Thorny Knits

I've got a husband, twin toddlers, a cat who I probably forgot to feed this morning, and never, ever enough time to knit.


I might still be am!

Before I begin, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who sent kind words and compassion my way this past month or so. It's been rough, and I've been pretty thoroughly effed up for much of it, but I'm recovering, at least as much as I ever will. I'm sorry for not thanking everyone individually, but I hope you'll all understand. It helped, during a very difficult time, to know there were so many people out there, thinking good thoughts for me and mine. Thank you all very much.

And now, on to the knitting, and a little reminder that life does, indeed, go on.

Second note: So for several days now I've been going, "Dangit, I can't believe no one has commented on my high-larious post!" And then I got a lovely message from Crazy Lanea this morning mentioning that she hopes I can get back to posting soon, as she misses my posts. (Admit it, Lanea - what you really miss are the stories that make you look at your pets' shenanigans with a new, grateful-they-don't-have-thumbs perspective! Am I right? Thought so. grin) And that's when I thought, "Wait, what? But I just posted a few days ago! ....didn't I?"

Yeah, apparently not. As Homer says, "I am so smart! S-M-R-T!"

Written on June 14, 2007:

Lesson learned: Never buy yarn named after an accursed gem.

I've been having trouble with my STR Jewel of the Nile yarn since just about the beginning. I started it as a Jaywalker, was doing well, and then I realized, while working a seriously endless gusset, that I had made the hugest heel flap in the history of creation. The leg was a little loose, but I wasn't too worried about it. The heel flap, however, was right out.

So I frogged back to just before the heel flap early one morning, and Ben woke up to find me frogging directly into the ballwinder.

I guess it looked like fun, because a few hours later he Houdini'd his way into my Active Stash, got out the yarn and the partial sock, and frogged all but the first inch and a half of it all over the living room, including tangling some of it into the workings of my Precious, the recliner, getting freakin' chair grease on my beautiful beautiful yarn.

I set it aside for a while, until I could deal with it without either crying or calling the gypsies (that's 1-800-GYPSIES, for all your child-unloading needs!). Then Mom died, then a bunch of other stuff happened, and finally a little over a week ago I hauled it out, untangled it, trimmed out the greased up section, frogged the remainder of the sock, and wound it all back up. A day later, the little anklebiter got at it again and undid half the ball.

That night I untangled and rewound it, and pondered pattern choices. Jaywalker felt tainted. I wanted something interesting but not too complicated. Alison has been working on Embossed Leaves, and I thought perhaps the predominance of the greeny blue in Jewel of the Nile would work well with Embossed Leaves.

I cast on and worked the ribbing, only to discover it pooling freakily. No way was it going to work for Embossed Leaves. So I decided to change it up, leave the ribbing as it was and do Monkey instead. So I printed out the pattern and got to work. An enjoyable knit, even though I'm still uncertain as to how I like the actual final product. But nice and easy - had it memorized by the end of the first repeat.

I got about midway through the third repeat before I took a long hard look at it and realized that it just wasn't going to work. It was huge. Hugely huge. I was going to have to go down a needle size.

I frogged back to the ribbing, figuring the ribbing would be fine, and started again on US1s. Fine.

Yesterday, the little fiber bandit got at the damned sock AGAIN and yanked out the dpns, but I busted him before he could cause any further damage (though one dpn is still AWOL, dammit). I worked the needles back in without incident, pilfered a US1 from a different sock, and carried on my merry way.

Then this afternoon, the kids were in the bath and I was sitting at the doorway to the bathroom knitting on the sock when I realized that where I should have had 16 sts, I had 17. I counted and recounted and counted again, and there were still 17 gorram stitches on that needle. I then looked and looked and looked, and could not for the life of me figure out where the extra stitch had come from. I counted across the stockinette rows of the repeat previous and it had 16. WHERE was this extra stitch coming from?!

Finally, I decided it was just easier to frog back to the end of the previous repeat and try again. Which I did.

