Aw look! One pattern, 364 versions of the MDK New Ancestral Christmas Stocking.

Hallucinatory Pre-Loadout Knitting Episode

loadout09.jpg
Dear Kay,
I’m trying to get me, my junk, and also two children (who I am going to maintain are not junk even though they will still fit into a canvas tote bag if I fold them up right) up to Monteagle for the summer, and it’s frankly not going very well.
I have NEVER in all my knitting days had such colossal indecision. Everything looks interesting; nothing looks interesting. I sit and stare into my bin of sock yarn and think, Socks? Could I do this? Are socks what I’m about right now? It’s all so daunting. So impossible, in fact, that I have ended up packing my entire Cristina-built circular needle holder, which means I’m taking probably four dozen circular needles with me to the mountain, including my 60″ size 15. I am SURE I’m going to need that thing. I’m taking the blocking wires. This is ridiculous.
In terms of yarn, I’m sticking with your Belinda Shawl, my log cabin squares blanket, and all the handspun I have collected over the years. I wonder what will happen to it! Definitely some sock yarn in there, just because it’s so decorative. And I reserve the right to stock up whenever I see handspun enabler Lynne Vogel, which will be at least twice if I get it right.
Meanwhile . . .
I really, really hesitate to post these photos, because I think it’s going to permanently put you into the creepies about this shawl I’m making for you. But I had to document what happened, when it happened, because the moment has now passed, and I wanted to have proof of it for myself.
The scene: the indoor skatepark, downtown. Clif is delighted to skate all afternoon. I’m in the parent-storage area, which has a huge, spongelike chair that nobody in her right mind would sit in. Except I am already kind of sleepy, and it is so very upholstered . . . I am on row 4 billion of this shawl, yet working on a 10″ needle, so I have no way of telling whether things are coming out right. All 300 stitches are crammed onto this little stick. I wonder idly what it would look like, all liberated and spread out. I realize I’ve had this thought about a hundred times in the past week.
I’m slumped in the worrisome sponge chair, drifting in and out of consciousness as Bob Dylan’s “Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts” blares at 120 decibels, which pretty much provides a lifetime supply of Bob Dylan in one song. At the same time, I’m trying to listen on my iPod to a course about Russian history, so I’ve got Peter the Great, Bloody Anna, Catherine the Great, and Pugachev’s Rebellion floating around in my head, too.
Amid all this, it occurs to me that I could take the shawl off the needle if I threaded the working yarn through the stitches, doubled up or something.
So I did this:
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right there on the skatepark folding table. I sort of wiped it off, but I was completely zonked out by the Dylan and the Russian history and the prospect of seeing this shawl SPREAD OUT. I had to know. I had to see what was what.
belindaforkaydetail.jpg
The good news is that I have about eight more rows to go. The bad news is that I am going to have to soak the thing in Oxyclean for a week.
And yes, that’s the orange stitch marker right there in the middle. Front and center.
Next stop: Monteagle. See you on the other side.
Love,
Ann

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47 Comments

47 Comments

  1. You’re a brave mom, Ann. Best of luck with all that!

  2. I sure hope those kitties are packed to go too!

  3. Love the wrap for Kay. I noticed in your packing up some LL Bean or Lands End totes. Aren’t they great for knitting on the go?

  4. Okay, you’re either incredibly bold or entirely crazy! A shawl spread out at the skate park? Nuts. The packing might be easier if you were Kay…dishrag cotton and Rowan Denim…but best of luck with your size 15 60″ needles. Take lots of pictures and enjoy your time away.

  5. The shawl looks lovely- I hope inspiration seizes you and you can find a good fix for that one, pesky stitch.

  6. I love that song.

  7. I wish I’d known about knitting socks back when I spent years of my life flattening my butt on the bleachers in the “parent holding area” at gymnastics practice.

  8. And the baby bluebirds are on their own?

  9. I have a short trip in October, and now I’m already thinking about what I might want to knit while I’m there! Kind of funny, because I probably won’t touch stitch one.

  10. I spend many days in knitting project preparation for a 60 mile overnight with my BFF. I have a multitude of needle options already in the trunk as pre-preparation and more than 3 or 4 projects. You. Just. Never. Know. You are just being very wise and cautious Dear. Perfectly normal. Don’t forget jeans/shorts and some T shirts. LOVE your Kay scarf, very magical. Have a wonderful summer!

  11. Love the kitties, they look like they are helping with your packing.
    Amy

  12. the shawl looks lovely. Do the cats get to go to monteagle too?

