Waifs down a mossy path: Dries Van Noten’s clothes for next spring.

Square Two (Is A Rectangle)

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Dear Ann,
Square Two of the Wall of Linen blanket is a walk in the park. Cast on 30 in cream. Make 4 navy blue stripes of either 3 or 4 ridges (go crazy with the possibilities). Start these stripes on the wrong side, to achieve an appearance of WS on the RS. (This Knitting Special Effect looks like ticking. I find it Visually Interesting.) Knit a total of 60 garter ridges, then bind off, then work cro-Kay all the way around the square. (Cro-Kay is: Pick up 2 stitches on the edge. *Bind off 1 stitch, pick up 1 stitch; repeat from * all the way around the edge.) (Cro-Kaying all the way around is optional and perhaps even controversial. But I like the idea of a uniform edge all the way around. Slipping the first stitch of every row would achieve a similar effect, but when I do this I get a looser edge than I want here.)
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BREAKING NEWS: I have changed my mind about carrying the color-not-in-use up the side of the work as I a knit stripes. I did this for the first 2 squares, but I’m not liking the way the edge looks on the WS with that thread of contrasting color poking through. I’ve decided to make the supreme sacrifice of cutting the yarn between stripes and weaving in the (many) extra ends that this will create. You may think me a fool. You may think me a prodigal waster of precious yarn and a weakener of Blanket Integrity. But dang it, that’s what I’m doing.
We Pause for a Profound Observation on the Nature of Motherhood or Perhaps Womanhood Itself
I blame it on reading Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse for the Lit Hum class I’ve been auditing. I’ve been doing lots of thinking on Who Am I and What Am I Here For and What Is Significant About This Particular Moment When We Are Eating Cream Cheese on Bagels And Looking Meaningfully Across the Table, Seething With Unspoken Thoughts of How Very Precious We Are To Each Other But Wait, You’ve Got a Schmear On Your Chin.
This weekend I noticed myself going from room to room, picking up Other People’s Stuff and taking it back to its home location. The Mets Foam Finger, the detritus of homework, the many, many newspapers concerning Sports and Finance, the paperbacks of Horrible Histories, the whimsical erasers. I realized that I do this on auto-pilot: roam, stop, pick up object, return object to home location (or secretly put object in recycling bin), roam, repeat. I do this so constantly that nobody sees me do it. They think their stuff moves when they are not looking.
It dawned on me that I am a human Roomba.
I am Momba.
Love,
Kay

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38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. You could always start storing it. My mom always made us earn it back in exchange for chores… If not within a certain period, off to goodwill it went.

  2. Erin B’s mother has the best household rule I’ve ever heard.

  3. I have given up on being a Momba. I tell them to pick it up, and if I tell them twice and it is still there, I get out a garbage bag. You should see them scurry like mice! You only have to throw 1 actual item belonging to each child away for this to be effective. I usually pick the most annoying happy meal toy that is around at the time. You do need to be careful not to lay hands on something really treasured or important as the 1st thing to hit the garbage or you will be fishing it out and this will no longer be effective.

  4. To me you’ll always be Mambo, you mixed up goomba.

  5. Momba– TOO.FUNNY.
    I’m going to be your little sister, Step-Momba, mmkay?

  6. It is bizarre how we can do that-I do the same thing: refold/pick up towels(morning and night) in the boys’ bathroom, dog toys to dog bed. crate, Lego to the morasse that is the “playroom”… Still haven’t figured out why I don’t look like a runway model after hours of this daily. Dang it-should be some benefit(other than not impaling one’s foot on a Bionicle piece)!

  7. Moomba! genius!
    In my house people just think they are tidier than they are….like I find myself picking up stuff and they say “I always leave it in my room” and I have to gently correct with “No, I leave it in your room when you leave it beside the computer.”
    For spouse I put everything on the dresser. He is the one who THINKS he is so tidy, imagines that the dishwasher only needs to be unloaded once a week. Where are my screwdrivers? on your dresser. On a more positive note, I am pleased that he has screwdrivers and uses them regularly around the house.
    Moomba!

