I love reading Sam Sifton who writes a cooking column for the New York Times . This week he talks about how reading cookbooks, especially those of ethnic cuisine, is a wonderful stand-in for all of the interesting places we don’t have the luxury of visiting at the moment.
Knitting right now is kind of the same. This time of year I tend to have a lot of beautiful sparkly yarns in the shop and plenty of glamorous sweaters to pair with satin skirts or black silk pants. Gossamer shawls draping over bare shoulders as we glide to this or that event. Even if it just a dinner party, the holidays make everything a little more festive and in need of sparkle.
This year, with no splashy holiday parties on the calendar, it is easy to feel down and forgo any projects we might wear to those non-existent events. But I say, now more than ever, we need to knit beautiful holiday sweaters and shawls.
I am knitting lovely sparkly things that will twinkle and shine not at a big party, but at a small family celebration. The beautiful things we knit and wear are not for anyone other than ourselves because they make us feel beautiful and special. The holidays all come whether there is a grand celebration to mark them or not, and by marking it in a special way, these sparkly knits remind us that even the tiniest family unit is much more special than the events we think we are missing. Those events are largely impersonal, and often obligatory, while the times we are blessed to have only with those we hold most dear are special. We get dressed up for them and for ourselves to remind ourselves that there is much to be happy about and these times deserve the best we have to offer.
Knitting is, and has always been, an act of hope. We knit for this season’s small and intimate family gatherings, and we knit for the next season’s return of the big and splashy. We will not always be in what feels like a deep hole I believe we will get out, and life will again be wonderful. I have to believe this, because what would it be like not to? I cannot live in a world without the hope of a better future. I wouldn’t want to. Knitting is a tangible expression of that hope. There will again be big parties and happy celebrations with extended family and friends. We knit for then, because we have hope for the future, and we knit for right now, reveling in the gift of mindfulness and gratitude that we call the present.
So what knits are perfect for this season’s small family events? I am so glad you asked, because there are so many lovely projects and so many beautiful sparkly yarn options. I’ll be sharing a few of my favorites in my podcast over the next couple of weeks, but first is the stunning Patina, a limited edition fiber from Rowan Selects. Silky soft with a subtle sparkle, it's a perfect yarn for sweaters and accessories alike. A wonderful collection of designs by Martin Storey (all free on Ravelry) supports the yarn.
Join me on the podcast for a full review of the yarn and a more thorough look at both the Martin Storey designs as well as others on Ravelry that would be just perfect for it. Can't wait to see you then!
Whether in the shop and around the table, or on the web, you are always welcome here. ~Ellen