The Snowdrop, herself.

Yesterday was a very, very good day.
Good day thing the first.
The snowdrop arrived swiftly and safely, my friend having the decency to deliver her in daylight hours so that I only missed a few hours of sleep. It was with absolutely incredible joy that I wrapped all 8lbs 11oz of her in her shawl, and noted that my friend Teresa’s work was infinitely finer than mine. Her name on this earth will be Ella, but she is always going to be snowdrop to me.
Good day thing the second
When I came home from the birth my friend Ken was with the girls making dinner and bearing gifts. (Can we have an aside here? I’d like to take a moment to say that when a woman walks exhausted through the door and finds a man making dinner, caring for the children and offering an inexpensive present… that this creates in a woman so much gratitude and good will that this woman would be receptive to romance. I’m not saying that Ken was making a move…I’m just saying that if there was a straight guy out there looking to get lucky, cooking, caring for the kids and getting her a present has way better odds than lying on the couch watching hockey playoffs. This advice belongs right up there with “No man has ever been shot while washing the dishes”.)
The present? Only the best knitting needles in the world.
I have a love for coloured knitting needles that borders on obsession. You can’t get them in Toronto very often either. They pop up from time to time at a Walmart, but mostly you just have to wait and hope. Ken scored these on a trip to Kentucky, where apparently, they are plentiful.
Good day thing the third.
I was so hoping this was how it would turn out. Many thanks to Ken for tallying the votes and making the snazzy chart. Everybody got one vote, except Laurie, who Ken and I agreed made an excellent case for getting two votes, so she did. (That’s the way it is in Harlotville ladies and gentlemen. We make our own rules here.)
Dublin Bay it is, and I’m pretty darn happy about it. I admit to having dictatorial urges and planning to disregard y’all if it came down to something like entrelac, so I’m pretty glad it didn’t come to that.

How’s this look?

Yesterday afternoon, as I stepped from the bath, I stepped on my glasses. They are not ok. (For the record, despite any intimations that you may hear from my family, I was not reckless with my glasses. I’ve had the same pair for seven years…their number came up, that’s all. No, I don’t know why they were on the floor, but if you give me a few minutes to work it out I’m sure I can blame one of the children) I’ve crushed them. I will spare you the expletives, but you can be assured that any temper tantrum and associated foul language you are imagining is likely falling far short of the mark.
I am now blinded until I can figure out how to get a new pair, and fast. Without my glasses I need my face about 4 inches from the monitor to read and can’t tell the children apart until they say something. The girls tortured me last night by “helping” me find things. Example:
Me: Where is my darning needle? I can’t see it.
Any one of the girls: Right there…. (imagine annoying giggling here)
Me: Right where? Here?
Girl: On the table. (more giggling…)
Me: What table? This table? (finding table by knocking knee into it)
Girl: Yeah….right there. On the left. (giggling becomes laughing)
Me: This isn’t funny (Joe starts to laugh) Give me the needle!
Girl: Sorry Mom, it’s not on the left…move your hand to the right. (Annoying laughter becomes louder as I knock something that I can’t identify (probably the (*&^%$ needle) to the floor as I sweep my hand across the table.)
Me: This is stupid, I can’t see the needle, just pass me the damn thing!
Girl: Mom, calm down…Sorry about that, the needle is on the other table. Take two steps to your left……(Everyone in the room collapses in a fit of hysteria, I contemplate long term complex revenge strategies)
I’ve got to get a new pair today. This can’t go on. Luckily, it turns out that I don’t need to see to knit (although the grafting was done pretty close up)
Sam took the picture this morning. I have no idea if it’s ok. I guess it will be a little surprise for me when I get the new glasses. These are the Fleece Artist socks, my own plain sock pattern and my feet.
Your choices (with my comments…not that you should care) are:
Waving lace socks from Interweave knits. (scroll down) I like these a lot, but have concerns about the lace pattern being lost in a variegated yarn.
Broadripple socks from Knitty. What’s not to like?
Crusoe Socks, also from Knitty. (Nobody suggested those but me…I’ve always liked them though, so you can suck it up.
Ryan’s totally cool Dublin Bay socks. These are my personal favourites so far. Don’t let that influence your voting. Go admire them.
Blueberry waffle socks. These are the wrong gauge, but I can work it out. These don’t turn my crank so much. I worry about my already wide feet looking decidedly puffy. On the other hand, my feet are already wide, what do I have to lose?
Little Shell Socks. (Chris, I’m bailing on your Domino idea for two reasons. 1. I want to enjoy my life. 2. I don’t have a contrasting colour) I like these, but if I’m gonna do to the feather and fan thing then I think I’d rather go big or go home, like Broadripple.
There were other suggestions. Like the colourblock “Strongheel” socks from Knitters. I’m intrigued by them too but I’d rather chew my own arm off then try and figure out how to convert the freaky triangular construction to sock weight yarn. I have to say that I do respect Laurie for owning up to her motivation. She truly embodies the spirit of “You pick it, I knit it”. Krista Jo may have made a valiant effort as well, but the world will never know because my house has eaten the issues of IK that she is referring to. I’ll keep looking.
Okay. Peruse the choices. Think deeply. Remember that the fate of two skeins of Lorna’s Laces sock yarn rest in your hands. Then vote in the comments.
I’m going to go try and buy some new glasses so I can find out what you are all saying.

