I admit it.

I’m going to admit something publicly, own up to the fact that it isn’t an intellectual pursuit of which I should be proud, you may all mock and belittle me for one day and then we will move on.
I watch Survivor. That’s right, I do. I understand that it is humans at their worst, and that I encourage the morally repugnant practice of scratching and clawing at your fellow man for money by watching it…but I can’t help it. I love it, can’t get enough. I know that this must run contrary to everything you all know about your tree-hugging, vegetarian, leftist, book reading Harlot….but there you have it. I love it, I read webpages analysing every inane minute the next day, have long conversations with my friend Lene (That’s right chickie….I just outed ya) about each and every dumbass move the contestants are making and speak confidently about how I would have been a fire making expert before I got there. (Wouldn’t you? Seriously, 18 people thrown on an island with no fire. Every single time. If you knew you were going to be on Survivor, wouldn’t you have spent as many obsessive hours in the backyard as it took to be able to make fire pretty reliably? Cave men did it 40 thousand years ago for crying out loud, surely one stinking modern contestant could manage.) Never mind, the point is that I get a little sincere about Survivor. I set myself down in front of the TV, and have a profound period of focus for an hour, during which time I can scarcely drag my eyes from the screen and therefore can’t work on the Latvian mittens during this time. I worked on the Rainbow Peerie socks, and finished the first of the Fleece Artist mittens (but I used my own pattern).
You may all scoff openly now, but I bet that you do it too. Don’t tell me that you’ve never shunned a sub-titled film at the video store because you were working on fair isle. Picked an intellectual movie with lots of talking because you knew that you didn’t need to look up from a Latvian braid, how about choosing to knit plain socks so that you could watch all the action in a James Bond flick? You know you do it.
When Survivor was over, I returned my attention to the Latvian mittens. (Fine, I’ll admit that I may have watched The Apprentice too…I’m so disturbed to be intrigued by Donald Trump, let’s not discuss it.)
You will note that the second set of braids run in a direction opposite to the first set. This is a triumph of an intensely personal nature. I am now poised to begin the thumb, which frankly scares the begeebers out of me. Seriously, I’m afraid that I’m going to wreck the whole work of art with a crappy thumb. All those braids, the perfectly even fair isle….I can’t seem to bring myself to stick a thumb in it.
The second round of braids went much, much faster due in large part to this comment from Conk yesterday:
So you probably don’t want to hear that one of the very first things I did with 2 colors of yarn was a pair of socks with 6 braids each, huh? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Once you accept the twisty yarn will go away in the next row, braids are great.
Excuse me? The twisty yarn goes away? (I think that we can probably agree as a group that we are going to ignore the first part of that comment, right?) When you knit braids each stitch puts a twist into the yarn. It’s crazy making. I would knit ten stitches, then hold up the knitting and let it dangle to get the twist out, then knit ten more stitches and repeat. What Conk is talking about is the fact that knitting the first round of the braid you twist the yarn up one way, then when you knit the second round, the yarn gets twisted the other. A little patience and the whole thing sorts itself out. It’s complete common sense and I totally missed it. (I also missed that the book explained that in the instructions. Note to self: Read instructions. Especially read instructions before complaining online and looking like an arse.)
Kristi said:
Very very strange. I can knit these braided edgings MUCH faster than K2P2 ribbing, they just fly by. Hmm. Do you hold one color in each hand? And they really do look great, I’d do them even if they took an extraordinary long time.
After thinking about this comment for a really long time, I’ve decided that she’s messing with me. Right?
(Hey, Kristi? If this isn’t a cruel joke….(which is fine…I can respect a really decent cruel joke) could you email me right away with more information? In which way could I use two hands? How would I twist the yarns if they were in two hands? Fly? Seriously? Also, I would like just a quick opportunity to worship and grovel at your feet if that’s ok. Like I said though, if this is just messing with me that’s ok too. Just never mind.)

52 thoughts on “I admit it.

