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Archive for May, 2007

Today’s thorn in my side, only marginally related to knitting: What do you do when you get invited to a special event in someone’s life, and you haven’t been in touch with that person for years?  And even when you knew them, you weren’t even that close?

Last night I got a wedding invite from an old acquaintance, and it was so totally out-of-the-blue that I actually wondered for a second how this crazy woman had even found my address.  I mean, if someone has to semi-stalk you to invite you to their wedding, isn’t that a little strange?  My next thought was hey, if she doesn’t really know where I live, I have plausible deniability, right?  Maybe I never even got the invitation.  Am I the rudest person on the planet?  Possibly.  

I immediately called Mrs. J (actually, I opened the invite last night and since it was 11 pm on the East Coast and way past her bedtime, I had to stress out about it all night until this morning, when I called her on my way to work).  She is a voice of reason in most situations, and was kind enough not express her horror at my juvenile suggestion that I should hide out and pretend I’d never gotten the invite.  She pointed out that if I didn’t RSVP, there was a good chance that this warped bride might actually try to track me down by phone and then I’d have to have the awkward “Who is this?  Who?  Oh, sorry, no I can’t go to your wedding” conversation in person.  Mrs. J is insisting that I send back the RSVP card with a polite “sorry we can’t make it” and — to really take the high-road — she suggested I send a small gift.

So you thought blaming it on the postal service was bad?  Here’s where I really show my true crazy colors.  I’m feeling a bit competitive (a bit?  Ok, maybe freakishly, insanely competitive.) and I want to take the highest high-road possible.  I know it’s perverse, but I think it’s fairly rude to send an invitation like this — something that makes the recipient of the invite feel so . . . icky.  I mean, I don’t even know this person, and we haven’t spoken in years and years.  I feel pretty strongly that I want knitting to be incorporated in some way into most of the gifts I give.  Like the baby bonnet I just made for a co-worker, or the blue wedding shawl I made for Mrs. J’s wedding.  Plus, if I have to send a gift, I want to knock it out of the park.  So I’m thinking ok, a dishcloth?  A spoon and a few knitted potholders?  A bar of girly soap and a facecloth?  Am I really thinking of spending precious knitting time on someone I barely know and sort of dislike?

Deep breaths . . . I just need to cowgirl up and try not to be so wierded-out by this whole mess of my own making.  Have you ever heard someone so upset over getting invited to a near-stranger’s wedding?  Sometimes I hate being a grown-up.  Boo.

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So now that I’m back from my summer travels (is it even summer yet?  How can I possibly have post-summer hangover in May?) I am putting aside the socks and picking up Frost Flowers & Leaves again.  Glamorous seems to be excited about my progress so far, but she did express a worry . . . based on some of the finished shawls I’ve seen, she’s concerned that it’s going to be too big, too blanket-like.  She’s thinking more fancy-pashmina, less mumu.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m working the shawl with Zephyr laceweight on size 4 needles, and I’m wondering if anyone has any thoughts about omitting a repeat (or several) of chart two, and what that might do to the size of the finished piece.  I’ve put this question to the wonderful Frost Flowers & Leaves Yahoo! Group, but if anyone else out in the ether has any ideas or insight in this area, they’d be much appreciated. 

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Graduation was a somewhat gloomy affair, due in large part to the freezing cold and the early hour.

There were a few bright spots:  Namely the graduate, who looked fantastic and glowed with well-deserved pride and happiness (and perhaps a tiny bit of frostbite too).  I also enjoyed the happy pandemonium of the actual moment of graduation:

And of course working on the socks, which are coming along nicely, during the ceremony:

I would’ve done more except that my fingers were frozen solid. In a few more rows I will be ready to turn the heels, which I’m not totally sure how to do on the two circulars, so that will be a fun adventure. Any advice welcome!

Since the graduation trip is the last plane trip for a while, I’m hoping to get back to Frost Flowers and Leaves this week. I’m halfway through the second of eight repeats of chart two . . . exciting stuff!

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Very exciting events are afoot this weekend — the whole family is getting together to celebrate the college graduation of my youngest and most adorable baby sister.  Today I am going to get lots of sock-knitting time when the socks, the Baron and I fly home with glamorous to spend the weekend with the fam.

Here is the graduate in her youth, being adorable and running away from home “to find a family that would treat her decent”:

Congratulations babe, I hope you are SO proud of yourself! We are, and we’re so excited to celebrate with you . . . getting knitting time in is just frosting.  Stay tuned for more news of the socks and possibly even the Frost Flowers & Leaves shawl next week . . .

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I’m really enjoying this whole blog thing so far, and it’s caused only a small stir in my little world.  Most notably, my parents love it (surprise, surprise!) except for one thing:

“Why do you say you’re boring?” my Dad wants to know.  “Why don’t you just delete that part?”  Well, two reasons old man.  First and foremost, one of the hardest things about the blogging stuff is the figuring it out . . . finding your voice, deciding what to say, getting to the point where you just have a rhythm and feel in the zone.  And that’s hard.  Yeah, hard to find your voice, but hard to just make the attempt.  In my case, I’m starting to realize that there are years just leading up to that first post.  It’s important to keep the reminders around.  Because as several very wise and very special people tell me, the first step is the hardest and the worst . . . nothing is ever more difficult than on your first try. 