  13. What is the course on Russian history that you are listening to? I am intrigued!!

  14. What is the course on Russian history that you are listening to? I am intrigued!!

  15. Yikes! I can’t believe you did that at the skate park!
    And am I correct to assume that all those bags are just the fiber fun? You have other luggage with mundane things like clothes, right?

  16. I completely understand the need to take that much knitting gear. But the LL Bean bags should be covered in a felted birdy cozy and those paper bags should be knitted bags. I hope that doesn’t make you pack more yarn and patterns. Have a great summer and say hey to Lynn for me.

  17. What are the boys taking?

  18. Wow. I am impressed. But what I really want to know is how everyone around you reacted to this display of knitting boldness? It seems like a moment to remember :)

  19. perhaps all the yarn and etc
    means a book is to be started?

  20. The shawl looks beautiful. Hope you enjoy your summer on the mountain. Don’t forget that we have a great shop in Tullahoma (Imaginknit), if you need supplies. It’s on the main street in town (Jackson). There will be a WWKIP day event on Saturday from 11-3, on the front lawn of the civic center across from the shop. Would love to see you there.

  21. I am missing you already. I hate it when all of you pack your bags and leave us in the hot muggy city to go to the cool breezy mountain. Knit on while sitting on that shady porch visiting with all of those lovely people up there. And when you are through, won’t Kay look lovely in Belinda walking around Central Park in the fall.

  22. I am missing you already. I hate it when all of you pack your bags and leave us in the hot muggy city to go to the cool breezy mountain. Knit on while sitting on that shady porch visiting with all of those lovely people up there. And when you are through, won’t Kay look lovely in Belinda walking around Central Park in the fall.

  23. I am currently in a state of flux – dividing my time between a house in NH and an apartment in Ohio – and will be for the next two years due to my husband’s job. I can certainly relate to your yarn/needle packing issue. I keep having to decide what needs to stay in one place or another. Trying to determine what I can’t live without for indeterminate chunks of time is no easy task. Good luck, Ann!

  24. What a coincidence! I have been listening to the old time radio show “I Was a Communist for the FBI”.
    I can’t decide if this comment is inane or meaningful. But I had to post it.

  25. Have a great time, Ann! Where will your library knitting group be when you get back? Have y’all decided? Also – saw a picture of you and hubby in the paper a few weeks ago all gussied up for some sort of faincy Naishville Ball-type thingy. Oooh la lah! You clean up real good, girlfriend! And way to get mentioned in the ole’ society pages…

  26. That is my all time favorite Dylan song.

  27. Love the shawl – it looks great!

  28. The shawl is really beautiful! And will the kitties put themselves in an LLBean bag, too?

  29. Ann, dear, all of this knitting paraphernalia is not simply a schlepp; it’s a schlepperooni! What you need is one of those huge suitcases, with the wheels and pop-up handle, in which to transport your “just incase I need it” knitting stuff (except for Kay’s shawl–THAT’S an essential).
    Now, once those eight “Belinda” rows are completed, you’ll be wanting to work on something else, hence the schlepp. I’m not faulting the schlepping of all of that stuff, no. I think it is a necessary part of finding the answer to the always burning “what shall I knit next” question.
    You see, only when one has schlepped all of those things with them will the perfect project appear–not from the stuff you brought with you. Noooo! It’s a sure bet that it’ll appear from a totally other source….
    As for spreaddin’ out the Belinda, at one point, I did the same thing with the 360 stitch/100+ row scarf that I recently completed. It must be some sort of knitting “rite of passage”, or something.
    So. Latvian mittens, anyone?
    Have fun at the mountains. Knit on!
    LoveDiane

  30. Are you going to be on the mountain for the 4th of July? Should I just walk up and down the side of the road at the parade, swinging my sock-in-progress over my head?
    I’ve never knitted-in-public when I go home to visit my relatives up thataways. Where is the knitting action at, up on the plateau?

  31. I am just coming through the other side of “end of school year” and “favorite charity’s gala” and “party for 80 work people at my home” and “8th grad graduation” and “surly teen has no place to take his attitude now that that school is out.”
    I was so wiped out by Sunday that I couldn’t even muster up the drive to go see “Up” which I really, really do want to see! (Next weekend.)
    So, I salute you, and the knitting packing quandry, and the wonderfully transcendent moment for the skate park table. All I managed was survival and some laundry!

  32. I love it. How wonderful it would be to turn up at a skatepark (do we even have those in England? Or is it that I have no kids and therefore just DON’T KNOW) and find some normal looking but obviously crazy lady laying out her massive shawl on a table JUST TO SEE HOW IT LOOKS. Fab!
    p.s. looks great by the way….

