Pink Alpaca

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Elaine's socks

Inside my coffee table are wicker bins, stuffed with my knitting. And in the rightmost one is the beginning of my first-ever sock. I cast it on in September, with the intention of giving the finished pair to a dear friend of mine, Elaine.

Elaine, my mom's best friend, was in a nursing home battling a long illness. I thought hand knit socks might be the perfect gift for her. Having never made socks before, I was a bit nervous. But she loved to crochet and knit so I knew she'd appreciate them regardless. So I picked out some yarn I thought she might like and set to work.

I had issues with it from the beginning. Cast-on edge was too tight. Needles needed to be a size smaller. I finally got things right but progress was slow. My part-time job began. Christmas knitting got in the way. The sock is about half-finished and still in the bin.

Elaine passed away on the 21st at the age of 57. It was a shock to me and my family. We still held on to the hope that she would get better. Elaine was like an aunt to me. She called me her little-tiny-baby-Kara, even up till this past year. Our two families celebrated the Fourth of July together nearly every year - tubing trip, late-night snacks and movies, fireworks, games and laughs. Her laugh was amazing. I miss her so much.

And now I don't know what to do with Elaine's socks. I can't bear to open up that bin in my coffee table. I don't think it's guilt of not finishing them that's hurting me, but maybe it's that I planned them for her, and even if I were to finish them I couldn't imagine giving them to anyone else. I spent 10 minutes choosing the yarn. Half a day finding the right pattern. For Elaine, and for no one else. I suppose the unfinished sock will sit in the bin until I can decide what to do with it. I may finish them for her daughter. Or maybe for my mom. Or maybe just for me, so I can think of her when I wear them. Maybe knitting these socks will help me get past this grief.

Thanks to all who read this. I needed to get this off my chest.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Why aren't I posting?

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. It's because I'm knitting Christmas gifts, and some of the recipients may wander onto this blog and see them. So, for now, no posts. But below you'll find a cool, knitting-related photo from our London trip. Cuneiform writing detailing instructions for dyeing wool. Crazy!

I failed to take a photo of a dog sweater that I made last week. It was for a Miniature Pinscher, and I used chunky yarn, so I finished it in just a couple hours. When we see our friends on New Year's Eve, I'll be sure to get a pic of Kitty wearing it. Yup, her name is Kitty.

I've run into sort of a conflict with my knitted Christmas gifts. Tomorrow, I'm going to my parents so I can exchange gifts with some family whom we won't see on Christmas. My cousin will be there, and I knitted the same thing for her that I knit for my mom. I guess I'll make her go into another room to open it. :)

I was up until 3:30 last night working on gifts and cards. My house is a disaster - yarn, thread, and fabric scraps everywhere. Gift wrap and presents all over the floor. I suppose if I bought some furniture for our spare room I could corral all of this into a kind of craft room. (We're in our first house, and even after a year we don't have it all together.) For now, we're saving for living room furniture. One step at at time. That's what being young and married is all about.

I was on track to finish knitting these gifts in time for shipping, but work multiplied this past week and I got behind. Oh well. I won't be too late with them. And I'm confident everyone will like them. Can't wait to post the photos!

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