Thoughts on Knitting and Farming and Life in General


I am certainly the slowest knitter ever. A year and a half ago, when I first learned to knit, I was actually pretty quick. I learned to knit at the beginning of Lent and had three (or maybe four) shrugs knit and blocked and ready Easter morning. Spring faded into summer and whatever autoimmune process causes muscle and joints to slow and ache seized mine with a vengeance. I thought rest would help. I reluctantly stopped knitting at all, waiting for the pain to go away. It never did. So, I began to knit again.

Slowly. Very slowly.

I picked up a sweater for Katie, begun by Mary Beth. Katie had outgrown it. Thanksgiving weekend, I finished it for Karoline. Then I picked up a sweater for Sarah, begun by me, just before I stopped knitting. I thanked heavens for a pattern already begun that had the same number of stitches in the neck of her former size as the neck of her current size. 

And so it goes, slowly. very slowly. All my yarn for next year is stashed. I have no need of yarn because it lasts me a long, long while. My skills are still very much at the beginner level. Still, I want to knit.

I want to sew.

I want to garden.

I want to can. 

I want to make things come to life (in a manner of speaking) by moving myself into them. And it think such movement might be critical to my wellbeing.


I read a wonderful book last weekend. I started reading as I lifted it from the box and I couldn't put it down. It won't be everyone's idea of wonderful, but I found it to be a very satisfying read. The Dirty Life is the story of a Harvard-educated travel writer who  interviews an organic farmer about his connection to the local food movement and ends up falling in love. With him, with the food, and with the work. Together, they begin to farm on an abandoned acreage in upstate New York. The amount of work they do is astonishing. The author, Kristin Kimball, doesn't romanticize the experience. It's messy and hard and fraught with all kinds of challenges. Somehow, though, it seems so satisfying: an entire life made by moving one's body and mind into work. 

I found myself wanting to ask so many questions. Did you ever get the ramshackle house cleaned up? Did he ever make you the promised bed? Who did all that work when you were pregnant? How did you do all that work with a nursing baby? The blog offers a little more insight into the day-to-day world of running a CSA that provides its members a full diet: produce, eggs, meat, dairy, even sweetener. It doesn't, however, answer all my questions. My hunch is she's too busy fully living life to write about it in daily detail.

I will never be a farmer. I've often wanted to be, ever since I was a little girl. In all my imaginings, I lived a rural life.  I am, however, the wife of a very good man who doesn't much like dirt. He works hard to provide a pretty clean life in suburbia. Our kids are thriving here. I love him for it.

So, how does that translate? Contentment with suburban life and the desire to get dirty and work with one's hands in every aspect of living? I have no idea. Today, it will be warm. I'm going to plant more tulip bulbs in the front bed. And then, I'll just keep slowly knitting and think on it.

For more Yarn Along, please visit Ginny.