  1. Lene is going to get you for that outing Harlot, you know this already…
    And why shouldn’t you be intrigued by the Donald? I finally outed myself about The Apprentice and thankfully, it helps ease the pain of DW from Hell knitting. Most persons were surprised by my taste for this vacuous network show. I’m usually intrigued by PBS programs, West Wing (when it was good) and Frasier (when it was on). I think it’s the traffic accident pull to the show that gets me. “Can they possibly BE more stupid than they were last week? By how much? Let’s watch!”
    It beats watching ants mate. Don’t ask.

  2. Don’t worry YH, you are not alone. All those people who claim they would NEVER watch Survivor are a) secretly watching it or b) snobs or c) both. They can be so high and mighty about their non-Survivor-watching status. I’m with you on Apprentice too… it’s just too hard NOT to watch. Don’t you think Carolyn was just a kick-ass you-know-what last night?!! Man, she was harsh. If you ever want to chat about reality shows… I’m here for you! 🙂

  3. I have a confession…I swear I’m NOT a snob, but I have never ever ever even seen an episode of Survivor…in all the time it’s been on…I couldn’t even tell you what night it’s on. My husband and I did, however, watch the Apprentice (first time ever) last night, but only because we were too lazy to turn the channel after Joey. I felt bad for Patrick because during the boardroom portion, he actually looked waaaaayyyy more uncomfortable than the contestants. Now he’s angry, because he says he never wanted to watch that show in the first place, he HATES Trump, and now he HAS to watch it. He’s so disgusted right now. As for me, I couldn’t look away…..that carwreck analogy is dead-on…in fact, I couldn’t even pick up the easy knitting.
    As for the mittens, they look great! You have inspired me. I’m going to give mittens a shot. I can just hear the Christmas morning family groans already…..

  4. I was going to say I think I respect you a tiny bit less for watching Survivor… I am, after all, morally opposed to reality television. If I wanted to watch people treat each other with such back-stabbing, low-lifed, petty evilness, I’d go to the grocery on double coupon day.
    But Will & Grace (which really? not so good since they started having celeb guest stars instead of actually thinking of plots) was a funky length, so I got stuck watching Apprentice, and holy cow that dude SO did not deserve to get fired!!! What a pompous, rediculous, petty… yeah, that’s just what I said I didn’t want to see…
    oh well.

  5. Harlot-
    When I fair isle, I don’t twist at all. I hold one color in my right hand (knitting american style) – usually the color which I want to pop a little more – and the other color in my left hand (knitting continental). I have some difficulty achieving the same gauge (mostly because my american style knitting is tighter). This of course, is more difficult if you do that weird finger thing you do, but there are some good pictures here. http://www.sheeweknits.com/fair_isle_101%20a.htm

  6. Stephanie – I only ever intended to lurk on your site, but instead, I find myself posting way too many comments. It’s not my fault if you (YH and your Comment-ers) keep discussing things I am interested in.
    My DH watches Survivor and loves every minute. I can’t get past the reality that – along with the participants, there are masses of camerapersons, script persons, makeup persons, and an entire fam- damily of other technical people. Doesn’t the notion that there are far more people creating the show than the Survivors themselves?
    My DH says it’s not important, and that I should return to my incessant Inspector Morse reruns on my own TV.

  7. Well, I do not watch Surviror, never have (but won’t say I never will). Truth is, I am too busy watching The Surreal World-and I am not ashamed to admit I am completely enthralled with it when I am watching-my knitting just sits in a pile in my lap, even during commercials, because I am too busy rehashing what I just saw with my equally enthralled husband. However, Donald’s hair is like watching a traffic wreck itself, so I can completely understand the viewing of the Apprentice. Wonderful mittens (both pairs) by the way. And glad you figured the braid thing out-who needs thumbs with detail that great?

  8. The mistake I made last night was to start Veronik Avery’s Threepenny Pullover right before Survivor. Needless to say, I didn’t *see* all of the show, or the Apprentice for that matter, but I did hear both in their entirety. Not a good project choice for TV viewing, that’s for sure. Just curious, are you an Amazing Race fan as well?

