Knitting with the Monsters...

My life with two toddlers and two cats, all of whom are out to drive me nuts and destroy my knitting!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


So it's been a mere 5 months since my last post. I keep meaning to... take the pictures... then don't.

Ah well. I'm not going to witter here about the whys, it's boring enough just thinking about it! Let's just say I'm still coming out of a dark tunnel, I can see the light even!

Onto bigger and better things. Here we have Maddie's birthday sweater that was in my last post. It is the Hearts Sweater that I am not quite sure if I posted pictures of in progress... I seem to have an inkling that I posted in progress pictures of it and the digger sweater that is also very nearly finished. Gawd sometimes it is sooo easy to start and finish the first 80% of things... WHY is the last 20% so painful? The sleeves. The blocking. The sewing up. The neckband. These things alone I don't mind. It's just saying well the knitting is done, now all I have to do is... The digger sweater which is so lovely and perfect as been sitting with the knitting done. Well nearly - I realised that I need to add length to the sleeves but only if I want to - they're bound off.

ah well. So I'm currently in the middle of the neckband on Digger, as well as fixing the sleeve length which will mean blocking the sleeves again... I could leave them but it'd be obvious every time I see it... like the one 1/2 row where I picked up some stitches after ripping out and knit it all wonky. But that's on the back. Or where I bound off the front neck not-in-the-pattern and then have a line where I picked up for the neckband (artistic decision).

and whilst I am working on that I am also going wild and sort of designing my first sweater for Maddie. While on another (hellish holiday) I found a lovely little knitting shop called Sea Needles. We went to Rehoboth/Dewey Beach, in Delaware. As far as beaches go, it's my fave - I used to go when I was a little girl and it brought back the same memories. Only when we went, it didn't rain. Yes, that's right. We went to the beach for 7 days, and it rained for 4 of them. Falls into the F*&^ing FIGURES catagory in my book.

But I digress. Sea Needles was a lovely little place that had all sorts of sweet stuff like minnowknits patterns as well as aranciana ( why is that so hard for me to spell let alone pronounce?). I got 5 skeins in this glorious colorway that has aquas, peaches, and rose. The staff were very friendly and initially I only bought one simple pattern and a few balls of Louisa Harding (yes I get the irony that technically I'm bringing it back home!), I went back later when I found much to my dismay that the other store in the area which was near the boardwalk in Rehoboth (not plugging it) had SAID they had Lorna's Laces, only to have a scant 5 or 6 skeins. Some sock wool, and literally 4 skeins of Helen's Lace. Not only that but the ladies in the shop, one of whom was tutoring another lady, were not the friendliest I've come across.

Now here's a question. Have you (anyone there?) ever been in a yarn store, or just anywhere else where someone is knitting or teaching knitting, and just found that you want to jump in? This lady who worked at the store was 'old school'. Now we've all experienced these types of ladies, like my MIL who has been knitting since she was 11, mostly with whatever was available or cheapest.

But this old schooler was being decidedly useless for someone who obviously been knitting for quite some time AND whose JOB it partially is to provide wisdom to carry on the craft. And yet I heard her saying to this other (surprisingly) older lady whom she was tutoring, "I can't tell you how to hold the yarn. People usually just figure that part out on their own." Jeeeyyysus. An integral part of how successful this newbie knitter is going to be (because gawd-dammit the way you hold the yarn IS important!!!) is dependant on this crabby useless old crust of a woman (who was rude to me as well, making her even more than useless)

Makes my blood boil. So I'm sure you're asking whether or not I jumped in? No, I wimped out, mainly because I DID teach myself and it slowed me down for the first 5 years. I mean slow. The type of 'I wish I'm known' slow. you know, the type where I tried to knit a sweater and it took me an entire semester of knitting in classes (lectures) to get... about 30 rows. But I still don't understand how you're supposed to hold the yarn so that you control the tension. I think they call it throwing the yarn. Ah well.

Poor newbie knitter. I feel your pain. I learned to knit from a book! Took me 2 weeks to cast on! No one showed me either! and yet I wonder if I'd taken the trouble to take a class or ask someone who was a knitter who, of course was nice, if it wouldn't have been so painful.

The question remains: why does it seem like the older generation is so unable to teach us at times? They can seem (not trying to outwardly insult an entire generation) almost to be of the mindset 'well no one taught me, why should I help you?' My answer? Because when you were struggling at my age, wondering what in the hell you were doing wrong, wouldn't you have wanted to know too?

Wow, talk about all over the place. I was trying to tell you about the sweater I'm designing, not to discuss generational issues. Okay so one of my favorite knits I've ever done was the matinee jacket I made for Jamie when he was a tiny baby. Way before I blogged and since he's a whopping 35lbs versus the 8-10lbs when he wore it, there aren't any on him shots. But it was luverly, I used RYC baby cashsoft and it was a pale aqua. So when I picked up my argentinian wool I thought of that jacket, but also of garter stitch for the skirt part since it's such a lovely rustic type of chunky wool. And I said to myself, self you can design something similar to ther jacket with its adorable pleats, how hard can it be?

Famous last words. Pretty darn difficult. But the good news is that the skirt is knit, and since I'm knitting on 6.5mm needles for the bodice, and it's a grueling 22 rows and 18 stitches across to the neckline, I can rip rip rip out those mistakes. I've probably ripped the half with the buttonholes about 6 times now. But I think I'm nearly done. It just better fit is all I can say and she better wear it - I have visions of the ballerina sweater she refused to touch. Then it's finishing the back which is loads easier not needing buttonholes. After that... the sleeves. I'm contemplating picking up stitches and knitting downwards, but we'll see.

And that is more than plenty. Since the pics are on the other computer, I'll see about having a picture-tastic post next time. (not in 5 months, either!)


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