What are you trying to do?

After consultation with you guys, the mother of the child, and the child, embellishment has been accomplished. Snakes.
Slytherin snakes, to be precise. Harry Potter forever. (In case you can’t tell, it is also important for me to tell you that these are highly poisonous snakes. Very Dangerous. As you all should know by now, if you are a child the “coolness” factor of an item increases in direct proportion to the perceived hazard of said item. Eg, garter snakes = not cool. Highly poisonous, choking snakes with big fangs and an evil plan = very cool. )
As I was discussing the embellishment of the boring sweater, there were those among you (you know who you are). Who suggested things that are, ahem, Not Cool.
To take the most extreme suggestion “rabbits” (or “bunnies” as the bigger thug child in the schoolyard is going to call them as he stomps on this unfortunate child’s new sweater) are not cool. Even if the child that this sweater is for “really likes rabbits”, he is not going to like the consequences of wearing a bunny coat. What are you trying to do to the kid? Why not just pin a note to his back that says “Take me out back and rough me up”, or “Put my head in the toilet, Please” or “Lock me in my locker” or “Throw the volleyball at my face” or how about “Don’t worry, I didn’t ever want a girlfriend anyway”. There is no way that this boy survives a game of Dodge Ball, or gets the cookies from his lunch or escapes a nickname like “bunny boy”. I’m having no part of that.
Today, I’m going to finish the purple socks (yeah, good one eh? I’m laughing too.) and start thinking about what to do with my really good Lornas laces sock yarn.
Remember this? Well I’m sick to death of my standard plain sock pattern, and I want one that makes the most of the yarn, so we’re going to try a little something here. Reader directed sock knitting. You guys suggest the patterns, I’ll vet them and put the choices up, y’all vote….you pick it, I knit it. Go nuts.