  9. Next you’ll be telling us that you have joined a Survivor pool…
    I really hate Survivor I only watched a couple of episodes in the first season and have shunned it ever since. I think it was because I was so incredibly disappointed by the format of the show. I genuinely thought that it was going to be more reality and less game show and that those folks would be trying to team together to survive in the wild. Yea, I can be naive like that.
    My absolute favorite is Eco-Challenge which is on hiatus this year (sob).

  10. Yup, survivor-aholic here. Last season was the first I watched (before that I shunned it), but I ended up with little survivor alliance maps scribbled on the edges of my knitting patterns as I tried to predict who was getting voted out next. Yes, a bit OCD, I admit it!

  11. Well, I can’t knit fair isle or braids or anything but horizontal stripes, but i’m really enjoying the running commentary.
    but about the survivor thing… i once, long ago, had direct TV and tivo. it got really bad. so bad that i /gave away/ my satellite and tivo and now only watch dvds. i’ve been reality-tv-free for 2 years, 8 months, and 15 days.
    …well except for when i go on vacation and stay in a hotel – but those are travelling rules and they don’t count. really.

  12. With you on Eco-Challenge, Allyson! The best, ever. Can’t believe the levels of insanity it takes to do that. Gripping. Just gripping.
    And for you Survivor-scoffers? Read Shakespeare, then watch Survivor. Not much difference.
    (sittin’ back to watch the fur fly ;))

  13. I do it all the time. I will even admit to having watched the French version of Survivor! (that is what happens when you are in France I guess) And I am pretending to be an academic…
    oh and I have at least one mindless project in the line cause I like to knit to the TV! No way I could do those GORGEOUS Latvian mittens AND watch TV.

  14. I have also never seen Survivor and don’t plan too. I’m not above it, just not interested. Same for The Apprentice. However, I must have a pair of those mittens! I usually shy away from colorwork, but those are astounding. I’ll have to look for the book.

  15. I’m a “Nielsen family” here in the US. That is to say, the only TV ratings company in the entire country (at least I think it’s the only one) has randomly selected me and Matt to represent typical Americans. They monitor everything we watch, what show (or if we have the VCR, DVD player, or computer game system on), for how long, correlate that back to our age, income, education, geographic location, etc., and apparently, the two of us represent some 250,000 people. It’s a weighty responsibility, let me tell you. Too bad I never watch TV.

  16. See, I’ve got a TV but it’s only hooked up to the DVD player and VCR and why? Because I am constitutionally incapable of limiting my TV watching if I’ve got it. I end up staying up until 4 a.m., mindlessly watching whatever total cr*p happens to be on, and flipping helplessly (and constantly) between channels trying to find anything interesting. So no TV for me unless I’m travelling. I think I’ve seen a whopping end of one episode of Survivor and that’s just not enough to get hooked or not…

  17. mmm , picking projects to suit your tv viewing – now there’s a woman who watches way too much tv … either that or you haven’t discovered the fun of driving your husband insane by looking up from your fairisle / cabling / whatever every 5 minutes or so to say ” ..no wait, why’s she with him now ? what happened to the fat guy ? I thought he died ?? …” before subsiding back into woolly obsession.
    Survivor ? – I’m suprised I’ve made it so far to be honest !

  18. I love your braids. I really really need to try this now – I mean right now, this instant. I’m going to go down and go through all the books and magazines to see if I can come up with something before the latvian book arrives (Yes, I ordered it). what yarn are you using??? The colors are so nice.

  19. Whoop!
    That was my reaction to learning that you watch Survivor too. And then you went on to say that you watch Mr. Bad Hair himself, too — ee hee hee! *cackling with glee*
    And then the comments here…
    *insert appropriate drink-spewing comment here*
    Anyway, glad we’re part of the same debauched crowd — now you have to start watching The Amazing Race and check out Television Without Pity, if you haven’t already.
    D. and I are addicts — it’s when we get our sock knitting done. 🙂
    (Though sometimes the gauge suffers during particularly tense episodes.)

