Posts Tagged ‘love’

Spread a little love

February 14, 2019

Valentine’s Day has never been a big holiday in my family. Sure, my brothers and I would give little folded cards to elementary school classmates. And I think we had some decorations, probably handmade, that were taped up in the kitchen. But there were no big bouquets of roses, gifts, or candlelit dinners. Patrick had a similar experience, so that’s what pretty much what we’ve continued in our own families — although with some lovely flower bouquets.

It’s never been a stated philosophy, but when I think about it, we believe that love should be expressed every day, in ways — words and actions — large and small.

My Valentine’s knitting tradition (yes, knitting traditions are a thing) is to make a few little heart ornaments for family, friends, and acquaintances. All it takes is a few yards of scrap yarn and DPNs. I’ve used different patterns over the years — less seaming is better as far as I’m concerned.

Once you’ve made one, it’s a quick knit. Like most things in life, if you know how to do it, it’s easier.

The best part is giving these little hearts. Kind of like love, it feels great to give them away. I tucked one into a card for each of our three treasures. One is dangling on a doorknob in a Brooklyn apartment.

Earlier this week, I tucked a couple in my pocket as I went out for my morning jog/walk. I gave one to the barista at the coffee shop where I stop each morning; it was her birthday. Another was left for a beloved neighbor.

A small blue heart, made from leftover sock yarn, graces a fake plant on a dresser — along with treasures from New England.

Being reminded of the love around us — that it’s there even when we may not feel it — is a very, very good thing. Today and every day.

Socks Received

December 8, 2018

Kevin’s first final exam of his senior year is later today — fluid dynamics (or is it dynamic fluids?!) So I was relieved to learn that the good-luck socks I mailed earlier this week had arrived — and more importantly, that he was glad to have received them.

smiling selfie with socks held to cheek

text message: They're so soft!!! Thank you momma - heart emoji

I know, as my wise sister-in-law would say, “smart is not something you are but something you become” and that handknit socks don’t have a direct effect one one’s mastery of mechanical engineering, but if this pair of cozy socks provides a bit of comfort and confidence to this remarkable young man, that’d be wonderful.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on his next pair, to be opened on Christmas morning, when final exams are finished and the next semester’s work has yet to begin.

sock-toe-shape

May the Force be with you, dear boy. And may your efforts be rewarded.

 

 

Treasures

July 9, 2018

Last week, while Mom and I hung out together and did our best to find refuge from the heat wave, Patrick took a quick trip to Cape Cod for a reunion with some of his cousins. He was pleasantly surprised to encounter nearly no traffic slow-downs on the nearly two-hour trip. Everyone who was heading to the beach to escape the heat had already arrived and was staying put as long as possible!

dober-cousins2

Over the course of less than 24 hours, he savored walks on the beach, a feast of fresh seafood — including oysters harvested just outside the front door — catching up with cousins, and a tea party and iPad games with the youngsters.

He returned home with two tangible treasures: the last yarn from the stash of beloved Aunt Mary Ann, a wonderful woman and prodigious knitter who died a couple of years ago.

What shall I make with these approximately 1,000 yards of cotton? I welcome any and all suggestions.

Yellow-cotton-yarn

A walk on the beach yielded another treasure, which now sits at my bedside: a reminder that love is all around us; we just have to keep our eyes (and hearts) open for it.

heart-rock

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing like finishing

March 31, 2017

Each Friday, I spend 90 minutes with 7 or 8 fourth grade girls at a nearby after-school program. I’m there to teach knitting, but mostly I just try to keep up with their questions, energy, anxieties, and aspirations.

“Help! I messed up! Oh wait, never mind.”

“I want to knit slippers. How many stitches should I cast on?” Said while holding nothing but a ball of Sugar ‘N Cream cotton yarn and size 7 (mm) needles

“I was going to go on the field trip today but my stomach hurt from worrying, so I decided to come to knitting instead.”

Last week, Lily finished the last couple of inches of a garter stitch scarf, a gift for her aunt who was coming over for dinner. Another knitter volunteered to model. I love her t-shirt — Try And Stop Me — which conveys the fierceness that so many 10-year-old girls possess.

Garter-stitch-scarf

As she carefully folded the scarf and put it into her backpack, Lily wondered aloud, “I hope she likes it. I know she likes these colors but will she like the scarf?”

“How could she not like it?” a fellow Fearless Knitter asked and then confidently answered her own question, “You made it and she loves you.”

So very true.

 

 

Love on the Street

August 30, 2013

I don’t usually take my phone when I run in the morning. I don’t want to be connected or reachable.

But recently I’ve been walking, instead of running, in an attempt to let an injury heal and have started listening to some of my favorite podcasts. Since my phone is also a camera, I sometimes get to capture images that catch my eye. Like today…

StreetHeart

The Best Container for Love

March 12, 2013

“Knitting is still the best container for love” — Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot

I can’t remember what I used to give as baby gifts before knitting. As soon as I learn that a friend, colleague, neighbor, or family member is expecting, I immediately begin to think of what I can knit for the wee one.

A hat is lovely and relatively quick to make. Blankets have a longer useful “life” since it takes years for a baby to outgrow a blanket. All three of my children had special blankets (none handknit) that they fondled, carried, draped, and loved for years and years. My youngest still has remnants of his lovely soft woven blanket on the bookshelf near his bed – a childhood version of the Shroud of Turin!

Sweaters are somewhere in between. Depending on the size, they fit the baby for longer than a hat. And they almost knit up faster than a blanket.

close-up of buttons on baby sweater

When I learned that a coworker was expecting her first child, after several years of trying, I just had to make a sweater. Every time I knit — whether at a hockey rink, basketball court, medical office, or curled up in the rocking chair keeping company with a late-night homework doer — I thought of this child-to-be. “You are so lucky to be born to such loving parents who’ve waited so long just for you,” I’d silently whisper into each stitch, imagining the finished garment as a talisman of sorts, something that could gird this tiny person in those first weeks of life with a special strength that might last for years, long after she’d outgrown the garment.

IMG_1629

It’s my second Puerperium Sweater (by Kelly Brooker), named for the period immediately after a baby’s birth. I made a striped one last year, and this time chose a solid dusty grape — my description, since I can’t find the yarn label — and some delightful buttons that remind me of sprinkles on frosted donuts.

Tessa arrived last week and is as perfect as perfect can be. I was delighted to see that she was sporting a handknit hat in her first day of life.

babynap

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