The Boring Cardie is done.
You will note that I have given up adding cats, flowers or handcrafted fleece eggs in an attempt to make the boring cardie anything more than what it is. As I looked at it now, I realized what purpose the cardie is here to fulfill. It is The Zen of a sweater. It exists as a sweater in it’s pure form, with no distracting colour, style or varied stitch pattern. Just miles and miles of pure, unadulterated, mind-numbing, stocking stitch. The Boring cardie is an expression of the essence of a sweater, without the distracting design elements that stand between the knitter and the perfection of its simple sweaterness.
I gave in to the cardie and it’s lesson for me, and became one with the sweater. I was given the opportunity to reflect on my act of knitting and enter a simple meditative state where I was capable of deep inner realization and reflection. In this trancelike state, one can reach deep introspective places, and ask complex questions of your inner self, and find answers that lead you to greater harmony with your spirit and an opportunity to become more fully centred as a human being.
To meet these lofty goals and yield gentle understanding I asked myself questions like this.
What am I, a masochist? What the *&^%$$#! was I thinking when I designed this thing? What’s wrong with stripes? Who doesn’t like stripes? Who does this to themselves? How long do people read your blog if you knit navy boring cardies? What kind of a knitter am I? Will this sweater ever *&^%$$!!!! end? Will I die before it ends? Will I be glad if I do? Will someone stop me if I ever try to knit another one? Are these arms long enough? Could they be?
As I embraced this opportunity to examine my own sensory and perceptual experiences while knitting the boring cardigan, I reached a level of true knitting and was rewarded with a virtually flawless sweater. (To tell you the truth, if it wasn’t just about flawless I’d want to choke myself with dirty alpaca roving, but I’m sure it’s all contributed to my personal growth) For those of you who care about these things (like Ken…who has what can only be called an unnatural interest in seams, picking up stitches and the reverse sides of knitting) I give you a detail shot.
This sweater is intended for an eight year old boy. Tomorrow, we embellish in a manner that would be agreeable to an eight year old boy. As the mother of three daughters I’m at a loss. Ideas? (Say “navy” and I find out where you live. Seriously…no more navy)
(And I’m still waiting on the snowdrop baby. While I am a gentle and loving woman who has a great deal of faith in nature’s own timing, I’m about 3 days away from shaking the mother until the baby falls out. Sheesh)

Happy Fleeceter

See my pretty felted fleece egg? (Thank you Deni, for making it for me) See that it is resting on a finished front with a built in button band? Ha! Despite Aubergines reservations and the fact that I just broke with tradition, threw caution to the wind and boldly knit an attached button band…without even burning a skein of mohair at midnight under the full moon…everything is ok.
No locusts, no plague, no rain of fire or hailstones. In fact, it is a bright and lovely spring day. I’m taking that as a sign. The band is even, lovely and does not flare or pucker. I really think I’m on to something here. This could be goodbye to button bands forever.
I’ve put pins where I want button holes on the other side, and as long as I can work out a button hole I like, today should be the end of the boring cardie. Anybody know a buttonhole that looks particularly good in twisted rib? I hate button holes in rib. They always look wonky.
You know, for just hauling off and trying something like that without so much as a swatch (hear that? No Swatch. Sends a shiver down the spine of cautious knitters everywhere) that went pretty well. I’ve done some big frogging in my time, but the Boring Cardie holds a record for the sweater with the most risks taken with fewest consequences. As a general rule I expect to be punished by the Knitting Forces for my lack of respect and cavalier attitude. My list of offences for this particular project include:
-Not swatching.
-Not using a pattern, and not rewriting the notes I made after the cat…er, decorated them, but instead relying on my own memory to replicate the raglan shaping on each piece.
-Not knowing what yarn I have, what the fibre content is or how much of it there is. (I’m going to have more than enough, by the way. Turns out that I’m a neurotic mess. Who knew?)
-Giving the sweater a name I’m sure it finds objectionable.
-Mocking button bands openly, and within hearing of the yarn.
-Saying “this should be quick” out loud.
and yet…nothing. (Hold on, I’m just going to run into the other room to see if my knitting has burst into flames) This time, I’m either going to get away with it, without needing to so much as tink back one row, or I’m going to put my eye out with a darning needle during the making up.

Easing in.

