Noro Silk Garden Solo is available at Webs and Jimmy Beans Wool, and at your local purveyor of Noro.

Palate Cleanser

flaxen.jpg
Dear Kay,
It has been an interesting morning. I had a great phone conversation with a friend about the nature of church, which at our church is quite a topic at the moment. We discussed the nature of men, which is also quite a topic. And we discussed marriage, which is ALWAYS one of my favorite topics.
We were pondering the question of why men cheat on the women they are still married to. Cheat really is a great word to describe the whole phenomenon: you had a deal with somebody, and now you’re breaking the rules. You’re cheating. It’s the disrespect of it all that really gets me–if you’re miserable in your marriage, for heaven’s sake get out of the marriage in a respectable way, then go find somebody else. Anybody (say, for example, me, when I was in 9th grade) who’s had to claw through the wreckage of their parents’ divorce will tell you that there are bad divorces and worse divorces. No busted marriage is any good; but when one parent is totally dumped on, it makes it kind of tricky for the children to navigate the aftermath. There’s my free marriage advice for the day.
ANYway, while we were discussing all THAT, I wandered into my closet to survey my yarn situation. Now that the Tweedy Squares blanket is done, I needed to find a non-wool palate cleanser. When I came upon three little pigs’ worth of Handmaiden Flaxen, it was a regular grapefruit sorbet.
Flaxen is 65% silk, 35% linen. Works up on a size 4 needle. I can’t think of another yarn that has this delicious texture, so I’m going to make a swatch and see what the variegation does. I’m not persuaded that this is going to look all that great when it’s knitted up. But jeezeepers, it is so very beautiful in the skein, and today, that’s plenty.
And seeing this yarn again, which I discovered at Nancy Parson and Cat Bordhi’s sock workshop last March, reminds me of that great trip to Oregon. Yarn really does make a fine souvenir.
Sorry to rant about lyin’ cheatin’ philanderers. But really, there’s just not much shame left anymore, and anybody out there who’s cheating ought to think hard about what they’re up to. It’s hard to imagine a situation where it’s a good idea.
Love,
Ann

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56 Comments

56 Comments

  1. You are so right – there is NO situation where it is a good idea!! and that yarn is just lovely!!!

  2. That is pretty yarn..sometimes it’s hard to imagine that it can be nicer after you knit it into something..maybe it’s just my experiences of trial and failure..

  3. Amen, sister! Same speech I been givin’ clients for the past 15 years. I tell the ladies, “No boyfriends until the papers are signed. No dinners, no movies, no coffe shops, no sleepovers. Especially when you’ve got kids. It’s just plain tacky.” I tell the men, “Keep YOUR genes in YOUR jeans until this is over. No such thing as a civilized divorce, but you can be a big boy about this.” Men require a little more plain talk than women. ;)

  4. That yarn is beautiful (and the blanket looks great)!

  5. Heaven’s to Betsy! That workshop was in March??? Time flies! And I wasn’t even there!
    Cheating on anything is never good idea. Especially a marriage. If your miserable, talk about it! If you can’t find happiness together (Go Get Counseling!), or if your spouse refuses to try, then divorce. And I’m not big fan of divorce; I don’t know anyone who is…

  6. My first husband cheated on me for 18 months, starting when my baby was 6 months old. Ugh. It’s a really difficult thing to get through but I did survive to find something better. But still – I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, it’s awful.

  7. Heavens yes, those are all big topics, or would be in my neighborhood. But really, who could cheat on some yarn that is that gorgeous? If you aren’t going to knit it into anything, at least cleanse the rest of our palates with a shot of your swatch, please.

  8. Rant away!! There’s such a lack of shame these days and just…..class! And it’s amazing how much of that goes on. Amazing – and appalling.
    Can’t wait to see that yarn swatched up!

  9. What? No YouTube link to Tammy Wynette or someone else singing “Your Cheatin Heart?”

  10. It’s hard to imagine a situation where it’s a good idea, indeed!

  11. How about cheating while in the public eye with someone of the same sex… I suppose thats a different topic all together! Or maybe its like the bad and worse concept!

