Saturday, January 2, 2010

Now it starts

Now we come to that part of the year when knitting shows its true value. Frenzied gift-knitting is past. The sun never truly lifts overhead--setting early, rising late, it merely tracks along the southern horizon. Sometimes dawn brings white snow reflecting blue shadows, blue skies. Some days trees crack and cardinals mob the feeder. But most days dawn to low gray monotony, sparrows scrabbling under the lilac bush.

Indoors, maybe, something good is in the oven. Each kid is plugged head-first into a glowing entertainment rectangle. The knitter sits down for a little while in a comfy chair with two mismatched needles and some scrap yarn. "A swatch? A baby cap?" asks the spouse carrying another cup of coffee. "We'll see how it goes" says the knitter, the mind's eye instantly crowded with caps become swatches; swatches, caps--a knitted bridge to winters past.

Or maybe cabin fever has gripped everyone and the knitter takes refuge in mindless stockinette: 4 different socks worked leg-tubes only, the fifth on the needles, all shaping waiting for that day (Lord, let it come soon) when the kids head back to school. Heels stack up, waiting to be knit in silence.

The knitter alone has a different rhythm: winter solitude blossoms into complex cables, endless counting, immense projects. One bright winter's day, the knitter hunts out the afghan pushed aside by last spring's daffodils. Silently counting the squares still to work, optimism swells--why it's more than half done!

Photo: Elizabeth Shoshany Anderson

This bright optimism lasts the evening through. Needles flash. The moving luminescence in the hand commands close attention. Dark thoughts flit away from the lit circle of work.

It may seem the knitter moves the knitting forward, stitch by stitch. Yet in these short days, it is knitting which moves the knitter forward little by little towards a time surely coming. In our hands, the gray days transform into a summer camisole, perhaps, or a baby swaddled in color, a baby not yet timely, yet kicking to get out nonetheless. Knitting carries the knitter the long winter along, towards the life of spring.

Happy new year--



Anonymous Janina the MomBeast said...

Lovely, thoughtful post. Thank you for the year behind and the year ahead.

January 2, 2010 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Cornflower said...

That's lovely - thankyou and a happy new year to you!

January 2, 2010 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger His said...


January 2, 2010 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger jeandavee said...

Beautiful post. Happy New Year to you, too!

January 2, 2010 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger quinn said...

Thank you for (another) lovely post!
I've got something special planned for this winter, but will save it for the February-ish doldrums. It involves buckets of black walnuts stewing and brewing as I type...

January 2, 2010 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Below zero windchill is bringing the humming of overhead electric lines and the cracking of tree limbs. Handknit wool socks, knitting in my lap shared by a is winter.

Happy New Year.

January 2, 2010 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger francesca-bates said...

Very spiritual, thanks for the lift.

January 2, 2010 at 9:07 PM  
OpenID mildawg said...

Lovely. Happy 2010.

January 2, 2010 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Yarndude said...

Just lovely. Happy New Year.

January 3, 2010 at 1:49 AM  
Anonymous greta said...

Beautifully written....I couldn't agree more!
Blessings to you and yours for a JOYOUS year in 2010!

January 3, 2010 at 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooo, lovely. Keep writing!

January 3, 2010 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger LEO said...

This is such a beautifully written post! Happy New Year to you too.

January 3, 2010 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Your post made me smile. As always I look forward to your words of wisdom. I'm off to do my first cowyak! I wanted to say Thank You for so much wonderful information, and to let you know that I always consult your blog before, during and after any new project. Happy and Healthy New Year.

January 3, 2010 at 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy new year TECHknitter!
I like this poetic post, as much as your technical ones. It is so true, especially for me who just spent a week at home with my 4 kids (and DH of course).

Merci Gila, je vous souhaite une très belle et bonne année 2010.
Bloavez Mad, as we say in Brittany !
--Chantal (aka stamm92)

January 4, 2010 at 2:57 PM  
Anonymous ChrissyJ said...

"It may seem the knitter moves the knitting forward, stitch by stitch. Yet in these short days, it is knitting which moves the knitter forward little by little towards a time surely coming."

I love this part! Too true, especially now that I'm back to work (school) - the thought of going home to slippers, good TV and knitting can get me through a rough day.

January 4, 2010 at 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Nicolefrances said...

Thanks so much for this lovely post! I can relate for sure. Happy new year to you - and thanks for all your help with jogless stripes. :)

January 4, 2010 at 5:43 PM  
Anonymous custom shirts said...

Knitting is a skill and it can spend lots of time,it is a good entertainment.Anyway,Happy new year to you!

January 4, 2010 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I'm a newbie to your blog, but you must know you light up my day with each post - thoughtful, technical, poetic, whatever the tone... they all resonate with me. Thank you! I recently completed a Hemlock throw and tried out your alternative to the SSK and love it!

January 5, 2010 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Kata said...


I just found this blog and I´m amazed. So many answers... :)

January 5, 2010 at 1:38 PM  
Anonymous PR agency said...

Thanks for your sharing and wish you happy new year!

January 7, 2010 at 1:27 AM  
Blogger Ihnasarima said...

Very poetic.
Reminded me I have a bear to knit and poems to write; instead I've been plugged into my own entertainment rectangle. Time to switch to a movie and cast on for that other bear's arm. That should make the rest of the afternoon seem more productive. :)

January 8, 2010 at 3:58 PM  
Anonymous embroidery thread said...

Cute and lovely article.Thanks for sharing .

January 10, 2010 at 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Maryann said...

Beautiful and true! The thought of relaxing with the colors of my knitting have helped me through many a gray New England day. Happy New Year!

January 24, 2010 at 11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've learned a lot from this site, thank you! And wanted to let you know I'm in process of making a 14pin icord machine to be used for making small doll's stockings. I'm calling it Dolly's Machine; I'll let you know how it comes out.

July 29, 2012 at 5:09 PM  

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