01 November 2009

Deep, Dark Sky

Dear Mandella,

The photo is looking west from my back yard last night (Hallowe'en). I turned off the flash and propped the camera on the deck, but the image is still a touch blurred -- the hazard of not having a tripod -- but you can see how well a digital camera captures light and the depth of color in the sky, unlike a film camera that needs special filters and aperture adjustments.

I am glad that Hallowe'en is finally over. It's not my favorite of the popular holidays, not because I think it's "satanic" or "demonic" (despite the blatherings of Pope Benedict) but because I've just never been a fan of horror films and ghoulish costumes as some people are. I admit it: I like Christmas and Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day -- those holidays that in general people like to celebrate with joy and love.

This past week I've been working on a pair of socks to give to my dear hubby for Christmas. I'm knitting them from Mountain Colors' Bearfoot sock yarn, which is a blend of 60% superwash wool, 25% mohair, and 15% nylon, and it's about sport weight. I purchased this skein a few years ago when we were in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The colorway is a deep, rich blue, but it's called "Purple Mountains." The pattern stitch is from one of the Barbara Walker collections. It's called "Seaweed" and it's a simple knit/purl combination. I'm working it up on US 2 (2.75 mm) and it's going quickly. Believe me, I had a hard time tearing myself away even to write this blog. I love it when something works!

Seaweed Stitch (multiple of 6 sts, worked in the round):
Rnds 1 & 2: *P4, K2*
Rnds 3 & 4: *P3, K3*
Rnds 5 & 6: *P2, K4*
Rnds 7 & 8: P1, (K4, P2) to last 5 sts, end K4, P1
Rnds 9 & 10: P1, (K3, P3) to last 5 sts, end K3, P2
Rnds 11 & 12: P1, (K2, P4) to last 5 sts, end K2, P3

When it's over the instep you have to add 1 purl stitch at the end to balance the pattern.

Here's the thing that's getting to me, though: I don't want to stop knitting it. I don't want to clean up my livingroom, I don't want to change the sheets on the bed, I don't want to do laundry, I don't want to go over to my mom's and sew, I don't want to go to work tomorrow, I don't want to do anything but knit and knit and knit. It's my refuge, an ordered and beautiful little world of one stitch after another, of silky yarn, of deep dark blue like the sky. That's where I want to live right now.

I'm having trouble getting the annual Christmas letter together. You've seen my previous ones, the successfully amusing missives about our otherwise mundane lives. I usually love writing these, but this year it's hard. What is there to say that hasn't been said? I'm working a lot, I'm knitting a lot, Ed still doesn't have a job, but we're happy and the pets are silly.

Perhaps it is the repetition of these details that I am trying to escape. Let's face it: the repetition of knitting patterns is boring on the surface, but it's a short enough repeat that we can see the pattern as a whole in our minds so the exercise of it is an exciting adventure as we watch it grow under our hands. Life, on the other hand, doesn't seem so exciting. The repeat of each week -- perhaps it's too long of a run? -- is wearing, and it's hard to see the whole in my mind.
Maybe what I need to do is to start knitting one of those huge lace shawls. It will be more like life as it really is: tediously long sections of pattern repeats that seem to go on forever.

Sorry. I don't mean to be depressing. Time to get off the cross (somebody else needs the wood, after all). My life is really blessed if I have the luxury of putting off housework in order to indulge in knitting a pair of socks which, after all, could be bought for maybe $3 per pair instead of what I paid for that skein of yarn.

Yep, I'm OK. I'm ready to head out into this day after all.

Hugs and good knitting to you!


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