Born Free

It’s freezing cold outside, I have a terrible cold, I am up to my armpits in work, laundry and dust bunnies, and I really couldn’t be happier. I am filled with the simple pure joy of a mother who has survived March Break. The children went to school today, Joe will go to work eventually and then I will be alone. Gloriously, stunningly alone. I’m going to go to the bathroom by myself. I’m going to drink a whole cup of coffee without it going cold, I’m going to write my column without screaming “Stop looking at your Sister…you know she hates it!” and I’m going to have at least one uninterrupted phone call. I feel like dancing.
The swatch is still getting an edging. It has fallen into the black hole of knitting. You know the black hole don’t you? Its where you knit and knit, then measure and check, then knit and knit, then check again only to discover that even though you have worked on the thing for hours it is miraculously the exact same size.
It could be that the swatch is actually trying to help me, since as I was knitting the edging last night it occurred to me that I wasn’t exactly careful about how many stitches I picked up along the sides. I just sort of went with it. My thinking was that as long as it looked right…it was right. It wasn’t until last night when I was absently wondering how it was that I could have knit 4 points of the edging and be no closer to the centre point that it occurred to me that I might want to have the same number of stitches on each side…so that I would have the same number of points on each side. I’m going to think about possible fixes while I am here in the black hole.
Wool Pig.
Claudia asks if there are qualifications to brand oneself “Wool-Pig”. Number or bins of yarn, poundage or yardage amounts that need to be met…etc. It is this writers opinion that “Wool-Pig” is more of an attitude towards ones yarn…rather than the amount of yarn. (It is assumed that you have lots of yarn) I’m sure that you guys will come up with more but here are my ways of telling.
You might be a Wool-Pig if….
…you have ever bought new yarn rather than use well established stash yarn.
…you are teaching someone to knit and you generously give them a ball from your own stash (after selecting one you think is sub-standard, or lying to them about the qualities of the yarn they chose “no, no…that merino is way to scratchy for a hat”)
…you have knit, and will keep forever things that you will never…ever wear, just because you liked the wool.
…you have ever bought yarn only because you heard a rumour it was going to be discontinued.
…you have ever bought yarn only because another knitter was looking at it and there was only 10 skeins left and you didn’t want her to have it.
…you have yarn that is sitting in the stash waiting for a project that is “worthy” of it.
…you have lied about yarn possession.
…you find it difficult, impossible or painful to give away yarn.
Finally, In the spirit of the Anti-Wool-Pig (because we all want to be better people) I’m going to draw your attention to this. It’s an Afghanalong for Afghans. All you need to do to score some good karma is knit an 8 inch square and send it to Kay and Ann at Mason-Dixon Knitting, and they will sew’em up into blankies for people who need them. If your inner Wool-pig doesn’t want you to give Kay and Ann any good yarn…tell it about the prize. (Hint: the prize is wool)
Here’s my first one. C’mon, just knit one, it’s good for you.

21 thoughts on “Born Free

  1. I will give away yarn if it was given to me in the first place. Unless I like it. I’ve given away most of the craft yarn that came to me from the mother of my daughter’s then boyfriend. Somewhere there’s a very stiff afghan scratching someone’s face.

  2. I keep forgetting to ask what yarn you’re using for “the swatch” Stephanie…

  3. The swatch is being knit in mystery yarn from the thrift store. I’ve checked it out and I think that Rowans “Kid Silk Haze” would be similar.
    Other suggestions?

  4. That swatch you’re knitting is gorgeous. I knit five M-D squares last week – feel this entitles me to buy more yarn for me. Maybe you want to add this to the wool-pig list? I need a pick-me-up – spring break here starts Friday (3 teenage boys).

  5. OMG! Just call me a Wool Pig. I refuse to admit to just how many of those I related to….

  6. Wool Pig: I think I qualify since I only missed one criteria. I just bought 65lbs of yarn because it was at a going out of business sale.
    Winter break just started here – 1 teenage boy “at home”. (The other is out of college) There’s an advantage to teenagers – mine is on a school trip for the first week. This means he is on a beach in Puerto Rico and I am home with his dirty laundry, but at least he’s not here bugging me for the car. LOL

  7. Oink. The only things that save me from full-on pigginess are (a) lack of space and (b) lack of money. I am frightened by how much, within those limitations, I match that profile.

  8. Well, I buy yarn just because I love it (no projects requiring it now or in the future) and I even buy yarn I don’t love. Just to have it. When the Ben Franklin went out of sale and their yarn was 99 cents a skein I filled up a shopping cart in a yarn-induced frenzy. I don’t have anything I want to do with it but apparantly I’m afraid there will be a yarn shortage like the gas shortage in the 70s. However, don’t think that when yarn armeggedon comes that I’m going to share it. It’s mine…all mine! (oink)

  9. hi there. love reading your blog – the “swatch” is quite marvelous. oh and what i really came to say ? Yup, I’m a Wool Pig. Most definitely.

  10. First, “free at last!” Congratulations for rebuffing the lure of homicide.
    Second, as I suspected, I am unqualified for Wool-Pig-Dom. sigh. I’m not worthy.

  11. (raises right hand) I, state your name, Nicole, do hereby acknowledge that I have lied about yarn possession. I am a bad, bad, bad person who is addicted to yarn. I am a wool pig. I admit it. (hangs head while trying not to giggle…)

  12. OMG! I am a Wool Pig!
    Just how many of those rubbermaid containers really makes you a Wool Pig?

  13. I am such a wool-pig! I not only buy yarn and fiber, I have 8 sheep and 2 llamas and the only way I will part with any of their fiber is to occasionally trade it for someone else’s fiber. I used to sell my wool, but then realized I was taking the money and buying wool from other people, so now I keep it. It’s mine, I tell you, MINE!!!

  14. Stephanie–You are all the time making me laugh.
    When we started the Afghanalong, I thought to myself: excellent. I can use up all this stuff that will otherwise sit in the stash lounge sipping coffee until the end of eternity. The only problem: an eight-inch square uses about two feet of yarn. I knit as fast as I can, and the stash looks exactly the same size. It’s hard to make a dent in it.
    It’s hard being a Wool Pig.
    Thanks for spreading the word. If you feel the urge to have a Canadian sew-up party in late summer, I’m guessing we’ll have plenty of squares available. We’re already expecting sew-up blowouts in London, France, NY and Nashville. We’d love to have you join us!

  15. Oink – I am guilty of 7 out of the 8, plus Debbie/St. Louis’ additional criteria! The afghanalong is not helping much. I want every square I make to be special, and leftover wool doesn’t feel so special because I have used it before. It is hard work being a woolpig. My stash could pay for a nice vacation – but I’d probably just sit and knit wherever I went – and cruise for wool shops!

  16. I have done many of the above things, so I guess that I can “oink” along with the rest of you.
    However, it’s not that I lie about how much I have in my yarn stash, but I don’t offer to show my hubby how much yarn I have in my stash either.
    wink, wink

  17. I don’t lie about my stash, I just keep it in a room we don’t use and never go in to, and hope Hubby doesn’t ask…
    *oink oink*

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