Saturday, June 17, 2006

 
Hello Mason-Dixon Land!

I have a serious case of PKS (precioius knits syndrome) and I have to say that the Mason-Dixon Knitting book has helped me tremendously. Below is my first object from the collection, a washrag of course.



I have to admit that I have yet to wash or use it but I plan to do both soon. I was a little surprised how BIG it is. Not that the directions did not list the dimensions, but still, it just seem rather, shall we say, gigantic. I may concoct a smaller version with the obscene amount of Sugar and Creme I now have in my stash.

For now I have but one burning question for all the Mason-Dixonite-moms out there: how to balance childcare with knitting. I find that there are moments when I'm with my little guy (who will be two in a couple months), when I'd like to be knitting too. (And yes, there are times I just rather be knitting.) But he's so curious about the yarn and needles that before I know it he's nearly put his eye out with my addi or has turned my neat ball of cashmere blend into a tangled mess, or both. I find that I am knitting at most two hours a day in those rare times when he's sleeping and I'm not. So what is a mother to do? I fear the worst: that I must face it and give up this hobby because it's become an addiction. Please, tell me it's not so.

Yours,

Une tricoteuse amerloque

Comments:
I would say to knit whenever you can; when the little guy is sleeping, while a passenger in a car, when you hand off his care to someone else for a bit. My daughter, who is now 25, was in her early teens when I learned to knit. And just a few years ago she learned to crochet!
 
Knitmoose is right - just knit when you can. He won't be at this stage for long.

I switched to circular needles when my toddler daughter (now aged 34, yikes) staggered to her feet and pulled the knitting needle right out of the stitches.
 
My 22-month-old has her own yarn. Or she has had her own yarn, when she seems to want mine. She has good taste. Her favorite is Silky Wool. I've also knit little things for her so she can see the what happens when she lets me knit.

I've lost stitches on a few things when Abby has pulled on needles or, more frequently, has pulled something else out of my knitting bag. But she generally leaves it alone after a brief period of being a hellion.

I knit when she is in the tub, when she is happy playing alone, or when she has a friend over and doesn't need as much companionship.

Good luck!
 
Start knitting at stoplights when you're driving. You knit in smaller increments when you have kids -- 10 mn here and there instead of a nice big chunk of time.
 
No advice about kids vs. knitting, but I *can* tell you that your warshrag will shrink significantly when you wash it. I thought I'd be smart and make a shorter one, and when I washed it, it was so small that I had to rip out the bind-off, and add on 3 more full patterns. So before I'd knit a smaller one, I'd wash the one I have, and see what you have. I think you will find it is just right. I never consider mine "done", until they are washed once. Even the ones I make to give away, I wash ONCE!
 
Your dishcloth turned out great! What color did you use? I wouldn't worry about the size, or make it any smaller either. They do shrink up a bit in the washer & dryer.
 
Knitting with children can be challenging! I am not in the same boat as you though as my kids are 3,5 and 8 and are no longer interested in my needles. Like you I would like to be knitting more. With the kids, house, work and yes, even my husband, free knitting time doesn't come easy. I usually get an hour in at the end of the day. One smart thing that I do is always keep a small project in the van so if unexpected moments pop up I am good to go.

Sometimes when I am looking at all the beautiful handknits being posted I feel sooooo jealous. I would love to take on a big project. One day I will though but until the time when me kids require less of me I will have to remain happy with my stolen knitting moments. Good Luck!
 
No, no no -- you don't have to give up your knitting or neglect your little one! Try to keep a project out of sight but easy for your to grab during those moments when he's safely occupied and not paying much attention to you and knit when you can.

I've even managed to knit with my almost two year old sitting in my lap, but that's not for the faint hearted.

If you want emotional support and more strategies, there are a couple of lists on YahooGroups devoted to knitting with kids underfoot -- Knittingmothers and Knittingparents.
 
I'd say two hours a day is pretty good with kids! It's just a two year old thing. Maybe try letting kiddo look at some of your knitting needles (while you help him of course), they are interesting. Then maybe he'll move on. Also, for me, knitting in the wee hours of the night has become the norm. Who needs-YAWN-sleep?
 
I love to sit up in bed and knit after my little guy (16 months)goes to bed.I've had to give up big fussy projects for now. I never know when I'll have to throw the knitting down and pull a bug out of his mouth, rescue the dog, or snuggle up to read a picture book. But I wouldn't trade if for the world. Well ok, I did consider calling the gypsies when my son was running around with my almost finished sock this afternoon, but I still wouldn't change a thing. Hang in there Mom!
 
I knit in the evenings, after the kids (1 yo and almost 3 yo) go to bed. I get 2-3 hours most of the time.
 
I'm a knitting mom too! I have an 8 mo old and an almost 3 yr old. I keep several different knitting projects all around the house, so whenever I have some down time here or there, I getting some knitting done. Bathtime is great, Baby Einstein time, nap times, and of course bedtime! I get a few hours in each night. I also knit in the car while my husband is driving, in line at the grocery store...anywhere, really! I keep a box of "treasures" in the house filled with cheap dollar store toys. Whenever I need to keep the little guys occupied for a few minutes, I pull out a new toy from the box and it guarantees about 10-40 mins. :) Good luck!
 
My little boy is the same age - he turns 2 in August. He's often curious about my knitting, but I just tell him that "this is mommy's" and he repeats "mommy's, mommy's". If I leave it on the table, he will bring it to me. I knit when I can around him. Sometimes in the morning, we'll play outside, and while he's digging in the dirt, I'll knit away. But sometimes, you just have to put the needles down and play with the little ones. They are only little once!
 
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