  20. I can’t say I ahve ever watched Survivor. I don’t have cable, only those rabbit ears.. but I do get the Apprentice and well.. I’m hooked simply to watch his hair!! I’d rather watch PBS or a really good Law and Order, but soemtimes you ahve to see if the hair moves or not.
    But about those mittens. I’ll tell you something that struck me like a thunderbolt this morning. I feel safer when I knit something (esp. if I think I am going to mess up something I’ve already made that is so far perfect in every way) if I use the safety line. I take more risks. I make more daring twiddlings to a pattern. I broaden myself as a knitter. If I get to a point where I think something might need to be ripped out, I stick a safety line before I begin that row. Ever since I started doing that I feel more free to not screw up my own work. Sounds silly, but it makes me happier.
    Good luck, they are wonderful mittens.

  21. Never much got into the reality stuff until The Amazing Race. Stereotypical Americans in foreign countries saying stuff like “My ox is broken.” How can you not love it? Am I the ony one watching CSI reruns on SpikeTV? Gross but riviting. Very bitter that I am working evenings next week when all the shows have their season premiers.
    Loving (but not tempted) by your mittens Harlot. The braiding is beautiful and something I might have the courage to try in the future.

  22. Add me to the list! That was my night too – I watched Survivor and Apprentice and get this – I taped both of them because I was not home to watch them – so I was up into the wee hours to make sure I did not miss a minute! There are some definate “characters” on this season!

  23. OK, we might as well make this a whole 12-step meeting. {sucks in deep breath} I don’t own a TV (for reasons similar Melanie’s). I have never seen Survivor. I have, however, by some force that is surely the lure of Lucifer, gotten myself into NEEDING to read the online recaps of Amish in the City each week. This, of course, started as an intellectual investigation to determine if it was really as horrifically exploitative as I thought it would be upon first reading about it in the papers. The leftist in me was all riled up and ready to write letters. Alas, she’s gone far away while the other half of me indulges in guilty pleasure of the soap-operatic kind.
    Perhaps giving into the magnetism of mittens will save me?

  24. Ok, one of my employees is in his mid-50s, and he has a house up in Virginia next to Big Tom’s. Big Tom lives next to his sister as well. Last time he went there he got Big Tom to sign a personally autographed picture to me (it says Big Tom, and the i is dotted with a STAR on his hat and then he wrote Rebecca across his chest). I hung it up on my wall next to my timesheet and a picture of my late dog, Benny, and some HR info, some other things required by Federal government law.
    For MONTHS I’ve had people asking me if he’s my husband. (Uh, no.) Then today someone comes in, starts GUSHING over the fact that I have Big Tom’s autograph signed to ME (and this is a man who was gushing), and went on and on that he came to Atlanta but refused to sign any autographs to anyone.
    My employee says he’s filming a commercial for an Indian tractor company, too. The Indian company sent him two of their tractors and are coming out to his farm to film him driving it. Apparently they are huge fans of Big Tom’s in India. Being that the goat is sacred and all.
    So you’re in good company.

  25. Rebecca – I don’t watch Survivor, just never got into it, but I know of Big Tom due to his using the celebrity-ness of his appearance to promote reading literacy. That is so utterly f-ing cool for him to do.

  26. Harlot, I have been reading your comments for the last 2 to 3 weeks, since you went on vacation, and I am hooked. I check daily for any new entries that you or your readers have made. I am a die hard X-files person myself-got hooked while working a nite job. I do have a question, if someone would please help me to learn how to Kl, Sl1, PSSO correctly. I would greatly appreciate it. Love all of your projects, am getting back into hand crafts myself.

  27. HI, may name is Jodi and I am a tvaholic. Like Melanie and Kristen, I am fascinated, albeit sickly, by any crap on the tv. I haven’t had one in the house in about ten years, not since I realized that I was coming home from school every day and knitting lots and lots of striped socks while watching: Ghostwriter, Oprah, Where in the world is Carmen Sandiago, Geraldo, FULL HOUSE even! It was sick, I tell you.
    So I have never seen Survivor or any other reality show, but I did see a commercial for the Swan and that was enough reality tv for me for a very long time.
    I also work my two colour knitting with two hands; it was one of the first techniques I figured out for myself as a young novice knitter. Back then I made a lot of fair isle stuff, until I realized that I didn’t really like to wear it much and preferred interesting shaping and texture in solid colours. I wasn’t at all tempted to go back, either, until I saw your mitten after the second set of braids. How cool! Which book did the pattern come from?

