What I’ve Been Up To
February 25, 2005
Well. I’ve been keeping busy. We needed to go to Florida for a Family Event (a sad one, sadly), and as it was Presidents Day weekend, we stayed for a few extra days. What this meant, from my perspective, was: Knitting Time. Being the World’s Meanest Mom, I have trained my children from infancy to travel quietly on airplanes. Carrie eats Sweet Tarts and drinks Sprite while creating illustrated books about exotic animals she wishes she owned and/or could speak to. Animals such as the teenytiny alligator, the cuddly boa constrictor, and the coatimundi, which even Mommy thinks is cute.
Meanwhile, Joseph spends at least an hour and a half studying that plastic-coated card that shows, in elaborate pictograms, everything you ever could need to know about evacuating this particular equipment on land or sea. Did you know that you can NOT use the wing exits in a water landing? No, you cannot! Do not try it! Did you know there is a right way and a wrong way to sit down on the slide in a slide evacuation? Yes, there is! Know the difference! Ask Joseph!
While all this wholesome educational activity is going on, I knit. I knit from sit-down to that bell going off that says you can now safely unfasten your seat belt. I knit through Sprites and pretzels. I knit through the Always Awful Movie and the wails of children who have not been properly programmed (or perhaps not given enough Sweet Tarts and Sprites to do the job). I find Airplane Knitting to be one of the great pleasures of life, right up there with First Cup of Coffee of the Day and my annual Just ‘Cause It’s August Gin & Tonic (just one and then it’s back to drinks that do not taste like medicine with a squeeze of lime).
What I Knit
What did I knit on my Presidents Day vacation? When I was packing for warmer weather, as I was bemoaning my lack of a good spring/summer cotton pullover, I had a brainstorm. Hey! I thought. Here’s an idea: I could KNIT one. So I got out the Denim People, knowing that it would be more likely to contain a Very Simple Boxy Pullover than the previous Rowan Denim book or the fancy-schmancy Artwork vintage book or the Rowan mags with wonderful gansey-inspired patterns here and there. Bingo, there it was, a Very Simple Boxy Pullover, which, since this is a Rowan book after all, is called ‘Creeper’. I like that it has a center cable (flattering) that is instantly memorized. I like that it has no side shaping (ah…roomy!). I like that the cable is bordered with moss stitch. I like the funnel neck which requires no sewing or picking-up of stitches. I like that I had plenty of ecru Denim in the stash. Here’s the progress I’ve made so far:
The idea is, Creeper will be as comfy and washable as a sweatshirt, but more ladylike and respectable to be seen in every damn day. ‘Cause that’s what I do when I make something I like, that fits me. I wear it every day, weather permitting, like a uniform. Do you think I’ll finish it in time for Julia’s Afghanalong sew-up bee in Boston next weekend?
Since I knew I would be stuck in Florida without the distractions of felting, or Persian Poppies, or felting Persian Poppies, I also took with me a little project that has been, well, neglected.
Yes, these are the sleeves to Olive. They are wrinkled because they have been sitting at the bottom of a basket since December 2003. Yes, it’s the sweater I was knitting for you in our little exchange, which turned into an exchange in which you knitted a gorgeous cardi for me and got bupkis in return. See how close I was to finishing the second sleeve when I quit working on it?
In the loneliness of my hotel room, I resolved to figure out which size I was making and finish the last sleeve. Then I took a long hard look at the Already Finished sleeve, and discovered that there was a tiny little dropped stitch sticking out, WAY down in the middle of the sleeve. Painstakingly, I pulled it up the ladders. But this created a tight crease. I knew in my heart of hearts that this crease could not be soaked or blocked our pounded out. So I began to rip. But no! It would not rip! The Felted Tweed has a tendency to felt to itself, and it was going to be a long, torturous rip-back. (And I don’t even observe Lent.) What did I do? With a heavy heart and a shaking hand, I cut across the stitches at a point where I thought I could more easily begin to rip:
It worked. And yes, I re-knit more than half of the first sleeve, and then I finished the second sleeve, and then I made that weird little old-timey Peter Pan collar that is So Very Ann. I did all of this for you, dear. ‘Cause I love ya. Of course, nobody is putting any odds on when I will actually sew this thing up. Keep hope alive, keep hope alive. (Remember we agreed that the deadline was 2015?)
Dishrags for Tsunami Relief
You know I love me a good charity knitting project. I just found out about the String Scrubbie Project, which benefits victims of the Boxing Day Tsunami. I already happened to have a dishcloth on the needles (quel surprise!), which I will finish and mail to California so they can sell it for 10 bucks to somebody looking to add a boatload of ‘quaint’ to their kitchen. There are piles of alluring dishrags to ogle here.
Alluring dishrags: a phrase that could be uttered by only one person, and that would be me.