Thursday, January 16, 2014

i knit a hug

this story is about earlier this week, but the history goes back just a little.  i asked for, and was granted, a hat loom for christmas (thank you, santa).  my mom had been knitting hats for the military for quite some time and said how much she enjoyed it and found it relatively easy to do.  she had made hats for our family as gifts, too.  i asked her to teach me while we were visiting after christmas, and she obliged me.  i knitted a hat for diana's new christmas hello kitty stuffy to match diana's own.

then diana decided she wanted to learn, too.  so my mom taught her.  i'm especially thankful for that, because when i forget my next step, diana can help me with it.

diana working on her first hat for a young child

monday was our first homeschool sewing circle/handwork club gathering of the new year.  i wasn't sure who would be attending, but it doesn't really matter as much to me the number of families who can come, just that the people who come want to be there and share.  i advertise it as an open space for three hours, where you can come when you are able and leave when you need to (an approach i learned during many years of la leche league meetings).  this works because it's not a class, no one is interrupted by comings and goings, no one need apologize for being who and what and where they are.  it's a safe space for families to bring themselves and their work and their intentions and their mess and we all take care of each other and cleaning up.

diana sometimes has a hard time getting ready to go to sewing circle.  it's a mad dash to get the kids home from school, then settle ander in with steve to have their boy time while us girls pack up our  things and head to the library.  what diana would really like to do is have some space and quiet and be alone after having been at school.  but i convinced her to come and she started finger-knitting some new pom-pom yarn, making a fuzzy caterpillar, and the handwork soothed her.  then she went off to search for some new books (another advantage of holding the gatherings at the public library is the proximity to books.  ahhh.)

it was probably an hour later that diana asked how long we were planning to stay.  we had been alone in the room, she and i, and while i was content, she was not.  a few moments later, we got a text that taryn and her family were on their way, and then another family whom we had not seen for months arrived.  we were so happy to see them and reconnect!  a few more people arrived even later, so we had our group.  the kids were immensely pleased to have each other to be with and chatted about minecraft and doctor who as they worked.

taryn's creation

me?  i was happy that others came and appreciated the connection with the moms whom i had missed since before winter holidays started up.  however, i would have stuck it out longer than diana at the library even if no one else had come.  why?  because i had scheduled the time and space for it and it was important to me to honor that.  i had handwork i wanted to do.  i had my materials and tools and intention to follow through.  the beginning time alone was filled for me with the rhythmic motions of turning the loom, feeling the yarn between my fingers as i wrapped it around the pegs, hearing the tiny clicks of the hook as i slid and pulled it at steady points along the circle.  as others arrived, the space filled with voices and became my soothing ambient soundtrack.

my friend louisa wearing the cowl she made and working on a new wrap
you know what?  i finished my project.  i made a hat in that time and space.  i accomplished something because i embraced the appointment i had made for myself, as one of my life gurus lori suggests.  now diana has a hug on her head for when she goes to bed.

the yarns were ones we had picked out together. oh, so very soft. yes, diana's back to her book with her little paper adipose baby on her lap.

and after that, i had time to make more paper snowflakes for our windows.  as i expected, when kids saw me making them, they shifted their attention to me and asked me to show them how i did it.  so i did, and it was good.


  1. Hi Dawn, I'm intrigued by your hat loom! I've never heard of one before- are they commonplace in the US? Do they do anything else besides hats?

    I noticed a rainbow loom in your photos. My brother, saying they are all the rage in the US, got one for each of my girls for Christmas. Cue lots of little rubber bands all around the house! :-)

    Always lovely to read your blog,

    1. i believe ours came from a national chain craft store. if you can get things via amazon you might like because it has multiple sizes of hat loom for different size heads, plus it has some extra looms for other accessories.

      i'm fairly certain the kits have instructions, but i ignored them in favor of following my mother's instructions, which came to her from a knitting expert of advanced age and set ways of doing things. :)

      oh, yes, that was a rainbow loom. seems like everyone has one :) while my dd prefers to make simple designs, i know of many other who have read books and watched youtube videos to make more intricate, complicated, and creative designs.

      always lovely to hear from you, lisa. get yourself a loom and knit with me across the sea. xoxo

  2. It should be possible to make purl stitches on those knitting looms, if you are interested in making hats with ribbing. I wonder what else you could make...leg warmers? I wonder if you could make cables.