Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

I love knitting socks, but I love sock #1 much much more than I love sock #2. Sock #1 is new and interesting, but #2 is just the same thing. BTDT (“been there, done that,” for the less internet savvy reading this).

I know that non-knitty people believe that knitters must be very patient (I know this because non-knitters keep saying to me, “Oh, I’d love to knit, but I don’t have the patience,”) but it is a myth. I have no patience. None. J will attest to this. Even red lights make me twitchy. So the second sock just cannot go fast enough.

When I’m knitting a sweater, I solve the boredom thing by knitting both sleeves at the same time, which is also convenient for keeping them the same as I randomly make changes to the pattern. Haven’t figure out how to do two socks at the same time, though. There is a technique, and it involves circular needles, so I popped out to the yarn store for the right-sized circular needles in preparation for the next set of socks, which I planned to tackle at the same time. I was well on my way into the original sock the second, I assure you.

I found the needles. I already have the yarn I plan to use for my nephew’s socks and have resisted it thus far. But the yarn store had this lovely, soft wool/silk mix on sale. Sale! Could not resist. And, since it is much thicker than normal sock yarn, I figured it would knit up really quickly and I could test out the two-sock plan with speed. The second sock could not hold its own against this yarn.

I knit two separate toes, using the system for knitting single socks on circular needles – many thanks to people who like to demonstrate such techniques and them upload them to youtube. Then I put them together and attempted to knit them both. Big failure. I gave up after two rounds. But I’m still knitting the socks (one at a time) on the circular needles and loving it, so something good came of the whole experiment.

By the way, what I hate even worse than when people tell me they’d knit if they had the patience, is when they tell me they wish they had the time to knit, as though knitters just sit around with needles clacking, staring vacantly into space. Ha! I don’t knit because I have the time. I knit because I get bored so damn easily. I thought that was just me, until I read one of the Yarn Harlot‘s books and she said exactly the same thing. I love her, by the way. Here’s what she says about knitting socks (and its funny even if you don’t knit):

Last year, I was waiting for a teacher at parent-teacher interviews, sitting in a chair outside of the classroom. Another parent came up and sat down beside me to wait also. She watched me knitting for a minute (a totally cool, great hat that Maya wears every day of winter) and then said she wished she had the time to knit. I found this completely baffling, as both of us were doing a lot of waiting for teachers, only by the end of the day, my kid was going to have a nice, warm, hand-knit hat that perfectly fit her head, and hers …. wasn’t.

I feel like I’ve said pretty much all of this before. If I’m repeating myself, apologies. Coma brain.

Anyway, out with the old, in with the new. Is it not a thing of beauty?


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I am trying to write a real post, but life – the life in which I must get all my shit together before going under the knife on friday morning, keeps internening.

But I also been knitting and am now working on a lovely shawl using lovely urguay stuff with lots of pretty colours. It pushes aside the angora thing and the warm mitts I must have and even knit one pair and found a tiny flaw that bother me enough start ripping, but my MIL went insane over that and took them from me. The next pair were intented for her anyway.

As I prepare to leave my disorganized house once again for a hospital stay, I need a public declaration: the yarn insn’t a sign of a hoarding complex. Apparently, will I was Napping, well-intentioned people came into my house and saw that I’d forgotten three visits in row to Costco that we already had SOS pads, so now we have MANY in the storage room. And then they looked in a few other closets and found much, much, much yarn, several half on their way to … something. They decided I suffer from an actual clinic illness called hoarding, which normally brings to mind old ladies with 58 years of the newspaper stacked in the kitchen. But hey, different definitions, I guess.

If you can’t or won’t believe me, go ask the Yarn Harlot, who has written extensively on the phenomenon and actually is published. It’s a knitter thing, not an OCD things.

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1. You cannot knit angora on size 3 needles in a movie theatre, even if it is only a scarf, because the moment you make one mistake, you are screwed.

2. You cannot listen to Sarah Vowell’s book Assissination Vacation on your iPod while the movie is playing – or anything else for that matter – because the movie is just too loud.

