Wednesday, September 29, 2010


When I was auditioning for grad schools last Spring, sometimes I would have strange nightmares about how they would go or what the results would be.

One dream that occurred more than once showed me being called into the admissions office of a school and being told that I had been accepted, under one condition...

...I had to give up knitting.  NooooooOOOO!!!  Of course, I didn't want to throw a tantrum and run out of the office, so I sucked it up and accepted their offer, enduring two years of knitting-less life to concentrate on the clarinet.

Now, thankfully this dream didn't happen.  However, the result seems to be the same.  I was admitted to grad school and upon arrival it appears that all of a sudden I have given up knitting - not intentionally, not officially, not happily, but somewhere along the line my knitting has stopped dead in its tracks.  What am I to do when I come home to see this sitting by my couch,

knowing that day after day, week after week, it continues to be ignored?  Do you see all those wonderful things in there?

That's a hat that I have nearly finished!  It has a lining and everything and all that is left to do is attach the tassel and close up the top.  I reached that point over 5 weeks ago and still it remains unfinished.

I threw that fingerless glove in the basket because its mate is done and this one needs only 6 rows of ribbing on the thumb and the ends woven in.  And I'll let you in on a secret - on the first one, I just knotted the ends and called it a day.  Really.  I did.  And I don't even feel guilty, except that they're coming undone.  No matter, I knit these two a year apart and they're entirely different sizes anyway, so it's not like someone's going to wear them.

That's a Windschief Cowl finished almost 6 weeks ago, yet I still haven't woven in the two ends...

A wonderful pair of mittens to match my winter coat.  Look, I even started embroidering my name on one of them!  They still need thumbs and linings, but I was so close!

And this next one is the biggest shame.

My Aeolian Shawl.  I finished knitting it in July and still it sits unblocked.  The softest cashmere I've ever felt, sitting crumpled at the bottom of a basket.  It's not right, I tell you.  Can you imagine how beautiful it'll be when it's blocked?  I pick it up from time to time and am ALWAYS surprised by how soft it is.  Unbelievably soft!!!  I neeeeeed to block it, if only for that amazing transformation experience that only lace blocking can bring.  Maybe I'll save it for one of those metaphorical rainy days.

You know what else there is?

The yarn for a long-desired Staccato sweater of my very own.  I had to go to at least 5 different yarn shops in 3 different states just to collect all the colors.  I think I started buying the yarn for this over a year ago and I haven't even swatched for it yet!

Why oh why did I have to give up knitting to go to grad school?

So here's the confession:  I have time to knit.  I do!  I spend my entire day on campus and often I find myself with a 3+ hour break with nothing to do (except practice).  I could be knitting during that time, but I don't bring my knitting to school with me.  For some reason I'm still uncomfortable knitting in public and so it remains home, abandoned, waiting for me to have a day off or a weekend free to settle down and complete some of those projects.  And there are more in that basket that I didn't even mention.

It's a sad state that my knitting is in, but I have hope that when the cooler weather begins to settle in I will feel compelled to finish that hat and those mittens, weave in the ends of the cowl, and settle in for a warm, relaxing evening of knitting with a cup of tea and a nice audiobook.

On a somewhat unrelated note: I got an iPhone recently because I dropped my old phone in the toilet and don't have internet at home, so this seemed to fix both problems.  I was hoping I would be able to blog with it and took the above pictures on my phone thinking I would be able to blog much more easily, but it appears I can't post them onto the blog from my phone.  Anyway, posts might continue to be sporadic for a while.  That's just the way life is sometimes.


  1. I took the summer off from knitting. It happens. You're still in a really transitional period, too, so don't fret about it.

    As for knitting in public, think of it as performance. You don't have a problem going up on stage in front of people and playing, and knitting is really no different. If people want to watch you do it, then that's up to them. You just do what you love doing.

  2. Those are all beautiful....finished or not

  3. I was just thinking about you. I'm sorry to hear your knitting is taking the backseat, but at least you've got many almost finished projects in the wings-nothing is more motivating than finishing! I can't wait to see that luscious shawl blocked.

  4. Send the shawl for blocking, sweetie, and give yourself time to adjust to your new home. It's going to take some time for you to get into the swing of your new life. The knitting will come. I promise.


