September 8, 2010

Knitting in the Margins

This is the time of year when I start to fantasize about yarn. It's an illness I think. And it's not like I'm a great knitter. I'm not. I'm a knitter who spends most of her time making a living, running three kids to soccer, cooking, cleaning, doing yard work, cleaning up cat vomit and, from time to time, blogging. The knitting fits into the margins. And the stuff you do in the margins is not the stuff you get good at.

But I like yarn. I like the feel of needles sliding back and forth, and the joy of having something to show for it. And I like the fact that knitting keeps me focused during conference calls. I have a lot of conference calls. And I like making things. Time is hands-down my most precious commodity. If I take the time to make you something, well, let's just say I must really, really like you.

There's something about this time of year, too. The kids are back at school. The temps have finally dropped out of the 90s. We can open the windows back up, breathe a little, and know that summer is over.

Which means it's time to think about Christmas.

No, really. It is. For those of us who dream of a handmade Christmas and lots of little gifts of time, it is.

Not that I should be doing anything of the kind. I still haven't finished last year's Christmas gifts. There's a plastic baggie next to my rocking chair, stuffed with a bright blue crocheted scarf and three out of four hot pink crocheted flowers. They are waiting for the fourth flower and a little stitching to finish them off. They didn't quite make it under last year's tree.

On the rocking chair is the nearly finished afghan I started knitting for my parents for Christmas 2008. I tried to give it to them last summer, when my dad turned 70 and their marriage turned 30. They saw it. They oohed. They aahed. They noticed the needles still in it. They gave it back.

And now it's all comfy, cozy and still needled up on my rocking chair.

In the chest of drawers next to my bed, I have a needlepoint canvas in the shape of a stocking, with the distinctive and half-finished half-circle of a piney Christmas wreath laid against a cream-colored background. I designed it myself for my daughter, for her first Christmas. I started it before she was born.

She's 8 now. And this year marks her ninth Christmas.


That stocking is sitting on top of a stack of orange and magenta cotton I bought to knit her a sweater. It's a little tiny stack of yarn. But then, it was supposed to be a little tiny sweater. She was going to wear it home from the hospital when she was born.

She didn't, of course. It's kinda hard to wear unknit cotton yarn. 

But I dream. I dream of knitting. I dream because it's Christmas. Or close to it. Well, closer.

I want to make one of these. Because I think my five-year-old frog squisher deserves one. And for my daughter, this one. Because she misses our dog.

I hope the kids still like them when they're 20. Because that's about when these will be finished.


  1. How about this crazy yoda hat?

  2. Dude! You found something for my Star Wars-obsessed 12-year-old. Couldn't picture him with the frogs, you know? Very cool.

  3. Hi Rosemary :) What a wonderfully ecclectic blog you have! I envy this!

    I am the same way about fabric as you are about yarn. Yet I'm not a good sewer, but I am always tearing out the instructions to charming little sewing projects that would make good hand made gifts. I complete about 1/20th of my plans. I too, begin thinking about Christmas projects as soon as the weather turns crisp and the light goes golden. But why oh why can't the autumn winds bring us more time?


  4. Thank you, Caitlin! Really lovely of you to stop by :-) ... and I get the fabric thing. My aunt quilts and has a room stacked floor-to-ceiling with clear plastic bins full of fabric, sorted by color. The room is a rainbow. My favorite room in their house. I wish I could quilt. One of the many things that will have to wait until my children - and I - are a good bit older.