It’s Good Friday, and although I am a Godless heathen, there are still things tradition says I do today. The girls are home, so they are thrilled with the big plan. Yes darlings…Good Friday is for cleaning. Big Time. Window washing kind of cleaning. “What is that in your closet?” kind of cleaning. Taking things to goodwill, recycling, putting the snow pants in the basement kind of cleaning. Good friday/spring cleaning is an enormous purge. I never know if I’m looking forward to it or not. I mean, I hate cleaning (really Steph? Really?) but I love cleanliness and order. Despite the 43 thousand kilos of crap in my house…I have a minimalist soul. (Note: yarn is not crap, we are discussing others stuff. Mostly stuff that is not mine. Joe’s collection of “High Times” magazines from the late seventies are a particular bone of contention)
The boring cardie has a back, two sleeves and a half a front.
Last night, as I was merrily working on the second sleeve, enjoying the meditative thrill of navy yarn in stockinette stitch, I was abruptly jerked from my happy place by the realization that there was only one more ball of yarn after the one I was using. It was enough to stop me mid-stitch. I don’t even know what yarn this is…that’s a considerable barrier to getting more. I spread out the back, the first sleeve, lay the second sleeve beside it…I’m thinking hard and looking nervous. Joe is a naturally supportive and lovely man, despite being largely fibre ignorant, so he asks what the trouble is. “I think I’m going to run out of yarn” I say, looking concerned. “You always think you are going to run out” Joe observes. “True” I say, (I can acknowledge that I have some neurotic yarn supply concerns from time to time…I’m a big person) “This time,” I ponder, “I really can’t get more of this navy yarn”. Joe looks at me, deadly serious and says…
“Use a different navy yarn…what’s the difference”.
I’m so misunderstood as an artist.
This is a raglan, so the fronts shouldn’t take as much as the sleeves, but that’s sort or shallow comfort. I decide that since I’ve knit the first sleeve, I’ve got some idea of what a sleeve takes. What I need to know is how much a front takes. I put the second sleeve on a stitch holder and cast on for the left front. This cements the button band plan. there’s no way that I’m knitting a whole sweater and then running out during a button band. No freakin’ way. Not this knitter. Get yourself another dummy. I will knit the button bands as I go. I’ll knit the front, then if it looks like I’m going to get another front out of the yarn then I’ll go back and finish the sleeve. The finish the fronts. (Yes…I have a knack for the complex plan.) If the front looks like it will take more than I have then I’ll simply….well, the plan isn’t perfect.
I’m showing you the wrong side of the front, so that you may fully appreciate the glory of the button band. I decided to take some suggestions (who knew? I can be taught).
I’m knitting the band very firmly. I’m making the stitches as tight as possible on the needle, giving the yarn a good pull with each band stitch with the fond hope that this will make them a little smaller than the front stitches, thusly reducing the tendency to flare. I’m also doing the band in twisted rib to firm it up a little and assuage concerns about durability. I have no way to deal with Aubergine’s “bad feelings” about stepping out of the button band box, nor any way to make him more comfortable with behaviour that may be “risky”. I suppose that I could work out some kind of wool sacrifice to whatever deity is in charge of this sort of thing, suggestions? Naturally, since Aubergine is the one who is uncomfortable with the risk…we will be using his stash, so go wild.

No sudden moves, no loud noises.