  28. I think some books should just come pre-highlighted, you know? Or you get Sharon, the most amazing knitter I know, to show you how to do those tricky knitty bits (yep, I’m confessing [but not to watching Survivor…if you had mentioned American Chopper, well, that would be a different story]–Sharon told me all the braid secrets before I tried them, and when I was in the middle of the twisty bit, and I wanted desperately to untwist, and she told me not to, and I actually listened to her, well, all I can say is always listen to Sharon).

  29. oh mi god do you have the power.
    I turned on the TV tonight and the first season of the apprentice was on. Yes you read that right.
    I did change the channel but you have changed the trajectory of my television francais!

  30. Your “coming out” certainly has resulted in a flurry of reality discussion. I’m with you baby: Survivor, Apprentice AND Amazing Race! My husband had to explain why Brook got voted off Survivor. I disagree with Donald firing Patrick and I wouldn’t have missed Colin-n-Christie on TAR. You wanna talk reality, let me know!
    Your mittens are very very nice. I just finished some Estonian mittens (Nancy Bush) and my gramma really loved them. I will be doing more of them. Just so you know, there is time outside of reality TV. you go girl!

  31. I get the whole Survivor mania. I came across it the first season purely by accident, watched it until first commercial break and found I couldn’t make myself change the channel. Damn. But no more. I realized the tv was holding me back (I won’t even describe what it’s done to the rest of the family!) So we all took the plunge and cut off cable. Now homework gets done, laundry gets done, house gets cleaned (in fits of dirt/mess intolerance), we even occassionally talk to each other. We have three channels and we have a life again. We are happy. Friday is family tv night and we even eat in front of tv. The only thing I can knit in front of tv though is socks for my husband (briggs and little tuffy). The shows I am “adicted” to are CSI, CSI Miami and Law and Order. So the kiddies have to be ready for story time BEFORE those come on or they’re out of luck! About those mittens: my eyes are bad enough; am I going to need a magnifying glass for all those tiny details?

  32. Glad you came out of the Survivor closet! I agree with the train wreck theory. And the fire thing too. And how many times are the “cute” girls going to waste their time sunbathing before it clicks that shelters don’t build themselves?

  33. I watched a season of Survivor once. Our whole family really got into it. Now we are Amazing Race addicts. I mean, real, stay at home, tape it when hubby travels, sit and get angry, pick favorites and wish we could run the race ourselves addicts. We choose what Roadblocks we would do, who would do them, when Pete would have to go the long way because there ain’t no way I am jumpin’ off the side of that building baby! Unfortunately it is coming to it’s conclusion next week. But, happily the Apprentice is starting up. Lots of good knitting time in there!

  34. Oh-by now someone must have mentioned to you (I haven’t read ALL the comments) that when knitting in the round with two colors you don’t have to twist the yarns. One will always be over, the other under and the whole thing stays together. When I learned that…..a religious experience for me, I’ll tell ya! I’m waiting for the “I’m in love with knitting braids” conversions post. Come up to the alter and accept two handed knitting as your saviour!!!

  35. I may seem smug when I say that I have never watched Survivor. And I may seem snobby when I say that I have never watched/read/listened to anything about Survivor — beyond your post, that is. I will admit it: I am a smug snob who religiously follows America’s Next Top Model. There you have it!

  36. It must be safety in numbers. I’ll come out too.
    My total all time favourite is The Amazing Race.
    Survivor and The Apprentice are up there. But did anyone see the start of The Benefactor this last week? That guy makes Machiavelli look good! DD was here between occupations. This is a girl who never watches TV, lives on less than minimal, and gives away what she has. She humoured me by watching with me and is now talking of getting a TV to see more. I still don’t know whether she is winding me up or not, but I don’t think so….
    I’m actually not a TV watcher but….I have to confess to those.

