brain dump

What a crazy, messed-up world we live in, yeah? I'm close to rounding off my fourth decade on this planet and I'm not sure I remember this much terribleness  happening in such a short time, globally speaking. But then, I was born after Vietnam, so maybe the insanity of the human race is just inevitable. 

I tell you what's hard about this is raising kids in the middle of it. In many ways our family is protected from the worst of what's happening in America. We're white. We have health insurance. We don't live in a place at risk for hurricanes or wild fires (just the occasional tornado, and there was one across town last week...). 

But I talk to my children about what's happening in the world and in our country because I want them to understand why it matters to us. They are insulated but I refuse to let them be ignorant. When my son was in kindergarten and noted that all the kids with dark skin get hot lunch every day, we had a frank discussion about poverty and racial discrimination. Anya is a solid feminist at the tender age of 9. When Trump was elected last year, she cried. Some of Daniel's friends came to school terrified that they were going to be sent away, and I told him exactly why those kids have those fears. We talk about privilege because it is important to me that my children understand that they don't automatically deserve the advantages they have in life, advantages like a stable home, plenty of food to eat, parents who can buy them new coats and shoes when they grow out of their old ones and donate snacks to the school because the school won't provide them and parents who can help them with homework and take them to the dentist and piano lessons and stay home with them when they're sick without worrying about lost wages. 

In the midst of all this, things like knitting and trail running feel both frivolous and essential to my own well-being and sense of balance. Another mark of privilege, I suppose.

In any case, I am half-heartedly participating in Slow Fashion October (a la Fringe Association) this year. I'm conflicted about it, as always. I posted this picture on Instagram last week with a brief introduction about me and one commenter noted that time for making is itself a privilege. Even having the time to cook a good dinner - something I consider an essential part of my day - is a privilege. 

Knitting these socks as a gift for a lovely, wonderful person in my life. That's a privilege.

Knitting these mittens (they're almost done!) for another wonderful, lovely person in my life is a privilege.

You get my point, I think.

Here's a rundown of some more stuff I'm making. It's not that I have tons of spare time lately, but I make sure always to have knitting with me so that all those in-between minutes I can keep my hands busy while I fret and stew about how my country is going to shit.

I'm working on a hat out of some absolutely delicious cashmere yarn from WEBS that I scored on sale last spring. It's for a friend and fellow musician who is one of the most generous people I know. 

View from the dentist's waiting room.

I made Anya a sweater. She loves it. I'm not sure if it will ever cool down enough for a BFL pullover, but she's happy so I don't even mind. More about that FO in a later post.

My newest project for working on in between all those on-campus rehearsals is a pair of neon socks for Daniel. He's 11 and isn't so much into hand knits, but he'll wear neon socks, so neon socks I shall make.

I wasn't kidding about the neon.
I've got more to show you (so many FOs from the summer!); it's a matter of getting photos taken. 


Kate Babbitt said…
Hey Suze, Just a quick note to say how much I look forward to your blog posts. I appreciate your politics and how you think through the implications of everything you do so deeply. I've recently been plunged into the world of eldercare after I had to suddenly put both parents in nursing homes at the same time. Both of them are cognitively compromised and taking care of them sometimes gets on my last nerve. Old family issues rear up at unexpected moments. They are unwittingly thoughtless about the amount of time I spent taking care of them behind the scenes. They are each unaware of the degree of their disability and chafe against the family policies I put in place for their safety. And as a freelancer, I haven't worked a 40-hour week since last March. So I'm constantly dealing with financial pressures on top of all the family stress. Knitting has saved my soul during this time, but I've been so aware of my privilege. I hear stories every day of people who are dealing with the same issues with many fewer resources than even our hardscrabble family has. And I'm sure they don't have money for yarn for socks, much less for the huge stash I have in my attic. Thanks for helping me remember what I DO have. That really helps. Kate (Comfreyqueen1 on Insta)

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