This day is giving me a twitch over my right eye. Yesterday was such a good day. I have the back and first sleeve of the boring cardie done, and the second sleeve is underway. I have a plan for the button bands which I will reveal in the fullness of time. I even have crocuses in the garden.
Kathy, j’ai changé en des fleurs juste pour vous. Aucuns chatons aujourd’hui.
Then today began…and it’s been, well. Like this.
2:47am. I am still waiting for the snowdrop baby to arrive. The mother of the snowdrop lives about an hour from here, so I’ve got some concerns about getting there quickly. When my pager goes off at 2:47 I ricochet out of bed, smash my head on the dresser and try to read my pager as I jam my legs into my jeans. I can’t read it in the dark, so I don’t read it. Only the snowdrop is due, and only my clients use my pager. I don’t want to wake Joe, so I ram the pager into my pocket, pull a sweatshirt over my head and leave the bedroom with mismatched socks. I brush my teeth while mentally running through my checklist. Someone to watch the kids, food in the fridge, other commitments to cancel. I run down the stairs to the phone. I note the time. I am a star.
2:51 I can’t find the phone. I find my knitting and client file while I am looking, and after several moments of deepening panic (during which it doesn’t occur to me to use the other phone) I locate the cordless phone in the basement on top of the dryer. It’s battery is dead. (It is worth noting that this is no-ones fault but mine. The fact that it is on the dryer means that it was me…nobody else in this house even knows where the dryer is.)
2:55 I run to the other phone, putting my bag by the door as I go and stringing together expletives. I reach into my pocket, pull out my pager and….
It is a 1-800 number. It is pager spam. I am up at 2:55 in the morning for pager spam.
3:00 Back in bed, delirious and exhausted but too enraged to sleep. I lie there for quite some time imagining revenge fantasies.
5:30 Megan’s alarm clock goes off. I stagger into her room to shut it off when she doesn’t. Megan offers no explanation, but does ask me why I am sleeping topless in a pair of jeans. I have no answer. On the way out of the room I step in an art project that Sam left on the floor. I hop to the bathroom to wash the wet paint off my foot.
5:40 Sam’s alarm goes off. Megan shuts it off. I try to sleep, but am jolted awake by the thought that the children clearly had some kind of activity planned between 5:30 and 5:40 that was important enough to have a double alarm system.
6:15 The cat wakes me up by licking my nose. I lock the cat out of the bedroom. Nose licking will not be tolerated.
6:27 I let the cat in. It turns out that I would rather have nose licking than incessant cat whining. I am feeling increasingly unloved.
7:30 My alarm goes off. I get up (and hit my head on the dresser again…I swear in the name of all things woolly that Joe is moving it while I’m out). I rouse the children and make coffee and lunches. I notice that someone has left the milk out overnight, so I start oatmeal.
7:34 The bread has been gnawed by a mouse. Likely while the cat was licking my nose. I resist the urge to use the bread anyway, and make pita pizzas for the girls. I am thinking about leaving. I don’t know where I would go, but I’m thinking about leaving.
7:45 Note to the Toronto Public School Board: I am as big a hockey fan as anybody. It turns my little Canadian crank that our womens hockey team kicked American arse. If, however you decide to have a “Red and White Day” to celebrate, I would like you to send some kind of note home so that I get more than 20 minutes to clothe an enthusiastic 10 year old girl who will not accept compromises (like cream and burgundy) in red and white clothing.
8:01 Locate Sam’s red pants in Megans drawer. Spend 5 minutes breaking up the fight that ensues. Deal with Megan’s emotional reaction to Sam’s accusation of pant theft. Deal with Sam’s emotional reaction to Megans denial.
8:11 After defusing the situation decide not to tell the children that it was probably me committing laundry error. Feel briefly guilty for that, but am distracted by the smoke alarm.
8:12 Remove immolated pita pizzas from oven. Curse loudly. Curse violently when I notice that there are pita pizzas on the counter that I made last night. Weep a little.
8:17 Amanda leaves. Note that she forgot lunch, chase her down the street. Return home, note that she forgot her sheet music for orchestra, chase her down the street further.
8:23 Amanda is back. She tells me that it is “Striped Sock Day” at her school. I resist the urge to choke her with a pair of striped socks, and instead hand them to her without comment. Decide that it is cruel to have high schools declare a different spirit day than elementary schools. Make mental note to send viciously worded email to Member of parliament later in the day addressing this very issue.
8:25 In a pre-emptive strike, ask Megan (who goes to middle school) if there is any sort of “Day” that I should know about. Smile to self when Megan replies “Screw it”.
8:30 Walk Sam to school. Successfully avoid PTA type who looks like she needs a volunteer…(I actually like this lady, but I’m anti-social before coffee) but accidentally walk into a tree branch while fleeing.
8:40 Return home. Get coffee. Sit to knit, relieved that the worst is over. Reach for my pattern and discover that the cat has exacted her revenge by depositing a hairball on my pattern notes. They are illegible, which is fine, because there is absolutely no way that I am even entertaining a suggestion of how to recover the notes.
I’m spending the rest of the day on the couch. Send chocolate.