  5. There you are! Knitting is like an old friend. You can walk away for a bit, do what you need to do and miraculously, it's still there when you come back to it.

  6. Make a date with yourself, say a 1.25 hour event for working on one of those projects. (Or not... and relax about it, because it'll always be there). Do the same about knitting in public... some super simple thing, in a place where you can be anonymous. (again, or not...)

  7. Wait another coupla months on the blocking and you'll have a lovely Christmas gift, all ready and waiting for you.

  8. You know what? Cut yourself some slack. I bet you'll get back around to it at some point - you've got a lot of new and different things on your plate and filling your brain up right now, I'd wager. ;)

  9. When I moved to my new home, I couldn't sew for about a month! Before moving, I was sewing almonst daily, so that came quite as a shock for me, too. I can tell you from experience, though, that you will come to knitting again in some time.
    To your point knitting in public: I usually knit on the train and when waiting, and I assure you: most people don't stare. As a precaution against unwanted talk I used to put in earphones, that keeps people from asking weird questions.

    Keep going! Give yourself some time to settle into your new home and then bring something easy for knitting in public the first time.

    Greetings, Wollmaus

  10. And here I thought you had so much free time that all you do is knit! Haha. I'm in the same boat, so I sympathize. Take Cookie up on her offer and mail that shawl out to CA!

  11. What's up with you and dropping valuables down the toilet? It's a good thing you don't use that time to catch up on your knitting. That is not an acceptable shortcut to blocking cashmere.

    I have the best solution ever to your public knitting phobia: bring a big blanket, sit on the lawn, and knit under it. Well, okay, maybe not. Here's another thought...are there practice rooms you can knit in on a slow day? Even a remote carrel in the corner of the library?

  12. Sometimes the best thing is to just let go and relax. Then suddenly, at some point, the desire to knit will come back full force. We all put so much pressure on ourselves to keep up with this and that, even though our bodies, minds, and spirits need a break once in awhile. The best ideas come with a relaxed mental state (easy to say, difficult to allow ourselves).

    You have a wonderful gift in the knitting department, so relaxing for awhile, away from it, will no doubt bring some really great design concepts to the fore!

    Good luck in all you do!!!

  13. 'Tis good that you're keeping your focus on your studies, but, may I suggest that you may want to finish a couple of the projects before winter sets in...I hear it can get nearly as cold there as in the midwest.

  14. Go out there and knit in public! I found two local knitting groups just because I happened to be knitting in public and people came up and talked to me about it! In fact, I met another grad student in my department because I got on the subway and there he was knitting! So we struck up a conversation and it turned out we go to the same school, and well, now he's another knitting lunch buddy! So don't be shy!

  15. I actually feel a little embarrass to knit in public too. I am a girl, but still, sometimes they idea of knitting in my school feels not too "cool". I would like to knit in my free time, or when I'm waiting for the bus instead of looking at the time on my cell phone every few minutes.

  16. I've been going through a bit of a dry period with knitting,'s hard when you're in a transitional place! It's not that I couldn't find time to knit if I really wanted to, but I'm so consumed with everything involved in starting to teach at the college level that it just doesn't really happen all that often. And I know starting grad school is at least as stressful!

    I hope you can figure out a way to incorporate it back into your schedule, but I wouldn't beat yourself up about it in the meantime.

  17. I completely agree with having a break if you want to, but if the unfinished projects are bothering you, just do one a day. You could even take the unfinished projects with you and just do them on campus before breaking in to full fledged knitting. Or do 15 minutes when you get home.

  18. I'm a guy and knitting in public is much harder for us. Even around my roommate. The only time Iould take it out when he was working late or on travel. Just the other day he caught me and to my surprise he told me he used to crochet. I'm joining knitting groups during the week. This helps out. Since you are not single out. Again its only two years of grad school withc is more important than anything else at the moment. I would suggest joining a knitting group on sunday nights and finish the projects that are in queu.

    I barely have time to knit so I only have one or two projects at a time. That is another suggestion since you are busy with school.

  19. My nightmare when I was doing my performance exams at university was that I'd get to an internal cadence in one of the big fugues from the second book of Bach's Well-tempered Clavier, end it there, and then be totally confused as to why the jury wanted me to continue. (It was awful.)