Then tonight, I was on the phone with my sister for a long time, and I was knitting away. All was fine. It was a little awkward, because my nifty super-cool hands-free rig for the cordless phone lost a fight with a nose-miner about a week ago, and so I was back to having to cradle the phone between my shoulder and my ear while I knitted. But I was managing just fine, and had even managed to reach the heel flap. Yay!

So I tried the sock on once I'd done about half the heel flap, and interrupted my sister's charming little anecdote about going to a baseball game with some coworkers with an incendiary stream of cussing. Then I had to explain that my sock, that I'd been working on for almost a week, was too damned small. My sister, who tries hard to understand the Knitting Thing, was as supportive and compassionate as she could be, considering how little she comprehended of the issue. But still, full points for trying.

I chucked the whole kit-n-kaboodle aside, knowing that if I tried to frog it right then I would use Lanea's butane-and-lighter fluid frogging method, and that would definitely kill any last remaining wisp of a chance of us getting our security deposit back some day.

I went and chatted with Caz a bit, and he kindly made me a late-night snack (PMS gives me insane food cravings, it's seriously unfair). I told him about the sock and how mad I was and how I was more than a little convinced the yarn is cursed. I shared with him my plan to give this cussed yarn one more try, and if that blew up in my face, then I was going to throw in the towel and pass it on to some other sucker more capable knitter.

We got up from the table (where I'd spilled a huge mug of water all over the place, and bobbled my scrambled egg sandwich a total of FIVE times - thanks PMS, the clumsy-beyond-all-reason thing is a HOOT!) and I said,

"Oh hey, come here and see this damned sock. I still can't believe it's too fraxing small!"

I got it out, sat down and pulled it onto my foot, expecting it to stop dead over my heel as it had before, only this time? It inched over my heel. It was snug, no mistake, but it worked.

I thought about cussing some more. A LOT more. But instead opted for sitting in near-catatonic shock.

Caz, trying to be supportive said, "Maybe it's just because I'm here. You've always said I've got 'Luck' written down on my character sheet." (I apologize if some of you don't get the joke, but please do not ask, because it is seriously the nerdiest thing since Revenge of the Nerds VIII: Nerds in Spamadise.)

I spoke in a monotone: "No. I think I'm just dumb somehow. I don't even get it. I'm telling you, it did not fit this foot 45 minutes ago."

Caz said, quietly, "I believe you... You can still be mad about it, you know."

To which I replied, "I know. Heck, I might still be am!"

(Yeah. "I might. Still. Be. Am." Those are the actual words that came out of my mouth.)

This prompted him to scramble off the couch and down the hall, cackling and hooting like a loon, leaving me helplessly cussing and trapped by the now-sorta-kinda-fitting half-sock, while he sent out emails to everyone I know calling me The Great Conjugator and laughing himself ill.

One of these days, he's going to wake up with a dpn shoved where the sun don't shine. I'm just sayin'.

Epilogue: I have tried the damned sock on again since, and it still just barely, BARELY fits over my heel. And so I think it's just not salvageable still. So it's definitely going in the time-out corner for a while, and then we'll see what happens.

Besides, I don't want to say too much about it yet, but um... I cast on something new.

Labels: , ,


  • At Thu Jun 21, 09:56:00 AM CDT, Blogger FemiKnitMafia said…

    It's nice to have you back.

  • At Thu Jun 21, 10:33:00 AM CDT, Blogger Lanea said…

    Yay, you posted! And, yes, I am very glad my pets don't have opposable thumbs. And, yes, I do threaten my yarn with fire when it misbehaves. And also, socks that don't want to go over your heel are evil and must be punished. And cussing is important. And I am a geek too, though am currently enmeshed in Deadwood instead of Firefly or D&D. And Scott regularly refers to be as an "entangled inebriate" when the yarn gets the better of me, because, you know, he is also with the Deadwood. And my language skills collapse with stress, which is sort of embarrassing for a professional writer who actually gets paid to recite poetry and sing sometimes. And, also, I just wrote way too much. I missed you, Thorny.


Post a Comment

<< Home