Knitting and Smoke Break

As if I wasn’t chin deep in knitalong projects, I decided to cast on for mittens knit two-at-a-time in the Linden KAL.  I saw a teaser for Jane Richmond‘s Linden mittens about a year ago.  They were knit in the best colorway of Felici ever: Kingpin.  The next time I placed a Knit Picks order I was sure to include two skeins of Kingpin.  They have waited patiently, actually were lost, under my bed all this time.

(on ravelry, kollabora, flickr, and instagram)

When I saw that Jane was kicking off the release of the pattern with a Linden KAL, I had to join in.  Two-at-a-time is really only tricky for the first two rows.  After that, it’s just a matter of not yanking too hard on the circular as you slide the work down, so as not to slide it completely off the needles.  I set my first mitten up on one needle and knit the first joining round, then do the same with the second on a longer needle for magic loop.  I then transfer the first needle, with equal number of stitches on each tip to the longer circular so that the two mitten cuffs are side by side with exactly the same stitches in the same places.

I’ve been working on these while sitting outside with my Papaw as he smokes his pipe.  My grandparents have recently moved to a retirement apartment (assisted living) and it has been a difficult adjustment for them.  There is so much great potential in them living there, but it is hard to get used to a new environment, especially when your memory is failing you.

So, I’m making it my mission to help him feel confident walking out to a patio to smoke by himself and finding his way back.  The work you see here is from our first trip to the smoking area.  He rocks, I stitch, and we go over the move again- why it was necessary, who it’s for, and if it’s for forever.

My hope is that my grandmother will start catching a nap during this time and a new habit will form for them both.  I also hope these mittens will be infused with the smell of Carter Hall tobacco when they are finished.  It is one of the most comforting scents I know.

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  1. Such a difficult time indeed.I hope things start to feel more familiar for them and they are able to settle in soon.
    Our neighbour growing up smoked a pipe. When I smell one now , which is very rare, it takes me back.

  2. Koen's grandfather has also recently moved to a retired apartment and it's true how old people can get disorientated in a new environment. In the end it's for the best, but it's necessary to take very small steps. I hope your grandparents get used to the new place very soon, and I'm sure you'll help them to make it happen.

  3. So you and Koen know what it's like. It's been one week and I think he realizes they may be there the rest of their lives. He says it's not like home, but in reality it is better. They are eating more and it's southern style food that most places don't serve, but that they love. She gets more rest and hadn't hurt once since being there. He has a pretty courtyard to sit outside in and smoke and there are people, besides just me, to talk to. So they're not as lonely. You're right, it's definitely been for the best.

  4. Well, he brought his pipe in the building lit so he only smokes now if someone's with him to remind him to put it out. I feel guilty taking the lighter when I leave, but between my grandmother and I, he's getting a few hours of smoke time. I am learning so much thru the process of being with them as they age. I see their, and my, prejudices about aging exposed. He hates the idea of an old folks home, says, "How would you like to just walk from a room to outside to smoke and back all day?" But the truth is, that's all he was doing at home. And she was stressed out, they wouldn't eat much, and he was disoriented there too. Here, all there problems are better. He also said,"How'd you like to be where you don't know anyone, sitting next to strangers?" That one did trouble me. I'm a homebody and would feel for him being around all new people. Then, a moment after he said it, one of his old friends walked up to visit him and he couldn't remember him. We had a nice conversation with him anyway, but I realized that everyone is becoming a stranger and being shut away from them isn't the answer. He needs to be around people some. It's been about ten days now and I'm convinced this is the right decision. Thanks for the encouragement, Vanessa.

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