  8. I know that neither my hubby or I are even this organized. I can only hope it is a skill learned with motherhood, or my little abode will become even less tidy.
    I don’t clean very often. Usually a manic frenzy every month (rather than sensibly doing a little bit every day) and a bigger one if I am having guests. If I were smarter, I’d have guests over every couple of weeks just to ensure that the cleaning happened.

  9. I am in the midst of re-envisioning a quilt as a handknit blanket and I discovered that I hated the way the edges looked with the yarn carried up the side. Efficient, yes, but it just didn’t come out right. It is nice to know that I am not alone in that.
    I like the way the WS/RS ticking looks. I still thing that is a viable option for your seaming up.

  10. Oh my, yes. Momba’s of the world, unite!
    (Have you considered trying weaving the ends as you go, a la sock pr0n?)
    http://sockpr0n.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-to-weave-in-ends-while-knitting.html

  11. I’ve never commented before, but I’ve been reading this blog, and I love it.
    As far as being momba, my mom made us buy back our stray items after we got our allowances. A dollar here, fifty cents there…it added up. Now I pick up after my boyfriend, but the allowance thing IS tempting…
    Rachel May

  12. I only wish there was someone else responsible for the chaos that is my post-winter, too-soon-for-gatherings-on-the-screenporch home…but [sigh] it’s me.

  13. Dude! I’m Momba too! Thanks for giving us a fun title. Although I’m really liking that buy-back thing.

  14. mmmhmmmm. We have advanced degrees Kay. We are smart moombas. The questions you are asking? I’m predicting that this is the calm before the family storm. The moomba clouds are a brewin’ something new……….

  15. Hi! I came here through my blog. Thanks for the comment – if you knew those two cats, you might be inclined to disbelieve they contribute to peace. The fat one thinks MDK is a butt rest (especially if it’s open). She and I just have different reasons for appreciating it, I guess.
    How did I fail to put you guys on my bloglines? The problem will be corrected instantly.

  16. You crack my shit up.
    Dearest Kay, You are so much more than a human sized vacuum cleaner.

  17. Momba!! I love it! I think I’m going to make my kids start buying me “batteries” (i.e., yarn, coffee and chocolate). That’s great!

  18. And you are not alone–there are many Momba’s quietly roaming homes all over the world. Do you have the problem I have? If I ignore the Lego’s, they’ll stay there until the end of time, but put the Lego’s away, they somehow become the most awesomely appealing toy ever. And then they’re all over the floor again. And if the boy has to put them away–they don’t get put away because “hey! these Lego’s are awesome”. You can’t win.

  19. Everybody Momba!
    (I am now going to do my roam-and-repeats to that Calypso beat…)

  20. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only housewife exhibiting momba behavior. Love the new sriped squares (especially like someone mentioned already the ticking effect).

  21. Loving these squaretangle whatever the heck they are! You are in a serious flow state.
    I think you should go on strike for a week, just to see what would happen. It may be that after a few days, things are so out of place that people start putting them back where they belong, by accident.

  22. Re: weaving in ends – I am of the “If you’re going to do it, do it right” school. Don’t sacrifice the looks for time – it will bug you later!

  23. Re: weaving in ends – I am of the “If you’re going to do it, do it right” school. Don’t sacrifice the looks for time – it will bug you later!

  24. I think because I had no ‘personal’ children – just a stepdaughter and now a grandson – I don’t tend to go into Moomba mode. Before grandson hits the road for home on Sundays, NanaRobin makes him get up and put away all his stuff. I have put his things in ‘jail’ (at 7 1/2 he has a fixation on the police) and make him do something for me to get it back. I honestly have to say that I somewhat resent picking up after sweetie and the grandson. I mean before they came along it was me and the ‘girls’ (dogs) and they never left anything out for me to pick up – I’ve always attributed this attitude to not having children.
    Love how the new stuff is going – you’re more woman than me – I can’t imagine having to weave in all those ends – won’t it mostly be hidden when you mattress ‘em together??

