To Knit for Joy

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With the news this week of Kate Spade committing suicide and then just this morning Anthony Bourdain doing the same, to say I’ve felt off this week is an understatement. Suicide rates are going up in the US and I was just telling a friend the other day, kindness is going down. I’ve had so many other friends who blog or even in my old blog days would tell me about people who would say mean things or write hateful comments. Fortunately, I’ve never had to deal with that but it always leaves me wondering why? Why would someone do that? Why spread hate? It’s why I try to use this blog, my little corner of the internet to spread some positivity and light. Sprinkle a little happiness with knits and color. It’s why I love knitting, it allows me to spread joy. Maybe we just need to teach the world to knit? Or crochet? Or just fall in love with yarn? Because knitting always seems to pull me out of my funk, help ease the pain of loss or soothe the tension of a particularly bad day. Yesterday my day had the shittiest of starts. I stepped in poop. I was barefoot. It was gross. Not the way you want to start your day but hey, it happens on occasion when you have dogs. Twenty minutes after the poopcident I got a text from my girlfriend Rachel. I’ve shared stories with you about her children before and the things I make them. Well, in 2016 I knit her daughter Leah a dress. It’s 2018 and we think this is the last year she’ll get to wear it but she’s still wearing it, folks.
Leah
But the best part? She told her Dad, “Daddy you should wear a blue shirt so that you can match me. My blue shirt is beautiful.” That text totally turned my morning around. That sweet girl in that little blue dress that’s now a blue top is why I knit. So that my friends think of me and smile, so that I can make a special moment or memory for a child with a doll. So that I can spread a little love into the world on knit at a time.

Spread some love today, the world really needs it.

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FO: Grey’s Hoodie

I think 2018 might be my year of small projects. They’re just so satisfying and quick! My latest is a seed stitch hoodie for my friend’s son.
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This is the Manda Ruth cardigan, a simple top down hooded sweater for a baby. A lot of people in comments said the sizing was small but I’ve made this pattern twice (the first one was for Jacob who I made a stuffed dog for last year) and it has fit both recipients so I don’t necessarily agree with the comments. I think the color possibilities for this are endless and I love a little hoodie for kids for spring. When it’s getting a little chilly and you might not have a hat at least you’ve got a hood!
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I don’t love doing seed stitch but it’s better to do it in small sizes rather than larger ones. And since today is Valentine’s Day I thought I’d share the cutest Valentines that were sent to the dogs.
Valentine’s
Jacob and his sister Leah who I made the stuffed dogs for named their dogs Max and Sally and Jacob thought Max and Sally should send Cher and Jellybean Valentines! Kids are just the best. Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Gift of Knitting

Rye socks
It’s funny. Between blog comments and comments in person, lately I’ve had a lot of people comment on how much of my knitting I give away. In the beginning I used to give it all away and then would end up with nothing to show for all my hard work or just a hat for myself. I was so excited to share and make in the beginning I forgot the person I learned to knit for was ME! Then I realized I needed to make for myself and I would selfishly knit for months at a time but always drop in a thing or two for someone else in between my own projects. And as I got better, demands got greater but I’ve never had a problem saying no and I work at my own pace. I’ve even had someone who wanted a hat and I didn’t have time say, ‘well if you’d just charge…’ yeah that wouldn’t make me knit any faster or create at time slot to make something I don’t want to make right now. That’s just the truth. I make what I want to make when I want to make it. That means sometimes you might get a sweater in August instead of December. And if I was going to sell anything it would probably be dog sweaters. Let’s just be honest in what I’m really obsessed with.

Out of the 68 finished objects I made last year, I gave 42 of them to someone else – that’s 61%. My mom, sisters, husband, cousins, friends, babies and even dogs enjoyed what I was able to make them. And what I enjoy are all the images I get of babies in sweaters, friends wearing hats or scarves. Someone wearing flip top mittens I made them on that first cold morning. Seeing my hand knits worn on TV. Videos of children opening packages I’ve sent and seeing their joy and surprise. I’ve even been told there may be a baby cardigan I knit in someone’s holiday photos this year! I keep those moments to myself because they’re what brings me joy. They’re what motivate me to learn new skills or try new yarn or find a perfect pattern. I also take joy in the fact that on this cold morning I was wearing a cardigan I knit myself, I was wrapped in a scarf I made and wearing a favorite knit hat. I knit and I can give a gift to someone else and I can gift myself so much more. Knitting isn’t just a gift, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.