Archive for February, 2013

catching a knitter

February 28, 2013

Thing I did this weekend: I hope I started my tween-aged niece on a life of knitting.  I knew she knitted a bit, but I wondered if she was in the same boat I was when I was her age: some basic skill but little material and no ideas.

I baited the trap: the book 101 1 skein wonders.  I offered it to her casually, and said that if she was interested in anything in the book, I could go and take her to get materials.

Bait was taken: She came back to me in a bit and showed me what she wanted.

We went to the yarn store, and she was super impressed.  The yarn store was its usual lovely self, and the saleswoman there was super helpful.  I told her to pick something and I’d pay for it.  (Niece had been to big box craft stores, but never a local yarn shop, which is a whole different experience, I think.)

Niece spent a long time picking yarn and buttons.  At the check-out, she took out some money and I pushed it aside and paid for her 3 skeins and needles.  Niece said, “But Dad gave me this money!”

The saleswoman laughed when Niece objected.  She said, “That’s what he’s supposed to do!”  Niece pocketed the money at both our urgings.

Then when we got back to my mother’s house, I casually offered to help her with anything if she needed it, but no big deal.

She came back within an hour and asked for a little bit of help starting and with purling.  She was several rows in when last I saw her.

I think I might have caught a knitter.  MWA-HAHAHA.

(Maybe not a full-blown knitter.  But maybe someone I can go to the yarn store with.  That’s something.  The yarn store did all the work, I must say.  Because when we got back, her mother had gone to the mall and I apologized for taking away an opportunity to go to the  mall and she said, “But we did go shopping.  At the yarn store.”   She thinks going to the yarn store qualifies as *real shopping!*  MWA-HAHAHA.)

As a side note, my mother had real opinions on the yarn Niece purchased, and was really bossy about the making up of a ball.  That woman nearly upset all the plans I had – you don’t act all negative in the delicate formation stage of a new knitter, dang it!  (And as a side note 2, when I was that age, she couldn’t have given two pins about how I was spending my time.  The heck–!)

Anyway, it was better than playing video games all day, which was what she was doing before the yarn store adventure.

(There’s probably some commentary on the sad fact that I think that going to the yarn store is an adventure, but let’s not get into that right now.)


the gift that keeps on giving

February 26, 2013

I think I’m starting to get a reputation.  (Not that I didn’t have one anyway, but it is really notable now.)

Someone W works with dropped by with a bag of yarn (let’s call her A).  She admitted she was going to commission me to make her a hat, but she decided that she should just give me the yarn and maybe I could do something with it – say, something for our kids.  She had bought the yarn years ago, but couldn’t get the project to go.

So I made myself a cowl.  This cowl.  (No individual photos because, well, read on.)

I wore it for a couple of hours and noticed while the yarn was nice, it was starting to make my neck itchy.  I sheepishly offered the cowl back to A, and she was totally happy to get it.  And then, she snatched it away before I could 1)take a photo of it, or 2) take it back.

I had 2 more skeins, so I made a hat.  This hat.  (You can see the really nice cables that pattern creates.  I love those cables.)


Here is the top:


I’m really proud of the top of this hat.  I guesstimated what to do with the decreases based on other hat patterns floating around the internet, and then I added on a last cable row before binding off.  While it did create a series of holes that I’m not super thrilled with, it also did a bit of a raised chrysanthemum looking thing at the very top which I’m really happy with.  (As a note to photographers, the tops of hats should be pictured more.  There’s a lot of interest there. Maybe it’s just me.)

A was really happy with the hat.  (I wasn’t there.)  She might have shrieked with joy.

Oh, the pleasure a little bit of handknit will give.

Edited to add:  Yarn is katia suyana, a bulky yarn that might have been discontinued.

Meant to Be

February 19, 2013

Sometimes, talking to W is just the best.

