projects, part one

Hey, how about a less wordy post for a change? How about some projects?

The first is a knitting project that I actually finished a while back, and have been meaning to share.

This is the sweater that made my sweater coat jealous.

jane meets a lacy skirt with bows

The sweater is Jane, from Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard. The bottom portion of the sweater as written is designed with a chevron pattern; I decided to try something lacy instead. I used the lace pattern from the Lacy Skirt with Bows that I knit from Greetings From Knit Cafe.

jane detail

I’m happy with how it came out. (Just don’t tell my sweater coat how much more often I wear this one.)

jane from the back

More (typically) ramblesome details here for you Ravelers.

I also have a writing project to share. I have a new essay in the November/December issue of Natural Life magazine. This is the second time running that one of my essays has been retitled for publication–I originally named this piece “Homeschooling My MFA” (and I have to say that I prefer the cheekiness of that title.) In the essay I look back on nearly twenty years of trying to teach myself to write–and realize that what I’ve been doing looks a lot like what my kids do as homeschoolers.

You can read the essay here.
I’ll try to pop back in soon to post more projects. There’s fun stuff happening all around. Lulu, in particular, is crafting herself silly.
20 comments… add one
  • Sarah Dec 16, 2009 @ 10:21

    Your knitting is stunning. I shake my head and wonder how people make such beautiful things. Thanks for sharing!

    • patricia Dec 16, 2009 @ 23:46

      Are you kidding me? I remember all sorts of beautiful knits from your blog, and I just popped over there to refresh my memory. How about that Nordic Snowflake Pullover, and Otto’s Aran Pullover? Knit from wool that you spun!

      Lace can be such a cheap shot for knitters. It looks so complicated, but I’m telling you, the lace pattern in that sweater is about as easy as lace patterns come. It’s so much simpler than your beautiful, complex aran cables!

  • Carrie Pomeroy Dec 16, 2009 @ 12:46

    Congratulations on the Natural Life publication! It’s a lovely article/essay. I’m so glad it’s available online so we all get to enjoy it.

  • molly Dec 16, 2009 @ 16:49

    you inspire my MFA.

    • patricia Dec 16, 2009 @ 23:56

      Oh my gosh, you bust me up. I read this response before I read your blog post. I still didn’t catch your drift. I mean, an MFA is an MFA, right? Am I the only one that never saw the double entendre?

      My MFA is shaking my writing chair, I’m laughing so hard.

  • Lise Dec 16, 2009 @ 17:12

    Congratulations on your article. (I like your title better!) Well said.

  • TheOrganicSister Dec 16, 2009 @ 20:07

    Love it! I’m working on the third knitting project – an incredibly long, never-ending scarf for my hubby. It’s lovely and a step more complicated than my last projects. I’m afraid I have a ways to go before i can make a sweater like this though!


    • patricia Dec 17, 2009 @ 0:05

      I was once famous in my homeschooling group for working on “year-long” projects. My year-long scarf was my rock bottom. But then one day I became suddenly obsessed with knitting, and have knit somewhat fiendishly since.

      The skirt that the lace pattern is from is really simple and lovely. Seriously, that lace pattern repeats just twelve stitches of basic yarnovers and knit-two-togethers. It is so simple, yet it comes out looking incredibly intricate and complicated.

      Keep knitting!

  • stefaneener Dec 16, 2009 @ 21:34

    Oh, lovely!

    Writing seems to be knocking at my door again, but so far I keep muttering, “I can’t come now! Come back after. . .” and list a few dozen things.

    I hope it waits.

    • patricia Dec 17, 2009 @ 0:09

      Sometimes I wish I had more time for those few dozen other things. Or at least my few dozen other things. But clearly you have a faster brain than I do, and I’m sure you’d write much faster than I do, so you should answer the door.

      What was that idea for a novel you had a while back?

  • Chris Dec 16, 2009 @ 21:40

    I enjoyed your article in Natural Life Magazine. Thank you for sharing it!

    Eight years ago I was on the verge of entering my MFA program (visual arts). Then we had our first child. I felt a little burned out from school and wanted to be as dedicated as possible to my wife and child. So I took a break. Then we had another child. Then we made the decision to homeschool. The idea of completing an MFA is ancient history.

    I now realize that for the past 7 years I have completed my own MFA, working diligently in spare moments and nights when the kids were sleeping. I’m well on my way to realizing my aspirations and have a rock solid career as a painter. I don’t subscribe to the “starving artist” stereotype.

    I have to say that homeschooling has taught me to hone a work ethic, seek what I need and keep trying until I get it right without a fear of failure or the need to please anyone but myself.

    • patricia Dec 17, 2009 @ 0:17

      Thanks for taking the time to share your story, Chris. It’s satisfying to hear that others have had similar experiences.

      I’m especially glad to hear you say that you’ve “completed” your MFA. That’s one part of my own program that I haven’t resolved: without a thesis, when will I ever feel finished?

      I’m being silly; it’s a moot point. But I agree with you that we adults can learn much from homeschooling. Who knew how much I’d get out of it–I thought I was doing it for my kids!

      And congrats on that MFA.

  • Carrie Dec 16, 2009 @ 23:09

    You title is SO much better. What were they thinking?

  • melissa s. Dec 16, 2009 @ 23:11

    Congrats, Patricia! I loved the essay and the sentiment behind it. Truly, homeschooling doesn’t end with the kids. The desire to pursue an interest is addictive! It’s empowering! And it’s so true that naturally, our kids do as they see done.

    And of course, I promise not to mention the new love to the sweater coat (so beautiful!)

    • patricia Dec 17, 2009 @ 0:20

      Aw, thanks, Melissa.

      Yes, please don’t say anything to the sweater coat. It might smother the other one.

  • Madz Jan 11, 2010 @ 3:32

    Hey there. I have just read your article in Natural Life Magazine and it was inspiring. I home educate our children and it refreshed me to read your journey of learning and growing through the years. ome of the good things that I have been getting into in the last few years since becoming a parent are now clearer to me. I can see how I am gaining some pretty amazing knowledge and skills that are being accumulated through just being at home with my children. So, thank you. As well has knowing that homeschooling is good for my children’s education, I have a new awareness of how it is also good for mine. AND I love your sweater coat.

    • patricia Jan 11, 2010 @ 16:02

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment, Madz. I especially appreciate getting feedback on published work, as I often don’t hear back from those readers, and it’s nice to know what people think.

      I think one of the greatest, unexpected perks of homeschooling is how much you, as a parent, end up learning. Glad you’ve discovered that!

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