So… There i was in the hardware store, inspired by a Pinterest post (yep. Uh oh) of a bathmat knit from clothesline. Clothesline was expensive. I came home with this 1200+ yard spool of sisal twine instead and decided to double it with cotton and knit a round rug for wiping feet after garden work, or something.
It’s messy, it’s a bit stiff and with double the lack of give cotton normally has, and is being knit on size 17 needles. I much prefer the look of a knitted “pizza” as opposed to a crochet-stitched disc, but crochet would have been a lot easier. It’s not too late, technically, to scrap it, but the chore of casting it on took about as long as knitting these ten rows..
This is the story of my knitting life anymore.
i edit stuff, like the ancient “about” page here. My daughter might have been born the last time I made any changes to it.
Also, added my Pinterest link in the main header above and removed the twitter link, because – i might be the only person in the world who doesn’t see the need for twitter (or Instagram, for that matter) and have forgotten to use either in a year… because slow days at work, which haven’t ever happened in the course of the two years i have had this shop (we’ve always been digging through inherited piles, and now that has finally reached an end) mean i get to sit here and do whatever i want with no guilt. Daughter’s at preschool, and i’m wasting time. Yeehaw! I brought knitting (the ever-continuing Nymphalidea shawl), because i always used to say “i dream that someday i will sit in my shop and knit all afternoon” – and i will, just after a little more time on Pinterest.
And I’m on Ravelry too, of course, because things like this have just gotten released, and there’s a contest for a free pattern giveaway for it, and it’s the first time i’ve looked at a pattern and said “I need to do it in that exact colorway and that exact yarn” – except that that exact yarn, Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply, is $26 a skein, and even though you only need one, I’m sure I’ve got some sock yarn in my stash that has been waiting six years or so for its calling. Because I love sock yarn, and for a while I acquired plenty of it, even though every project I started with a fingering weight reminded me of why it’s better I stick with worsted (the answer is “so i might potentially finish it”, in case you were wondering).
Anyway – yes, there’s all this, and i whittled my Ravelry pattern wishlist down to seven pages, too! I did do a little reality-checking here. That pattern for the massive lace afghan? You can save yourself the seven dollars, Dori. How about this incredible sweater with a lace yoke? Also, save your money. With the money you’ve saved removing potential patterns fro your wishlist, you could probably afford that Miss Babs Yummy 2-ply.
And now… back to Pinterest?
Oh my freaking GOODNESS. I don’t know that i could wear these socks (Ravelry pattern page link) after I knit them. they hold all the challenges i refuse to face – colorwork, tiny needles, and of course, the “second sock syndrome” – it would take me six years to finish one of these in the first place, and then god forbid i had to do it again.
regardless, quite possibly the most beautiful pair of handknit socks i’ve ever seen. if you can beat these, post a link!
Oh, there were other indicators. My doctor was suddenly younger than me, as well as my dentist. There were a few more gray hairs (but I attributed those more to motherhood than anything, because most of the time I forget I’m 41, ever mindblown by the condition of some of my peers). Nirvana was being played on the classic rock station (seriously? WTF? That was YESTERDAY!) The youth of today were suddenly listening to music I didn’t understand, the 90’s became the long-past fashion generation to emulate…
Okay yeah I get it. I’m apparently “middle-aged”. Don’t tell that to my reflection, my friends, or my four year old. I might be more emotionally mature, but I still say “dude” with impunity (oh wait, that’s out of fashion? no one told me…)
For some, this age signifies “empty nest” and “more knitting” – for me, not so much as I am a late bloomer with all things, including motherhood and standard responsiblities like having a credit card, or a power bill in my own name.
Regardless, I bought it, I sure did, because the first edition of Knitting Answers took me from garter stitching scarves to knitting lace and answered a mound of questions in both text and diagram, in a size that was nice and portable. I owned this book before smart phones, google and Ravelry existed.
