When I was at Rhinebeck I had a quick visit with Jennifer, who is the lady who makes the yarn for the way far out there crazy-compelling Tsock Tsarina sock kits, which spring from the brain of Lisa and are a very big sort of knitter’s fun. You will see here shortly that I am defining ” knitter’s fun” as it applies to me personally. Every knitter is going to define fun in their own personal and unique way, and what one knitter calls fun another may well call “torture beyond that of taking a bus to to the mall with a two year old and a newborn by yourself, at naptime, in the rain to try and buy a swimsuit for your shockingly postpartum body” which actually happened to me one horrible day 16 years ago and still makes me feel both nauseous and depressed when I recall it in any sort of a real way. Any one of those individual things would be enough to flatten any mortal woman, and all of it on one day was frankly an afternoon that has both shortened my eventual life-span and strengthened my character…but I digress.
While I was visiting with her, I saw this crazy sock kit. Vintage. How crazy? Five colours, little leaves knit and sewn on, embroidery, embossed grapes, lace and an toe with a grape leaf inlay. Inlay, as in you knit a little grape leaf shaped window in the toe and then knit a leaf and then sew it in. That sort of crazy. Crazy crazy. The kind of crazy that just makes you sort of hitch in your breath a bit when you see it, and then reel with possibility. That crazy.
Naturally, because I am me and I love crazy, I felt instantly that my life would be empty without it, and Juno (who was acting as my personal shopper because I was signing books) was dispatched to the booth to procure said crazyass kit, and return to me with it.
She did. There are three colourways, Claret, Chablis and Pinot, and I got the Chablis, partly because Jennifer was sort of cleared out on kits (so I know I am not the only knitter who owns this kit. Fess up.) and partly because the person who will receive these socks is both a tremendous knitting fan who will faint with joy and appreciation of the work involved, and a big, big fan of Chablis. Perfect. I decided to knock off the socks as a Christmas present to her, and then the world exploded over the holidays (I’m sure you heard it) and hers was the gift that got put off. Turns out that delaying it was a probably a good thing, since although this is exceptionally good knitter fun, it turns out to be a smidge on the time consuming side. Straight off, the pattern asks you to knit 16 leaves, four in each of four colours, plus two more for the toes.
Okay. I got out all the stuff, I followed the directions (which are excellent. Lisa may be out of her mind, but she’s very concise.) and one full hour later, I had this.
Not tremendously exciting. One whole hour of my life shot and I have a ratty little knitty thing? I get this feeling a lot with lace, and so I did what I do with lace when it disappoints me. I blocked the ratty little leaf.
Oh my. I looked at that leaf, that tiny little knitted grape leaf with it’s endearing points and it’s charming little i-cord stem and something snapped. Something went completely loose in my central processing system and I picked up my needles – my 2mm needles, and I made another one.
Then another one. Then I made some coffee…and I thought maybe I should put it down and go to work, or write the blog or ….was that the phone ringing? I cared not.
I knit another one. The children came home from school. It got dark. I made green leaves. No-one made a real dinner. I went to yoga but all I thought about was the little leaves and the three shades of green and how maybe I liked the orange ones best and how many I had to make. 16 for each cuff, that’s 32, then one for each toe, that’s 34…. I went home. I knit. The moon rose. I knit tiny, tiny i-cord stems from crazy-ass provisional cast ons. Time suspended…then stopped. Joe asked me if I was going to bed. I knit on.
Eventually exhaustion and the night overtook me and my wee leaves and I slept. This morning I looked at what I had wrought.
If the blog goes dark for more than 48 hrs …. Send knitters. Knitters with small needles. Knitters with high thresholds for crazy and big bottles of wine. Knitters who are not afraid.