My new year

JanuaryLong absences from the blog cause friends to worry about me. I love them for wondering if I’ve fallen off the edge of the earth. I’ve been well, just absent.

CustomFit 1
Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, and a swatch.

Knitting: At the Knitter’s Review Retreat in November, I took Amy Herzog’s Knit to Flatter workshop. My world was turned upside down by the idea that I have, as Amy told me, “a well-proportioned curvy figure,” and that I can make a sweater that really fits me. I came home and entered my measurements into the CustomFit website, generated a pattern for an open cardigan, and cast on. I’m so pleased, so happy, and so glad that I met Amy and was able to accept what she was telling us without doubting that it could possibly apply to me.

Lot 4 Honey Cowl 2
Lot 4: The S&D Experiment.

It’s been my tradition to begin a new knitting project on January 1st, something that heralds the knitting to come. I found the yarn when Lot 4: The S&D Experiment arrived. This is the last of The Great White Bale, and Clara chose a stunning color, “Radiant Orchid,” for the dyed skeins. I cast on early, on December 28, as I was sidelined for a long weekend by a cellulitis infection. I figured a few days wouldn’t matter, and they didn’t. The cowl pattern I began with wasn’t working so I unraveled the whole thing and cast on a(nother) Honey Cowl. I’m happy, the yarn is happy, and I’m plugging away as I watch TV in the evenings.

Work: The holiday season at my job was a tremendously draining time. I struggled, I kept up, but my heart was less and less in it. At the beginning of this month we parted ways, Tate’s and I. I’m grateful for all the experience I gained there, and for the people who were kind and supportive. I’ll find a new job soon, and this time I’m not frightened or unsure of myself. I really am quite okay.

Found 1
Truth, packed in a box since 1999.

Life: When stuff happens, there’s nothing better for me than a visit from family. Niece Becca came out from Brooklyn last week, and while we were visiting and cooking dinners and watching “Orange is the New Black” we overhauled my entire existence. She continued a project begun last February by her mom, my sister Sarah, and which she’d kept rolling when she visited in March (ironically, at the very moment I lost my other job).

Found 2
The last pound of the best fleece I’ve ever spun.

With Becca’s firm guidance, tactful questions, good advice, careful nudging, and brute physical strength we sorted through my closet (it’s really a room with a deeply sloping ceiling). We made two trips to the Salvation army, a dump run (I’ll make another one tomorrow), and packed five huge boxes of books to be donated. We mailed a box of beautiful fibers to a spinner who will be inspired. We sorted, decided, and tossed. We laughed at the old photos, read saved letters, and made sure I kept all the best stuff.

This, on the weekend of January 11th, was my real New Year. I’ve been unburdened at the perfect time – a weight lifted off my shoulders, my history refreshed. I could have burrowed under all the things, hidden myself among the letters and magazines and yarn to nurse my wounds. I didn’t have to, because Becca helped me celebrate the New Year by honoring my stuff and letting the unnecessary things go. I found things that still matter, but which I haven’t seen in years – bits of Jane that I’ll reclaim and use to help me in the year ahead.