A new Hobby- Tricote (Á la knitting)
So what is Tricote, you ask. It's knitting. But doesn't it sound lovely in French. A few years back I relearned how to knit and decided to finish a scarf (a very long one) for Jean as well as make one for Zoe-Pascale. I surprisingly found I enjoyed it so much and it was the perfect craft that I could pick up and put down whenever I wanted. Unlike painting in which I find that I need to devote a few good hours to setting it up, painting and cleaning up. After my success with Jean and Zoe's scarf I decided to move on to bigger and better objects.
I went online and found a pattern in English for a simple skirt with a fringe. Perfect I thought I can do this. The only thing is I thought Zoe could still fit into a size 5-6 (since she is so slim) but soon realized it was too small around her derriere. What to do, I thought. Improvise. I didn't want to take out what I did so I decided all by myself with no expertise to add a panel, taking off (or whatever the right knitting word is) I decreased the stitches so it was to be an inverted triangle and somehow matchup. Pinning it together I soon realized it was going to have a longer panel and a shorter panel. What to do? Zoe-Pascale being her sweet self and knowing how hard I had been working on the skirt, said, "Maman, it is perfect. I like it that way." And so we proceeded. Adding a few beautiful buttons down the front to bring the two panels together seemed to do the trick and voila she has a skirt. A little late for winter but nevertheless she wore to school one day (for me I think) and everyone exclaimed she looked like springtime!
Here are some photos of my ingenuity.
To support my new hobby. I was reading through a book called Awakening Athena by one of Jean's professors Dr. Kenna Stephenson, M.D. specializing in women's health. In her book she claims that the neurolgic research confirms that handwork stimulates cellular development in the adult brain, and provides a whole-body relaxation response that benefits the heart and may lower dementia. So many benefits for a little handwork! Wow... The psychological benefits of Handwork are even greater as a relief from stress and healing. It can also be a catalyst for problem solving and increases joy and satisfaction as well as self-esteem. Nothing like a little self-esteem or joy to get your day going! As a doctor she prescribes handwork for may of her patients and believes it is one aspect gaining resilience, restoration and rejuvenation for women.
Another side benefit, is that Jean told me that when he watches me knit it surprisingly makes him feel relaxed. I think if I'm relaxed than he relaxes too.. What's not to like.
Walking through Uzes I went into a speciality store which seemed to sell lace, material, baby fabrics and more. Sitting in the middle of the store was the beautiful thick yarn I had ever seen with a model of a cape knitted perfectly. I knew I had to make this cape for Zoe but wasn't sure how. After talking to the woman in the store, she gave me the instructions written out in French and 6 pelote (balls of yarn).
At my next French lesson I bring out the instructions and ask my teacher if we can read it together. Luckily I learned she knew how to knit from her grandmother as a child. Together we translated and figured out the pattern. L'envers, L'endroite (pearl, knit) Yes my vocabulary is growing. Determined to make this a beautiful cape I started and tore it out, started and tore it out, dropping a stich, forgetting to knit when I should pearl and it went on. Last week Zoe-Pascale and I were taking the train back from Nice from visiting her friend Sofia-Elena. On the train I took out my knitting and the woman sitting across from us watched me diligently. Finally she said, no, it is too loose. With happiness I handed it over and she helped to get me started keeping the tension correct and teaching me to always take the first stitch off at the beginning of the row and not knit/pearl it. It makes it much straighter. Voila! she was right. An hour later we were still conversing about what she did as a University Professor in Science and her amoureux (boyfriend) who was a scientist researching the big bang theory and the first particles of the universe. (Some of us have very different work than others !!!). By the end of the train trip I had gotten a great start and am on my way. Soon my new creation will be displayed for all to see.
Meanwhile, if you feel in need of some relaxation and creativity, take up knitting or some other handiwork. It's fun and relaxing!