  12. Heck, I remember being a kid and asking my sister (6 years older) how she kept things straight when dating more than one guy when she was in high school (back when ‘dating’ meant dinner and a movie and no hanky panky). I never could fathom how anyone could deal with more than one other person at a time. But I’ve known lots of men AND women who cheat — it’s an equal opportunity mess. And I still don’t understand how they do it!
    Monogamy in relationships is a must for me. Thank God it doesn’t apply to KIPs, though, or I’d be in real trouble! :)

  13. Keep up the plain talk, about knitting AND about keeping your vows. The pain just isn’t worth it, especially if there are children. And I’ve noticed it doesn’t matter how old the children are, either. I was just as shattered at 20-something as some kids are at 12, when the truth came out.
    I think it’s a good idea to remind yourself once in a while, if you’re married, have you done anything lately to remind your spouse that they’re your one and only?
    (It might mean putting down the knitting for a bit …)
    ~ Dar

  14. There are worse things than cheating – my niece’s BF of 3+ years (they were talking marriage) murdered a young woman that he had dated in college in a really horrendous fashion a few weeks ago. When his mother & sisters saw him in jail, he wanted to make sure that they let my niece know that he hadn’t cheated on her. Yeah that’s going to make her feel better about the whole thing!! Our entire family has been having nightmares & sleepless nights bout this.

  15. I must admit to having a very serious attack of yarn lust right now, which is putting me in danger of cheating on the silk noil yarn I’m currently working with. Is it different when we cheat on our knitting? But seriously, silk and linen are my 2 favourite fibres and I am feeling very weak at the thought of the two blended in to a single luscious, available,(and hand-dyed to boot)yarn.

  16. Your blanket stirred me up inside. Who would have thought that gazing at and studying the picture of a beautiful knitted blanket would cause so much inner turmoil. I was studying the choice of colors and their placement. I like how the lighter colors placed in a certain way give another dimension to the blanket. Then I wondered if I would be able to think up a color scheme with light and shadow, then I panicked over how I wanted to do that but did not think I had the brain power, then the knitter in me rose up and said “of course you can, just do it”….
    All of that to say your blanket is an inspiration.
    (I know this is off topic, sorry)

  17. HOW could yarn that gorgeous not look great when it’s knitted up? Those colors are making me drool!

  18. Rant on Ann! People are cruel and have no shame. My step-brother just left his family after cheating for a year, which means it all began when their littlest was only a year old. How does a person do that??? That poor child will never remember having a family.

  19. It’s bad enough that I wish I were in Tennessee when you have your library-time sit ‘n knits, but now I really wish I could be there to participate in the “nature of church” discussions.
    *sigh*
    Back to the knitting.

  20. ITA about the cheating. Even worse when it breaks up both marriages right before the first grandchild is born and the cheating produces a child who now has a mommy and daddy who aren’t married and live in different parts of the country (but daddy visits and calls) and he has grown children of his own. The child in the situation is still young enough to not really ask too many questions, but just wait a few years. Think of the feelings that will be stirred up by being the product of the act that broke up both parents’ marriages. Ouch

  21. Crap, I guess I have to rethink my life, then, huh? KIDDING!!!!

  22. Marriage is a dead institution. It’s because of the men. And the churches. The only comfort is in knitting.

  23. Looking forward to watching what you do with that Flaxen. I have some Sea Silk itching to become something but it hasn’t made its intentions clear to me yet.
    Agree with the cheating rant. I chalk it up to weakness, spinelessness, and an inability to admit to one’s failings. Recently watched a family member do this to his wife who was much more aware than she let on. Even when the philanderer is in his 80’s and claims the spouse is “too far gone” to know what’s going on, it still speaks volumes about his character to his progeny. You’d think by that time legacy would be a concern. But no, that ilk doesn’t change, not even to the very end.

  24. I don’t have to worry about my hubby. He says I’d be too expensive to get rid of. Maybe that’s because I tell him any woman who wants him can have him, but they get him they way I did……dead-ass broke! That’s my mom’s advice. I like it! My hubby is also an awful liar…..he’d never get away with cheating (and he watched his parent’s divorce first hand…..that did it for him!)
    About yarn as souviners. It’s the best!

  25. Couldn’t agree more! I believe one of my parents is still mad, oh, thirty-seven years later. The Flaxen, however, really is gorgeous in the skein.

