Friday, August 31, 2007

Embarrassment and E-mail

Kristy is having a contest over at her blog with many great prizes (go! Join! I'll wait.) and one of the things that she's looking for in the way of submissions is your most embarrassing story. Well, in addition to the three I've already dug out of my suppressed memories and shared over there, there's this one. . .
In September of 2005, I joined Mathboy for a week in New York City. We had a lovely time seeing the sights although, to my sorrow, we never made it to Ellis Island to visit the Statue of Liberty. When the week was up I returned to LaGuardia and got there in plenty of time for my flight home to Toronto. I successfully negotiated my way through screening and customs and on to the correct gate and took a seat in the waiting area (this was B.K. [before knitting]). After what seemed like forever, they finally made the boarding call for my flight and, after handing my ticket over, was guided to my seat. I had just gotten settled when a large group of Orthodox Jews boarded (yes, that matters) One of the men approached me and told me that I was sitting in his seat. I smiled and jokingly suggested that he would have to spend the flight in my lap if he meant to sit there (whoops . . . evidently I shocked them with my brazenness). Amid gasps of horror from his companions (yes really . . . and the men were more upset than the women) he stomped off to get a flight attendant. Well, it turned out that this airline (who I would boycott if I could remember which it was) had TWO flights, with the same flight number, within an hour or so of each other, both were headed to Toronto and I was meant to be on the second one. I shamefacedly slunk off the full plane and found an isolated niche in which to await my actual flight and cool my flaming cheeks.

Did any of you Florida types receive the latest e-mail from Knit'n'Knibble? Well, e-mails. I could be wrong but I suspect the proprietor has a bit of an infection going in her computer. Either that or she has a lot of answering to do to the entire mailing list whose addresses were made available in two of the three messages.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Foolish thoughts.

Every so often I get homesick or start missing my previous job. Today is one of those days and there's only one reason for it; The Harlot is trekking to Aurora Ontario. In my previous life I drove for a commuter transit company that included routes from Toronto to Aurora. One that goes right past the yarn store in question.
In my oh so vivid imagination, I'd be driving the bus that Stephanie would take to get to the gathering this evening. Of course, this assumes that I'd know who she was, that I would have discovered knitting and the knitternet had I stayed put in Canada and it also assumes that she'd take the bus and not save some time by carpooling up.
*sigh* I'm a goofball.

Monday, August 20, 2007


First day of school today and I'm already writing a referral. *sigh* Only time will tell whether early crackdowns will set a course for decent behaviour for the rest of the year.

Mathboy was inspired over the weekend and tonight he made dinner. We had a selection of cranberry juice or sweet tea marinated fried chicken. The sweet tea was ok and the cranberry was reminiscent of Thanksgiving dinner. Good but odd.

No knitting was done today as it was just far too hot on my big yellow cheese wagon. On the other hand, I have been delving more and more into thinking about spinning. There's a whole line of wheels out there made of PVC piping and I'm starting to wonder if I can convince Mathboy that it would be fun to construct an ancient tool out of thoroughly modern plumbing supplies. After all, they're cheap and if I don't take to spinning, he can take it apart and use it for spare parts *grin*

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Have, I Wanna, Not Likely!

The first order of business today is to thank Alyson for her thoughts on my party going dilemma. I think she's right and while I'm sure that Mathboy could effortlessly handle the slings and arrows of silly muggles, I'd rather not put him in a position where he needs to. So. The knitting will stay in the car alone, but not unloved and very much missed.

Now. You're in for a leedle bit of whining but it's part of today's story.

I first learned to knit as a child of seven at my grandmother's knee. I don't recall what the yarn was but I know for certain that the needles were part of a set of ten that I still own today. Have you ever heard of finger knitting? It didn't take me long to become bored with it and I eventually moved on to "interesting" things like cat's cradle and other string figures. Right around the same time, I had a role in "The Gingerbread Man" as the Old Woman who bakes the Gingerbread Man. My main props were a rocking chair, a set of straights and some blue yarn. Being the stickler for detail that she still is, my mother cast on 20 or so stitches and taught me to knit so I could be an authentic "old woman" it still didn't stick but it helped lay the groundwork for my future as a Knitter.

A few years later my heart's desire was a pair of legwarmers. Well, it seemed that Mrs. Claus either had far too much to do or a really mean sense of humour and I received two balls each of mustard yellow, teal, and purple yarn . . . in, as I recall, a chunky scratchy icky stuff. She also included a pair of needles and a pattern. I did not continue the path to knitting at that time. I did, however, receive three pairs of legwarmers that year. Pink ones from my parents (who were much nicer than the Claus's evidently), blue from my grandmother, and a pair of hand knit mustard, teal, and purple ones when my mother took pity and saw I was never going to do anything with that odd scratchy yarn.

