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Baseball and Knitting




I was planning to write about the addition of color to the Shetland 2000 palette this week but things got pushed around by a couple of unforeseen circumstances. So instead, here is a peek at an essay I have been working on.


Baseball season started a few weeks ago and I am excited to see how the Washington Nationals are doing this year. I came late to baseball as I did not grow up watching or playing. But now I am hooked. One reason for that is I can knit while I watch games. I even designed some fingerless mitts to celebrate the National's winning season in 2019. The Sharks of October were homage to the spirt the team exhibited as personified by Gerado Parra, whose walk-on song was Baby Shark. It's a free pattern, available here or on Ravelry.


Red fingerless mitts with black and white shark fin motifs. on a wooden table with leaves.


But back to baseball and knitting. I am not going to go down the path of great discourse about this very American game. But certainly, there is something that links the skill needed to get a large wooden bat to hit (in the right direction, height, and speed) a small ball that is has been hurled at you at speeds of 90 miles an hour, with the picking up of yarn to create loops that connect to each other and create fabric. Or am I making too much of it? Probably.


Instead, let me try it this way. I can't hit a baseball, but I would guess that most baseball players can't knit. We could each learn the skills, but would we ever be as good at the others' practice? Probably not. The difference is that I can sit and watch them play skillfully and in a relatively short period of time, see the entire story of one game. They on the other hand are unlikely to ever watch me engaged in the skillful, but much much slower creation of a sweater, shawl, or socks.


My baseball knitting plans this year are ambitious. There are at least two samples of Ron Schweitzer's patterns for releases later this year that I need to work on. I can't say much about them at this point. But I had a brief setback on Monday night, when I realized that a weekend's worth of color work ribbing had to be pulled out because I had cast on 245 stitches not 285. In addition to those, I want to make two more sweaters for myself and will be making holiday present sweaters for my grandchildren. A tad ambitious. But this is where baseball comes in. Exciting enough to keep my attention at the end of the day, but low stakes enough that I don't need to stare at the screen every moment.


Do you play or watch baseball? Do you have team you root for? And can you knit while you do so?

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