Now, there’s a second edition – it appears to be the same size, though the cover is pepto bismol pink this time (as opposed to oh, Xanax green), and there’s a hefty list in the front of many of the updates to both knitting techniques, resources, and changes to the second edition, which include in-depth coverage of the magic loop technique (which my mother first learned from a small and self-published-looking spiral-bound booklet she purchased in a yarn shop), color work, and a pile of new cast-ons and bind-offs.
True, you can find a lot of this information online these days – but for me this book is kind of like knitting itself – a chance to do something else with my hands other than tap a smart phone. Just HOLDING it makes me want to knit, a little.
I’ll just quietly, VERY quietly, go back to knitting my stupid hats now.
it occurred to me last night as i added some more welts and wedges to Nymphalidea that it’s been over a year since I started this project (that link, btw, is to the pattern’s Ravelry page – you don’t have to be a member to see it or download it – it’s free from Knitty.com anyway – but you can also find some extras that have been added since I list actually looked at it on Ravelry – blocking notes and other things – that are QUITE handy – god help me if i ever find myself in a place to block this thing).
I have a friend who knits Swirls like they’re going to go out of style. I can’t even imagine having enough of the same yarn to complete a project like that, though my Ravelry queue and favorites are full of grandiose ideas. I am not that knitter. In between she cranks out hats like she’s got fifteen heads to dress daily. I am not that knitter either, though hats are about the only thing I can usually finish – and so most of them HAVE been finished, but there are still a couple on the needles – because I ran out of yarn. Probably that yarn is discontinued at this point.
I am just not that knitter. I knit, and I don’t always take in the structure, the math or the science. i simply knit to stay sane, I guess – which is why I’m mostly crazy. I get about three hours of knitting in a week. I play my ukelele about as much.
My daughter and I are going out of town for a couple of weeks. We’ll be doing quite a bit of sitting, per se, the first major bit of that on an airplane (but let’s be honest here – my daughter is FOUR – and there will be no knitting accomplished on an eight hour flight with a four year old). I’m not sure if I’m that kind of knitter, the one who takes knitting on an actual vacation, anyway. I’m not the knitter who takes my knitting everywhere (anymore, anyway). I’m not the knitter who can’t sit through a movie without knitting. I’m not the knitter who takes knitting to a party. I’m not the knitter who knits in social circles, unless they’re dedicated knitting circles – and even then i’m often too excited to TALK about knitting to get much done.
I just knit when I can find the time to make it enjoyable. I used to knit a lot more, and I still gush over yarn. I’ve just learned how to leave most of it on the (shop) shelf, and I’ve learned to tame some of the grandiose ideas – in another twenty years or so, perhaps I’ll be that knitter – fatter, more inclined to stay home, and maybe a little more dedicated to not-instant gratification. Or maybe I’ll have an ungrateful grandchild to pile it all on. God only knows.
In the meantime, for the next year I’ll probably just work on this Nymphalidea shawl – I might run out of yarn for it by then.
although i knitted it in a variegated yarn (which, ya know, renders many stitch patterns invisible) it turned out ADORABLE.
hats knit in chunky yarn – instant gratification.
To be honest – I am consistently attracted to fingering weight yarn (like the sock yarn I lusted over – and yes, that’s common for people to say that – in a brief purchased-nothing trip to the yarn shop today), but I need to be a bit more honest with myself. In my life these days, there is so little time for knitting, and things in fine yarn take me forever to finish. The lesson, I guess here, is a little less instant gratification, which is a hard thing to stomach for an ex-new yorker and someone of this day and age. But it is a lesson all the same. If I can chill out on the instant gratification and work toward something, I get more of the amazing materials to do it with.
Ah well – these are just “first world problems” then, aren’t they? Sometimes I look at knitting, and all the “lust” that happens over extraordinarily expensive yarns and the idea of S.A.B.L.E. (““SABLE- A common knitting acronym that stands for Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.” ― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much) and i’m just disgusted with the whole “knitting world”. I have a plastic bin and a couple of paper bags stuffed full of yarn and even that’s too much for me. Even that is “SABLE” at this busy point of life.
it sure does give me pleasure in the winter though, in the little bits of time i devote to it. And it continues to go well with Call the Midwife.