Lessons from the Needles & Making PB with Love
9 Tue, 2010 § 11 Comments
The only needles I was familiar with growing up were on the sharp end of a cactus. I knew how to work a “hook” & crochet a bit, but knitting alluded me. Just a few years ago, I would often stop by the yarn store & browse colors & textures…& play make believe. What could I make with these? A new chalk bag? A lovely sweater? A simple headband? I would scan the learn-to-knit class schedule & debate over whether I should just do it already.
Then I met Ashley.
Honest. Sincere. Outspoken. Thoughtful. Driven. Intelligent. Reliable.
She Climbs Rocks…& she Knits.
How perfect is she?
So my best friend taught me to work the needles & this simple practice has truly enhanced my life.
Lessons I have/am learning on the needles:
Contentedness. I picked up on the “knitting” aspect fairly easily; my fingers were not getting “purling” though, so initially I just “knit”…scarves…perfectly content at my skill level or lack thereof. Enjoy the moment & don’t get too ahead of yourself.
Appreciate & acknowledge others. Knitting is a time-consuming & expensive pastime. Many charge high rates for lessons & help — as they should. Does Ashley know how grateful I am that she took the time & had the patience to teach me & correct my mistakes? Does she realize how much her basic instruction & introduction to the needles added to my life? We need to make sure people realize what they mean to us & what they bring to our lives.
Don’t over think — let your intuition have a crack at life. I dropped the needles for a few months & didn’t make time for knitting while focusing on other things. When I picked them up again, the “knitting” clicked; but, I couldn’t quite remember “purling”. It had been so difficult before; how was I ever going to get it without my tutor? Watching tutorial videos online, I debated between English & Continental styles; I would think I had it, then just confuse myself further. Finally I closed my browser & simply grabbed some yarn & needles. My fingers knew what to do. They could “purl”…I just had to let them. In our western world, it is easy to over-analyze & have to logically reason every aspect of life & our decisions; often we will come to [more accurate] realizations sooner if we just trust our ability to sense it.
Working outside my comfort zone. As “content” as I was to simply “knit”, branching out from basic scarves to more extravagant scarves to less-than-ordinary wash cloths to mittens to headbands has expanded & brightened the experience. Whether I am teaching myself to cable, increase/decrease, create a thumb hole or read & follow more advanced patterns, the next step always makes the basics even more fun. Pushing beyond what we are comfortable doing — whether it turns out like we expect or not — is the only way to grow & progress.
Sometimes I am the type of person I want to be….sometimes not. I have learned a lot about myself while knitting, like where my patience lies. Some days I will sacrifice comfort for stark pain as Bodhi sits, enraptured, on my forearm. Try to knit with a 13-lb cat sitting on your arm. Ouch. I tell myself it’s forearm training for climbing 😉 Really, I just like bonding with Bodhi. Other days, Dave has to hold me back from inflicting serious harm on the mischievous whiskered twins’ [Christine’s cats] during their reign of terror.
Mind you, this was securely hidden in the bottom of my bag & discretely tucked away. Ten minutes — ten minutes alone, & they had found & completely unraveled & tangled my lovely ball of yarn. We can only take each day & moment as they come…& try to make actions that are in line with who we want to be. [I don’t want to be a person who kills cats 😉 ]
Tedious labor is good for the soul. Knitting is methodical. I love listening to audio books & embracing the chance to expand my knowledge; sometimes, I enjoy sitting in silence, simply experiencing the yarn coming together. I spend a lot of time in my head, letting my mind wander. Find quiet “you time”, not only to destress, find peace & inspiration, but to become acquainted with yourself. It’s important to be able to stand your own company. 😉
[I have to give credit here. Though I had typed this up before seeing Nienke’s life lesson post, she said it in her #3 better than I could…& I was inspired to reword my title. Thanks Nienke.]
Experience life & share that with others. It is amazing to watch the strand become more. This is life. You start simply, with one strand — one idea or notion — & create beautiful experiences interwoven & connected. I love sharing this with others. As the holiday approaches, I have been anxious to finish Dave’s scarf so I can begin working on gifts. I am excited to share those here, but won’t be posting photos until after Winter Solstice. I would love to share these with anyone who is looking for a little inspiration for simple knitting projects though. Just email me if you can’t wait until January!
Speaking of gifts…
enjoying the experience…
& developing patience…
Homemade Nut Butter
but not just any old buttah —
Homemade Double~Roasted Maple~Kissed Peanut Butter
- 1 C Peanuts, unsalted [I could not find raw, hence the “double-roasted”]
- 1 T Maple Syrup
Drizzle maple over peanuts, toss & spread onto a cookie sheet.
Roast in 350*F oven ~10 minutes until lightly golden & maple has started to crystallize.
Cool slightly, but it’s ok if they are still on the warmer side.
Into the food processor…&…go!
First, it will become a meal.
Eventually, the oils will start to break down into a thicker, more moist meal, but will still be crumbly.
Continue processing & scraping down as needed.
As the oils break down further & become thicker, add
- 1 T Maple
- 1 tsp sea salt
& keep processing…
It seriously take ~15 minutes for the oils to completely break down into that creamy goodness.
Definitely a lesson in patience…which might not be as pointed if I had a regular food processor which I could walk away from…but since it broke, I have to use my mini food processor with the Smart Stick Hand Held Blender attachment.
That’s right; I have to hold the button the whole time.
It’s almost there!
I often begin to lose faith & question if it is really breaking down. Stop? Give up? No. Just keep doing what you are doing — it will work.
There is something so rewarding about reaching that creamy, glossy state…
& sharing it with others.
So now find a cute container.
Add an extra special touch.
Give it to someone who will appreciate all the labor & love that went into making something so seemingly simple, yet decadent.
~ Happy Birthday Mom ~
[I hope this reached you safely & you enjoy it.]
What are your quiet, “me time” pastimes? Do you make gifts?