Button Bands

Are you as excited as I am about today’s topic. You know you are. (Stop that complaining, don’t we always have a good time? It’s not as bad as you think)
Your local yarn harlot is knitting a cardigan. We have another boring picture of the boring raglan cardigan in boring navy blue. This sweater is so boring that I have included my cat for interest. (Yes I know I’ve mouthed off about the cat pictures before, but that was before I discovered that I was knitting something that had absolutely no blog-merit. I’m hard up for a way to hold your interest) It would be better if the cat would do something besides look bored, but you can’t say I didn’t try. (She can’t even be bothered to look at the sweater. I’m alone in my efforts, I swear it)
This is an ordinary run of the mill cardigan. Stockinette stich, 1×1 ribbing, no cables, no stripes, no reason to live, very little to motivate the knitter. (The urge to knit a single row of yellow into it is nearly overwhelming.) Since clearly, I have very little to think about while knitting this cardie, I have decided to attack the simple button band.
Let’s establish my bias. I hate button bands. I hate them with a purity and faithfulness that I have not felt since a girl named Cindy and her two pigtailed thugs chased me home from the 4th grade almost every day for a month. I hate the ones where you pick up stitches and knit the bands out. They always look like I’m investigating freeform knitting until I’ve frogged it twelve times. I even committed the rule to memory. Two stitches for every three rows. I’m not reckless, I knit it very carefully, and yet….each and every stinking time there is a band that is flared, concave or convex.
To avoid this test of skill, I have accepted that the vertical button band is my alternative. Sadly, there is nothing to love about the vertical band either. Simple instructions though: Cast on 6 (or 7, or 10 stitches, just enough to inspire you to learn to knit backwards to avoid turning for the 467th time at the end of the annoyingly short row) and knit until the band, “slightly stretched” is the right length. “Slightly stretched” is a particularly maddening instruction isn’t it? Isn’t that sort of subjective? What if you’re kinda high strung? Relaxed? Drunk? It is this writers personal suspicion that the reason that they give this vague instruction is because the exact appropriate length of a button band is a complete mystery to them as well. After much experimentation I have determined my own personal system for determining band length. I knit until I feel like I’m going to scream. Then have a coffee and knit until I feel burning, bitter resentment. Then I measure, have a little cry and knit until I feel the apathy of the doomed. This is usually the right length.
So here’s the thought. Why knit button bands? Really, especially vertical ones, why wouldn’t you just include the stitches for the band when you knit the fronts? Really…why not? What is there to stop me from adding the 7 stitches for the band to the stitches for the front and keep them in rib while I knit it up? I’ll do the front where the buttons go first (Aside: Am I completely alone in absolutely, completely not caring in the very least about the left side, right side, boy/girl button thing? Has there ever been anything that mattered less?) Then I’ll mark the rows that should have buttonholes, and knit them as I go on the other side. Bob’s yer uncle. In my head, this plan marks the sweet release from vertical button bands forever. I feel an odd lightness….oh wait….IT’S JOY!!!
If anyone has a compelling reason why I should not proceed with this plan, speak now or forever hold your peace. (I’ve always wanted to say that).
Kathy asked yesterday for a refresher on where to get the shawls. I like Kathy, so:
Get your shawl kits here or from the designer (and my charming lys owner) Margret Haas at the Yarn Boutique, 416-760-9129.
When I bought the green yesterday she was already sold out of the blue. I wonder who got the last one? Could we have a moment of silence for Blue Mexican Wave yarn? It shall not pass this way again.

There’s got to be a better way.

