sheep thrills

 I can't sit still. Vacuuming, dusting, spiffing up (pardon me, coming through). Laundry (soak, fluff, fold). Baking (sift, whisk, mmmm). Gardening (sow, weed, pluck) on the phone (doodle, tinker, pace). Read (flip, flap, fidget). Watch TV (yawn, snack, zzzzz). I don't mean to be cheeky or bad-mannered, I just can't do it. Absolutely, just can't. I am physically and mentally incapable of (leg tingling)sitting (hands twitching)still. Something must be moving at all times. This is nothing new, been going on since I can remember...Barbie sub-let the dream house because we were always on to go, my bike never in it's designated parking spot, ballet, tap dancing lessons, kick ball, hop scotch...all meant to wear me out, but the energizer bunny just keeps going. Fortunately my Mom came up with a solution.

Since yoga had not yet become popular in the mid-west, she taught me to knit. That's right, knit. At the tender age of five I learned what would be my saving grace, the one thing that could calm the "bee in my butt".  And, as it happened, my mom was also taught to knit when she was only knee high by her Oma, so it was my good fortune to score an expert patterns, continental style, two sticks and a skein of yarn equals...magic (and a fabulous story teller to boot). Mom could knit like nobody's business. Barbie became a fashion icon around our parts, in her hand knit angora sweaters, wool coats with matching pill box hats, and trendy pencil skirts.

It's not that I need something to do, I'm up to here with chores, appointments, hobbies and the like, but knitting has been there for me through it all, macrame plant hangers, sand candles, tie dyeing, cross stitching, beading, pottery classes, decoupage, and scrap booking. Also, we've upped our elegance quota, from Red Heart acrylic to Top of the Lamb wool, and all the while, row after row it takes just two little stitches strung together to make up all kinds of wonderful. Yep, knitting, who would have thought a quaint, old fashion kinda thing could snag me, have me sitting calmly (click, click) and muttering to myself...just one more row... because of course I will take it to the limit.

And the other up side? sweaters, scarves, hats, mittens, leg warmers, yoga socks, angora bears wearing dresses, adorable snowman ornaments...because that darn ball of yarn keeps turning up in the strangest places. No gathering dust these knitting needles of mine, they follow me around day after day, year after year like a nipping puppy, wanting belly rubs, treats and walks. Always there. Tea in the afternoon. Before bed. Instead of bed. Early morning with coffee. Road trips. Vacations. Even plane rides, when I need all the calming I can get, a project is in the works. 

Oh, that. I do love starting new projects, and like the land of unfit toys they are scattered about seemly unloved, it's embarrassing really but who's keeping count?  I can't resist. The yarns (sigh). Blue Sky Alpaca, I can't stop thinking about you, and Rowan silk twist I had a dream about you last night, oh, Angora you will always be my favorite (no bunnies harmed here)! Then when I least expect it, thoughts of Trendsetter dance around my brain. Problem? Serious trouble? Rehab? No more so than trying to eat just one chocolate chip cookie or a single piece of Godiva. Oh knitting, I just can't quit you. On days when I find myself alone in the house I imagine all the things I can get done~catching up on e-mails, endless windows to shine, painting of trim, floors to wax, silver to polish...and somehow, knitting mysteriously jumps to the top of my to-do list, hummm.

So it comes to me, this huge revelation...I don't just love to knit, I need to knit. More sweaters, more warm socks, more mittens, more scarves, more hats, more blankets, more bears, and definitely more snowmen.
And who wouldn't want to spend some time curled up in a favorite chair,  a cup of hot tea, a puppy or two at your feet wrapped in total and complete blissful silence...knitting.

So I sit mindlessly, yet faithfully, with my dear friend reminiscing about the angora sweater we made in junior high school, or the loopy pink one, impossibly small sweaters made for my babies, gifts that were warm and soft filled with unending rows of love. Sitting and knitting, I kid you not. It's okay. A pair of #6 bamboo's and a skein of Lamb's Pride takes me to my happy place. There's something about the dancing of fingers with the needles that lulls my mind into stillness, puts me into a state of Nirvana that is free from craving, anger and other afflicting states, allowing me to concentrate on the truly happy aspects of life, like puppy kisses, sunsets, quiet moments, secrets shared or coming full circle and spending an afternoon at the yarn shop with my sensei. At the end of the day, there's a soft woolly something, the color of the sky.  It's a calming repetition, indulgent fulfillment, completely comforting. Like a mother's touch, I guess.

Least you think I waste away entire days sitting around like an old biddy knitting, let me just say that reading cook books and baking are also high on my list of  "things I love to do" and one of my favorite cookbooks is Savory Baking by Mary Cech, I got it at the beginning of this year and have slowly been working my way through it.  Mary says "...savory baking is for people who like to cook, but would like to bake without the sweet component, so it's more of a combination of baking and cooking,” makes sense to moi, no?


Chile Cheese Gratin Sandwiches


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