Working through it in small yarn

Besides my Salesforce or nonprofit technology experience, those who know me best know me for knitting.

Serious knitting. Not the, “I knit a scarf once” knitting. I mean the, “I have entire parts of my house devoted to the craft” knitting. I will travel hundreds of miles for a good yarn festival. I will detour to a yarn store no matter where I am. I first learned how to knit when I was a kid, got into it more in college, and have been knitting non-stop since 2008.

I average 15-20 completed projects yearly, primarily full-size pullovers and cardigans. I post most finished projects to my Instagram account here. Yarn will always be nearby no matter what happens with my career or life. As such I will post blogs like this that focus on the craft from time to time.

woman in front of bookshelf modeling cabeled cardiganMy knitting “mojo” is mainly in sync with my overall sense of comfort and stability. I’ll do full-size complex garments when I’m feeling grounded – even if I’m super stressed and busy. This cardigan is an example of a recent project when my head was in that space. Happy at work? No, not particularly. But my life was stable and my knitting complex.

My knitting gets smaller when I’m off kilter, whether stressed or not. At those times, I crave knitting smaller projects and accessories. In 2020 when the world was locked down, I knit 15 pairs of socks, two scarves, and two hats. Only one pullover and one cardigan that year.

Guess where my head is now? It’s back to small knitting.

The last call

Tuesday, January 3 was an otherwise typical workday besides the first day back in 2023. My day was filled with the usual meetings and catch-ups. My final call of the day at 6 pm was with one of the senior engineering leaders for a product my team supported. We met monthly and chatted on Slack from time to time. I considered her a friend and colleague, so our check-in calls were as personal as professional. She is also a knitter, but not as experienced as I am. She mentioned that she had started a scarf she loved over the holiday break but was frustrated that she couldn’t understand the pattern stitches. She said she thought of asking for my help, but didn’t want to bother me over the holiday.

woman wearing orange bulky scarfShe shared a link to the pattern with me. A free pattern by Purl Soho that called for a much thicker yarn. Interesting play on brioche knitting I hadn’t tried before. I had a skein of nothing special Lion Brand lying around that I didn’t plan to use for anything else. I decided to double the number of stitches to make up for the difference in yarn weight. I cast on and got the hang of the stitch after a few repeats. I intended to offer my co-worker a special session to show her how to do it.

After nearly eight years at the company, that was my last work call. I got the dreaded layoff email at 6:15 am the following morning.

Even though that wasn’t my intention, I’ve decided to finish the scarf (or the skein, whichever comes first). My progress so far:

unfinished pink scarf

Is it perfect? No. I’ve made mistakes, especially at the edges. But that’s okay. Every time I look at the scarf or wear it, I’ll think about it as part of the end of that job. It was a conversation with a friend, about doing something I loved. I disconnected the call wanting to help them make something warm and cozy.

I’ll smile at the memory.

For sale for a cause: Sundance

For more on what I’m doing this year, read this post first.

After I finished Elven Princess on a Sunday afternoon, I didn’t have time to block it so I started on the next shawl right away. Sundance is a smaller shawl by Anna Victoria. Less adventurous stitches than other patterns, so I finished it in about 15 hours of knitting over 5 days and ended up with two shawls ready at the same time.

The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, 100% merino. Madelinetosh yarns are known for their incredible super saturated color and this is no exception. Love it.

If interested, leave a bid in the comments starting at $75 and don’t forget to tell me abut the organization you want to support!

For sale for a cause: Elven Princess

For background on what I’m doing this year, read this post first.

This one will be one of the hardest to give up, but I will to support a great organization. If you’re interested, leave a bid in the comments and I’m starting this one at $125.

The pattern, Elven Princess, is one of the latest by Alla Borisova. As you can tell, I love her work. I completed it in about 48 hours over 16 days of knitting.

The yarn is amazing. It’s called ‘From Princeton with Yarn’ and it’s a 100% superwash merino (which means you can put it in the washing machine, but I wouldn’t recommend it). I bought it at Pins & Needles, a small yarn store in Princeton, New Jersey which is the only place you can buy this yarn. Will go back for more.