3. There are actually adults who come to HSM3 alone, apparently voluntary, and stay through the whole movie.

4. While watching the movie may make you forget about your burgeoning headache for a while, it will attack with even greater force once you walk out of the theatre, even if – as in Asher’s case – you really wanted to see the movie.

5. In America, they have very, very big, very, very clean high schools with huge, gorgeous rooftop gardens.

6. In a Disney movie, you can act as flamboyantly gay as you want, as long as you ask a girl to the prom near the end of the third movie.

7. Thanks to all the boppy music, the movie wasn’t as painful to sit through as I thought it would be.

8. It is, however, very difficult to walk past the theatre showing the new James Bond movie and into HSM3 in the fist place.

9. No matter how much you squint, Zach Efron is no replacement for Daniel Craig.

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We had Boo’s birthday party today. She’s been 6 for almost a month. I’m not actually completely unable to get it together (actually, I am, but this isn’t part of the proof). We just like to have her party in September, when people are actually around. As it was, it was a fairly small party – 4 girls and 5 boys. She doesn’t like boys or play with them, your understand. Except for Zachary, David, Noah, etc.

We went for a trampoline party. They got to do lots of jumping. Then, and this was what sold it for her, she got strapped into a big harness that didn’t actually fit that well, and reverse bungeed into the air. Does it get any more fun that this, I ask? No, it does not.

It made me queasy just to watch.

Having survived the dangerous part of the party, we retired to the ‘party room’ where we had cake and watched J attempt to put into action the newest addition to his magic show repertoire, balloon animals. He attempt to make a monkey and after the fourth balloon broke, yelled, “Who wants a sword?” The kids were smart and all agreed swords were good, and got them with no more balloon animal deaths.


Other than that, my weekend has involved knitting. The arrival of fall weather (which then made a full retreat today) put me in the knitting frame of mind. Soapstone is summer and knitting is winter. Knitting kind of got interrupted last year, after February, because by the time my hands worked well enough to knit, it was spring and back to soapstone.

My mother got ahold of a great pile of oiled wool. This stuff hasn’t had the lanolin, or some such thing, taken out of it and so is heavy and waterproof. It has quite a strong, distinctive odour too, like sheep (clean sheep) and earth, maybe. I like it, my kids do not. Anyway, we’ve decided to knit fisherman’s knit sweaters for all the ungrateful children (hoping the smell will wash out somewhat). She started on the cousins and on Friday brought me wool to start on mine.

Maya didn’t like what my mom had done for her cousin – too busy – so I modified the pattern to be less busy and take out some bobbles I hated, and started on one for Boo. If Maya likes that one, I might put the effort into one for her. Knitting with wool that heavy isn’t easy. This is how far I’ve gotten. The picture isn’t really as badly lit as it seems. The yarn isn’t dyed and is a natural wooly beige.

Starting the sweater reminded me that I hadn’t finished a pair of mitts I was making for myself out of the same stuff, only I’m thrumming them for extra warms. So I ditched the sweater last night and worked on the mitts instead.

Both of these things have pushed aside the socks I’ve had kicking around all summer. I decided to knit them toe-up, which isn’t very common, and have kind of been winging it. I knit much of one before I decided I didn’t like how the toe fit and started again. This is how far I’ve gotten. Having people guess what it is is the most fun part of these. The funniest guess came from J’s uncle, who figured I was going for knit condoms.

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Someone said that to me the other day. She claimed that having children made it impossible to read. I told her she’d just not looking at it the right way. Then I told her I read my New Yorker magazine in the shower. I wasn’t kidding.

So, in her honour, when and where I read:

1. In the shower. We have one of those multi-shelved racks in the far corner of the tub, so I prop the magazine in there, with some shampoo bottle holding it up. Yes, it gets a bit damp, but it’s a magazine, so who cares. I keep my towel in reach to dry my hands before turning the page.

