Knitting is my yoga, my meditation, my way of gaining control over a world that feels chaotic and untethered. I know people are talking about 2020 being THE year we all want to end right now and start over. For me, that year was 2015, but for now I will use 2020 to talk about handling disruption of our world and looking for ways to find stability and peace. Between the pandemic, protests, and politics I am easily overloaded. Some days I can’t read another statistic about the pandemic, the numbers swirl around my overworked brain setting off alarms and making me want to scream. I am blessed/cursed with the combination of an analytical, logical brain and a creative empathetic soul. I can sift through hype and propaganda and understand the data and see where we are headed in this pandemic at the same time my heart is breaking for the loss being experienced by everyone on so many levels. I have been helping my family grapple with decisions about socializing and traveling. Do we visit grandma and risk exposing her? How do we widen our bubble of people we see without throwing caution to the wind? Can we safely get together and share a meal? So far we socialize with our collective adult children only occasionally as a group. We are constantly balancing risk of exposure against the emotional and mental health risks of being cooped up physically distant. There is something in the energy of sharing the same physical space that no zoom call can fill. If you are interested here is a link to a tool that will calculate your individual risk of infection, death and probability of survival. It startled me a little to see my risk of infection be 37%! Though I work on the frontline with COVID-19 patients every shift, I do wear full PPE and I think my risk is lower than this calculator predicts. I advise my siblings not visit my mom who is in her later 80’s, especially the ones who live in the areas of the country where the virus is running rampant. I am definitely not going to expose her given the work that I do. My mom loves the family zoom calls, and for a woman of her generation I applaud her adaptation of this new technology. So we Zoom, we text, we wear our masks and wash our hands.
In these moments, plunging my hands into my yarn stash and coming up with a new project gives me a way to at least make something tangible that I control completely from the tangle of string and two sticks to an adorable pair of booties for tiny feet.
This project came from a hand written pattern I found that may be in my grandmas handwriting or maybe my aunt, I’m not quite sure, their handwriting is almost indistinguishable. I think it is my grandmas though, because the directions are sketchy notes as if she is just letting you figure something out and giving you a redirection here and there. She used to do that with me when I would paint alongside her with my watercolor paper taped to an old board set up alongside her easel. We would both paint flowers or birds and hers would actually look like a museum work to my seven year old eyes. She would lean over and tell me to put a color here or a line there, but mostly let me figure out my own hand and gush about the finished product and tell me I had an eye for color. She always complimented my eye and vision more than my technique, but I basked in it anyway. I always felt like an artist with her.
So back to the pattern for these booties. I cast on and played with it ripping them out until I figured out the stitch counts that made a bootie that wasn’t lopsided. I used scraps of sock yarn I had in my basket, and churned out three pair. I have written up the pattern that is downloadable here. Let me know if you make them, send me a photo and any advice to make the pattern more clear and easy to follow.
Stay healthy, stay mighty and happy knitting!