Yarn Whore

because all the other good names were taken

Monday, May 29, 2006

Mathtard (the sequel to the sequel)

Lace is kicking my ass. Again.

I gave up on the DEW cardigan because I just couldn't get knitting lace. Then I discovered that when I re-taught myself to knit "continental" I went right ahead and taught myself "combined knitting" rather than the traditional method of continental style. The combined method IS much more intuitive than regular knitting AND has the added bonus of being faster. How much faster, I don't know. I still think I knit pretty slow, especially in the round.

Anyway, it was clear to me then that I was gonna have to learn some new tricks. Grumperina has a chart for those of us too retarded to figure it out on our own. So I printed the chart, ordered an "easier" project (Lead or Follow lace scarf) and a different Helen's laces colorway (Tahoe) and I sat down to conquer lace. I mean come on, it's just sticks and yarn with loops and decreases and increases. How hard is this supposed to be? I'm smarter than yarn and needles, aren't I?

If "smarter" means "able to count to twelve" then the answer is no. Seriously. I'll be in the middle of a count, get distracted by something shiny and end up tinking back a row when I get to the end and realize that my count is off by a stitch or five. It's maddening. Then I see Wendy has made another shawl out of her own handspun. I checked her blog for dates and it looks like it took her 12 days to knit it. 12 days. And that's not counting working, sleeping, knitting socks, and going on her book tour. Someday I hope to be able to knit like that. Maybe when I grow up and am able to count higher than three for extended periods of time.

The baby shower

A few weeks ago I lost my mind and decided to knit a baby blanket for my cousin in time for her baby shower.

Yeahhhhhhhh. Right.

If you'll look to the right on your monitor (and down some) you'll notice that I have a new sidebar entry called "Orphans". It's my section for abandoned projects. Anyway, I knit on that thing for a day or two before I realized that I was A) going insane with all the baby blue acrylic and 7) unable to count to 18 for the pattern repeat (there's a theme going here). Off the needles it went. Also off the needles? The aforementioned and much cursed DEW cardigan, my dad's blue socks (he'll never wear the wool and I'll never knit cuff down again), and a white Kitty Hat from the first Stitch and Bitch. Buh-bye ill conceived projects, don't let the door shred to pieces hit your crazy-making patterns on the way out.

Where was I? Oh yes, the baby shower. Ok. I generally hate baby showers. I like the babies that are inevitably there , but I don't like the stupid games that the organizers make everyone play. Luckily there was only one rather innocuous game before the group mutinied and requested present opening and cake.

The other thing I don't like about baby showers (and bridal showers and weddings ) is the inevitable questioning of my current relationship status. Lately this questioning has been on the upswing. It seems that no matter where I go there is at least one jackass insensitive clod person who grills me about when I am getting married. Usually it's my family who are being generally rude about this, but last week the guy who owns the makeup supply store asked me where my engagement ring was. Weird.

I honestly don't have an answer for this question. Do I want to marry J*? Yes, I do. Do I want to have a child with him? Yes. I think J* would make a great husband and father. Do we talk about this? No, we don't. And I don't think that this is a problem. Though, apparently I am in the minority on this point.

I guess my "advancing" age has something to do with this. I'm 38, and my unmarried/childless status is some sort of incomprehensible anomaly that my family can't seem to wrap their heads around. (to be fair, my mom has backed off completely since I had a talk with her about how the pressure to get married was really pissing me off). Out of all the "kids" of legal age in the family, I am the only one who is not married. I don't know why this is such an issue with people, but it is. One of my cousins asked me if J* had a commitment "problem". What the hell kind of question is that?

J* and I have been dating for a year and a half. We don't live together and our jobs often require us to be apart more than we are together. There aren't a lot of mundane moments in our relationship because there simply isn't time for it. We don't really fight (again, no time) but we do discuss everything. EVERYTHING. The slower nature of our relationship I think gives us time to build something beautiful and strong. I think the only commitment "problem" we have is the inability to conform to my family's unwritten and baffling time table.

Where was I going with this? Oh yeah. I hate that these questions make me feel defensive. I don't know how to deflect these questions from my family or relative strangers without seeming defensive. Strangely, for the girl who has a comeback for just about anything that comes my way the only answer I have is: "I don't know".

Ok, end of rant. This probably should have gone over on hairburner, but here it is.

I'll distract you with some photos of what I'm currently working on. How's that?