  37. I’m one of the non-watchers of reality shows in the no-tv-land. I don’t think the books I read instead of tv are necessarily *better*, especially the umpteenth time I reread the same fluff, but I like them more. And they don’t whistle at me the way CRTs do. But if you enjoy your reality shows, go for it. (I do *my* mindless knitting in seminars…)

  38. One of my friends raved about the 1st Survivor. I said, oh brother, don’t you have anything better to do with your time? But the 2nd was in Australia. I have always wanted to go to Australia. And it was wintertime here. Nothing better to do with my time. My motto: Live vicariously whenever necessary. So of course I have watched every Survivor since. I think there must be a requirement for NOT practicing fire starting prior to the show. Yeah, I like visualizing the camera man who has to stay awake all night just to film sleeping positions – there’s a job for ya. Then I visited my mother – and she was hooked on Amazing Race. It’s genetic, I tell ya. I am rooting for the Moms to win. So far I have been right the last 2 xs on that for the winners (never was right on Surv except for Tina and Cody – and that was pure beginners luck). So I will be parked in front of the TV on those nights and nobody better call me. Oh, and I am also hooked on 2 1/2 Men… where will this trend end?

  39. Great work on the Latvian mittens, Stephanie. Because I only get to knit about 5 rows a day, I stick to mindless stockinette and the occasional ribbing or simple cable.
    I have only seen the first season of “Survivor”. After that it held no interest for me. All the sniping and backbiting leaves me cold. In the reality genre, I tend to lean toward makeover shows like Queer Eye and Clean Sweep or the history-related shows on PBS like 1940s House.

  40. I don’t watch Survivor. Nothing to do with snobby though. I watched some of the first batch. I grew up with no electricity and no running water so I couldn’t get past the fact that no one thought to build an outhouse. Believe me, that is your first consideration when you don’t have a flusher! (I still remember the look on the principle’s face when my absence excuse read “Barb stayed home to help me build a new outhouse”)
    I have a pattern for socks with a braided top. I have avoided them. I am now frantically looking for the pattern. Thanks a lot!
    Re: thrummed socks
    Re: metric…sounds like Norway is the same as Canada. It’s still a 2×4 or a 2X6. Houses are still so many square feet. You still buy wood in board feet. In the flyers, they give you the price per pound for meat…BUT when you go to buy it, it’s priced per kilo.

  41. I’m not a reality TV person… nothing against it; I just haven’t gotten into it, except for historical ones like Frontier House. My TV confession is that I have Netflix basically so I can watching IN ORDER all the TV shows I missed as a non-TV-watching (at least not much) kid/teenager/college student. I’m going through Friends and Dr. Quinn right now. Oh, and I’m also addicted to the horrible acting that is 7th Heaven.
    And I really really want to knit braids.

  42. Don’t feel bad, Harlot. I personally know an executive on Survivor who is one of the coolest people I know…very veggie and politically moral (is that allowed?) and a great individual…Survivor is meaningless compared to that braid…I am just utterly mesmerized by the braid…ahhh, someday…in the meantime, I continue to make myself crazy trying to learn continental as opposed to my american…my grandmother must be turning over in her grave…if anyone has any tips on switching, please speak up…

  43. I like Survivor… I started watching it when Survivor Amazon was showing because I heard there was a deaf person there, and I rooted for her… and then after Survivor All-Stars, I voted for Rupert…
    They’re not reality shows, but I also like watching Everwood & One Tree Hill on the WB channel. I’m going to have to survive this coming Thursday when I go to the art guild meeting… our VCR isn’t working..but that’s okay I’ve missed the first few episodes of Survivor in the past & it won’t kill me to miss this one.
    I knit during Survivor..mindless stuff.. beanies and a doggie tug toy, which will be felted when it’s done… 🙂

  44. Hi, I have loved your blog for a long time and I must now say that you have risen even higher in my opinion now that you have admitted to watching “Survivor.” Go “Survivor watchers (especially those that knit)! It’s a great, addicting show. I watch little TV but “Survivor” is one I don’t miss. There is something very captivating about it. I give credit to Mark Burnett, the producer, (who also produces “Amazing Race”, my other favorite show)who really knows how to pull together all the elements, storylines through photography to make a great show unlikely the vast majority of icky, icky reality shows. Keep up the great knitting and blogging. Martha

  45. Wow! I love, love, love your site! Yes, we watch Survivor too… the whole family together and then discuss what/why/who/where/when afterwards. We also watch Apprentice… the donald’s hair is a travesty! they are way too $$ grubbing, but the humman nature elements are irristible! I have never knit mittens, but you are inspiring me! Keep up the good work!

