in one piece) for dimension.  I liked it so much that I thought of a million and one different uses for those rosettes: tied to a ribbon around the neck, as a lapelle pin, as a headband, as a hair clip, as button closure (which you'll see later), as a belt...

Perhaps all of my women-friends (and some of my male friends) will be getting one this holiday season... perhaps...  

Thank you for reading and sharing with me.  And don't forget to feed the fishies! (Use your mouse to drop some food - by clicking - for them before you leave...)  e-

 





PS A special thanks to my beautiful friend, Meg T., for modeling this hat - neither she nor Eve was a prude, and I think Meg is prettier than Eve was.  Stay tuned for more...

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