Peeling Back the Layers

This is on the topic of life after the loss of a loved one.  Not the emotional impact nor the significant life change but more-so on the items that were labeled ‘his’ that were left behind.  What I call the layers of physical reminders in and around the house.  Loss is a tricky thing and we all cope differently.  I am speaking of how I handled his ‘comforts of joy’ that I no longer desired to have around. Where to begin?  How to deal?  Well, I did what I do best.  I organized them. I organized in groupings, like layers, from easiest to most difficult in their significance to our relationship meaning the easiest to the most difficult in coping with each of his things.

I call it the removal of layer one.  These are the large furniture-like pieces that I wanted removed from the house quite immediately after his passing.  Like neon signs of significant loss. Examples: his leather chair, his dresser. Our bed. I was on the hunt very quickly to find someone who could utilize this large furniture.  His clothing and shoes.  These items found alternate homes quickly.

Layer two.  These are things that were of significance to him, only.  His toys. Such examples: his fishing rods and equipment, baseball hat collection, pen sets.   Homes for these things were sought after the ‘big’ items.  Of course, offerings to family members were made, accepted, and appreciated as keepsakes.

Layer three and by far the most difficult to confront were items of his, however held the memories of our connection to one another, his passion and obvious talent. These items of his stemmed around all things music. His large collection of musical instruments, both woodwind and baroque, sheets of music, and extensive CD collection had to go.  About a year and a half has gone by and I knew it was finally time to face the inevitable.  What to do with them?  Knowing that instruments need to be played to keep from self-destructing as well as knowing their function is to be played, it was time.  Well, what instruments need are musicians.  Musical friends came to mind first in bidding them farewell.  Then, consignment shops.  A local shop took in his woodwinds. The baroque instruments . . . a trip to Boston.  Taking the baroque instruments back from whence they came could serve as purpose, perhaps some pleasure.

Potpourri Boston ~ We chose a quaint little apartment airbnb in Boston’s Historic North End.

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Relationship of fabric to design

Well, at this point, this project has been knitted twice.  Not by choice, of course, but to eliminate too much shelf time, aka, not be worn.  I knit to wear so if there is something about a garment that doesn’t feel right or comfortable, I know its future is doomed.   I must say, the fabric that was created by this stitch was the conundrum.

The honeycomb stitch is a type of cable that is dense, especially when using Lion Brand’s fisherman wool . .  held double.  Not so much dense in weight as the pulled stitches create a kind of air hole behind it.  Maybe, you can make this out here, but dense in body.

I have knitted many of Vladimir Teriokhin’s patterns, many, or most of which are an oversized design.  Meaning the style is such that the garment is meant to skim over the body or hang loosely.  This is a FREE pattern, off the Lion Brand website.  You can see the oversized nature of the pattern.  I went happily knitting along with my gauge and knitted the pieces as per the schematic thinking nothing of what I was about to see.


Well, how exciting to finish knitting a sweater coat! I sewed the pieces together, wove the ends in, sewed the buttons and label  in, bragged to my knitting friends I had finished, and had a photo or two taken. Only then, AFTER seeing the photos, did I realize I had a garment that would never see the light of day.  In other words, it was awful.  No, you’re not going to see a picture of that.  You’re going to wonder . .  Had I tried it on?  yes, of course.  Didn’t I notice the fit issue?  no.  Didn’t the mirror tell you there was a concern?  no.

I have noticed this before that sometimes a photo talks back to me where a mirror does not.  I believe it has something to do with distance.  In the past I have caught mistakes in my knitted fabric regarding the stitch pattern, have found color mishaps, and with this project, fit issues via photos when I had not caught these mistakes simply by looking directly at the garment or in a mirror.  Lesson?  I now actually take photos through the knitting process to help me catch these errors.

The issue was the dense fabric and oversized shape was much, much too overwhelming for me.  I had to cut way back on the amount of fabric, both in length and width, if I was to keep the honey comb stitch.  I could no longer use the pattern I was using as now I wanted a closer fitting design.  I pulled a coat I had from my closet that fit the way I wanted this to fit and thought it could work as my pattern.  I took the measurements, kept my gauge, and re-figured stitch and row count to establish a plan for the size I now realized I needed. Oh joy . . .

Whether opened

or closed

the coat is working for me.

The weather was perfect for this shoot

We were along the Erie Canal

looking over in anticipation of the warmer weather to come.

Here is a picture of the yarn that was taken OUT of coat-attempt-one.  Keep in mind these balls of yarn is double yarn, so really I have twice the amount left over, about 3 skeins.

Now, I feel this a successful project and will remember to take into consideration a garment’s fabric in relation to the suitability of the design.

Detroit, Anyone? I did not take my knitting . . .

Yes, we chose Detroit for a little R & R.  Why, you might ask?  Here are a few reasons.

“One of the most beautiful homes on Airbnb. This is a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom historic home in one of the most beautiful, one of a kind neighborhood of Detroit. Woodbridge is in Midtown, and a mile from most of Detroit’s finest sights, art, and stadiums. My wife and I are in Greece for at least six months helping refugees and your stay is our only revenue keeping us there. Thank you!”

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Full-on Indulgence including Runway Revisit, 2018

If you are a follower of VKL (Vogue Knitting Live), you may be aware that this event in NYC is historically held in January.  After travel debacle of December, I was fully aware January could prove the same.  JetBlue, however served its travelers well, weather cooperated, and I found myself at VKL NYC 2018 in good form.

Having attended the event before, I knew what to expect but wanting to make something new of the occasion, I chos Continue reading “Full-on Indulgence including Runway Revisit, 2018”