2. While singing lullabies to Boo. I have several songs – Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird, Little Boy Blue, You Are My Sunshine – that I have so utterly memorized that I can sing them while reading something else. I can’t do the more serious stuff, though. I read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol a couple years ago, and found that the unfamiliar language required even that small portion of my brain dedicated to the song.

3. In the car waiting for kids, or even at long stop lights.

4. While walking the dog, as long as I don’t need gloves.

5. While playing games with Boo. The older two don’t let me get away with it anymore.

6. While frying anything.

7. During meals, if I am alone. I’ve been trained that reading while eating with others is rude, but sometimes I sneak it in when I am just with the kids, just leaving a newspaper lying there on the table so it doesn’t look so obvious.

8. In waiting rooms. In fact, waiting for anything, like the sub sandwich to be made or to return something.

9. While brushing and flossing.

Many of these places are good for knitting too. Doesn’t work so well in the shower. Knitting is also good for watching TV or when chatting with people. I got most of a hat done during parent-teacher interviews, as I waited for the teachers to be freed up. At one point, another parent commented on the hat and how nice it was, and lamented that she hadn’t knit in so long. Didn’t have the time, she explained. I didn’t point out that both of us were sitting there waiting, but I was getting a hat done.

Of course, she’s making the same mistake many people do – that knitting is something else to do, rather than the thing I do to fill in the boring bits. And same with reading. You don’t need extra time to do these things. You do these things to make the other daily stuff less boring. Well, I do, anyway.

Maya’s iPod has opened up a whole new venue of boredom-busting, since I discovered downloading podcasts. Now, as I walk the dog, shovel the driveway and shop for groceries, I listen to radio documentaries and interviews. Now I never have to be left alone with my own thoughts, ever!

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More snow! Yesterday, I fell asleep instead of taking Jasper for his walk, which resulted in him barking at gremlins he insisted were out in our backyard at midnight. In a few minutes, I will tackle all the fresh snow and take him out. He’s adorable leaping about in the snow (I’ll see if I can find my camera to demonstrate), but trying to dry him off is a nightmare. And yet, I cannot bear to cut his fur down more and reduce his teddy-bearness.

The first snow of the season is always a logistical nightmare, no matter how organized I think I am. I brought up dozens – no exaggeration here – of mittens, and yet yesterday morning none of them could find any. I have no idea where they all are, and I am pissed off. Asher insisted his snowpants fit, but they don’t, but he won’t upgrade. Asher and Maya need new boots, as do I.

I didn’t think it was urgent until I picked them up from school and Asher presented me with soaking-wet boots. Really, they could not have been wetter if he’d thrown them in a swimming pool. I guess waterproofness wears off?

So we were off to the big show store near here, along with maybe half the city. Three children and a huge shoe store after school is my idea of hell, and every year I manage to get trapped in it. Thankfully, we found boots for the boy very quickly, because he was the urgent one. None for the girl, though. Poor Maya – the problem with being tall is that the clothes appropriate to your age don’t fit your body. She wanted cool, colourful kids’ boots, but she wears women’s size 7 (or 8, depending on the fit). In the women’s section, we were faced with rows and rows of stylish black boots. We finally found some she liked and they had a rough seam running right over her ankle bone. How stupid is that? So she still needs them. I didn’t even try to look for me. I’m not a total masochist.

The snow makes me want to knit. I just want to sit in front of a nice fire and knit. Instead, I get a row or two done while singing lullabies or waiting in the car for the school bell to ring.

Currently, I am knitting:

hats and scarves for the AG dolls (2 hats done so far)

a sweater for Asher that I started last winter, really big, but if I don’t get my butt in gear on it, he’ll still manage to outgrow it before I’m done.

socks for Maya – one finished.

socks for Boo – one finished.

a baby sweater for the friends whose baby arrived 4 months ago.

a scarf, probably for Asher.

I just got lovely wool and a pattern for a winter hat for me, but have resisted starting it. Don’t know how long I’ll last, though.

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