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...

Friday, November 26, 2010


"I am knee-deep into the situation and I'm not afraid to handle it."

Did I say that correctly?  It does sound like "I have a gun and I'm not afraid to use it."  But I'm a pacifist; guns are not my thing.  In any event, I am not sure if I got the right idiom or if it is even a real one.  After 25 years of living in the States I still find myself confusing idioms between English and Spanish, and worse, arranging the words to really mess them up because once I hear them, I interpret these idioms in my head and share them back as I understood them.  My friends have caught me saying more than once that I dislike running around, "like a chicken with no head" instead of "like a chicken with its head cut off."  Aren't they the same?  Food for fodder.  Please discuss amongst yourselves.  ;)

As of late, I have been finding myself knee-deep in some situations:  (a) parenting - always a challenge and a joy all-in-one, (b) hate mail - you know someone's paying attention to you when they feel strongly enough to say something, (c) work... well, what else is there to say..., and (d) life.  And I am grateful for the village - i.e., my support system - around me who helps me every day to cope with both the expected and the unexpected.  Without them, I would be up to my neck in these situations without the possibility of ever coming out.

On parenting (again)...

Since my last post, I realized that the parenting situations I was facing as of late were not requiring me to roll up my sleeves to handle them, but they were begging me to tuck in my pant legs inside my boots, protect my boots, and get knee-deep into them.  I have grown to know this as "involved parenting".  ;) 

As I think of my life as a child, I remember that I often wanted "to be left alone," but in reality, all I wanted was some attention and time with my parents.  Sadly, I never knew how to express that in a manner that let them know how much I love them and wanted them around me.  I am, by sheer nature, raising a kid who needs time with his two dads, and more interestingly, doesn't always show it - until that dad/papa time is not there.  Then, things go a little... off.  I find that strickingly amazing... how the pattern repeats itself no matter how one tries to affect it.  But you know what?  I adore spending time with my son.  I am in awe of him and what he brings to the world and I miss him when he's not around - even during the day when I'm at work and he's at school.  He has so much to share with this world.  It's amazing!  I often say I can't wait to see him as an adult and see what he shares.  (n.b., I really can wait!  Because like my mother, I will cry, cry, and cry the day he leaves the nest.)

Today, I am knee-deep into this situation (i.e., parenting), getting involved, and letting my son know that I am here for him.  He, too, has a support system that cares about him and his success and we are all rallied to nurture him to be the best person he can be.  And that is all his dads want for him - just like my parents wanted that for me. Things seem to be moving positively for him which only means that I may just need to stay this involved until he can feel my support in an ongoing fashion whether I am present or not.  I want him to feel that way - supported - always.

It is interestlingly bizarre that as I continue writing, proofing, and pondering upon this post, I continue experiencing so many highs and lows in this journey to parenthood.  Let it be learned that there is something important to be noted from "highs and lows" and that I as a parent need to be more aware of that so that I can help my son address it.  The principle of "Steady Eddie" with our children has some merit - especially if we understand how important routines and familiarity are to our kiddos.

On hate mail...

After I published the Holding Hands blog, I received my first piece of "hate mail".  (I realize that the word "hate" is probably harsh, or like I share with my son, P, a little too strong, but this individual was not happy with the pictures I was publishing.)  She started our interaction by asking me if I was looking for sex or knitting.  I was confused and the question tremendously perplexed me!  She asked me to put clothes on my models.  I shared kindly with her - we'll call her... Roberta... - that they had clothes on.  Don't they?  Well, everything is covered, at least!  After wondering for a bit, I asked her if she knew how to read because this blog was not about sex and the storyline I was exploring with the models was not about that either.  Needless to say, after about five exchanges, I realized that she was not going to change who she was and no matter what I said, she would always equate nudity with sex.  What a concept!  I found myself knee-deep in a conversation with someone where that someone... Roberta... would not seek to understand but simply wanted to be understood.  I couldn't let her issues (about nudity) be my issues.  So, Roberta, I wish you well, and I want to thank you, too, as you just inspired the closing post of this arc I am exploring (i.e., What if Adam and Eve had knitwear?) next summer.  Here are some more pictures just in case...

A short word on work...

I was sharing with someone recently that folks are usually at their best when they are following their hearts and get to pursue their vocation, no matter what that is.  After a few weeks of attempting to handle an ugly situation with a peer of mine who was once a friend, too, I realized that - just like "Roberta" - I couldn't let whatever was affecting my peer become my issue.  I am learning how to handle these situations by continuing to be cordial and getting the work done without it (the crap) affect me, my personal life, or the passion I feel for what I do on a daily basis.  So I immersed myself, knee-deep, into what I love the most in my work - my vocation and calling - and I am loving it.  What a high!  I have found where and how to really enjoy what I do without sacrificing who I am.

And Adam found himself "knee-deep" in the situation...

My son and I LOVE to ski.  We both love the snow and being outside during snow storms, at ski resorts, or even after a big blizzard has gone by.  I personally prefer it than to being outside in the middle of the summer.  It is hard to think after growing up in the tropics I can be so enamored with the winter season.  Again, I think part of it came from those visits to Vermont with my family... I still remember the first and only snowman I built with my dad, the engineer both by vocation and profession.  That snowman was so structurally sound that I think it probably had to melt with the spring in order to disappear because no storm would be able to break him down.  Its shape was... different, and I loved it.  This "different" is for certain one of the many things I loved about my dad and the legacy he left me.  But alas, I digress...

One of the problems P and I often face while playing in the snow is that even when you sneak in your pant legs into your boots, snow crawls right in - especially when you find yourself knee-deep in snow.  And once you have snow inside your shoe, you might as well go in:  cold and wet feet are no fun.

I realize that some people may see these as leg warmers, but since they are not really warming the legs and just really providing extra coverage at the boot opening and the areas where snow may just filter in, I prefer to refer to them as my "boot covers".  Will you entertain me?  ;)

I wanted these boot covers to be thick and masculine, but I also wanted to explore the beauty of cabling stitches (see Twists & Turns) and what you can do with them to tell the story.  As I conceived these, I imagined snow getting caught in some of the nooks and crannies of the covers highlighting the work and the love that had been put into them.  To add to the masculine feel, I designed faux leather straps to allow for the bottom of the cover to open atop the foot.

I knitted these from the bottom up which made cabling really fun to reverse.  What cannot be seen is the flap that holds the buckle which separates for additional space and to allow for the top of the foot.

I love how these covers look on Adam.

A special thanks to my dear friend Rob D. who modeled these chunky boot covers for me.  His spirit and joyousness have him knee-deep into life, and I love that about him.