women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Inch By Inch

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
Gonna mulch it deep and low
Gonna make it fertile ground

Inch by inch, row by row
Please bless these seeds I sow
Please keep them safe below
Till the rain come tumbling down

- Peter, Paul and Mary

It is the greening season - that time when the world kicks into high gear - when every morning sees a new bud, a new beginning - when all things seem possible.

As March packs its bags and April stands on tiptoe, awaiting its entrance, I find myself impatiently waiting for spring.

I wish I could twitch my nose like Samantha Stevens (just dated myself, didn't I?) and the world would burst into bloom.

I wish I knew what life will be like with diabetes.

I wish the stock market would go up 4000 points.

I wish Pampas would be finished.


Yet I am reminded of how progress is made:

Inch by inch. Row by row.

I have always loved those fast action videos. You know the ones... The life cycle of a rose, from bud to bloom to fade in 30 seconds.

You can see the progress, right there in front of you.

In real life, the changes are often so painfully slow we cannot discern them.

We fall asleep under overcast skies, and wake to see daffodils blooming in the sun, where once the dingy snow banks stood, and all was dim and dun.

We fall asleep under mounds of dirty diapers, piles of homework, and myriad work related crises, and wake to see our children heading out the door, our once perky breasts pointing towards the floor, and our halcyon days of youth far behind.

Inch by inch. Row by row.

We struggle mightily with waiting. We are the microwave, Tivo, instant messaging generation. We want what we want, when we want it.

Nature moves to a slower pace. As the saying goes, "We are closer to God in the garden than anywhere else on earth."

God takes the long view. God sees the big picture. God looks at the entire story arc.

Seasons come and seasons go. The days of our lives pass by in the eternal cycle of death and rebirth. We learn to let go of some things, in order that other things may have room to grow.

Inch by inch. Row by row...

Gonna make it fertile ground.


After a week of frogging and re-knitting, Pampas (first of the 2009 Garden Variety Collection) has reached the "Whew!" stage.

That is when I look at it, say, "I LOVE this!" and heave a ginormous sigh of relief that my gift has not forsaken me. My muse is still in residence. My vision undimmed by the passage of time.

As with all in life, the beginning is the most perilous part. All too often, the only way to get it right is to eliminate the wrong.


Over and over...

And over again.

Until that happy day, when the pieces all come together in a harmonious whole. And you realize it was growing all along.

All those days, when you couldn't see any progress. All those days of dim and dun.

Erased in the bloom of the sun.

Beads AROUND the plume, not IN it. AHA!

Ribbing at the bottom, with little inserts of beading. AHA!

She looks a little Egyptian, doesn't she?

She is going to be at least a two skein project. Straw seasilk and gold (8-0234) seed beads. Hard to see in these pics, but they add a lovely sparkle to the finished piece. Not sure how many yet. Need to knit a little further...

And she is knit in one piece, end to end. No grafting. No unhappy knitters who don't like the way the join looks.

Yes, I have heard your comments. I appreciate your concerns.

These are scarves, not stoles. Scarves are bunched up at the back of the neck. If you don't like to graft, do a three needle bind off. It won't show.

I am not belittling your concerns, simply being practical. If you choose to enlarge the pieces or wear them as stoles, you may have to take more care. If you don't like the 3 row section of stockinette that results from the graft, I suggest you end each half on a right side row and graft the lace.

It is harder, but it can be done...

Very carefully.

In many of my newer patterns I give you the option of knitting two halves or one whole. The halves have the benefit of being completely symmetrical, the pattern identical on both ends. The whole has the edge in ease of completion.

You decide how meticulous you want to be.


All yarn is out in the mail. If you haven't received yours yet, you should any day now. I was a little late this week, as Monday and Tuesday were consumed by health issues.

Surely, you are thinking, she is out of yarn by now!

Not even close...

I am getting rid of ten years of excess.

It feels really good. I am so very lucky that my yarn can make so many people happy.

See y'all on the morrow, as I continue to divest myself

Inch by inch. Row by Row.

Ball by ball. Skein by skein.



Anonymous said...

Lovely, lovely, I love it, can you tell.....????
You are so talented.......stitch by stitch, day by day.......

Feel well......

Anonymous said...

Pampas is gorgeous!!!

knitterbeader said...

The Pampas - she is beautiful. I'm working on Taize (my first lace item), and it's definitely an inch by inch, row by row thing. Some days I rip back as far as I was ahead, but I'm still loving it!

Anonymous said...

I was already thinking of what yarn to use for something called Pampas... sea silk of course! It is so beautiful, do you ever get sick of hearing how talented and beautiful you and your designs are? I hope not! Vibj Ravelry

AuntieAnn said...

I was thrilled to see some of the lyrics from "The Garden Song" in your post. I love that song!

Minor nit-pick, though -- let's give credit where credit is due. The songwriter is named David Mallett: http://www.arlo.net/resources/lyrics/garden-song.shtml

I'm crazy about your patterns, and someday I will actually have the skills to make one.

islander said...

Pampas just might be the most beautiful ever. will just keep knitting the row and the next and the next until Pampas arrives.