Monday, July 31, 2006
Bad vibes surrounded the outing. Our healthy SNB head count dwindled down to 2 by Monday afternoon, but we pressed along. We pulled out of the alley drove a couple of feet and some guy decided he wanted to re-parallel park into oncoming traffic. We tried to keep driving and so did he. This foreshadows another turn of events that I won't get into. Let's just say that the car did not make it to the Yarn Harlot unscathed.
I was one of the few knitters with no knitting. How embarrassing! Instead I had some work-work along. Granted my work-work wasn't too compelling. I couldn't sit back and click my needles together contentedly. That would've been nice because I couldn't see either. I'm not too tall and the lady in front of me had ants in her pants.
The Yarn Harlot was a lot younger than I expected. For some reason I was expecting a lady with frizzy white hair. Knitters do look alike however and frizzy hair abounded. Someone could make their millions and retire by marketing some anti-frizz to the knitters. Buy two skeins and de-frizz 1/2 off. My hair is frizzy as well, so I would look twice at this deal, but it sounds too expensive.
To quote the Simpson's, "Our Prices Discriminate Because We Can't". Thus was my experience at the yarn store after the presentation. I was pretty excited because I'd never been to this yarn store and I haven't bought yarn in months. I sat down in front of this basket of beautiful novelty yarn. Really. I'm still thinking about it. Someone had handwritten the number 15 on the tag of one skein. I thought, hmm, that's a little expensive. I'll have to think about that. Then I asked another knitter, "Where do I find the price"? She opened the tag and we read $37. Blast! I dropped that skein like it was hot. My search was fruitless. All the yarn was expensive or not too attractive. Sob.
In the end my pearl of wisdom (There's a pun in there.) was learning that the Yarn Harlot "sucked" at knitting for 13 years. Goal! I've been craptacular for maybe 1/2 that time. There is hope for us all.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
I bought this book called Holiday Knits and realized it was a terrible book. I have knitting pamphlets from my local dime store better than this rip off. (Yes, I'm old enough to have had a local dime store before they all went CVS.) Anyway, it inspired me to make a pillow and help my empty living unit look more Crate and Barrel.
I went to a local yarn store and picked up two lovely balls of yarn. The staff was very helpful to join me in my quest. I decided to cast on 72 stitches for an 18 inch by 18 inch pillow. I made a four inch border in brown and used the blue for a square in the middle. Knitting the front of the pillow was a great time. Knitting the back of the pillow, for which I chose stockinet, was as fun as an I-90/94 traffic jam. I experienced an hour to 1/2 inch of movement ratio. I think I finally finished this bad boy on a trip to Grandma's. Knitting the pillow back was as much fun as talking about "How's school?" with Grandma. (I graduated from post-sec almost 10 years ago.)
Sewing the pillow together on the other hand was not fun. So I sat back and explained that I worked now. Thank goodness for the SNB craze. It's the only way seaming is tolerable. You have to take easy knitting along anyway since you'll be distracted by flying mayonnaise and subsequent pregnancies. I got 3 sides done and the final seam waits. A local knitting guru suggested that maybe I wanted to leave a side open with buttons so that I could wash the cover. Groovy, but it involved knitting pyrotechnics that I don't have.
I decided my pillow was ready to sit in the living room anyway. There it is ready for closure. Pun intended. One day I will try to close this pillow using stick-on Velcro. Or I'll just seam up the whole thing. I can make another one. Looking at the incomplete seam makes me weary and the pillow is perfectly functional as it is.
After repeated houseguests batted the unfinished pillow around, I decided that it was time to complete the final seam. I spent hours trying to figure out how to crochet the pillow shut from the right side. The result is an awful mess and I publicly threaten to reseam this pillow again.
I'm hosting my first knit-in tonight. Some members of the local SNB meet for a head start on holiday knitting and/or any other gift knitting on our agenda. I was slated to host an earlier session. Then I remembered that I had no light. While knitting in the dark may be very Little House on the Prairie, it's unnecessary in this day and age. So I canceled. I've since worked on my light issues and am relatively ready to host.
My associated knitters enjoy the white wine. So I got a bottle. The pretentious liquor man who talks your ear off about vintage was not available. It'll be a gamble. Behold the following wine quote, "The best use of bad wine is to drive away poor relations-- French proverb". Oops. Let's hope it's good. (Note the company dishcloth sneaking into the photo for its 15 minutes of fame.)
