Sunday, February 7, 2016

Why I Knit ~

This post should really be titled "Why I knit as Much as I Do."  Because I was a knitter for many years before I morphed into the somewhat prolific knitter that I've become.  There is a reason behind this. What happened about 10 years ago was I hit a really rough patch and for reasons that were unfathomable to me I was swamped with bad news on top of bad news.  Nothing life threatening but, upsetting nonetheless.  At the time I shopped for yarn in a traditional LYS using mass produced commercial yarns, but decided to treat myself to a splurge purchase and bought some gorgeous Noro silk garden yarn along with the pattern book to knit the Sursa shawl that I had seen made up as a store sample.  As I sat down and began to knit that shawl the beauty of the yarn and the soothing simple pattern was a healing balm to my soul.  It was the first time I had ever knit with a yarn like Noro that was handcrafted in beautiful colors and in a luxury fiber.  To this day I can remember how thrilled I was to see the gorgeous fabric the yarn created and I was happy when knitting despite everything else going on.  And that made that period of my life easier to bear.

To this day I rely on knitting to help me through stressful times.  I'll go back to the basics which is a simple garter stitch shawl paired with a wonderful yarn and that's exactly what the shawl I am wearing is.  It's the Stripe Study Shawl and I knit the majority of it over Christmas when I (along with my dad, sister and Steve) spent many days in the hospital with my Mom as she was recovering from an emergency surgery and during the weeks of ups and downs inevitable when someone is recovering from a serious operation such as she had.  Of course my mother who knit herself when she was young enjoyed seeing my progress.  There's no one who quite gives you the enthusiastic encouragement as a parent, bless her heart.  And I'm extremely happy to report that she's home now and recovering well and I feel once again able to tackle more challenging knitting.  But I'll always turn to a particular type of knitting as an escape during difficult times and I think in a way this also explains why I knit as much as I do even in the best of times.

Particulars:  Stripe Study Shawl designed by Veera Valimaki (Rain Knitwear Designs); US 6 needles; 2 skeins Plucky Knitter Snug (70% merino 20% cashmere 10% alpaca).  Yarn was purchased as part of a 3 skein "mystery kit."  I had less yarn than the pattern called for and only had enough of the Hudson (pink) to knit 10 instead of 12 repeats.  I had a fair about of the grey leftover and could have knit a longer border but felt the overall balance of the shawl worked best stopping when I did.  This yarn knits up beautifully and creates a beautiful shawl.

The Staff of Life  ~

I was happy to hear that Oprah Winfrey eats bread everyday.  I do too so I'm hoping this will help dispel the negative image it's gotten these past few years.  I think the key to eating bread, as with so much in life, is to eat it in moderation and as part of a well balanced diet.  Although as a caveat I am not eating brioche every morning.  Instead I have a slice of my homemade country sourdough loaf that has no butter or fat whatsoever as the wild yeast and long rising process gives it flavor and texture.  I also have along with my bread a bowl of steel cut oatmeal and fruit and a pot of tea.   But every once in a while I splurge and enjoy a treat such as freshly baked brioche on a Sunday morning as pictured above.  I made this petite brioche using the recipe from the Le Pain Quotidien cookbook (Amazon link) and I like them better than those they sell in the bakery.  Just wonderful and pairs perfectly with a tart cherry jam.

Until next time be well and love well and happy knitting.  May it help you through the difficulties you encounter in this life as it has me.