Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Silence Descends Once Again

Silence has descended once again in our home. Our oldest son has returned to Norman after a quick visit and our youngest has returned to the seminary. You would think that I would be used to it by now but I'm not. I find myself walking down the hall to ask a quick question or share a thought and then find the empty rooms. Doing the last load of laundry is bittersweet as I find myself folding their clothes and taking them to their rooms. Yes, the laundry is finished but their rooms are empty. Children are a gift from God and He has blessed my husband and me with two wonderful sons. I give thanks every day for them and treasure the moments we have together. Two of my friends are experiencing these same emotional moments this year. My oldest and dearest friend has just delivered her youngest to begin his freshman year at college and one of my newest knitting friends dropped her daughter off on her first day of kindergarten.

We are all finding solace in our knitting. Somehow the gentle click of needles and the textural sensation of fiber is helping to ease our sense of loss. I have cast on a new cardigan jacket as I want to learn how to make sleeves so I can knit sweaters for my sons, Fran stopped on the way home from college to buy yarn to make sweaters, and Cherie is also knitting away. Knitting our children a garment created with love is our way to hold on to them even when we're not there. With each knit and purl, we knit our love, our hopes, and our dreams for our children.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Impressionists and Knitting

This past weekend, my knitting friends and I had a fun-filled art and fiber ladies only outing. The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth is holding a special exhibit featuring 92 paintings from the Impressionist Period. One of my all time favorites is Renoir's Two Sisters. It's one thing to see this painting in art books and quite another to actually see it in person. The vibrant colors leap off the canvas and literally take your breath away.

After a quick sandwich lunch, we stopped at our first yarn store. Words can't describe the dizzying array of yarns that met our eyes when we opened the door to Yarns Ewenique. Every square inch of space is devoted to yarn and we oohed, aahed, and fondled our way through every delectable skein. Cashmere blends, silk, wool, cotton and sock yarns in every color combination begged to be stroked and there were many cries of "oh my gosh, you have to feel this yarn." As our next knit-along project will be to learn how to knit socks, we each purchased colorful sock yarn for our stash. All right, I confess that I also bought 7 skeins of Rowan's Soft Tweed in a beautiful shade of blue as well as a pattern in addition to the sock yarn.

Our last stop for the day was Jennings Street Yarn. This store is also in Fort Worth and has a large selection of yarns. They arrange their yarns by color regardless of the type or manufacturer. This took some time to get used to as I personally find strolling through a shop and dipping my hands into the different yarn bins part of the fun of visiting a yarn store. I enjoy the melange of jewel like colors that visually stimulate my senses and encourage me to explore rather than being steered to a particular color range.

All in all, this was a fun outing. It doesn't get any better than friendship and fellowship with my knitting sisters.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Knitting

At long last I have fulfilled a secret dream. I AM AN OLYMPIAN! I am a member of TeamTexas in the Ravelympics. My event is WIP Wrestling and I have "wrestled" my shawl into a finished project. Cue the music as I walk proudly to the podium to join my fellow "wrestlers" and accept a gold.

Knitting should be an Olympic sport. After all, it takes athletic ability and strong wrists to wield two pointy sticks, it takes drive and dedication to push yourself to finish just one more row, and sometimes it takes years of practice to win the medal. Knitters of the world, I salute you!

I have one more WIP to wrestle into a finished project before the Olympics is over. I finally located all the lovely peacock blue Bam Boo yarn that I could find (a grand total of 7 skeins or 539 yards). I should earn a medal for the time and effort involved in tracking down these skeins. I found the first 5 skeins of this luscious yarn in Norman on clearance. I was sure that it would be enough to make something. Little did I realize that it was barely enough to make the front of a sweater. I immediately went into search mode trying to find at least 2 more skeins. I had friends looking in different parts of Texas, I called all the local yarn stores, my husband looked for it while on a business trip, and I emailed as many online yarn stores as I could find. A very nice shop in Minnesota "The Knitter's Palette" felt my pain and emailed that they had the yarn and it was even the same dye lot. I am now knitting my way to the gold medal platform with a nice sleeveless v-neck sweater. I have 14 days left to "wrestle" it into a finished project, that's 336 hours of total knitting time available if I don't sleep or eat. I better get knitting.