Advice from Maya Angelou ~ no expectations

In an interview from years ago, Maya Angelou says she has no expectations from life so she is never disappointed. One might think, “How can I have no expectations?” But, Ms. Angelou’s outlook on life makes perfect sense: having expectations sets us up for disappointment. We often expect too much from ourselves. She is saying take the journey and delight in the wonders discovered along the way. It is a given that we will fail from time to time; otherwise we are playing it safe. So where is the knitting in all of this….

Knitting is a journey. Celtic Icon is in the planning stages and soon to be on my needles – this beautiful hooded zippered cardigan designed by Fiona Ellis shown in the photo below from Ellis’s book, Inspired Cable Knits – a book filled with patterns for gorgeous cardigans and pullovers.

Celtic Icon

Photography © by Lindsey Maier published in Inspired Cable Knits © 2006 by Fiona Ellis. Photograph is of page 127. Used with permission of the author.

I’ve chosen Cody, a sport-weight 100% merino yarn, from Mountain Meadow Wool in the colorway Pansy for this project. Cody Mt MeadowIt knits up like a dream. The yarn is dyed in batches of 12 skeins. Each label notes the ranch that is the source of the wool. My yarn is from The Cole Creek Ranch in Douglas, Wyoming. Pretty cool. I have knit the first swatch (stockinette) and am thrilled with it. Not so sure about the second swatch with the cable pattern, but I’m only on row 10.

stockinette swatch

Cody may have too much character to show the detailed knot work to its best. Keeping fingers crossed. I’m not overly concerned. If it turns out I don’t like Cody for this project, I have yarn in my stash that will work and, sadly, will look for a different pattern for Cody.

So with my knitting, rather than expect the perfect knit, I will make my best effort and hope for a lovely wearable cardigan. I will embark on this adventure and have no expectations. This doesn’t mean there won’t be frustration along the way. I won’t know until I take the challenge of this particular knit.

This morning I took Lemon, a design from Helga Isager, off the blocking board – actually the guest-room rug covered with a sheet. All that remains to do is mattress stitch a couple of inches under each arm and weave in the ends. As can be seen here, I will easily finish it today. Amazingly, I still have no expectations that I will love wearing it. However, the more I think about it the more anxious I become. Keeping fingers crossed that it will be a knit I will enjoy wearing. Okay, now I’m beginning to expect Lemon to fit perfectly when I try it on later today. Arrrgh!

A note on Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is one of my favorite autobiographies. She is one of our national treasures – an amazing, gifted, beautiful woman.

WIPs ~ a personal record

On my needles (listed in order of cast-on with the most recent listed first) –

  1. Summer Solstice by Heidi Kirrmaier – a cardigan knit in stockinette. If not for the unique construction and working with Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (a joy to work with), this project would drive me mad.
  2. Vanilla Socks – plain ole socks knit from the cuff down. Cast these on to have something compact and mindless while waiting in the prospective-juror pool. The project mostly sits. Did not get called for jury duty. Yay! It was a really yucky case.
  3. Zigzag Top by Marianne Isager – fabulous design, simple to adjust size, fun to knit. Taking me forevah ’cause I keep getting distracted; I’ve had to rip back several times simply because I can’t seem to understand the written word. Marianne Isager is one of my favorite designers.
  4. Gothic Spire Socks by Cookie A – really, really have to get these off the needles. I work socks “in tandem” to avoid second-sock syndrome. First sock is just past the gusset; second is midway through the gusset so they are practically finished. Such a cleaver pattern. These were supposed to be for my sister, but they are too tight for her. Guess I’ll just have to keep them. My first project with String Theory Caper Sock. Very yummy!
  5. Color Affection by Veera Välimäki – According to Ravelry, 4,331 knitters are either working on or have completed this shawl; an additional 6,982 knitters have it queued up to knit. I love Välimäki’s designs. Not a fan of garter stitch, but the end results are gorgeous. My first project other than socks worked in all Bugga! from the Verdant (formerly known as the Sanguine) Gryphon. Bugga! is awesome and one of my absolute favorite yarns.
  6. Winter Berries by Marjorie Dussaud – set this scarf aside because I wanted to work on summer stuff. It’s really in hibernation even though I didn’t officially label it zzz.

So what did I do today…. purchased another pattern. I was only going to add it to my queue (#70), but noticed it was selling for 40% off ($3.60) until July 14. Derecho by Laura Aylor is a stunning shawl and looks like such a fun knit. I can’t wait to cast it on. Hope I have the perfect yarn in my stash, but then my LYS is having a 15% off sale this month.

There is a seventh WIP; yes, a seventh.The real #1 deserves it’s own post.