What’s Your Favorite?

Moat of us have favorites.  This holds true for knitting and crocheting just as much as for authors, foods, or anything else.  So, here are some of mine:

  • Things to Knit:  Socks, Shawls
  • Knitting Needles:  My Size 00 Addi Turbo Laceweights
  • Crochet Hooks:  My old Boye steel hooks
  • Yarn Weights:  Sock, Lace
  • Yarn Colors:  Blue, Purple, Rose, Peach/Coral; Burgundy, Cerise, Variegated
  • Indie Dyers:  Kellee at Ethereal Fibers; Morandia at MIB Fibers; Melissa at Keegan Lane Yarns
  • Designers:  Wendy from Wendy Knits; Annie Kuo Lukito; Elizabeth Zimmermann; Cookie A
  • Times to Knit:  Watching TV; riding in a car
  • Patterns in my Ravelry Queue:  543
  • Types of Knitting:  Fisherman, Lace, Textured, Mitered, Fair Isle, Double-Knitting
  • Type of Crochet:  Filet
  • Favorite Sock Cuff:  Folded Picot
  • Favorite Cast-Off:  Jeny’s Stretchy

Favorite Cast-Ons:  Mock Long-Tail; Queen Kahuna’s

So, those are my favorites.  What are yours?


Fail (although not epic)!

It’s been a long summer for me. And my knitting and writing has all suffered as a result.

For some time, I have been feeling incapable of doing much more than knitting and sitting at the computer. This culminated in my thinking I had the flu again in late June. Unfortunately, it was nothing so easy.

When I didn’t answer her phone calls for three days, my sister turned up on my doorstep, and demanded that I go to the hospital. She offered to take me to any hospital I wanted, and was even willing to let me consider it overnight. Fortunately for me, I realized that my not having the energy to tell her to go away probably meant that she was right. So we headed off to the hospital, with an assist from my ex. (It took both of them to get me out of bed. I literally did not have the energy to stand up.) When we got to the hospital, I found out that my blood pressure was 96/52 — not good for a woman whose untreated blood pressure can only be described as obscenely high! I was admitted and diagnosed with cellulitis that had not only gone septic, but systemic…as the doctor put it on my third day in hospital, “If you had taken the overnight to consider, the question would not have been which hospital, but burial or cremation.” And, yes, that scared the heck out of me. I have been on antibiotics since admittance — in hospital, I was receiving one bag of Vankomycin a day, as well as an oral dose of Cipro. Since release, I have been on Vibramycin (Doxycycline Hyclate) twice a day. Mostly, all antibiotics make me want to do is sleep, so both my writing and knitting have suffered.

The upshot of my hospitalization is that I now have Medicaid, so I don’t need to worry about medical bills, and the insurance that I got assigned to is one my local doctor takes.

And that’s where the fail comes in. I am barely 1/3 through my Ravellenic Games project (which I will finish, darn it!), halfway through my Socks for Stephen Colbert project, and only on the second pair of socks for my accountant. The baby blanket I have been crocheting for charity is only about half done, and the writing project I need to turn in (with pictures) on the 18th is going to need an extra week or two, which I need to discuss with the client.

As for blogging, I have not felt up to much, especially since when I was just starting to feel better, my roommate got sick. It took me a week to get her to go to the doctor, and the day following her appointment, we got a call that he was sending an ambulance for her, it would be at our house in half an hour or less, and she was going to the hospital, no arguments, because her hemoglobin was 5. I tossed on clothing, and we headed to the ER in the ambulance, and I stayed with her until she was admitted and in a room. She was in the hospital from Friday afternoon until Tuesday, so that meant I had to do some of her chores, including feeding the cats and changing their litter. (We have an agreement that I will not ever have to do because she is the one who insisted on getting the cats. However, the litter seriously needed changing, so I did it.)

At any rate, I am back, plugging away at my Ravellenic Games project (Bea Schmidt’s ). After that, I will get the Colbert socks done (and they are coming out beautifully, although slowly), then get back to the socks for my accountant.

I am just hoping I can get back on track enough that I can finish out my YOSS for this year. I need to make three pairs of socks to be caught up, and the two I’m working on will help do that.

Still, it feels like fail, even though it’s certainly not an epic fail, and I do understand that the health issues are a lot more important than whether or not I get 12 pair of socks knit this year.

Something that Struck Me

I’m reading Adrienne Martini’s wonderful book Sweater Quest: my year of knitting dangerously.”, and something on Page 167 struck me.

Ms. Martini is talking about a conversation she had with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, who had described the day her grandma taught her to knit. Ms. Pearl-McPhee’s words were, “I remember thinking that this was very important. I wasn’t sure why or how, I just knew I had learned something really significant.”

Ms. Martini then noted that, “Unlike for most of the knitters I know, the connection between Stephanie and the craft was immediate.”

The reason this struck me was that that’s how I felt when Mom taught me to knit. I had been watching her knit, and begging her to teach me. She kept insisting I was too young (I was about 5), but finally cast on about 20 stitches on a pair of needles she wasn’t using, and showed me how to make knit and purl stitches. She was sure that I would lose interest, when it was hard, but for some reason, when I made mistakes it only made me more determined to get it right. I was just totally fascinated with the whole idea.

After I spent months practicing stockinette stitch, rib, and basketweave, Mom showed me the book of patterns she used to make outfits for my Barbie dolls. I was even more hooked for life, if that was possible. I made all the patterns except the crocheted wedding dress (Mom made that one for me, because it took me longer to master the basics of crochet). Oddly, my father taught me to crochet, because my mother got frustrated with trying to show me how to make the beginning of a round for granny squares. Pop taught himself, then taught me. Shawls and sampler afghans became favorites, along with the doll clothes.

I slavishly followed instructions for various projects until I was about 12. The I tried something new: making something by improvising and adding what I had learned to what was in the book. The result was a mock Chanel suit for my doll. White cotton knitted shell, earth-tone jacket, skirt and hat bordered in pink single crochet. A friend of my parents’ saw this outfit, and commissioned me to make a set of doll clothes for his daughter’s Barbie doll.

Still, it all goes back to seeing Mom knitting. Watching her, I became fascinated. I had no idea then that the fascination would last so long or be so steady (unlike many knitters and crocheters, I did not put it away during or after college). If pressed, I could not tell you what it was that drew me to drive Mom crazy begging her to teach me to knit.

In retrospect, it was probably the smartest thing I ever did, because my love affair with knitting, crocheting, handspinning (another story altogether), and yarn in general continues unabated. In fact, it continues to grow. I love trying new yarn, and new patterns. I am obsessed with sock knitting, with shawls (afghans have kind of gone by the wayside), with textured knitting (cables, fisherman knits, etc.), and with lace. I also love reading about knitting, chatting with knitters, and sitting with friends, knitting and talking.

Yes, I am one of those women for whom the connection to the craft was immediate, hard, and enduring. And I am happy that it happened that way.

Thank you, so much, Ms. Martini, for nailing it so elegantly!

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