So last night I was having dinner with glamorous and an old roommate Roomie-kins (now blogging as Little Miss Law).  We just happened to be dining by tiki-torchlight on the delicious meats prepared by the Land-Baron who owns the house where my yarn stash now resides, also known as the best boyfriend ever.  So the girls and I, we got to talking about the blog.  I was telling them I thought I might have something useful or helpful to say about knitting, and yarny stuff, and also how much I am enjoying reading other people’s knitting blogs too.  Everyone out there has a different voice, a unique perspective, and it’s really cool getting to know people.  And then I just started talking . . . rambling on in my traditional I-feel-like-a-snowflake way about the community and bloggers and how knitters are so warm and welcoming and globalization and feeling small in a big world and this whole process making me feel no bigger but the world a little smaller . . . and how I wanted to give back a little to a craft and a community that has already given me happiness and a tiny bit of direction and at the very least hours and hours of entertainment . . . and how dammit, I can be quirky too.

Girls, you are the best, and I love you both for not laughing me away from my own dinner table for being such a nut.  I don’t care if anyone ever reads this, I’m just grateful you are tolerant and kind about my crazy craftiness and all its various expressions.  That goes for all of you — you know who you are — thanks for supporting me even when I’m boring.

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I’m feeling a little bit off today, which I think simply means I have to knit more.  Really the problem is that my head is too full of whispers and thoughts and questions . . . and I wish I could keep my hands busier so that my brain could be free to wander and really listen.  There are just so many ah-ha moments left to be had in my life, and I hope I can show up for all of them.

Yeah, I can see that you’re thinking ok, ramble on, tell us you feel like a snowflake or a teacup or whatever, and yadda yadda yadda, but what about the socks?  Well, frankly, the socks are doing fine.  After the weekend’s trouble with cables, I think I might have gotten a system down (more on that later, once I feel sure) and I can’t help but think that I really, truly cheatedwhen I cast on for each sock separately.  Plus, the socks aren’t patterned, I’m just doing stockinette tubes in the round.

I am kind of grouchy today.  And there is a reason, too:  A few weeks ago, I had a little accident.  Bagel knife, meet pinky finger.  Oh, pleased to meet you,  pinky!  Yeah, not so much Mr. Knife, I hope we never ever meet again.  I’m basically just fine (only 3 stitches, and I took them out myself!) but I am getting pretty tired of my Frankenfinger.  If you are unlucky enough to know me in a biological sense, or to share a cubicle with me, you’ve already seen the grisly photos — let’s just say that it was grim.  So now I’m fine, it’s all healing nicely, but everything I do with my hands, and especially typing and knitting, hurts.  It stupidly hurts, like in that way where you almost forget and then you bang the finger again and have to silently curse that damn letter “a” and the intentionally cruel, pointy-edged keys on your keyboard.  Here’s to clumsiness, and next time I’ll take a dose with less long-term pain, thank you very much.

Special thanks, by the way, to our friendly neighborhood doctor who helped out with the whole bleeding-finger fiasco (and whose big brother helpfully suggested several mammary-inspired names for my blog, including Knitty-Titty and Knit One, Nipple Two).

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I worked like crazy on my two-at-a-time socks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and then yesterday I took a knitting break. (It was really more of a life-break – I was so wiped out from the weekend that I actually went home from work an hour early, ordered delivery for dinner, and literally put my head down on the coffee table in between bites.)  I wanted to go to Synergy for SnB, but I just couldn’t hack it.  I will try to make it back to the WeHo meeting on Thursday night, though, because I want to make SnB a regular habit.

Last night I was too tired to sleep — the worst — and instead of counting sheep I tried to count yarn . . . mentally going through the various yarns in my stash.  Then I started thinking about the socks I’m working on, and the sucesses and failures of the past few knitting days. 

To review: I’m making two toe-up socks at the same time based on the advice from Knitty and the pattern here.  I’m bummed that KnitPicks no longer makes Parade — I really like the yarn and the bold, long runs of color made it great for Jaywalkers.  There is something slightly strange about the yarn though – perhaps this is normal and I’m just not used to it – but at times it has a slightly sticky feel to it, as though there is still some residue left in the fiber from processing.  It’s not noticeable in the knitted fabric, just in the yarn itself as I’m working it.

Also, I managed to really mess up at one point with so many needle points flying around: I started knitting with the wrong needle, so I ended up having three of the four sock segments on one needle, and just one on the other.  Somehow I fixed things by knitting some rows out of order and by actually pulling the offending row off the wrong needle and putting it back on the correct one.  It was a bit touch-and-go for a few minutes, since I didn’t have anything that could’ve served as a stitch holder to help me transfer the stitches, but luckily the slight stickiness of the yarn worked in my favor and I was able to pick the stitches up again without too much trouble.

Ultimately, I think the needles I am working with (#2 Addis that I think are about 42 inch circulars) are just too long for two-at-a-time socks, which is bad news for me, since I bought them specifically for that reason.  Maybe someday when I am enough of a rockstar to do four or six socks at once I’ll pull them out again.   I can see why a different knitter might want to use the longer needles, but for me it just got confusing, as the extra cord wound itself up and created a tangle.

When I was watching Janel knit her socks on two circular needles last week, I was worried that when I tried the technique I would end up with laddering at the edges.  It just seems counter-intuitive that while you work the sock, your circular needle curves in a semicircle away from the circle made by the opening of the sock, so that the fabric curves out instead of in.  She reassured me that it’s just like working with double-points, you simply have to give a little extra snugness to the stitches at the ends of each needle.  So far the socks look good — no laddering at all — and I’m hoping I can keep it up.

I am going away for the weekend yet again on Friday, so I’m going back to the Frost Flowers & Leaves shawl until then.  I’m looking forward to working with silk again after the thick, sticky woolliness of the sock yarn.

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