Well, hello there, Internet Friends. Long time no blog.
It has indeed been a while since you’ve heard much from me. A tweet here, a Facebook comment there, a Ravelry post every now and then.
It was never my intention to quit blogging, not forever, anyway. But as we all know, sometimes Life gets very selfish and wants all of our attention. Not just some of our attention, nor even most of our attention. Sometimes Life is like a hungry teenager, devouring everything in the house and then standing in front of the open refrigerator one last time to announce Imminent Starvation because There Is Nothing Left to Eat In The Entire House.
When Life is that demanding, it’s rather challenging to ignore those demands, and take time to tap out a few hundred words, let alone a few hundred coherent words.
My life has never been about giving up. Just as in my knitting, I frequently hit obstacles in my life: I discover unmendable mistakes, I realize I have taken a road I once thought was creative, only to finally realize it was a simply a seductive brick wall. As in knitting, there comes a point where I must admit that trying to push ahead in a particular endeavor, despite obstacles, dropped stitches, and wrong-way decreases, is foolish and will never result in anything resembling the sweater I had in mind when I cast on. The sound of ripping stitches is then heard, the cats come running to help me rewind the yarn (so helpful, a knitter’s cats), and the project is set aside, to be considered and meditated upon until Further Notice.
Well: It’s time. This post is Further Notice. I am casting on again, taking up pen and keyboard and needles once more in service of continuing to knit a life for myself, a life that fits the person I am, the person I want to be, instead of the person I no longer am, or the person whom others might wish me to be. And I have a new goal this time ‘round, a goal for which I haven’t yet seen the map, nor do I know where the first step might be…except that the first step is also here, now, this time and this place.
The goal? To write, to knit, to do whatever it is I do (I really have Clue Zero what that is most days), not just for myself, but for others, somehow, someway; to help some of you knit a life for yourselves, too.
One thing I loved so much about KnittingDaily was that it allowed me to be a force for good in the community; I have missed that. I absolutely loved the comments that shouted “I FINALLY GET IT NOW!”; or the emails showing me pictures of a particularly well-executed bust dart. It was rewarding having y’all come up to me somewhere across North America, wearing a gorgeous handknit sweater and a grin to light up the entire city. Then, shy or struttin’, full of pride, so full of joy, you’d announce: “This is my KnittingDaily sweater, I made it with the tips you gave, and LOOK!” or “I used waist shaping for the first time, and I thought it would make me look fat, but I think I look kinda cute, don’t you?”
Yes, readers, indeed I did think all your sweaters you showed me over the years, whether in person or via photos, I thought all of them were amazing. (One of you even showed me a PONCHO you’d done, complete with shaping, that was truly a knockout, who knew a poncho could look so nice?) You were amazing with your courage (“Look, Sandi, I steeked! I had two glasses of wine first, but I steeked and it worked!”), and your creativity. I will NEVER ever forget the very tall, bear-shaped man who showed me the back of his handknit sweater, pointing out the darts up around his plush and padded shoulders, darts that made the back of a potentially baggy pullover look smooth and tailored, showing off his manly assets to their best. (At the time, I remember thinking that this guy was Paul Bunyon Going Incognito In YarnLand. He was awe-inspiring, if for nothing else than the fact that he had persevered through acres of stockinette stitch in pursuit of that quite handsome-on-him sweater. Well done, Sir. Well Done.) Your pride in learning was my pride in teaching; it was my pleasure to give back so much pleasure to my community.
I am the first to admit that I lost my way after stepping down from KD. That was one of the most painful decisions I have had to make, but in the end, I realized that KD was needed for other purposes in the life of Interweave, and I knew in my heart that I was not the right person to take her on that new adventure.
It was a huge loss for me, personally. I didn’t (and still don’t) know how to continue doing what I wanted to do without the support and resources of a company or group behind me. But as a favorite movie dad once said, “Small steps, Ellie. Small steps.” (Contact, starring Jodie Foster as Dr. Ellie Arroway and David Morse as The Dad.) First thing was to let myself heal from the loss of KD, to fully mourn, and in the end, to fully let go and acknowledge it was no longer “mine”.
As for the next step? Well…take a look at the header of my blog, if you would…I have a new tagline. A slight shift in perspective, a wider purpose, perhaps…or is it? I haven’t ever been one to sidestep some of the more thinky topics in my knitter’s life; perhaps the shift in the tagline is simply an acknowledgement of something that already is. Not one of you has ever asked me to “write less”; in fact, almost every one of you has, at one time or another, asked me to write MORE, more posts, more tutorials…and even Please Write A Book For Us, Ms. Sandi. It’s way past time to listen to what you’ve been telling me for a decade or so: That you WANT me to tell my stories, that you like it when I show you what I have learned from whatever I am currently working on, to share the questions, and the discoveries, that come to all of us who Make Things. It’s time to listen to what some of you have been telling me for a decade or more: Don’t listen to the inner voice that tells me I am an imposter (oh, yes; because Meg Swansen would TOTALLY come up to me and thank me for writing an imposter blog, yeah, that would happen); but instead, to please kindly listen to the folks who actually read the stuff I write–especially those of you who are still here, seven years on from my last post on KnittingDaily–and trust that when you ask me to write more, you mean it. You’ve hung in there with me over the good years and the bad; how about we see what 2018 can come up with for us?
There’s lots more to catch up on: new creative projects, new cat stories, new adventures, new stitches cast-on and knitted up. But rather than try to recap any of it, I’ll give you a brief glimpse into Now, catching you up along the way Later, saving the rest for Next Time.
Just for fun, let me show you my newest knitting project, because it is brightly coloured, and a lot of fun, and will result in something warm for this bitterly cold Canadian winter.
That is the seedling of a hat, a slouchy beret sort of hat. It’s called the Pansy Garden Tam, designed by Donna Frost Ritchie, and its colours are joy to the dark chills of midwinter here at the 43rd parallel.
More about this lovely project will have to wait a short while; as will news about my other adventures, and even new Silly Kitten Tricks.
Middle English: from Greek epiphainein ‘reveal’.
Epiphany, Capital E: The Feast of Epiphany occurs on January 6th; it celebrates the manifestation (“revelation”) of Christ to the Gentiles, as represented by the story of the 3 Wise Kings who “came from afar to worship the Baby Jesus.”
epiphany, lowercase e: A moment of sudden revelation or insight about the essential nature of things; a sudden illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure.