Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Planning for 39

After my family, the greatest blessing in my life is a tight-knit group of 12 women who are my lifetime friends.  We met at Princeton in the early 90s and have remained close--supporting each other through heartbreak and achievement, marriages, babies, the death of parents, job traumas and all the other stuff that life brings.  We try to get the whole group together at least once a year--no small task since we are scattered from Boston to San Francisco.  Often, it happens naturally--someone getting married, major year Reunions, etc.  But when it doesn't, we put a trip together.

In the days after Christmas, one of the California ladies was on the East Coast so the NY/NJ/PA contingent gathered in Brooklyn for the afternoon.  And that's where the plotting began--we need a ski trip.  On the phone a few days later with Ms. Boston, we came up with the idea for a 39th Birthday Bash--a weeklong trip in the winter of 2011 to celebrate our collective 39th birthdays.

What does this have to do with knitting? Glad you asked.  In the next few weeks, I'm going to plan my Ski Trousseau.  By the time the Great 39th rolls around, I want to have a pile of awesome handknits to take to Vail or Aspen or Park City or wherever we decide to go.  I anticipate needing 5 or so sweaters, about 6 pairs of socks, 2-3 pairs of mittens, a couple of hats, a few cowls and maybe even some leg warmers.  Now the fun begins--picking out the patterns and yarn for this year-long project.  On hiatus will be knits for the Ungrateful Children (who alternate between never wearing my handiwork, or beating the crap out of a given sweater).  This will be a year devoted to selfish knitting.

Already on my list are:
Seneca and Huron by Brooklyn Tweed
Lightweight Pullover by Hannah Fetig
Hedge Fence Pullover by Elinor Brown

Not being much of a sock knitter, I will stick to straightforward patterns like Thuja.  I love this pair I made for Ms. SF-Toronto last year out of STR heavyweight in the Gingerbread Man colorway.  Truth be told, the only other sock pattern I've successfully completed is Spring Forward.  But maybe I will challenge myself by trying something like Monkey.

What would you take with you on a fabulous ski vacation?

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Here Be Dragons

I know all about girls. My first child was a daughter, I have a sister, girl cousins--but no male relatives my age, and no real male friends until I was an adult. In other words, no experience with *boys*. So, around 4 years ago, when I found out I was going to have a boy, I was scared and excited, but mostly, I knew I was venturing into the unknown.

When the mapmakers reached the edge of the known world, they wrote, "Beyond here be dragons..." What lay ahead was scary and fraught with peril. And I have to be honest, raising this boy has challenged me more than, well, just about anything. I'm a verbal person--he is not. I'm not a patient person, and he requires patience above all else. There have also been many adorable, sweet moments--but I think the most incredible thing is the glimpses I am getting of a life with a son. That I get to witness the process of a boy growing into a man. And he's a reminder to me that we are all of us, works in progress.

And for me, the experience is nothing short of transformational.

So, I am pondering all of this as I knit Ryuu-Ko, by Daniela Nii from the most recent issue of Petit Purls.

Here's what I've got so far--knit in Cascade 220: