Stories

imprinted as makers, KALs, and Christmas

Peace in a bowl

‘T’was the week before Christmas’, so just for fun I’m sharing some thoughts from 2015 while knitting the Mystery Knit-A-Long by Laura Aylor that unfolds in 7 days and promises a garment ready on Christmas Eve.  Follow me @lynnelor on Instagram and Ravelry, or just check in here at will to see what’s new. Whether or not you knit, I hope you’ll JAL (journey a-long). <3 

 

I’m a knitter – meaning, I knit like I have to.  It’s a craving.

It’s kind of mysterious but I don’t question it; the feel, the comfort, the repetitive movement, the unknown, and the time invested as well as the constant satisfaction of moving toward a pleasing finish line – all of these are part of the decadence of knitting for me.  And, like some other things I do to relax and make sense of the world, my family has come to terms with it.  They are used to me missing key plot points as we watch movies, because my eyes were not on the screen, although it’s undoubtedly annoying.  I’ve considered knitting at the movies but I have not tried it. Crazy?  We know a girl who finger knitted during her marathon this year, so there you go.  People, you do not want to get between a girl and her yarn, let me just tell you.  What ever does this for you?  Keep it, make time for it, save mad-money (what my mother used to call her personal funds) for it, and don’t even ask why.  When you find your you-time, it matters; we are all makers.  Maybe you make ideas, not projects, or perhaps you make experiences.  We are imprinted this way, I believe, by the Creator who is infinite in his enthusiasm and shares his delight with us as we create.

Look how God showed that he is the architect of creativity as he gave his blueprint for the Tabernacle to Moses  So profoundly cool.

Construction of the Tabernacle
Exodus 33: 30 Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, 32 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, 33 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. 34 And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. 35 He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer.

But it’s Christmastime so, like you, my time is not really my own, right?

When I’m not at work, I am finagling family plans and showing value and love to my beloveds with time and presents, which means I’m shopping, baking, and getting out for quick coffee dates whenever I can.  This month I find myself walking by knitting, telling myself I’ll take you to bed and do a row or two on a project then, or I’ll bring you with me in the car for time when I’m waiting (traffic knitting).  Basically, I bargain with knitting, asking,  “Do we get to play today?” “Nope” is the answer far too often, because it’s a reward I didn’t earn or make time for.  That’s why I’ve taken on the Christmas Mystery Knit-A-Long (MKAL) that designer Laura Aylor put out through the yarn-lover’s social media site, Ravelry.  For one hour a day, I’ll be knitting, and fighting off the urge to do more as if I can BE more in that act.  It’s enforced rest, but it’s also me reminding myself who I am.  I need both of those things right now.

It really inspires me to look around both in my life and in the world at makers who feel the drive, harness the enthusiasm, and decide that it’s worth it to start something from scratch.  I follow all kinds of makers and I’m intrigued by Kickstarters like this one, and this one.  There is a thread of connection for me between starting a project and innovating large-scale because, as Confucius said, “the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”   All those steps equal an epic life, one that is lived on purpose.  Love that.  That’s one of the things I’ve learned in 2015; that makers are all around us, and I’m part of that global community when I give my hands a voice.

And so, to celebrate, I want to end my year by starting something.  Something small that will grow daily.  And start a conversation.  Thanks for being here.

 

MKAL - Day 1 finished in Malabrigo Lettuce
MKAL – Day 1 finished in Malabrigo Lettuce

INFO about the MKAL!

Just For You Two (as in the second annual Just for You pattern) started 12/18/15, and is a project designed to be worked this way:

Once again I challenge you to take a bit of time for yourself during the busy holiday season. This mystery pattern will be released in 7 parts starting on December 18 and ending on December 24. Each clue will contain approximately an hour’s knitting time so that you can make yourself a cup of tea or coffee or hot chocolate or pour yourself a glass of wine and decompress a bit. It’s a mystery only because that way the finished project is a bit more like a gift from me to you. I hope you like it! ♥ ~Laura Aylor

You can't see the whole shawl here, but didn't my hair look nice?
You can’t see the whole shawl here, but didn’t my hair look nice?

Last year’s project was the first time I’d ever done a “KAL” or a knit-a-long,  (although along is not word requiring hyphenation, KAL is a common knitter’s term.  Yarn people have lingo too.) so knitting blind was a new idea.  I knew it would fit around my neck and maybe shoulders, that it required really fat yarn. Low risk, high satisfaction.  If any of you decide to jump in this year, it would be easy to catch up since it is only day 2 (on 12/19 as I write).

For knitters: Chances are you’re already on Ravelry (What, your’e not?  Well, Merry Christmas from me – go join Ravelry!) Laura’s clues are fantastically clear and she moderates a great forum each day of the project so you can get answers to questions easily.

For new knitters: Lots of people I know learned how to knit from a family member, but not everyone is that lucky!  For the rest of us, there’s YouTube.  Here you go: How to Knit – Absolute Beginner Knitting, Lesson 1 – Even if You’re Clueless!  Then, go join Ravelry.

And if if you have (or can easily acquire at Twill in Nashua, my very favorite yarn tribe) 240 yards of bulky yarn and 10.5 mm circular needles, you’re good to go.

Because you’re Christmas shopping is done, right?

 

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