Great teachers. Teenage boys. The Gettysburg Address.  A box of Kleenex. Watch The Address, a new film by Ken Burns.

Sleevebound

clifsnowboarding.jpg
Dear Kay,
Hope you’re surviving the BLIZZARD OF THE CENTURY or whatever it is the Weather Channel guy keeps trying to convince us about. We had our own shocking snow event here the other night: the almost-an-inch has us shut us down to the point that we’re living off our leftover 9/11 supplies–I mean, Progresso soups NEVER EXPIRE, do they?
Clif managed to go snow skating even when there wasn’t technically any snow left to skate.
Cat and Pin Update
catsoverandunder.jpg
I know that you will be relieved to know that after getting all those kind-hearted, cat-lovin’ pin-ingestin’ warnings, I threw a leftover toga (Mythology Theater was Thursday morning for the third graders) over my blocking, which of course led the cats to be more interested in it than ever.
I, on the other hand, am at such an abject moment, a third of the way through the final sleeve of this cursed Pearl, that I may just ditch the leaning cables altogether and go stockinette, or God help me, garter stitch. I can’t recall a time I’ve been so thoroughly ready to MOVE ON.NOW.
pearlsleeveandhalf.jpg
See? The left-leaning cables still look warbly, no matter how carefully I do this and that. The right leaners continue to behave perfectly. This soul-suckin’ sleevefest has led me to watch almost an entire season of America’s Next Top Model, from a year so distant that the winner has probably already become America’s Previous Top Model. I’ve also knitted through last season’s Real Housewives of Orange County, a show that’s hard to watch because all the women look eggzackly the same, and which gives me the chance to sit in on conversations such as “When Did You Have Your Breast Implants Done and Is Seventeen Too Young?” I don’t get enough chance to chime in on discussions like that, here in Nashville. I did, however, see a woman on a slant board at the Y last week who defied gravity in such a spectacular way that I felt like I ought to compliment her. I mean, her parts were so very vertical at a moment when most women are sort of horizontal. Way to go, lady!
Oh, and I managed to see the first episode of Running in Heels, which I instantly Tivoed because it’s The Devil Wore Prada come to life.
Very sorry to be telling you all this. Just terrible. The sooner I finish these sleeves, the sooner I can reclaim the higher moral ground. Or something, anything. Help meeeeeee!
Love,
Ann

Tags: ,

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. 24 will make you put down your knitting
    guess bauer will save the white house
    could you just give up on the sleeves
    and wear it over a silk blouse
    we will have a deep freeze here in
    florida -i used to live in jersey
    spring snows and cold would freeze
    your easter bonnet right off the
    top of your head good night ladies
    did you see tom jones on nprs
    tiny concerts great web site

  2. I’m so glad to know that the cats are protected from the pins. my cat (Dinah) must’ve heard about your cat, because I grabbed some pins the other day so I could hem my husband’s pants, and Dinah ran over and started batting them around. uh, no.
    You’re nearly there!! I can’t believe you got through all of those reality shows while knitting your sweater. That really shows perseverance. :)

  3. I admire your fortitude. My Lady February might have to sit in its stubby sleeve state because I don’t have the strength or stomach for it any more.

  4. And my Hey Teach is sulking because it’s all knit, but unsewn. Onward. Your sleeves will be fine; blocking cures all! It’s just the knitting of them that may do you in…

  5. Kitties look like gangstas in a turf war stand off. Kermit is all, “I’m takin’ ovah this here blockin’ boahd, see?!”

  6. Dear Ann,
    When lamenting over “warbly left leaners” think two words: Hand. Made.
    Yes, my dear, remember that most non-knitting/non-crocheting humans wouldn’t know a “left leaner”, from a “yarn over”, but would kill, absolutely K-I-L-L, for a hand knit sweater such as is currently on your needles. So, maybe you could allow your internal judge play to THAT audience. (Just saying).
    Come what may, knit on! You’re in the home stretch.
    LoveDiane

  7. Are these tv programs for real?
    this cannot be true
    when I left cable tv behind
    the x-files were brand new
    I knit while listening to NPR
    or the sound of my child’s protest:
    he fired me last week for knitting too much!
    one sock a month fails his test
    If I had cable again I could start
    my Daily sweater! Or Liberty!
    But I’d have to share cable with dear sweet John,
    and he wants a sweater from me.
    I’m resisting the urge for more television,
    At least I get Masterpiece
    I’ll finish the socks! I’ll start Fetching next!I can cable in that way, at least.