  46. I’ve made 3 hats with those braids around the bottom. I followed the directions in the “Hats On” book (good hat book). I don’t consider myself a speed knitter so I am not doing anything superhuman.
    First I do a two-strand cast on using both MC and CC.
    (MC = main color, CC = contrasting color — you gnu that)
    Round 1: K1 MC, K1 CC, repeat around
    Round 2: Move yarn to the front, P1 MC, set yarn just worked down to the LEFT, bring CC over, P1 CC. (The yarns will twist but they will untwist on the next round.)
    Round 3: P1 MC, P1 CC, set yarn just worked to the RIGHT and bring the yarn to be worked under it.
    OK, just wanted to be sure we’re talking about the same braids (they look the same in the photos).
    http://www.az.com/~andrade/knit/hatbraid.jpg (close-up of braid)
    http://www.az.com/~andrade/knit/mikehat3.jpg (and the whole hat if yer curious)
    Hmm, just had a thought here — I purl very oddly and now that I think about it this must be the key factor. For a normal purl I flick the yarn around the needle with my left thumb and also hold the yarn taut with my left thumb. When I do these braid things I flick one color with my left thumb and throw the other with my right hand and it settles into an easy rhythm nicely. Truly I would rather do these braids than ribbing.

  47. Actually, what I sent you is not right. In my previous comment I was thinking about how I normally purl with 2 colors, with 1 in each hand. Duh. After posting I sat here thinking about it for longer than I care to admit and decided I MUST do the braid different because of the twisting and there was a memory of repeatedly dropping the strands (which would have been jogged by typing out the instructions, ha).
    To double-check I cast on some sts and worked a braid using 2 colors. What happens is that I drop and pick up the yarns very quickly using my left hand — I flick the yarn around the right needle with my left thumb and then purl holding the yarn taut with my left thumb. Drop the color (to the left or right, depending on which round is being worked) and flick the next color with my thumb. My abnormal purling technique really helps me out here, it does go as quickly/smoothly as I remember it.
    This is one of those weird things that would probably feel totally bizarre to someone else trying it for the first time — but maybe it would work for you?
    I have tried to purl like a normal continental knitter and it just doesn’t work for me so I continue to do the funky thumb purl.

  48. Oh! Dani. Thanks for the reminder – I can’t believe that I forgot about 1940’s house! That was by far my favorite of the PBS reality collection. I remember trying to explain it to some co-workers who kept asking “but what do they win?”…. cretins…

  49. Do not even sit with us at lunch in the teachers’ lounge if you can’t talk about the reality shows or at least listen to those of us who watch them and feign interest. We read, we write, we spew an intelligent thought every now and again. However, I/we could never knit one of those mittens. God be wi’ye.

  50. I love the Latvian mittens, they’re scrumptious! My mother, knitter extraordinaire, made me and my bridesmaids mittens for my wedding, despite the lack of Latvian heritage. They were a big hit. Keep up the great work!
    Now, on to more important things. I have watched Survivor in the past, albeit not excessively. In fact, I was one of those “anti-reality-tv” snobs in the past. Until, last year, when I couldn’t sleep, and started watching Temptation Island UK and TI Australia on Life Network. Then I moved to The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. My current fave? America’s Next Top Model, the third season of which starts, happily, tonight! I LOVE these shows! How could I have missed these? And I’m seriously enjoying The Apprentice as well. And Amazing Race. If I’m not watching these, I’m watching endless repeats of Inspector Morse, Hercule Poirot, Murder, She Wrote, and any crime show on A&E.
    Puts your little Survivor addiction in perspective, doesn’t it? 🙂

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