new project

Look at what Anny just made! I just about plotzed when I saw how cute this little "peace baby" set is. It also made me think a little bit about how many children live in places that are not peaceful, through no fault of their own, just circumstance of birth and often, income.

That prompted me to take a look at the latest Afghans for Afghans campaign, and I see that they are most in need of clothing items for youth, age 7-14. And that their deadline for the next batch of donations is October 12...that's three days before my dissertation project is due. So of course I cast on something:

It's a child's tomten from The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmerman. If it doesn't get done in time, I'll just hang onto it until the next deadline comes around (and yes, I'm talking about the knitting, not the dissertation. I'm not that far gone.)

This project is my first attempt at an EZ design. I've pored over her books for a few years, and admired her innovation, her wit, and especially the way she inspires and empowers knitters with her instructions. She explains things in such a way that you can adjust a project for size and gauge and feel confident that it will work out. Or so it seems; like I said, this is the first time I've put this theory to practice.

I'm using Patons Classic Merino in the color "sage" from the stash. I started a sweater with it last spring, got 2/3 of the back done, and lost interest. If you're going to go to the trouble to knit yourself a whole sweater, it should be something that jumps up, bites you in the arse, and cries out "KNIT ME!" and obviously that sweater wasn't doing it for me. So last night when I was thinking about what I could contribute to the AFA campaign, I remembered that green is the sacred color of Islam, that I had a pile of green yarn that was just sitting there with a project that is less and less appealing to me, and that it would be put to much better use if I made it into something for someone who needs it more than I do.

I cast on 152 stitches to make it approximately 30" around. That's a lot of garter stitch. A lot. It might not get done in 2.5 weeks, but I'm going to try.

I hate to think about the fact that Afghanistan is in such terrible shape right now, in no small part because of the war my country started there in 2001. Not that they were doing so well before that, but the American invasion hasn't done much good for the civilians there. I want to make up for the fact that some of my tax dollars are responsible for the suffering people are still facing six years after the invasion. Even if it's just a sweater, I want this to be an act of healing and, quite literally, warmth. It may not cancel out the bad things that are happening there, but it's a step, however small, in the right direction. I'm not soliciting for blanket squares this time because I know I won't have time to sew them up and get them sent by the deadline, but maybe I can next time around. So stay tuned.

Because I don't want to end this post all depressing and heavy with the weight of the world's problems, I want to share a couple amusing pictures of the interest Daniel took in my latest project:

(I'd like to think this indicates future interest in knitting, but he was actually waving the needle around and making "pssssssshhhhh!" noises as though it was a hose spraying water. At least he didn't pull any stitches out.)


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