Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Primal Scream

You know I was bragging about having finished all of my Christmas knitting? Well, I had. Then things started to pop up. I thought I'd do another hat for my aunt so she has a replacement in case she loses one again. One doesn't want her to go hatless while she waits, you know? Then there was the homemade secret santa I needed to do. A hat and a small surprise, no problem. Then there's my friend's cardy which can wait until Jan. I really need more socks. Then today I got pulled into another secret santa thinking I could deal with another small gift. Finally, I need to finish my Georgiana Scarf

asap for a charity bazaar. I've got three weeks and this shouldn't be a problem, right? Well, it wouldn't be if the scarf weren't a lace pattern. After hurrying home to work on the scarf so I could get it done and in the post before the end of the week, I knit and knit and knit and then looked at the beginning only to find that I'd left out a YO and it looks funny. That's over a foot of scarf I have to frog and re-knit. It's lace and you all know how I enjoy knitting lace. It's just so much fun spending more time frogging and counting stitches than knitting, right?

Really now, when am I going to learn to stick to cables?

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

How Shocking Can a Flu Shot be?

Once again, ‘tis the season and I decided I’d get my flu shots before boarding an aeroplane in Dec. I have no desire to spend my vacation ill and spreading the doom and gloom to others. So, yesterday I got myself down to the doctor’s and sat in the waiting room waiting for my turn. As it has been rather chilly, I decided I would wear my Arwen sweater, which I finished just in time for our summer heat wave. I’ve been looking forward to wearing it ever since.

As it happened, I had to wait a rather long time and while I was sitting there, I listened to a book on my iPod and contemplated the walls, the floor and finally the tweed in my sweater. Looking at the arm, I thought I spied a particularly odd ball of fluff clinging on to the sweater. I picked a bit and it seemed pretty stuck, so I took a closer look. To my utter horror, I realized that it was a dropped stitch in my beautiful, finished sweater, at which realization I broke into a cold sweat. The others in the waiting room all moved over a seat or two. Even worse than noticing the stitch was, there was absolutely nothing I could do about it, and while my doctor always likes my hand knits and admires them, I didn’t think I could waltz up to the desk and asked if they had an emergency knitting kit and spare bit of yarn. All I could do was sit there instilling fear into the other patients as I sweat blood and hoped that: firstly it would not fall down the ladder any more that it already had, secondly that I would remember to fix it asap and finally that when I did remember to fix it, I would still have a 12 inch piece of yarn to fix it with. This was the one sweater which took every bit of yarn I had to finish and I didn’t know if I’d saved the last bit of my swatch instead of tossing it.

Now, this stitch must have been dropped for months and months and months. It hadn’t gone anywhere during that time. It had only dropped down three rows before becoming stuck, so I figured that the yarn being hairy would work in my favour. My turn came, I was given said flu shot, during which said doctor admired said sweater, and then took the dog for a walk before dropping her off at home. Now, do you think I could have remembered to do a quick stitch up while I was at home? Of course not! That would have meant that my brain retained something important for a change! No, I remembered when I was back at work, where there is also a surprising dearth of emergency knitting kits.

However, all ended well. The brave little stitch clung for dear life and managed to make it until the evening. I also managed to find the rest of the swatch and darned in a fix, going through said stitch more times than strictly necessary. Now I think even if the rest of this sweater falls to tiny little bits, this one little stitch will still be there hanging on for dear life. Bless him.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Retail Therapy of a Sort

Three weeks ago tomorrow, I had to have my Great Dane Tiron put to sleep. He had bone cancer and the end had just come. It was the right thing to do. It left rather a large hole, literally, in my home. As if that hole wasn't big enough, my neighbour, who has a solid lead foot, ran over Mildred last night - in our driveway. Not on the street, in our driveway. The same place where children and hedgehogs and foxes etc. walk. Having three children herself, you'd think she'd be more careful. They've asked her to slow down before to no avail, but I think she might have gotten the message now. Just to round off my rant, she didn't even stop. It was my other neighbour who came home later who found her. Granted, she did start to wonder and called my landlord after a while to see if her cats were OK, but stopping apparently wasn't an option. But I digress.

Mildred was a tiny 9lb cat with the attitude of a Great Dane. You knew when she walked into a room. She was boss and all the dogs and cats knew it. Of course, this also meant that she often sported cuts on her nose because she decided to take on cats twice her size, but she was still boss. The point is, the hole she left is at least as large and the one T left. It feels so empty in here now with just one dog and one cat. I guess attitude can be more impressive than size.

So, what do you do when you're depressed? Shop. It's unhealthy and expensive and ultimately doesn't help, but it's what I did anyway. In my defence, I did only purchase 2 items and both of them were necessary. Besides, they're beautiful.

I bought buttons made from Mountain Mahogany for the cardi I'm knitting for a friend who definitely has more to depress her right now than the loss of two pets:

and a yew shawl pin for my grandmother's Every Way Wrap:

Both are from South4th's Etsy Shop and I think they are gorgeous. Even if you don't need anything, his shop is worth a look. He has some beautiful wood in there. The pictures, as you might note, I nicked from him. I'm hoping he won't mind.

I'm now broke, but it was worth it.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

As Time Goes By

Once again time managed to slip by faster in the internet than in real life. Funny how it does that.

How do you know your knitting is appreciated? Well, one way is when you get an apologetic call from a knitting recipient which starts with the words, I don’t know how to tell you this, but… at this point, you know something’s up. It continues, you remember the hat I loved so much because it was perfect and fit just right? Now you know a piece of your knitting has at the very least suffered. When they ask what it will cost to replace it, you know it’s a goner. The hat is lost, but there is a light. The evident contrition points out that recipient at least knows: A, you might be quite upset that they lost your work of art, B, it wasn’t free and a replacement will cost them and C, they loved it so much that they want another exactly the same as the last regardless of the cost. The fact that it was lost also tells that the hat was being worn and was loved and there is no better thing for a knitter to know than that.

Recipient: Aunt
Lost: During Balloon Festival in Albuquerque
Resulted in: about 10 people searching the field for said hat, 7 trips to lost and found, much tears and lamenting, one confession of lost hat, one promise of a Japanese meal as replacement cost, three evenings spent knitting another hat to status perfection.

You know, if this had been a sweater, I might have been upset. However, it was a hat a knit 2 years ago and hats get lost. So I’d say I’d forgiven her, but there’s nothing really to forgive. I’ve always had the suspicion that people who never lose or forget things are either very lucky or must lead a life which is careful to the point of tedium. I couldn’t abide that myself, so I wouldn’t ask it of anyone else. However, I am planning another hat for said aunt so she isn’t out of a hat if something happens to this one.

ETA: Alke pointed out that I hadn't linked to the pattern, so, here's the Ravelry page and here's the direct link to Brooke's pattern.

Since then, I’ve finished a cat blanket out of sock yarn left-overs and a pair of plain, grey cotton socks, which are both so uninteresting I won’t post pictures, my Calendula’s using Zauberball Wolle in Cranberry:

A Half Cable and Lace Scarf for my little cousin for Christmas:

I’m glad to say this concludes my Christmas knitting. I think. I'm pretty sure. Unless something else comes up.