05 Apr 2010


This week’s video brought to you by Tonia, who brought it to me. Be sure to check out the “making of” video, up in the corner.


I picked up my knitting again two weeks ago. Just to see how it felt. I had to hunt for a project, as I’d stashed most everything I had been working on. Just one small project bag had escaped the frenzied clear-up on the day that I removed all evidence of knitting from my line of sight. In the bag, some alpaca sock yarn, one partially completed toe of a toe-up sock, and three pattern repeats of Citron, in wool and silk yarn from my friend, Meg, of The March Hare.

I chose to work on Citron. A few stitches became a few rows; a few rows became another pattern repeat. I couldn’t knit for very long, just fifteen minutes, here and there, but it felt good to have a project in my hands again. Familiar. I also noticed that although it was nice to knit again, I met the project with a curious sort of detachment. Some nights I knit in front of the telly, and some I didn’t, and it really didn’t matter either way.

I finished Citron today, and washed and blocked it. I don’t really know how long it took to finish, but stitch by stitch it grew, and now it’s done. I’m already casting about for the next project, so nothing has changed there, and yet it all feels different somehow. The entire process feels decidedly different, somehow.

Do you remember that time five years ago when I gave up buying yarn, for a whole year, and learned in the process that yarn was just yarn, and not an item to be coveted? I came away from that little experiment changed, and though I do buy yarn still, now and again, I no longer pursue it with the same sort of blood-lust I once did. I don’t judge the people for whom yarn is thing. I just know that, for me, yarn is yarn and on its own does not make me happy.

Taking a little hiatus from knitting has been kind of like not buying yarn for year. I’m not sure what this means yet, and maybe it means nothing. I just know that the process of going through my stash today, deciding what I want to make feels different. More centered. Warmer.

Posted on April 5, in Blog


  1. Congratulations on a beautiful Citron and on getting back into the knitting. I can only imagine how my approach to knitting would change if it became something I had to do in moderation or risk physical injury. More centered and warmer sound like positive results though!

    Posted on 4.5.10 ·
  2. birdgirl wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    Your shawl is beautiful. Congrats on being able to knit a little. I hope your shoulder is healing nicely. I went through all of my stash a few months ago. I can’t tell you how many skeins of sock yarn I have. I couldn’t believe it. I also got rid of bags and bags of stuff that I won’t use. I’m sure the old ladies down at the thrift store were happy. They have a long list of people to call when a bunch of yarn comes in.

    Posted on 4.5.10 ·
  3. Mel wrote:

    The commercial is lovely, but I have a hard time seeing it as anything other than an attempt at “greening” the petroleum industry. They were pushing that angle very aggressively during Olympics coverage over here, which irritated the hell out of me.

    Posted on 4.5.10 ·
  4. kim langley wrote:


    nice citron, and thanks for the video, i enjoyed watching the magic.

    Posted on 4.6.10 ·
  5. Gaidig wrote:

    Yay! Congratulations!

    Isn’t it amazing what therapy can do?

    Posted on 4.6.10 ·
  6. meg wrote:

    I think I love the film about how it was made more than the commercial itself … how much fun it looked like they were having!!!

    Posted on 4.6.10 ·
  7. I know, Mel. I know. Embedding an ad for the petroleum industry on my blog goes completely against the grain. In the end though, it was the yarn that got me. The yarn shower was just so cool.

    Posted on 4.6.10 ·
  8. Laia wrote:

    Wow, that video is really cool. Now I want to knit covers for everything to warm my apartment (we’re having a cold snap here in the Willamette Valley).

    Posted on 4.6.10 ·
  9. Chloe Ransom wrote:

    Brenda, I want to say thank you for creating such a fantastic podcast, and congratulations on a gorgeous shawl.
    I’ve only been listening for a while, and am steadily working through the podcasts, but I am so glad that you’ve got such a library to listen to. Thank you so much again; I have learnt loads.

    Posted on 4.6.10 ·
  10. Joan wrote:

    The Citron is just lovely. I wonder if you appreciated your knitting – the process, the color, the patterns – just a little more this time? Taking it bit by bit, was there still pain or are you more careful with your joints/muscles now? Sometimes I wonder if all the knitting I do and the sense that I will never really finish every project I want to do is an extension of that sense we all (or I assume we all do) have that we will never accomplish everything we want to do in our lives.
    I turned the big ‘Five-Oh” six years ahead of you and remember thinking that some things were never going to happen – you know, like becoming a rock star:) But we will always have the ability to impact the world around us in whatever way and with whatever tool we have.
    One concern I’ve had about the whole knitting, weaving, spinning, crocheting, craft “thing” is that it can become a diversion – at times – from the real business of living. Knitting takes time, effort and concentration. Could I be doing something else to be part of the solution or am I sitting here knitting and being a part of the problem (to spin – no pun intended – a phrase from the sixties)?
    Of course that’s a simplistic way of putting things. Knitters- especially recently – have banded together to call attention to real issues in this world and that’s a wonderful thing.
    Well, I’ve gone far afield in my little comment. I’m just wondering how this bit of stepping back is going to affect your perspective on a craft that you obviously love and enjoy. I suspect the heart will grow fonder:)
    Glad to have you back in the fold:) Take your time. This knitsib isn’t going anywhere!
    Joan a/k/a FSK
    Ellicott City “Merlin” USA

    Posted on 4.7.10 ·
  11. Cat wrote:

    The video, and esp the making of (or frogging of), was outstanding!

    As a spinner who doesn’t really knit yet, and doesn’t fully understand the knitter brain (although between you and the Yarn Harlot, I have a better idea), something about your post today resonated for me. The frenzy of yarn and knitting doesn’t affect me. I spin, I set it down, I pick it up again. Yarn grows from my drop spindle almost like watching the animation of that commercial. The way you describe small knitting reminded me of my approach to crafts. Welcome to the slow lane, where we sauter and meander. *hugs*

    Posted on 4.7.10 ·
  12. Devon wrote:

    What a lovely shawl! It is wonderful to hear that you are knitting, and since there is no mention of pain, wonderful to hear about knitting without pain as well.

    My knitting career take breaks here and there. When I come back to it I know exactly what you mean. I sense of warmth and familiarity. A wonder.

    Posted on 4.7.10 ·
  13. annmarie wrote:

    yes, well, the natural gas industry isn’t a good guy, maybe. but they sure made a great commercial. thanks for sharing this.
    lovely shawl, by the way. 🙂

    Posted on 4.8.10 ·

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