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Archive for the ‘Knitting Circle’ Category

Learning to Knit

Yesterday, I helped a woman re-learn how to knit.  Her grandmother had left her a bunch of knitting supplies, and the memory of learning as a child.  As she read knitting books, she just couldn’t quite get it right.  Figuring our how to move your hands by looking at cartoon drawings is not an ideal way to learn how to do much of anything.

After showing her the basics, she was off and running.  She’s now trying out her newly dusted off skills by knitting her husband a hat.  I’m always amazed at how well we remember things once they are re-introduced.  I know that some people think that knitting looks hard, but the basics are easy; and once you know them, they will last you a lifetime.

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I’m Back!

The knitting retreat was wonderful! I am relaxed, refreshed, and have a ton of new ideas for projects.

The women that took part in the retreat were fantastic.  It is so energizing spending time with people that are creative, especially when one shares their passions.  They did all sorts of amazing crafts.  There were spinners, knitters, and weavers.  Sitting in the chapel knitting and listening to the whir of the spinning wheel in between the lulls in conversation was the epitomy of girly relaxation.

Spinners

The grounds were lovely. I got to go on a couple hikes through the woods, one of which I took in the rain. For some reason, walking in the rain seems very meditative to me. I think that it is because the sound of the rain envelops me, and helps to calm my mind, much the same way meditating does.

A Walk in the Rain

On my final hike of the weekend, I harvested about 15 pounds of black walnuts and 7 pounds of acorns, so I am going to be busy today and tomorrow with preparing them for storage. I am looking forward to trying acorn pancakes this winter if all goes well.

My jean rag rug is almost done, so I should be posting pictures and instructions soon, although it may be the blind leading the blind, as it was my very first crochet project. The rug was a great hit at the retreat, and it was wonderful to work on because it grew so fast. All in all, it is taking a lot less time than I thought that it would.

I am glad to be back home, but I am already looking forward to next year’s retreat!

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Knitting Retreat

Tomorrow I am off to my knitting retreat!  I have been looking forward to this for months.  It will be wonderful to get to hang out in the country knitting, hiking, and eating fantastic food.  It really does sound like my idea of heaven.

If you like, you can check out the retreat center’s website.  It is run by Jewish people, but this retreat is non-denominational.  That being said, I am looking forward to making use of their chapel to meditate in because it looks so inviting.

I will be gone until Sunday, and I’m pretty sure that I won’t have internet access as they don’t even have phones!  I promise to catch you all up next week on my fantastic time.

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Today, I spent time cutting strips of blue jean for my newest project, a crocheted jean rag rug.  I have been working on this for about a week, and already it is turning out wonderfully.  I was originally going to make a braided rug, but as I surfed for information I found that this was also a traditional way to make rugs, and it seemed easier as it cut out the step of sewing the braids together.  It looks very similar to a braided rug, and I’m not sure if I would have noticed the difference before.

I possibly should have started with an easier way to learn how to crochet, but I think that I am doing it right.  Fortunately, the jean scraps are very forgiving, so any mistakes are not noticeable.

Cutting the strips has been a much bigger chore than I thought it was going to be, because jean is thick so my arm tires of cutting after awhile.  You can see in the picture the big pile of jean scrap balls that I have put together so far.  I had been cutting as needed, but I am going away for a four-day knitting retreat next weekend with a bunch of women, so I wanted to have all the strips ready to bring with me.  I am really looking forward to taking it with me and working on it (and my many other projects) while gathered around with other women and gabbing.

The beginning of my crocheted jean rug

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Knitting Circle

Every Monday night, I meet my knitting circle at a downtown Starbucks. We call ourselves the Knittery. They say that children and pets like ritual, but I think that it is very important for grown-ups as well. Each Monday, I leave work (i.e. home) early and take the metro into the city. We all gather with our projects, drink coffee, and gab. It is great stress-relief for the beginning of the week. For one night, we leave our worries behind and talk about our mutual obsession: knitting, and all things knitting related.

The ritual of this is amazing when you think of it, women for millenia have been gathering together to chat and stitch (or sew, weave, spin). When we meet at that Starbucks, we are continuing a tradition that has meant so much to so many ancestors of ours. While for them, making crafts was less about fun, and more about surviving winter, but they still took great pride in their work and added wonderful detail and beauty to the most utilitarian of items. When I make a beautiful scarf that is going to keep me, or the person I give it to, warm during the winter, I still feel that same sense of satisfaction of making something that is both lovely and useful.

The scarf that I was working on last night

 

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