I know what you might be thinking…
I don’t get it. How come this Lauren chick calls herself crafty, and yet I never see her doing any crafts! What gives?
Life gets busy, you know? I excuse myself by saying that Crafty is a state of mind rather than a state of being. We all aspire to be as crafty as we perceive ourselves to be on Pinterest, but sometimes life gets in the way.
And then other times, on the rare occasion that you have a four day weekend and an emotional commitment to watch several hours of football, your fingers start twitching for something to do. I used to knit (like, a lot), but somehow let it fall by the wayside. Last weekend, however, I dug out my needles and scraps of yarn and it was just like coffee with an old friend.
I’ve started up again, but simply, by replacing a few grubby old potholders with this little beauty:
I once made the mistake of committing to an entire afghan in this pattern, seed, not realizing that it takes twice as long as most other patterns because you have to switch your yarn after each stitch. That blanket took my entire undergraduate college degree to finish. But, I’m at it again because, being the perfectionist that I am, it comes out so beautifully and those little tiny bubbles of yarn are going to keep my hand from burning on a fresh loaf of zucchini bread. Plus, you don’t have to count anything.
Seed Pattern (Knitting)
- Cast on an odd number of stitches (I used 35 for this fairly generous-sized hot pad)
- K1, P1 until the end of the row
- That’s it.
Disclaimer: The blanket underneath this work in progress was not made by me, but by my Great-Grandmother Cora. It was crocheted haphazardly (so she said) using scraps from her yarn basket and was gifted to me when I was about 10. It’s either been at the end of my bed or on the back of my sofa ever since.
I’ve got Portage Park on the brain as we prepare for home ownership in a new neighborhood, but I think it’s important to take some time to reflect on the great years we’ve spent in Ravenswood. Being in a slightly undiscovered area of the ‘wood we’ve had the privilege of being walking distance from Lincoln Square, Andersonville, and the heart of the neighborhood, but tucked away in a little quiet corridor where yuppies and puppies are scarce and upscale, overpriced restaurants are non-existent. Here’s what I think I will miss the most about my block:
- The nice Indian guys at the little liquor store
- The odd demographic on the block of latinos, lesbians who can’t afford A-ville, and millionaires with babies
- The Crafty Beaver around the corner
- Three full store-fronts of knitting yarn. Actually, strike that. Arcadia just closed and I can’t say I’m all that surprised because, come to think of it, there was not very much yarn in there for three store fronts and the ladies were mean. But since neither impacts their new business plan as an online store, I wish them all the best.
- and, Garcia’s
So long, old pal. You may be seeing me anyway from time to time, if for no other reason than to secure a late night burrito the size of my head with extra avocado. mmm.
** You may not think this directly relates to the primary content of this blog, but fear not. Ravenswood is an inspired neighborhood of forward-thinking urbanites who cherish their neighborhood gardens, green home design, and post-industrial flair. It is a place where you can walk safely through alleys and find raspberries, pole beans and roses growing freely. It is the people of this great place that inspire me to grow things and make things and cook things and I will miss it. However, we are on to the next chapter of our lives, to a place where I don’t have to keep my bikes in my bedroom or ask my land lady if I can put a compost bin in my yard.
I’ve been knitting since I was about 8. I’m a combination of mom-taught and self-taught, and to date haven’t completed anything that wasn’t square or rectangular (i.e. scarves, blankets, and shawls). My tension is impeccable (I flatter myself). I am resigned that I’m meant to be a knitter of quality, but not variety. Make that WAS resigned. Because I can now confidently count this–let’s face it–adorable baby sweater among my knitting inventory:
20+ years of fearing increases and yarn overs and bobbles and all for naught-because this wasn’t that bad. You Tube is a beautiful thing. Want to try this yourself? Props to Arcadia Knitting for providing me with a relatively simple pattern
. I may just have to crank out five more of these guys for the craft fair this year…..
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