January 2016

Oh, January. You were a stinker. But even with all your rot you still managed to squeeze out a little beauty. Thank goodness.



Life sucker-punched me.

It started out innocently enough. So innocent that I don't even know how it started. I assume it started when I was a baby. I was hungry but wasn't fed right away. Life gave me a light flick on the cheek. I fell while I was learning to walk. A light flick on the other cheek. I fell on my face and lost a tooth. A harder flick. My parents divorced and I had to switch schools. Flick. Flick. I broke up with my first boyfriend. The flicks just kept getting harder. I moved from my first apartment that I shared with a friend to a basement apartment in the suburbs far from my friends and family. I felt so isolated. Flick to the lip. My husband lost his job. Flick to the eyebrow. Husband is diagnosed with cancer. Five-finger flick to the eye. My sister dies of cancer at the age of twenty-three. Ten-finger flick to the eyes. It didn't take long to figure out that the flicks weren't going to go away. They were just going to keep coming at me. I stopped noticing the flicks to the cheek. There were just too many. But those ten-finger flicks to the eyes? Those hurt. I was on the lookout for those. I closed my eyes. I took a deep breath. And while I wasn't looking I got sucker-punched in the eye.

* * *

As a point of interest, I'm probably wearing more makeup in that picture than I did at the prom.


For Sentimental Reasons

This is a picture of Emily and I about sixteen years ago. I'm wearing the very first sweater that I ever knit for myself. The sweater was at least three years old, maybe four, by this point. I loved that sweater. I was ridiculously proud of it. It was so warm and cozy. It was also really big. I could fit it over top of other sweaters it was so big. These two factors made it ideal for trips up north to the cottage but not for much else. It was just too big: the body, the sleeves, all of it.

I moved it out of regular rotation and into the file of clothes dedicated to yard work. I only wore it for gardening a couple of times. I just felt too guilty. I loved that sweater and it wouldn't take long to get ruined out in the yard. I also couldn't stand the thought of giving it away. That's how it came to spend the next ten years locked in a plastic tote in the closet under the stairs. Whenever the seasons would change and the warm coats would replace the summer hats, the plastic tote would come out. Waiting for me every time was my brown sweater. My eyes would get big with surprise (every time). I would audibly exclaim how much I loved that sweater whether there was someone there to hear me or not (every time). I would pull it out and hold it up to myself, look down and remember the undeniable awkwardness of the thing (every time). Then I would fold it back up and tuck it away. After years of being unable to wear it and equally unable to throw it away I wondered why I didn't just turn it into something more useful. Turn it into a better version of itself.

This was the year. I spent countless hours haunting Ravelry until finding the perfect solution. A simple cape with a big chunky cabled edge. I unravelled all of those carefully constructed stitches and got to work. And now I love it. I wear it all the time (weather permitting) and even though it's almost unrecognizable from its former self, it still feels like I'm wearing the very first sweater I ever made for myself. It feels good.


December 2015


November 2015