Hello, it’s been a while

It’s been an intense couple of weeks.  Between the long commute, looking for our own apartment, applying for new jobs, I haven’t had time to pick up knitting at all.   Instead of using my commuting time to knit, I swapped it out to work on job applications. The last time I knit was during a work retreat two weeks ago. I can’t remember the last time I went that long without knitting.  It has made me a very, very cranky lady.

The last WIP Wednesday photos that I took are three weeks old now.  THREE WEEKS.  And I haven’t gotten them up on the blog until today. I did manage to finish up the left and right fronts of my Watson cardigan, and then picked up what seemed like an interminable amount of stitches (fingering weight is so tiny compared to the worsted weight yarn I’ve used for my last few sweaters!) across the back to start the lace panel.  I got a few rows into the back lace panel and now can hardly remember where I am in the pattern and it will take some re-reading of instructions and counting of stitches to remember where I am.  I guess I’m lucky that I’ve gotten a lot of knitting practice over the past 4 years that I’ve been knitting and I am able to handle the stress of not knowing exactly where I am in a pattern anymore.  I understand how the stitches look and can read them to figure out where I am in a pattern.  This still kind of surprises me, because I do remember the days of not knowing and feeling very frustrated and unable to follow my own work without very careful note-taking.

Things have finally slowed down (just a smidge) and I am using my commuting for less job application writing and hope to bring back more knitting-related activities (like the Show-off Stranded socks I started during a work retreat a couple weeks ago and had been taking with me on the train).  I’ve been seriously into the Woolful podcasts (if you haven’t checked them out, visit the website).  I love listening to the stories of other knitters out there, and I feel validated again and again when what they say is exactly what I’ve been thinking over the past 4 years since I picked up my first pair of knitting needles.  The biggest take-aways from the podcast series for me, so far, are:

  1. The knitting community is so welcoming, encouraging and supportive. There is always room for another knitter. And she/he is embraced with open arms.  The online community, in particular, is a great way to feel connected to others who are just as crazy as we are about needles, yarns, patterns, dyeing, and more.
  2. Finding knitting as a hobby has been a revelation for most of us who had been pursuing other careers.  A light bulb went off in our heads when we first picked up our knitting needles.  I’m in the field of public health, working on international HIV/AIDS programs, and knitting has been an extremely fulfilling, meditative, and relaxing hobby for me to balance out the daily grind.  It also fulfills my need for creativity and for creating something tangible with my hands.  And it’s also a great way to pass time on a 16-hour flight to southern Africa.

These are just two of what I’m sure will become many take-aways from this thing called knitting.  And I’m going to figure out a way, come hell or high water, to get back on those needles this coming week!

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