observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

A New Favourite Thing

“If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!” ~ Shel Silverstein
knitting & needles

As you know I’m learning to knit as part of my rehabilitation after a stroke. The crazy thing is, it’s becoming such a deep enjoyment and fascination I wonder why I never did this before!  Since I finished my first project (that beanie) I’ve begun a couple more — yes, I’m actually knitting more than one project at a time. To begin one of the new projects I had to purchase a larger size needle and am loving them so much. Who knew the feel of a larger wooden needle could actually feel comforting in the hand. These new needles also make it easier to knit; the small diameter needles (below) make a project quite a challenge, which of course is good for fine tuning my fine motor skills 🙂

I’m also realizing that, although I’m anxious to knit a fancy schmantzy cable project (likely an afghan but maybe just a scarf), I really do like the simplicity of plain old garter stitch. That shouldn’t surprise me because I tend to gravitate to the simpler things in life anyway. Although I still have yarn (provided by the class) leftover from my first project to use up, I have only purchased solid colour yarn for my other projects. I much prefer solid colour yarn to that mottled stuff. See, my preferences are piling up as quickly as projects I want to accomplish.

knitting a Downton hat
This small patch of knitting in rich brown is the Downton Hat I am working on. The pattern is easy enough to follow but my stitches are so small and so are the needles that it’s a real challenge. For that reason I can only work on it in bright daylight. I mention this is a Downton hat but the crazy thing is, I have never watched a single episode of Downton Abbey. I simply love the style of the hat.

I’ve joined the Ravelry site and have added another collection site on my Pinterest page. It’s like the beginning of a passionate love affair. Knitting.

When I’m knitting, I forget the reason I took it up in the first place. Sitting in a comfy chair, wearing slippers and stretchy pants, I get into a rhythm. My project grows as I knit, and the resulting fabric feels as soft and warm as a kitten on my lap. Alone with my thoughts, the distant hum of the washing machine, one of the dogs sighs, hubby working on crosswords, and all is right with the world.

PS: I love reading your warm and lovely comments. I apologize for being so slow in sending you a reply. I DO send a personal reply to every single comment — thank you for being patient waiting for a return note from me.

Downton hat being knitted

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Candace - February 5, 2014 - 6:08 pm

I like that rich brown color, too, so warm. How nice to develop a new interest and skill, I wish I could knit but don’t think I would have the patience, not right now, anyway.

Jessie - February 5, 2014 - 8:41 pm

Your projects look like they are coming along beautifully! I had a brief knitting stint – and then I had kids, and now I haven’t touched yarn for years. My favorite time to do it was riding in the car, chatting with my husband, getting someplace and making something at the same time it was great. And perhaps one day I’ll try that again.

Sherry G. - February 6, 2014 - 5:05 am

I really like the idea of knitting but what I like even more is looking at your images of knitting and reading about how you feel about it. It’s wonderful that you have discovered such pleasure from something you took up for a more instrumental reason. Just shows all the gifts that are to be found when one is open to them! Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

lisa - February 6, 2014 - 11:32 am

The last paragraph here, Diane?
That says it all. Really and truly it does, and how beautifully you have expressed it.

I love that beautiful brown, and I hope you will show us the hat when it’s done.

I am enjoying hearing about, and seeing your work, as much as you are enjoying doing it.

Thank you for sharing this here, Diane. xo.

Susan - February 9, 2014 - 5:06 pm

I so agree with Lisa, that last paragraph sums it all up so perfectly. I too enjoy knitting, especially on cold winter days, the rhythm of it all is so relaxing. You seem to have picked it up so quickly…I’m still chugging away on simple scarves and you are already working on hats! And I so love that chocolate brown!

Meghan - February 16, 2014 - 6:38 am

Your knitting is lovely. Congratulations on finding such a wonderful therapy/hobby. I’ve been knitting for 26 years and it’s always been a happy place for me. There is always something new to learn. Some projects, like socks for me, become so routine you won’t even have to follow the stitches. After a time There is no down side to knitting. It brings calm, learning new things, beauty and ultimately a useful item. Knitters keep their world warm and loved. Can’t wait to see what new project you’ll start next!