You could call it superstition, but I’m watchful of my mindset when I’m knitting things that are to go to other people. If I’m listening to music, I choose peaceful, restful music. If I’m watching TV, I choose the knitting project that will fit with the subject matter of the program or choose the program that is compatible with the piece. I try to think how a piece might best meet the need it’s intended to for as well as what color(s) and design(s) might be appropriate to that person. (A braided cable for a dear friend trying to deal with moving on after the unexpected and sudden death of his partner of 30 years, a twisted cable for strengthening and anchoring for a lady doing what is traditionally a man’s job. . .) It’s why I stringently resist knitting for hire. It puts my head in a not-good place and bad vibes get knitted into the thing. Before you scoff at me for getting all hippy-dippy, consider this. The idea of intention and how it affects the end product is such a pervasive one across so many human cultures, there must be something to it. What goes around comes around.
Putting the markers at either end of the right side on the shawls I’m working on has done the trick. I can’t put them on the needles between stitches, though because of the increases (two stitches every other row), so I have to hook them into the knitting itself. And I have to keep moving them up, which makes them progress markers in a way. I’ll be just knitting along and then realize the markers are about 5 or 6 rows below the row I’m working on and I have to stop and move them up. The yarn I’m using is the so-called “self striping” kind — the yarn color is variegated according to a specific color palette — and the length of yarn between color changes is fairly constant as near as I can tell, so the width of the stripe changes as the number of stitches on the needle increases, and that changes the pattern of color in subtle ways. It’s about 30 inches across now, but it has quite a way to go yet. I’ll work on this one til the end of the ball, and then I’ll work on the other one for a while. I bought a set of ChiaoGoo US10 (6.0 mm) needles in the 60-inch length especially for this project.
Each shawl uses 8 skeins of yarn. The yarn comes in those stupid pull-skeins, which I always promptly wind into a ball. Some people just love the pull skeins, but they drive me crazy. They’re too light and tend to get dragged toward you when you pull on them, and when you get down towards the end of the skein they have a nasty habit of imploding into a big tangle, and then you have to stop and untangle the mess. A ball in a bowl works for me. The ball unrolls smoothly out of the bowl and helps me keep an even tension I have these two bowls just alike that I bought at Pier 1. They’re just the right size and I like the pretty design. I have one on my computer desk and one on the reader’s table in the living room.
Lunch was a sandwich made on “English toasting” bread which was, oddly enough, lightly toasted. It had morselized bits of chicken in between two slices of Muenster cheese, melted in the microwave. (Yesterday I had some Muenster cheese melted over a slice of bacon on a piece of toasted ciabatta bread!) I had a can of Mandarin orange slices on the side, which I ate juice and all. I’m allergic to “regular” oranges, but I can eat the “Mandarin” (satsuma) orange just fine. One of my mother’s brothers, HJ, used to grow them. I have happy childhood memories of going to the bus station to get a large cardboard box full of satsumas that uncle H had shipped up to his baby sister, and of there being satsuma seeds, veins and peels in every ash tray in the house for at least a week afterward (my dad smoked at that time, a bad habit he brought home from WWII). Those oranges were such a treat. (One time he came to visit with a suitcase full of purple-hulled pea pods from his garden. Mom passed out bowls and paper sacks and we shelled peas and visited.)
Frankly, I wish the orange grove was still there, but he got too old to work it any more, and sold the land. It was right in the middle of prime real estate by then as Pearland grew out around his property. They bulldozed all his orange trees. That old road paved with crushed shell is all gone now, as are all the little wood frame houses up and down it where my relatives lived. It’s Yost Boulevard now, and there’s million-dollar homes (above) where his orange grove used to be. Sigh.