As I was busily helping myself to the munchies I’d laid out for my guests, I decided to flip on the TV. Lo and behold Pretty in Pink was playing. The hair! The shoulderpads! I was transfixed. Go Duckie Go! The whole evening morphed into 80s night. We knit socks and blankets and discussed the merits of Patrick Swayze, various members of Duran Duran, big claw bangs and bad perms. There was full agreement that the Pretty in Pink prom dress was unappealing.
Meanwhile, someone’s umbrella was integrating itself into the décor. There’s nothing like an umbrella making itself at home wherever you take it. They’re such adaptable beings. They hide under a chair, or even in plain view as in this case. We were having a conversation about spies and dead drops. Maybe this was some trick device.
We finally emerged from our eighties bubble well into the night with some decent knitting progress.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I had a friend coming into town so I couldn't make my monthy knit for the holidays and/or attempt not to procrastinate meeting. "Maybe she knits," suggested our fearless leader. Oh no, I said. There will be no knitting. We'll be shaking our legs at a local discotechque. "You knit? How quaint," she would be sure to note. No knitting for her, absolutely not.
I covered my tracks tossing knitting evidence into the knitting closet where it belongs. Even so, I was discovered. It was the home decor. I have two bears sitting on a shelf one wearing a hand knit scarf and the other wearing a ball of yarn. (He was too fat for his own scarf.) "You knit?" asked my friend. She put it together. Maybe the 1/2 seamed pillow on the couch had something to do with it too. Damn! I was discovered! My cool veneer was shattered. My cool points were packing their suitcases. "I knit too," she said.
Well shiver me timbers. Our fearless leader was right. Who knew? My friend had picked up knitting from a friend in grad school. She found it very relaxing. Immediately I was a bit jealous because I had never thought to investigate her local yarn store. So we twittered about the coincidence and various projects.
I hate I told you so's. Closet knitters unite!
Monday, July 17, 2006
Last month my SNB club ventured out for the knit in public day event. Here I will segue into some welcome generosity from my mom. She actually volunteered to gussy up my knit in public day t-shirt. I agreed although I was admittedly worried about what would result. This is a lady who wears horizontal stripes. Nevertheless, I was sorry for the wariness. I was well pleased with my shirt and wear it all the time.
I needed something to knit that was portable and easy. I went to my handy stash for inspiration. Some time ago I had purchased dog yarn. Burrowing through some clearance yarn at a local yarn store I found what I believed to be decent dog yarn. It was fuzzy with a nice pastel dog color. This yarn would surely knit into cute yarn dogs to litter about my house and present to others as gifts. I pictured myself as the benevolent dog knitter handing out plush dogs as good deeds.
I packed up my yarn, needles and the pattern and was off. Indeed, the plush dogs were easy to make and portable. The cute dog yarn, on the other hand, was not so successful. At first the other knitters, who were making such things as Victorian lace petticoats and Chanel suits, did not see the dog in my knitting. "Sure it's a dog," was a popular comment. As the dog form began to take shape, others noted that the dog was a bit scruffy. The cute dog yarn had some irregular eyelashes making the whole thing look like it met a Flowbee. Nevertheless, I was on a roll. At the end of the day, I had all the dog scraps in place.
I'm not sure how long the dog will remain in scrap state, but it's satisfying to see him lying around in pieces. He reminds me of the broom pieces in Fantasia. Maybe the dog's desire to exist will magically unite these pieces without my having to seam anything. Happiness.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Next, I dig around in my bag of stash. Nothing looks appealing. I have a skein of cheap lavender yarn that I bought for a slipper pattern that is too much of a pain to begin. It requires purchasing leather slipper soles. Yeah right. And it requires reducing yarn down to it's plies. Plies are for toilet paper. I've got 3 skeins of cheap primary color yarn that were supposed to be used for making baby blocks. While making the blocks is fun, sewing and stuffing the blocks are another story. I'll end up with block scraps to add to my dog scraps. I have yarn to make another pillow to pair with my unfinished pillow. No. And I've got lots of awful itchy acrylic dusty pink yarn from my high school knitting days. It's summer. I can't deal with this bad yarn right now. (Can anyone beat my age of yarn to age of me ratio? This yarn has been around for 48% of my life. Inherited yarn doesn't count.)
Of course, I refuse to purchase any additional yarn. Everyone knows that adding fiber does nothing for knitstipation. All puns intended.
None of my patterns are tempting me either. What to do? What to do?