Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's All About the Process

Even though it's dull and drizzly today, I'm enjoying my garden. The wetness makes the foliage and flowers stand out against the dark earth. My garden is pretty new--only a little over a year old, but already, it's a special, private place, surrounded by a tall green hedge and bordering a leafy park. Everyone has been asking me how I can stand to leave such a unique and lovely place. When I thought about the answer, I realized that for me, gardening is as much about the process as it is about the result. The pleasure comes from the designing and making of the garden as much as from sitting in our window seat and looking out.
Knitting is the same for me. The pleasure is as much (maybe even more) in the making as in the final product. My husband, the economist doesn't get it. He'll say, "But you can buy a pair of socks made in Bangladesh for a fraction of the price." When he says something like this, I inwardly vow never to knit for him again, but then, because I'm weak and like to see him in a hand knitted vest, I make him another. I tell him about the satisfaction involved in making something with my own hands and the comfort that comes from a custom-fit garment and hope that someday he'll clue in to what gardening and knitting (and cooking, too) are all about.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I'm using this last week before we move to savour our Ottawa neighbourhood of Manor Park/Rockcliffe. Rockcliffe is old money, diplomats, and private schools, while Manor Park is a close-in urban village with mature trees, lots of kids and bicycles, and neighbours who hang out at the fronts of their houses. Our house is in Manor Park, but we are walking distance from Rockcliffe and regularly use its amenities, like its small and beautiful public library and MacKay Lake with its attached "pond". Where else can you swim in a spring-fed lake surrounded by forest in the middle of a city? I realized that I don't have any photos of the pond or lake in summer, but I have a special one taken early last winter on an eerily foggy morning. The shawl, which I call MacKay, is one that I designed for teaching lace to beginners; the repeats are short and easily memorized. The hazy pure alpaca fingering in a misty pink seemed to match the mood at the time.

Friday, June 18, 2010

In Transition

We're moving. We're moving from a 63-year-old house to a 150-year-old house--with no closets. In between packing a ton (literally, according to the movers) of books and trying to figure out where I'm going to stash my wool, I'm starting this blog. I'll document the move and the probable renovation and talk about what I'm knitting and designing and cooking and thinking.
During this transition, which is both physically and emotionally draining, I find that all I feel up to knitting is socks. They're small and portable and soothing. I can follow someone else's pattern and feel that I'm actually in control and accomplishing something. There isn't much time to knit, but just sitting down for a few minutes here and there and especially at bedtime is keeping the moving insanity at bay. Last weekend I finished Evelyn A. Clark's "Waving Lace Socks" from Interweave's "Favorite Socks". The yarn is Sirdar's Baby Cashmere Merino Silk 4-ply. They're folded now and ready for packing.