  33. Whenever I feel badly about my half knit piece being dragged around, I like to think about where the yarn components were before I touched it. Like, barnyard? Underwater sea growth? Growing in dirt in a field? What’s adding a few more microbes to that? No worries, that Belinda transcends.

  34. I’ve always known it, you’re a much much braver woman than I am. Or crazy, I can’t tell. :) Bob Dylan, russian history, a lace shawl, all at a skate park.
    Glad to see you have all your bags in a row…:)

  35. Ann, I hate to ask this, but it’s been burning in the back of my mind – what are you going to do with that k2tog that k0tog? Do you have a plan? Is there a plan? It makes my head ache just imagining it — and I’m such a novice knitter all I can picture is you with tiny embroidery scissors, leaning over the shawl… I hope there is a better way. And I’d love to hear all about it once you manage to fix it. And by the way, I was so inordinately thrilled to see that you and Kay had answered my weaving-in question as The Problem Ladies! I swear, I felt famous for about a minute and a half. (= It was perfect timing, too, since I had just finished a blanket and was about to tackle all the loose ends. With your advice I was able to weave them all in calmly and quickly. I’m sending it to the recipient today. Thank you!! Enjoy Monteagle!

  36. Ann, I hate to ask this, but it’s been burning in the back of my mind – what are you going to do with that k2tog that k0tog? Do you have a plan? Is there a plan? It makes my head ache just imagining it — and I’m such a novice knitter all I can picture is you with tiny embroidery scissors, leaning over the shawl… I hope there is a better way. And I’d love to hear all about it once you manage to fix it. And by the way, I was so inordinately thrilled to see that you and Kay had answered my weaving-in question as The Problem Ladies! I swear, I felt famous for about a minute and a half. (= It was perfect timing, too, since I had just finished a blanket and was about to tackle all the loose ends. With your advice I was able to weave them all in calmly and quickly. I’m sending it to the recipient today. Thank you!! Enjoy Monteagle!

  37. Oh, look at Kermit and his expression of longing. He wants to go Monteagle too.

  38. I am having this problem too, but my projects have to be mini-scule. Have a good trip and a good Summer!

  39. I see your cats are packed and ready to go :)

  40. Hey, has anyone seen the June 10th e-mailing of Interweave’s “Knitting Daily”? There’s a sweater there with the highest potential for being nicknamed “The Ball Band Sweater” or “The Dishrag Cardigan”, or some such thing.
    BTW, the “expanded” version of “Belinda” is quite lovely. I was amused to see the wimsy of the still-present orange marker. Will it eventually be replaced by a “perminant” marker in the color green? Cooool!
    LoveDiane

  41. Ann,
    1) I’m proud of you for not ripping that shawl
    2) You captured, perfectly, the knitter’s pre-trip backing dilemma. It’s always worse when you’re traveling by car because you have no limitations.
    Miss ya,

  42. Wow, that’s one beautiful scarf! Very gutsy of you to take it off the needles in a skating park of all places!!
    I was just wondering what the Cristina-built circular needle holder looks like. I couldn’t find it on her web-site (or is this just a reference to a joke that I missed???)
    Have a great time in Monteagle and don’t forget to write.
    Marianne
    PS: Like Elizabeth, I felt like I got my 15 minutes of fame when you answered my rolling hem question. Thanks!

  43. I don’t mean to pry, but perhaps you should knit yourself a kikomariko rug for your front door. I mean are you Ann Shayne or are you Ann Shayne?
    Just sayin’ is all…
    Have a great summer! (taken from my 8th grade year book)

  44. Decisions, decisions…..the curse of a creative mind!
    Can totally relate to your bout of knitting separation anxiety you’re experiencing. I go through the same thing anytime I leave the house to GO ANYWHERE these days! Several(o.k., DOZENS!) WIPs
    beg from their individual project bags to go along, and it’s very hard to choose just one. Even for a trip to the post office!

  45. But, wow, does the shawl look gorgeous! Congratulations!
    I am getting ready to go to England for two months and I’m having the same packing problems. Will I want to knit socks (so easy to pack sock yarn) or a Great Big Sweater? It will probably have to be the socks…but so good to see someone else having the same problem.

  46. Okay, I have to know how you do it. Are those two cats really just sitting there while you pack up? Without insisting on sitting in the bags? The bags with knitting in them?! How did you train them?

  47. LL Bean boat canvas… looks just like me when I’m packing for a break ;-)