  25. Dear Kay, I love your new squares. Do you use a crochet hook to do the cro-Kay I did not know you would us the same language as in knitting, with a crochet hook.Bind off? Rita

  26. …And papa loves “momba” (to paraphrase the old song).
    Hey, I thought “cro-kay” was a lawn game played with some balls and a mallet, or something…do you at least use wooden knitting needles? But seriously, it must make a nice edge, sort of like slip stitching (with a “cro-shay” hook) all the way around, no?
    And how does that Euroflax feel? Like, is it a wonderful texture?
    Thanks so much for relaying your precious enthusiasm–but wait, you’ve got a schmear on your chin… :)
    LoveDiane

  27. Ok…I think that’s me too. But at our house we refer to the “laundry fairy,” the “grocery fairy,” etc. Kindof like the tooth fairy…but not such fun jobs.
    I’m loving the blanket. I wish I was knitting one. Who knows, I may start before you’re done.

  28. You are too funny, Momba! I love the enthusiasm with which you take on these new knitting projects. I can’t wait to see the squares of your blanket progress!!

  29. I would call you a humeba – although come to think of it, the gentlemen never pick up, so I guess you’re a momba after all. Just wanted to pass on the unwelcome news that it doesn’t get better as the kids get older. Well, you don’t step on pointy little Barbie shoes and Legos in your bare feet anymore. I worked diligently at getting my kids to be tidy when they were little, with some success. Now that they’re in their twenties, and still here (don’t ask) they’re bigger’n me – and the mess prevails. Big sigh. You get so you don’t care – unless you get ants.

  30. Dear Kay, I have been having Deep Thoughts about motherhood myself lately. These days my thoughts run along the lines of “I don’t want to do this anymore.” This is because I have a 3-year-old son whom I dearly love but who thinks the bathroom is a playground and the toilet his own personal merry-go-round. I really loved your comparison of yourself to a Roomba, and the whole post brought a little desperately needed lightness to my day today. You have leavened my life! Many thanks,
    Karen

  31. I had a dearly loved Aunt who described male housemates, (Husbands, sons and relateds) as “bears with furniture” My particular bear is a collecting type bear. he collects valuable stuff that ends up in the living room. Anybody need a solid cherrywood mantlepiece? Its been in the living room for about two years. Its too big to roomb and too valuable to throw away. anybody?

  32. I estimate that we spend some ungodly amount of our waking hours just moving stuff from one place to another — couch to recycling bin, hamper to washer to dryer to closet, inbox to trash bin. Sheesh.

  33. So… I’m just wondering… is the term cro-kay because you are Kay? Or because all the knitters will tease you if you crochet?
    p.s. if you crochet around the edges, you don’t have to weave in tails because you do them you go.

  34. Kay, Moomba is actually a Melbourne festival, held at the beginning of March every year:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moomba
    Look out for its supposed actual meaning, versus the meaning it was given by our founding fathers ;)
    Pronounce the first syllable (Moom) to rhyme with room or loom, btw.
    Maybe we should redefine it to mean: “Let’s get together and put your stuff back where it belongs”?

  35. On the carrying up the sides of the un-used color: I only just this week had a conversation about this. Suzanne of Knitting in La Jolla says she has discovered that if you knit BOTH yarns together on the first stitch of these rows, you get less wonkiness on that edge. Interesting, no? I usually cut’n’weave if it’s more than 2 ridges that I have to carry the unused yarn up, but maybe this will spare me?

  36. ok… i must visit more often, because you crack me up (and I could use a good laugh now and then) I love the momba… I think that is part of motherhood. I’ve threatened to throw out, but haven’t really followed through yet.. although with the in-laws coming to stay with us for 6 weeks, I have some major cleaning out to do, so it sounds about a good time to start!
    thanks for the smile

  37. That is priceless! Momba! I think if I stopped my daughter would never notice! ARGHHH.