Saturday, May 20, 2017

Knitting day to day

Let's start with the UGH of routine knitting, and then we'll get to the fun stuff. 

Don't you hate when you somehow manage to pick up a lower strand of yarn to knit into a stitch, then figure out a way to pull down an upper strand on the next round?  And then have to rip two stitches back about twelve rounds to fix the lump all that that makes, only to realize you don't know where your crochet hook went?

Also, I realized right after I set up this correction that I am missing a needle.  You know, from the old set I love that they don't make any more.  Hopefully I lost it in the condo and not in the Knitter's Guild meeting where I was knitting with Trish the other night.

I keep meaning to go to these meetings on a regular basis.  I'm lucky enough to live in a city with a huge group of knitters that puts on interesting events and brings in speakers - why not participate every month?? Because it's hard for me to get away on a Wednesday night, apparently.  This meeting was different though because Emily was the guest.  You know, the incredibly talented artist behind Viola yarns.  I wasn't going to miss that because I think Emily is wonderful and also, she was going to be selling stuff.

I was feeling the shortage of sock yarn now that I've knit Viola socks for Wayson and he loves them and wants more. 

The talk was fascinating.  Emily showed slides of photographs that demonstrate how she comes up with her amazing colours, but the takeaway for me is that she fully accepts a creative process that is not even remotely linear.  At one point she showed a picture of a tree beside a building whose siding was reflecting the sun, and out of all the amazing aspects of that image - her colour inspiration was the negative space between them all.  Since my creative process is turning out to be a lot less structured than I have tried to make it all these years, I was pretty impressed by the way she's learned to go with it rather than fight it.  I've been trying to do the same thing the last few months, and it's been working out for me really well, but I'm not yet at the stage of 'unconscious competence'.

Trish was the one who tipped me off about this meeting while I was still in Germany, and thankfully, on the day we were both able to get away.  On the way back through the University of Toronto campus we walked down this space between buildings that's been beautifully planted with trees and light posts.

Kind of reminded me of the lovely paths in the old towns we visited in Germany.  While I was there I kept thinking, why don't we have more of this or more of that?  So it was nice to stroll down such a beautiful path here at home.  Definitely nicer than remembering, after seeing so many big elaborate fountains in the middle of squares, that there IS a big elaborate fountain in a parkette right near our condo - topped by a dog bone and graced with alternating dog and cat statues.  I mean it's not exactly the same feeling as a classic centuries-old fountain, you know?

Yesterday I met my friend and writing mentor Wayson for brunch which felt VERY luxurious.  He has a favourite cafe and that's where we meet, for coffee and, usually, something with eggs.  This time I tried a breakfast sandwich that was boiled eggs, bacon, and tomato with a little mayo between two slices of multigrain bread - grilled.  Heaven.  Also I had a latte and for the first time ever, I actually ate the foam on top with a spoon separately from the rest.  Wow.  How did I manage to miss the amazingness of that all these years??

And we had such a good visit, too...he is so positive and supportive and interesting, and also very engaged in life.  I feel so fortunate to have a friend like him.  Afterward I felt very creative and inspired and did some good work on my current writing project, and made some more sock progress (until I realized I had messed up those stitches so many rounds back) with his next pair of socks in mind.  I am thinking I will knit them in Sea Storm, the colourway I didn't want to take with me to Germany since we were, after all, flying a really, really long time over the ocean.

I think I forgot to mention about the turbulence during the flights there and back.  The good news is, it was not bad at all.  The bad moment was during takeoff from Germany - it was getting to be a rainy afternoon and I guess we hit some air because there was a big drop as we were first ascending, and then another, and for the rest of the flight I was keenly aware of how high we were and how long from being on firm ground again.  At one point, I got undeniably alarmed about how loud the engines were getting from time to time - alarmed enough to ask the flight-savvy person next to me what all that was about.  He told me it was because the plane was speeding up to compensate for the air pockets we were going through, as this can smooth out turbulence and produce a more comfortable flight.  WHAT a relief.  And also, next time I am totally springing for noise canceling earphones because planes are not getting any less noisy. 

The socks I knit in Germany were very bright, and I was surprised by how soothing I found these socks to be when I grabbed one to take to the Guild meeting.  Greens and pale purples... they're just a great combination for calm, don't you think?

It's getting easier to knit, now.  My fingers still get a bit pins and needle-y, but I can go longer before they feel stiff, and I'm very grateful because I've missed it.  It's like having a tiny loom in your hands, knitting - don't you find?  You sit quietly or while chatting and move your hands in these repetitive motions and then you look down and you have cloth.  Amazing, and at the same time, an everyday sort of thing.  
Isn't that the best part about knitting?  Everyday magic?  Aw, who am I kidding - the best part is wearing when you've made. Ha!

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