I began this sweater on a bumpy bus ride in Northern Peru in August 2007.   I’ve been knitting it little by little ever since, and now 7 months later, it’s fiiiinally nearly completed!  all it’s lacking now is the edging, which I’m going to do in the same blue color.   when I first started to sew in the sleeve, I noticed sadly that I had been knitting rather tightly (except for the back piece which was knit on the bumpy bus with much looser tension.. it’s hard to notice the difference if you don’t know to look for it, but it’s quite noticeable to me) and the underarm was going to be uncomfortably small.  So I ripped out the seams, undid the bindoff, and knit in a few extra rows in the shoulders.  Seamed it back up and it fits!   I still can’t put anything remotely bulky underneath, but it’ll be perfect to throw over a dress or tank top.  After years of being drawn mostly to designs with cables, it was a refreshing change of pace to do something lacy.

Knitting’s really become a necessity for me here.   I’m not living in a situation where I can just go out for a walk on my own the way I would at Vassar or in Albany.  I used to take walks to clear my mind, to enjoy the fresh air, to get my blood moving, to think about things, to release tension, and mostly to get to class on time.  Now that I’m not living the academic life, I’m not on a beautiful enclosed campus with acres of green space, and i’m not in a neighborhood that is safe for young women with a gringa face to go walking around on her own for hours, I no longer take long solitary walks.  Now knitting has taken a different role in my life.   it allows me to channel my energy/tension/thoughts into a productive and meditative activity that i can carry with me wherever I go.

In the next few months I’ll move to a more friendly neighborhood where I will be able to walk around comfortably on my own.  Maybe then I’ll take my knitting to a park.