I love reading, and so does my husband. Because of this, we own a lot of books. We own, and have read aloud to our children, picture books and chapter books, poetry and fairy tales, the Bible, Aesop’s Fables, and Greek Myths. Ben and I have even read books aloud to each other over the years…Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth Series, Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia.
Sometimes though, I forget how much I like reading. I forget that we have so many books. Sometimes I get caught up in the entrancement of electronics. I overly enjoy television, computer games, smart phones, video games, apps, and movies. And while I really really enjoy relaxing and watching something on Netflix with my family, it doesn’t do a whole lot for the feeding of the soul. It doesn’t lend itself to the sparking of creativity or wonderment found in nature.
Why am I being so gushy about books and reading? Well, last night my son, Dodge and I went to a Youth Writer’s Conference, and it was great. He got to workshop with other kids about writing, I got to attend a parents’ workshop on how good writers come from being good readers, and we both got to sit in on a talk by Colorado children’s author, Kathleen Pelley. She was inspiring (and it didn’t hurt that she’s originally from Scotland, so listening to her speak was fun. The word “library” sounds pretty different with a Scottish accent). She talked about how writing comes from each person’s roots: family, home, creativity, nature…all that good stuff. She’s even a knitter.
What does all of this talk of reading and loving books have to do with knitting? Well, in a slightly disconnected and roundabout way, it solidified an idea I had the other day…besides the motivation to read more, of course. My family has packed a lot of books into our little apartment and sometimes they get neglected. Book neglect is against my rules (I just made up that one). I was searching for new patterns published on Ravelry the other day, and I clicked on my “library” and discovered that I own at least 34 knitting (and crochet) books and 71 magazines. I know I have even more than that because I haven’t updated my Ravelry Library lately. There are some really great patterns that people publish online (many of them free). But why am I always looking for patterns on the internet and not through the resources that are occupying precious space in my home?
Well, not anymore. I’m challenging myself to knit at least every other project I undertake from a pattern or resources I can physically find in my home. I want my books to be used. I’m allowing myself the use of help from the internet if I get stuck, but the pattern has to come from one of my many books or magazines.
Knitting the Baby Surprise Jacket came from this idea. I’ve been wanting to knit the little jacket for years now but didn’t own the pattern until last year when I bought a copy of The Opinionated Knitter. The book had been sitting on my shelf (after I read through it) for at least six months, and I hadn’t made anything from it…but I am now.
Challenge begun. It’s a fun knit so far (even after the cast on mishaps). I’m also getting way too much happiness from seeing how the colors will blend together and what kind of stripes the yarn will make. It’s a pretty bright combination, but it’s one of the things I’m knitting for my friend, Larissa, whose baby girl is due around June, and she loves bright. Hopefully, she’ll love this (Larissa, if you’re reading this: Surprise! this Baby Surprise Jacket is for you).
Anyway, I hope you all have a glorious Good Friday…it’s sunny and warm here today, and the Happiest of Easters on Sunday.
(I typed this with a Scottish accent…could you tell?)