Knitting To Stay Sane

Knitting To Stay Sane

I’m having a rough week, so I’ve been doing a lot of knitting to stay sane. Knitting is my “go to” project when I’m struggling, and it hasn’t failed me yet. Focusing on the details gives me something to think about that doesn’t hurt or make me sad, and many times, finishing a project gives me a sense of accomplishment that bolsters my mood and gets me going in the right direction again.

It’s still raining a lot here (every day in July, so far), so the kids can’t get outside to play as much as they would like. We’ve been lazy this week — cuddled up on the couch watching movies and TV shows on Netflix. The rain will pass soon enough and they’ll be back to running a hundred miles per hour, but for now I’m really enjoying this quiet downtime with my girls.

I finished a pair of socks that have been languishing on the needles for months now. I’d work on them a little, then set them aside to work on something else. David was thrilled to come home from work to a brand new pair of socks; this man loves his hand-knit socks!

Knitting To Stay Sane | The Destiny Manifest

I’m particularly proud of how the stripes line up on this pair of socks — that was no easy feat! The socks fit him perfectly and he wore them to work today, so I’d say he’s pleased!

I used my own basic toe-up sock pattern for this pair of socks. For David, this means a magic cast-on of 28 stitches, increase to 76, knit for 9.5 inches, short row the heel down to 14 stitches and back up to 76 total, {knit 2, purl 2} for 8-9 inches for the cuff and cast off… then repeat for sock #2.

Knitting To Stay Sane | The Destiny Manifest

I’ve already cast on for the next pair, one of three pairs for my mother. She’s got almost as many pairs of my hand-knit socks as David does, and she’s been requesting more for a while now. I’m more than happy to acquiesce to knitting for people who appreciate it as much as these two do!

I’m connecting with others via Wordless/Wordful Wednesday today! Check out my blog hop directory to see who else is participating, as well as the other blog hops that I join each week!

The Demand for Knit Socks Has Increased

In addition to working on the beautiful shawl in memory of my friend Stephanie, I’ve also begun a new pair of socks for David.

This man adores his hand-knit socks, and he wears the ones I’ve already made until I sneak them off the bathroom floor and throw them into the wash without his knowledge. When I bring in the clean laundry baskets, he jumps in to look for a pair of his hand-knit socks right off the bat.

I consider that high praise, especially since he has a billion pairs of plain white athletic socks that he could be wearing. He’s not exactly sock-deprived, this man.

Last week, he asked me if I could knit plain white socks. I told him that I certainly could, but I don’t particularly want to. Remember when I said yesterday that I knit faster when I have new colors to look forward to? Yeah, if I knit plain white socks, they would take me forever. How very boring!

Then he tells me that he wants at least one pair of knit socks for every day of the week. I think he has 4 pairs now, so I still have a few to go, and something tells me that by the time those three pairs of socks are finished, he’ll have worn out the first pair I made him.

Yes, I’m going to be knitting this man socks for the rest of my life. That may make some of you cringe, but the truth is that it makes me smile when he appreciates my hard work so much.

So, I was wandering through the craft store last week, thinking about what I’d like to spend my $25 Christmas gift card on, when I saw sock yarn that I knew David would love. The brand is Patons Kroy Socks (75% wool, 25% nylon), and the yarn wears like iron, even on the feet of a man who loves his socks and wears them inside, outside, all the time, round the clock (unless he’s showering). This colorway is called “Gray Brown Marl”, which is really not a very pretty name for sock yarn that stripes bright red, shades of gray and a touch of medium brown.

I’m using my own basic toe-up sock pattern for this pair of socks. For David, this means a magic cast-on of 20 stitches, increase to 76, knit for 9.5 inches, insert whatever heels strikes my fancy at the time (I’m thinking afterthought heel on this pair), knit for another 8-9 inches, k2p2 for the cuff and cast off. Rinse, repeat for sock #2. I haven’t made a plain stockinette pair of socks in a while, but they’re perfect for mindless afternoon car line knitting.

I’m also plugging away at the queen-size crocheted ripple afghan that adorns the back of our sofa (which feels like it will be a work-in-progress forever), and a stack of blankets in various sizes, which will be tagged and donated to the hospital where Clara was born. These blankets are specifically for stillborn babies, to be wrapped around the little ones for photographs, to be buried or cremated with them if their parents choose, or to provide a memory and comfort for their parents in their time of grief and loss.

I plan to work on these throughout the next few months and donate as many as I can in July, for Clara. I plan to write more extensively on the loss blankets in the next few weeks, and I will share the pattern I am designing for this project, as well.

Do you knit or crochet? If so, what are you working on?

She’s Faraway {So Close}

I’ve started 2013 off with a lot of knitting… and my first project is very special to me.

I’m about 85% finished with a beautiful shawl for one of the daughters of a dear friend, Stephanie Ann Schrom, who took her own life right before the New Year. I worked with her years ago, and we became very close during the dissolution of our first marriages. She was a very talented woman, with an eye for capturing amazing photographs, and a passion for Egyptian culture. Stephanie fought with depression for a  long time, and she lost her battle on December 29, 2012.

Faraway {So Close} - Stephanie Schrom

A group of women who have known Stephanie for many years has gotten together and decided to shower handmade treasures on her six children, so that they have something to cuddle and wrap up in when they’re missing their mom. I am making one of three shawls for her daughters, two other ladies are making the other two shawls, and three other talented ladies are making blankets for her three sons.

This shawl pattern, Faraway {So Close}, is designed by Carina Spencer, and I am really enjoying it. It’s a very simple pattern to follow, yet still looks complicated. I mean, you can’t get much better than that, you know?

Faraway {So Close} - Shawl

I’m using a washable wool/acrylic blend yarn in bright (hopefully teen-friendly) shades of red, pink, green and blue. I love watching the colors shift into one another and find myself looking forward to the bright royal blues and lipstick reds the most. I have noticed that I knit faster when using yarn that color shifts from one to the next… I’m always hurrying to get to the next color.

Faraway {So Close} - Yarn

I feel honored to be knitting this lovely shawl for such an important reason, and I hope that it brings comfort and healing to its’ recipient. My wish is that this girl will know how much her mother loved her and how much her mother meant to so many people. I know (all too well) how much anger, blame and guilt is left behind in the wake of death and suicide, but I believe that anger and blame should only be directed at the terrible depression (fucking depression!) that makes things feel so hopeless, and colors the decisions that we make.

Stephanie was a beautiful woman, inside and out. I am grateful to have known her, to have been close to her for a time, and to have had her friendship in my life.

Rest in peace, Stephanie. Nothing can hurt you now.