Nineteen years later I found myself living in Florida with no friends. Of course I had Mathboy, his friends, and his family but I had no friends of my own and no idea how to make any. My mother in law and her friends had long been in the habit of circulating books around their little group and when I moved here I became a stop on their book-go-round. One of the books was Debbie Macomber's "A Good Yarn" I read it and fell in love with the idea of knitting socks but more than that, I fell in love with the idea that knitting could bring these lonely women together and help create friendships. I dragged Mathboy off to Michaels and bought the Susan Bates "My Knitting Teacher" kit and the prettiest yarn I could find (give me a break here, I was new) because I was going to make a blanket! Yep. With two 4.5 oz balls of Red Heart Baby Clouds in Tutti-Frutti. I'm not sure what kind of blanket I was planning to make with a total of 210 yards of yarn but there ya go. In my enthusiasm I cast on FAR too many stitches for the straights that I was using and soon got irritated with it and moved on. My next kick at the can was Wendy Johnson's Kitty Pi. I completed it and followed it with several more that I accessorized with little cabled catnip stuffed mice.

It's been over a year now and, while I certainly wouldn't describe myself as an accomplished or expert knitter, I can certainly say I've come a long way. Best of all, I've made some friends along the way. Both in the Blogosphere (Hi Kristy!) and in the real world (Hi Alyson, Eileen, Kelly, Sandy, and everyone else!)

I still have a long way to go with this knitting thing as the list below shows.

I've used Bold for stuff I've done, italics for stuff I want to do one day, normal for stuff I'm not planning on doing, and red for stuff I've never even heard of.
  • Afghan/Blanket
  • I-cord
  • Garter stitch
  • Knitting with metal wire
  • Shawl
  • Stockinette stitch
  • Socks: top-down
  • Socks: toe-up
  • Knitting with camel yarn (I even know where to buy it and, in doing so, contribute to a good cause)
  • Mittens: Cuff-up
  • Mittens: Tip-down
  • Hat
  • Knitting with silk (does cotton/silk blend count?)
  • Moebius band knitting (haven't even done it accidentally)
  • Participating in a KAL (would that be a knit along?)
  • Sweater
  • Drop stitch patterns
  • Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
  • Slip stitch patterns
  • Knitting with banana fiber yarn
  • Domino knitting
  • Twisted stitch patterns
  • Knitting with bamboo yarn
  • Two end knitting
  • Charity knitting
  • Knitting with soy yarn (clapotis part I is only partially complete but it is a soy blended yarn)
  • Cardigan
  • Toy/doll clothing
  • Knitting with circular needles
  • Knitting with your own handspun yarn
  • Slippers
  • Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
  • Continental Knitting
  • Designing knitted garments
  • Cable stitch patterns
  • Lace patterns
  • Publishing a knitting book
  • Scarf
  • American/English knitting
  • Button holes
  • Knitting with alpaca
  • Fair Isle knitting
  • Norwegian knitting
  • Dyeing with plant colors
  • Knitting items for a wedding
  • Household items
  • Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
  • Olympic knitting
  • Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
  • Knitting with DPNs
  • Holiday related knitting
  • Teaching a male how to knit (I'm pretty sure that Mathboy has learned by proximity)
  • Bobbles
  • Knitting for a living (oh hell no. I'd starve to death)
  • Knitting with cotton
  • Knitting smocking
  • Dyeing yarn
  • Steeks
  • Knitting art
  • Fulling/felting
  • Knitting with wool
  • Textured knitting (ummmm, isn't it all textured?)
  • Kitchener BO
  • Purses/bags
  • Knitting with beads
  • Swatching
  • Long Tail CO
  • Entrelac
  • Knitting and purling backwards
  • Machine knitting
  • Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
  • Stuffed toys
  • Baby items
  • Knitting with cashmere
  • Darning
  • Jewelry
  • Knitting with synthetic yarn
  • Writing a pattern
  • Gloves (assuming fingerless count, otherwise, it's on my to-do list)
  • Intarsia
  • Knitting with linen
  • Knitting for preemies
  • Tubular CO
  • Freeform knitting
  • Short rows
  • Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
  • Pillows (does the little eye/neck pillow herbie I made for my MIL count?)
  • Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
  • Rug
  • Knitting on a loom
  • Thrummed knitting
  • Knitting a gift
  • Knitting for pets
  • Shrug/bolero/poncho
  • Knitting with dog/cat hair (but not on purpose)
  • Hair accessories
  • Knitting in public

Monday, August 13, 2007

Gotta Question.

I know, I know, it seems like I only ever blog any more when I'm whining or want something from you all and I promise I'm working on changing that. Probably.
Anyways. Over the next three weeks, Mathboy and I have been invited to two parties hosted by his co-workers. One's retirement party and the other is just a gathering. I know many of the people who will be attending but not well and some I've only met once.
My question is this; Should I take my knitting? It would probably be a sock but it might be Clapotis.
Mathboy would say, if I asked, but I'm not, that the knitting should stay in the car but he also thinks that the knitting should stay in the car when we're going to a restaurant or assorted other places where I just know that I'm going to get fidgety without a dose of yarn. (took the knitting into the red and blue home improvements store the other day, over his objections, and it saved me while he played with plumbing bits for half an hour).
So. What say you all? Non-knitters are also welcome to comment.