  8. I don’t think those left-leaning stitches look as wobbly as you’re seeing them. You’re likely so enmeshed in this project that you’ve lost perspective. Take a deep breath. Better yet, a nice glass of wine (or whatever your preference is). Put on a movie like “Little Women” or “Pride & Prejudice,” something that celebrates the beauty of a woman’s hand-work rather than those TV shows featuring women who are buffed to a high sheen and who have never in their lives dared to chip a nail over something as beautiful as knitting. If you can, think about the process rather than finishing the product. And then copy and paste this message back to me when I’m in the midst of the slog-from-hell, OK? :)

  9. Condolences! Sympathies! Determination and Persistence. I think it’s beautiful. I’ll let you know if my cat is a pin eater.

  10. Are you trying to lay claim to a new psychological phenomenon here? Torturous knitting drives otherwise highly intelligent, literature-loving woman to fashion-cum-torture themed TV?? I am not buying it, Ann.
    It’s high time to engage in some project polygamy and blissfully knit Something Else. Or put down the sleeve and pick up a damn BOOK until you feel better. Srsly, those TV programs will hurt your head – never mind that you think you’ve got ironic objectivity going on.
    (I’m sitting in for Lucy of Peanuts, at her little DOCTOR IS IN psychology booth.)

  11. …I know you are hating the leaning cables, but I love that sweater. Just that I can’t find it anywhere….even just a ‘how to’ for those leaning cables would be great! Then it could drive me crazy too!

  12. Loving that stack of books in the background. You know how to make a woman feel right at home! Pop “Take the Lead” into your DVD player [what, you don't own TTL? gasp!] and ignore everything but the dance scenes. Especially that three-way tango at the end. Just saying.

  13. Your sweater looks perfectly lovely. If you need to convince yourself of it, use the word ‘organic’ – and when you are lying on the forest floor, no one will see your imagined imperfections.
    You adopted the BEST CATS ever!

  14. I’m told there is something in one of the Lucy Neatby DVDs about avoiding warbly cables. Alas, I know not where or what. Uh. Glad to be so helpful and stuff. Ha. But since you’re Mason*Dixon and all, you could probably put a shout out and get the information, or at least where to find it. There may also be information in “The Principles of Knitting”, if you can get it unchained from behind the front desk at your local library. Unfortunately I am away from my own copy at the moment.
    …was that helpful at all? Heck, I hope so.
    And what Diane said. Lovely, hand made, a triumph of perseverance. Good on you. (I was trying for soomething Anglophile – Anglophilian? – but all I can come up with is Australian.)

  15. About those left leaning cables and their warblyness. As my grandmother used to say, “Not so as you could tell on a galloping horse.” Of course, at the time I was young enough to be happy being compared to a galloping horse. But really, once the knits are in motion? No problem.

  16. It will end. Really. I just finished the knitting (still have collar and seaming to go) on a sweater for my husband (River Forest Gansey, from Handknit Holidays), begun three years ago but done mostly over the last 5 months. A lovely pattern. Beautiful to look at. Soul-suckingly tedious to knit. I thought it might kill me. Midway through the first sleeve I didn’t think I could go on. Now, the pieces are all blocked. I hope to have it ready for him to wear by the end of the week, while it’s still winter here in Vermont. It will look fantastic on him, and all that mind-numbing boredom will fade…

  17. The Master Knitters on Ravelry recently discussed the warblyness issue in their argyle socks thread, the conclusions are primarily summarized here:
    http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/tkga/252880/226-250#231
    Basically, it’s the yarn’s fault. The twist makes it work funny going one way but fine going the other. Your yarn isn’t inherently bad, but very few yarns *won’t* have this problem.

