Howdy, friends! Last time I updated the blog, I promised a discussion on socks, a cowl, and some decisions I needed to make. We’ll get to that in a little bit. First, I want to welcome any new readers who have found this blog due to the wonderful article in today’s Greensboro News & Record: ‘Knitting Daddy’ credits daughter’s birth for inspiring creative path (by Lydian Bernhardt Averitt). Welcome, new readers!
I sat down (via Zoom) with Lydian a few weeks ago and talked about my knitting origin story, collecting preemie hats for FSNCC, how Blueberry is enjoying learning how to knit now, and the Unraveling Podcast I co-host, among other things. I had a great time chatting with Lydian and love how the article turned out. I hope you enjoy it, too.
After I finished knitting the beautiful beaded lace shawl I talked about last time, I focused on the socks I had on the needles. They are the No Pants! Socks, named after the yarn I knitted them in from Two Guys Yarn Company: Tweedy Toes in the No Pants! colorway. These socks were knitting up quickly, and finished one before I knew it.
That’s when the dreaded decision point hit.
That’s right, Second Sock Syndrome was threatening to strike. Should I knit the next sock or cast something else on? I couldn’t help myself, I cast on a new project.
This is the beginnings of the Rio Calina Cowl, a pattern by Cat Bordhi. Cat recently passed away, and this cowl pattern is one of her final gifts to the knitting world. I never had the opportunity to meet Cat in person, but I know many people who did, and who took classes from her. She sounds like my kind of knitter — bold, inclusive, fun, curious, etc. She is definitely missed in the knitting community. But her patterns live on, and I joined the scores of knitters working on the Rio Calina Cowl to honor her life.
I did continue to work on the pair of socks, too. They are finished, and I love them.
The hallmark of the Rio Calina Cowl pattern is its free-flowing instructions. There are knitted cables all over the cowl, yet the pattern does not give explicit instructions on where to place them:
Perhaps the most enchanting aspect of this cowl is that you knit it without being held accountable to specific cable counts and placements. Cat encourages you to be free and to follow the river as it takes you on this journey of delight.— excerpt from Rio Calina Cowl pattern page on Ravelry
I dove into the knitting with fierce and reckless abandon. I quickly found, however, that I was including too many cables. The beginning of my cowl resembles Class 5 Rapids more than it does a gently flowing stream. Knitting it was hurting my hands and wasn’t very fun. I scrolled through examples of other projects on Ravelry and noted that no one else was knitting as many cables as I was. I changed my strategy and picked up ideas from the examples I saw online. Reducing the number of cables completely transformed the knitting experience: it is now fun and easy to knit. At this point, I suspect I am approximately 75% done with the knitting, so I should have a finished object to share on my next blog update.
In the photo above, you can see the rapids on the right side of the knitting, and how everything mellowed out as I progressed. I found a way to let the river take me where it wanted to go and just enjoy the ride.
I hope you’re finding peace and comfort in your knitting, too. What projects do you have on your needles that help you manage stress and bring you joy?
Until next time, keep on knitting for the ones you love!