This morning I was agonizing. I kept thinking “I really need to go to the yarn store, but if I go to the yarn store, then the blog will be late. Should I stay here and blog, or should I go to the yarn shop?” Halfway through my second cup of coffee the caffeine hit a high enough level in my bloodstream and I realized what the hell I was saying and put on my coat. (“Should I go to the yarn store”……who did I think I was for a minute there?)
I got a little sock yarn,
and another shawl kit in green. (Don’t start with me. The yarn is discontinued. That means there will be no more. Ever. In the world. Do you understand me? I need to make sure I have enough. No, I don’t know how much “enough” is, but apparently I’m not there yet.)
New business.
I’ve started a new cardigan.
This one’s a kids size, and I’m rather ashamed to tell you that I can’t name the yarn. For reasons known only to my former self (or whoever keeps breaking into my house and messing with the stash) this yarn was carefully stored in large ziplocks in my “primary stash zone” with the ball bands removed (No….let me just answer here, I don’t know why I would remove the ball bands. Your guess is as good as mine), but I did carefully write cotton/acrylic on the bag. There are several possible explanations for this.
– the yarn is cotton. Some other yarn in the bag was acrylic
-the yarn is acrylic. Some other yarn in the bag was cotton.
-the yarn is a cotton/acrylic blend (frankly, this is the one I’m leaning toward. The yarn just feels like a cotton/acrylic blend. Of course, I don’t remember buying a yarn that was a cotton/acrylic blend, but that doesn’t mean much. I think I have a yarn buying trance state that I enter in situations with extreme yarn conditions. I don’t remember buying half of the stash. I don’t let it bother me.)
– the yarn is neither cotton, acrylic or a blend, but is instead some yarn of a completely unrelated fibre content that got jammed into a leftover ziplock that I didn’t notice had writing on it while I was trying to be a better person who keeps an orderly stash. Naturally, since I am me, all attempts to organize my life or have a labelled stash and things in an orderly fashion are doomed to result in chaos, confusion and the absolute opposite effect that I was aiming for. In fact, instead of being a knitter who has this stash of power that makes total sense and is accessible and inspiring it would turn out that I am actually a knitter who inexplicably removes the ball bands from yarn and jams them into an enormous stash of other yarn that is remarkably similar, none of which I remember buying.
I have to admit that this last one is pretty likely too. It’s nice yarn though. Tomorrow, we discuss “button bands – vital and underestimated or a stupid idea that Stephanie should adapt out of the cardigan pattern.” Extra points if you can guess which way I’m leaning.


I’m always sort of surprised by what I can learn about myself through knitting. For example, I have just had it reinforced that I don’t take direction well. I don’t like being told what to do, and if coerced (even by myself) into doing something un-Stephanie-like, there will be consequences. During the knitting of the Snowdrop Shawl I was very un-Stephanie-like. You will note that during this time, I was remarkably monogamous with the shawl. I stuck with one project, I swatched, I kept notes…I used graph paper, and most remarkably…I finished the shawl. Most un-harloty.
Today, there are consequences.
This is what I’m working on now. Yesterday I just kept dragging out project after project and couldn’t control myself in the slightest. I started 2 new things, plus a square for the Mason-Dixon afghan-along plus hauled out the purple socks that need finishing, plus decided to risk The Claw and get back on the horse that threw me by pulling out Ken’s socks. Then I got the new Vogue Knitting and I wanted to make everything.
I take that back. I don’t want to make the bikini. Let’s not discuss why. The sun is shining, I’m close to being done the laundry, there’s every possibility that I’m going to get a nice job today and I’m just not going to wreck it by even starting with the multitude of reasons why me in a crocheted bikini is not a good idea. I think the model wearing it is the one woman in the world who could pull it off, and I dare her to get it wet. (Hell…it’s a slow day, I double dog dare her)
is the object of my most intense lust. I labour under the delusion that I would look so slender and chic in it, and we all know how I feel about cardigans, and while the sample is knit in a powder blue, mine would be periwinkle (4179, they call it grape. Who names yarn? I could do a way better job). I was showing this to my mother, who has spent 35 years trying to teach me the rules of fashion. Things like “short women should wear all one colour to emphasize a long line”, or “women with small busts should draw attention to their faces” and “The taller you are, the longer you can set your hems”. Or the rule that apparently applies here…”If you are not very tall, you shouldn’t wear sweaters that come past your hips”.
I explained that even though I am not as tall as the woman in the photo, (I’m going to take a moment to give Ken a pre-emptive “shut up” here…since he is going to be compelled to make some kind of smart-ass remark about my height) I do think that sweater would look good on me, and that frankly, I don’t buy these rules and that I believe that she is making them up to stand between me and everything I have ever wanted to wear. My mother looked me in the eye and said “Darling…I have always wondered what you think you look like”.
Food for thought.