  18. I’m with those who seem to be suggesting that maybe the knitting would go better if the telly watching was better? Nothing would make my cables wobble more than a discussion of when to get implants. Then there are, of course, those things in life that are here for the sole purpose of making us wonder why we are.
    Onward, ever onward!
    Gerrie in St Paul

  19. Dear Ann,
    As someone wisely told me recently, it’s time to put this project in time-out. When you find yourself using the phrase “soul-suckin’ ” about your KNITTING, for pete’s sake, it’s probably time to give it a rest for awhile. It’ll still be there when you get back to it in a month or six. Remember — knitting is spoze to be fun.

  20. Don’t feel the lonely shame of ANTM fandom. It’s so bad in such a good way. Remember, it’s educational – you can learn how to look better in pictures by “finding the light,” “elongating your neck,” “smiling with your eyes,” and the ever-helpful looking “ugly pretty.”

  21. I have taken to knitting sleeves two at once on circs so I don’t finish one before the other, it doesn’t make them go any faster, but it does get them finished at the same time!!!

  22. Are we voting?
    Watch some better tv and/or knit on something else. I think your sweater looks fabulous, it’s going to look great, you are awesome, it’s okay to take a breather from the left-leaning cables from hell.
    You have to safeguard against getting burnt out…

  23. It’s very good of you to struggle through the endless warbly sleeves to have fodder for the blog. I love your cats- warning that we do not need any- ever again. But maybe a fluffy one.
    I also love your commenters. Very intelligent.
    Would rewards help you? Two inches on sleeve, one shopping trip. One more inch, some chocolate? Or even the reward of working on another project?
    We’re here for you.

  24. I LOVE the pic with the kitties. too cute.

  25. Hi Ann,
    My best trick for blocking sans cats is to set up an oscillating fan to blow over the blocking board– they dislike the breeze and tend to stay away. And the knitting dries that much quicker!
    Every cat I’ve ever had has been intrigued by colorful glass-headed pins. One of my cats will nip at any tiny hard object– I have to defend my nightgown buttons every morning. Not to mention my coffee, which he seems to believe smells like something that should be buried. He makes me work for my caffeine. :-)
    Carol

  26. Well, I for one, am not going to cast aspersions on The Real Housewives. I love that show, even if I watch it the entire time with my mouth hanging open from shock. Didja see how they accused Gretchen of being a paid companion?! Oh the drama! And I still have the finale of The Girls Next Door waiting on TiVo, so don’t ruin it for me.
    What could be better than being ensconced in front of the teevee with blankies, junky food, and a Sci Fi Channel horror movie – Lake Placid 2, Snakehead Terror…Sometimes it’s so bad it’s good, ifyouknowwhatImean.
    And also – bring back Project Runway!
    Whew. Now I feel the need for a Deadliest Catch Marathon.

  27. Pin eating cats, vertical boobs on a horizontal woman, wobbly cables? Your grandkids are gonna love these archives. (Hi Ann’s grandkids- your Nan’s wicked cool. wicked.)

  28. My take on left-leaning cables is – when the sweater is on a human form, no one will be able to tell.
    Love the cats.

  29. Excellent photograph!
    And I’d like to buy a ticket to the Soul-Sucking Sleeve Fest, please. If I can buy it directly. Last time I waited too long and would have had to pay big bucks to a scalper.
    Sorry you didn’t get more snow! I just came in from putting the chickens to bed (an expression – they don’t really have beds. I swear.) and had to brush the snow off my KNEES. At this point, it’s not exciting or even entertaining. It’s just More.Snow. I’ll be happy to share!

  30. I hear you. I am trying to get some cables to behave…and have tried cabling with and without a cable needle..to no avail. I am not even blogging about it. Hrmph.

  31. goodness. I’ve already missed the start of
    “Running in Heels” !? thanks for the reminder.
    i’ll watch it while i knit (but of course !)

  32. Check out the Quiltsy Team while you are shopping
    etsy. This group is a very talented group of artists that make quilts, bags, ACEOs and anything else you can do with fabricc. I am a proud member and cannot speak highly enough of this talented group.

  33. Check out the Quiltsy Team while you are shopping
    etsy. This group is a very talented group of artists that make quilts, bags, ACEOs and anything else you can do with fabricc. I am a proud member and cannot speak highly enough of this talented group.