Hello, Old Friend: Telling the Seasons by Knitting

I know it wouldn’t be rocket science to be able to tell the season based on the content of this here blog. Summer is easy, since it’s all non-stop, all-garden action. Chicken updates will likely be a year-round phenomenon.

However, I’m beginning to think that one could also discern the more subtle shifts in seasons by one other thing: my knitting progress. Way back in February, I posted a bit about recycled yarns and the general awesome factor of being able to knit your own clothing. In my mind, being able to knit yourself a sweater / looking at a sweater and understanding the construction of it really is in line with knowing how to kill and skin and part out your own chicken – albeit far less bloody and maybe a tad prettier to do in public.

Getting back to the seasons: by the time football season is over, seeds start going into potting soil, and garden planning commences in March, my knitting productivity drops off dramatically. Yes, I knit in front of the television nearly every Sunday during the cold Indiana winter, watching football (go, Colts?). All summer long, though, when things are BUSYBUSYBUSY outside, the only time I manage to knit is during my pub knitters group meetings (you can imagine how productive I am at actually knitting during those meetings – one member proclaimed at our last meeting that, “We are drinkers with a knitting problem”).

However, now that much of the garden has died back in the heat and drought and the temperatures have cooled down to a level where I don’t have to be on high-alert re: the chickens, I’ve begun to ease back into the knitting again. So there you have it, folks: just keep an eye on my knitting productivity, and you’ll be able to tell if we’re in the dog days of summer, full-on football knitting season, or somewhere in those in between days.

Would you like to see what items have been moving slow like molasses off the needles this summer? In June, Chris and I flew out to Colorado to visit family, meet my new nephew, and celebrate my older nephew’s third birthday. Guess what he got…

200120627. Cape for Ben.


Zachary got a couple of bibs, as well, for when he gets a tad older / begins drooling on everything in sight. This is the Modern Cabled Baby Bib pattern by Andrea Pomerantz.

200120627. Bibs for Zachary.

In my last knitting-related post back in February, I mentioned I had started knitting this sweater, using yarn made from the bits and pieces in a mill that might otherwise get tossed (check it out: Knit Picks Full Circle yarn). I love the concept of that – new-to-me yarn that is absolutely luscious and reduces waste all in one fell swoop. I finally finished the beast! This is the Cobble Hill Pullover pattern from Interweave Knits.

20120810. Cobble Hill Pullover, aka the coziest sweater of all time.

Totally unique construction – this will be my go-to cozy pullover if we manage to get some cold weather this winter.

20120810. Cobble Hill Pullover, aka the coziest sweater of all time.

Finally, I used up some wool tweed yarn I bought on super sale ages ago, but could never quite figure out what it wanted to be. I swear, yarn often WANTS to be something, and it’s just a matter of figuring out what that is. I’ve ripped out nearly completed garments because the pattern is just not right for the yarn. It wants to be something else (and, yes, I know I sound like a crazy person. Knitters, back me up here, please!). This is the Bryn Mawr pattern from Interweave Knits.

20120818. Handknit skirt, using the Bryn Mawr pattern.

20120818. Handknit skirt, using the Bryn Mawr pattern.

Yes, people, as sure as the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, knitting season has officially begun. Along with it, I’m hoping for frosty breathed mornings, cardigan and scarf weather, apple picking at the orchard, and crispy leaves to kick through on sidewalks.

10 thoughts on “Hello, Old Friend: Telling the Seasons by Knitting

  1. As loathe as I am to let go of the warmth of the summer, I must admit I am looking forward to that lovely fall chill in the air and cozy warm sweaters. Autumn is by far my favourite season. I knit and crochet, too (mostly scarves, fingerless gloves, and dish cloths, though). I’ve never attempted a sweater – I love that pullover you made – maybe this will be the year!

    • You know, I keep saying in my head that I shouldn’t wish away time. I know I shouldn’t – it goes too quickly as it is. But after this summer with the drought and the dead chickens and the heat and the dead friends, etc etc? I’m kind of over it, and I’m kind of okay with that. 🙂 Sometimes, you just need an out, a distinct line to move from one phase to the next (hopefully WAY MORE AWESOME) phase.

      Also, take the leap to a sweater! You should. The worst part is sizing – and that’s just something you figure out as you go. It’s so rewarding once you start getting it down, though, I swear!

  2. Hey, you there! On the same page! Yeah, you!

    I just picked up my knitting needles this past week after setting them down in March. I’m testing some knitting instruction given to me by a local old guy. He told me a story about the lumberjacks that worked the woods early last century and the kinds of socks they wore. He then gave me the formula for figuring out how many stitches are needed for the size of your foot and leg.

    I haven’t finished one yet; it’s ridiculously easy but, even though my yarn and needles are parked right next to the couch (where I spend my late evening hours), I keep forgetting that I’m working on a project.

    • YES!!! We share a brain! That is awesome about the dude-sock-mathematic-alchemy. Have you ever read any of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s patterns? Hers are all about taking what you want, your measurements, your yarn gauge, etc., and turning them into a sweater that actually fits. It requires math, but I SWEAR, it’s worth it.

      I’m super stoked about the sweater I started today at my pub knitters group. Chris’ mom bought me the yarn for a shawl, but I decided it needed to be a sweater. I’m sure she won’t be too offended. 🙂

  3. I have to say that I always take a long time to knit a sweater because I can’t stand it when the thing takes up all of my lap in the heat of summer! Summer is for knitting socks. 🙂

    • I totally respect your dedication – I absolutely hate knitting socks! I don’t know what it is. I actually hate it so much that I have one knee high completely done, a bunch of yarn to finish sock #2… and absolutely NO desire to start the second one! (Oh, and I have no recollection of where I put the pattern for sock #1 anyway). 🙂

    • Fall is my favorite, too! I can’t wait for cardigan and scarf weather. The cool mornings lately are definitely making me happier.

    • That sweater is going to be SO warm this winter. I hope we get some good, cold evenings so I can cuddle up in it every night! It seems so crazy to think about frost – right now, it’s about 91 degrees out here.

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