I was saying something about how fandom loves Tony Stark (aka Ironman) and Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) paired up, romantically. It’s interesting to me, but I don’t know anything much about the background of the comics and I watched the movies half-asleep. I don’t mind reading some, even though it’s not my fandom, especially if the fics have been recommended to me. So I was just vocalizing my surprise at the EXPLOSION of fic when W says, “It’s obvious.”

Me: Why? (I am genuinely puzzled. I think the characters are interesting, but as I ain’t comix, I don’t know.)

W: Because bad boy/good boy dynamics, that’s why.

Me: (pondering) What? (Catching on) Oh. Oh! Oooooh.

He’s not even a fanboy, nor does he have the slash goggles (that I know of), but geez, he can sure cut through to the core, can’t he? (And I admire him for it.)

In knitting news, I finished his socks (and my second pair and my first toe-ups). It was almost a tragedy, as I had fitted the first sock on his foot the whole way – making him try it on every other row practically. The second sock I only tried on his foot a couple of times, so the ankle was bit tight. He said he couldn’t get it over his heel – but I was all, “GRR. You WILL put on this sock.  Even if I have to cut off the bind-off.” And he did, without cutting the binding-off, and he wore them the whole day, so it seemed okay. (Unless it was because he couldn’t take them off without fear of losing part of his foot.) He told me he isn’t going to be wearing them to work – they’re too short. He seems happy with them, though, so it’s a success.

I probably should have made the leg longer – if you look, they would have been close to identical if I’d made the first one (the one on the left) just a couple of inches taller in the leg.

Edited to add: Yarn is Opal X-Large 8-fach, green-gray colorway.

Clean this!

February 8, 2013

W and I got into a conversation about cleaning.  (It really was a conversation and not a loud conversation aka fight.)  He admitted that I did most of it.   That really didn’t bother me – what bothered me is when I clean the thing and then he says something like “Oh, yeah, that really needed cleaning.”

I said that really annoyed me, because if he noticed it was dirty, then he should clean it himself.

He said that he only says something because he’s noticed that I am actually cleaning, or it’s a little damp or something.  Then he said IT.  He said that he actually rarely notices if anything is cleaner or dirtier than anything else.  He’s trying to encourage me or make me feel good about the effort I’m putting in.

HE DOESN’T NOTICE.  (Let that echo around my head a bit.)

Why am I cleaning then?  Is it just for me?  For the kids?  Then I should own it.  But I should stop cleaning if it’s for him.  Because he doesn’t notice.


Less cleaning = More writing/knitting time.

And on that note: the baby hat for the mitts that I made earlier.


I had no idea where to put the mitts to make it look like an ensemble.  Does it look better this way?


You know, more active and youthful?  Suitable for a new baby?

(I obviously don’t know what I’m doing here with the photos.  So much for knitblogging.)

Yarn: Spud and Chloe Sweater, pattern Simple Baby Cap 1 from Itty-Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson, mitts from Susan B. Anderson’s Ravelry page.


February 5, 2013

I was just sitting around, knitting a sock (which is just a lot of round and round for me now), and I looked down at the thing I was working on.  Damn it.  I wasn’t paying a lot of attention and a bunch of stitches were all splitty and terrible-looking.  I didn’t want to unknit (tink) and go back, so I though I’d just go forward and fix it when I returned to that point.

Then I realized something.  Life’s a lot like that.  If you make a mistake, you’ve just got to go forward and got to fix it as it comes by, if you can.

On the mornings I spend yelling at the kids (like this one) or being pissed about something else wrong with my life – there’s always the desire for a do-over.  But you can’t.  But there’s always the afternoon or the next day to try to come up with a better plan and be kinder and more forgiving to everybody, including myself.

(I know the analogy isn’t perfect.  Knitting and writing aren’t really like that.  You can go backwards, you can edit, you can fiddle with it endlessly.  But there’s also a time when you need quit worrying about all the mistakes you’ve made and just let it go – which is another imperfect life analogy.)