Here are the baby socks I decided to knit instead of the blanket. I like how the blue looks a little like camouflage. Knitted toe up with a Turkish cast on (my new favorite!) and short row heels using the Magic Loop method on Addi Turbos 2.25mm (us1). The cotton/lycra sock yarn was bought on etsy.com from Carolyn at Greenwood Fiberworks. I am addicted to this yarn.

Here is the beginning of the Lead or Follow scarf. I'm halfway through the row because I'm tinking back to the stitch marker. I had to put it down or somebody was going to get hurt. I bought the pattern from The Knitting Zone. I found them on a random google hunt. I like them because they have almost 200 patterns for immediate download. Which satisfies my "I have to make this RIGHT NOW" problem. This is being knit on size 4US 24" Clover bamboo circulars. I don't like them. At all. (tips not pointy enough, cable isn't bendy enough even after soaking the cable in boiling water) Tomorrow I'll go to my favorite LYS and buy a pair of Crystal Palace circs.

Here is the Helen's Laces yarn in the Tahoe colorway. 1250 yards of wooly/silk goodness. That's 1.143 kilometers or 12 and a half football fields. When should a yarn ball manufacturer start making an electric version of their product? Um. Now. Now would be good.

A while back, while under the influence of yarn and the Superbowl game I went to a yarn store by J*'s house. I bought a ton of crap there (there was a SALE). I bought 10 balls of this:

I know I totally took leave of my senses that day. Look:

I think I was going to combine this with the slub yarn I used on the booga bag to knit a scarf or ten for Knit for the Cure. Since I used the slub to go live with Lap this fright-fest bag has been taunting me. I finally decided to make a tank top for my housekeeper since she loves pink so much. She even commented on how pretty the yarn was. I pulled this out to knit on when my friend Julie was over the other day. She told me it was too ugly and bulky. Now I am not so sure. I don't want this to end up on You Knit What??. We'll see.

That's it for now. Next up in the posting: Snotty LA yarn store owners.


At 11:08 AM, Blogger Kristen said...

Power to the childless, sister. Some days I think I'd like to be the mommy, but I get such happiness out of my cats. I really do. And they were litter-trained when I got them. No diapers. I scoop the litterbox once a day. I can leave the house and the cats are okay. We don't have to sign them up for preschool or soccer, and we don't have to find a babysitter if we're going to a movie.

Best of all, we can spoil the cats. Sure, I train them to bite less and stay off the counters, but if they want toys, they get toys. If they want to sit in the windows, I'll set up a Rubbermaid box so they can see better. Discipline is easy: a squirt of water and "Get DOWN!". I don't have to groom them for The Real World and how life will be once they get a job. I was allowed to spay/neuter them before they were even a year old, so we won't be dealing with any of this teenage pregnancy crap. Drug addictions? Hell, I offer catnip to them. In that respect, you're an enabler, too. :)

And honestly, I don't see myself as the type of person who would make a good mommy. I'm disorganized, I can't cook to save my life, and I have no patience for people who make noise. Children consist mainly of noise.

I'm 33 and a half now, and some kind of maternal instinct should probably have kicked in by this point, but I'm just happy with my cats. If I ever feel like taking care of kids, I'll become a Girl Scout leader. That way, I can give them back after they get poison ivy. :)

So when people ask me why I don't have kids after almost 7 yrs of marriage, I just say that I have my cats. If they say anything else, I tell them straight up, "I don't like children for longer than 15 minutes. Once they start leaking and making noise, I walk away."

As for your engagement ring...uh, didn't you just get divorced? Sheesh, let's not rush. Seriously, I think the most exciting and wonderful part of a relationship is the part before you move in together or get married. Why hurry away from that?

Back to the lace, since this is your knitting blog: I don't know if I'm going to sign up for the Amazing Lace. I hate how they keep referring to my potential project as my teammate. I'd rather it was set up more like WWE, with Lace Shawl Smackdown or something, but I can substitute my own verbiage as needed. If I do sign up, I'm pretty sure I'll be making EZ's Pi Shawl.

And yes, Wendy's ability to churn out lace like it's nothing makes me want to throw things. Wait, I mean to spin her own yarn into a gorgeous lace shawl. *throw* See? For my next job, I'm going to make sure it's in another city, and that I have to ride the train to get there. Commuter knitting time. Oh, yes.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Kristen said...

I'm so totally in if you start a lace KAL. I don't know what Lucha Libre means, but if it has anything to do with Mexican wrestling costumes, I'm one step ahead. In my brain, anyway. (x-posting to my own comments to assure message reception)


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