  26. Amen sister–you’re right about cheating AND yarn as souvenirs! That makes you a genius in my book!

  27. i barely have the attention span to be with one person…..let alone knit socks.
    cripes. what has this world come to?

  28. Rock on Ann, rock on.

  29. Having been cheated on – repeatedly, I came to find out – by my ex, and then unceremoniously dumped, I am so with you on that. And then he wanted to remain friends without ever admitting that his actions were his own damn fault. No. freakin’. way.
    The whole cheating thing is the part I find troubling about Larry Craig, and David Vitter, and all the others. That and the abject hypocrisy of it all.

  30. Yes. I agree with what you said.
    I also wonder and am a bit curious about where this came from – topics like this don’t often come up in conversation randomly, they are usually sparked by something in real life. I hope everything’s okay with you and yours.

  31. I’m in total agreement with you on this one. So many can be hurt by one person’s selfishness. But that yarn is like a breath of fresh air – hope it knits up pretty!

  32. I’m in total agreement with you on this one. So many can be hurt by one person’s selfishness. But that yarn is like a breath of fresh air – hope it knits up pretty!

  33. I totally understand. I found my pallet cleansing with the ball band dishcloths from your book!
    By the way….I love your book. I just also finshed a variation on the log cabin blanket!
    and divorce sucks for kids no matter what! (another kid of divorce)

  34. I asked my ex to do that as he was walking out the door to cheat on me. Just leave me with some dignity. He couldn’t/wouldn’t. So years later he’s been married 3 more times and cheated on all of them. No shame, no respect.

  35. A. The cheater isn’t always the man. Women do it, too.
    B. The cheater ISN’T always miserable in the marriage. I was and am perfectly happy with my husband.
    C. Cheating doesn’t always end in divorce. When the marriage is strong and the couple loves each other, it takes time but can be repaired. Sometimes, people just make stupid, foolish mistakes.

  36. As someone who’s had to bring a friend back from alcoholism and into a normal life due to a multiply cheating wife, I can only say, it ain’t always us men who do the cheatin’!

  37. The thing about cheating is – it’s so wrong. But, I would hope that people, especially church going people, would make room for forgiveness for a truly repentant person. I’m not saying that a cheated-on spouse has to resume their marriage as though nothing happened, but, if the ground is truly level at the foot of the cross, than a little forgiveness seems to be in order.
    I also know that personally, if my husband ever cheated, I would FLIP OUT! But, I hope that eventually, I would practice the forgiveness that God has shown to me!

  38. Ever-scintillating topics on the M/D Knitting-and-Free-Marital-Advice blog.

  39. i find comfort in delicious yarn
    and wish life & relationships were as clear and always-inspiring as a well-written knitting pattern.
    link for thought:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_lang/20070904.html

  40. Yup. And Ditto. Cheating? NO. Monogamy? YES.
    And it IS all about respect – his for her, hers for him, and theirs for the institution of relationship (be it marriage or long-term commitment) – and ESPECIALLY for SELF-respect!
    The cheaters often have NONE of that…
    Now about that yarn….where might one find some for herself? It’s gorgeous!
    (((hugs)))

  41. I never considered that the church has a nature, but I suppose it would be the nature of Christ. As for man, well, that’s pretty clear in Scripture about his/her nature. As for divorce, Scripture’s pretty clear on that as well – and since God hates divorce, I would think the first option should be counseling, esp if both parties consider themselves members of the church. I really believe divorce should be the last option. Moses gave the people divorce, not God.

  42. What is it about these dyed yarns in beautiful colorways that drive me simply nuts? The photo doesn’t help- I would have bought a skein of this stuff in a second.
    As it stands, I have three skeins of Noro silk garden that makes me happy just to look at it. I don’t know if I will ever make anything with it, but it thrills me to know it is in my stash.
    My husband and I are blessed with knowing what really makes us happy- my yarn and his Stratomatic basketball game!!

  43. Dude. Love the yarn. I’m having visions of a chevron scarf. If you don’t like what the colors do, try switching it up with different skeins (two rows one skein, two rows another in a different color spot). As ALWAYS, I’m only suggesting what’s on my own mind to knit. I’m always falling in love with variegated in the skein and then hating on it when it’s all knitted up and fleckery and blobby and awful. But I have some I’m de-ter-mined to use and make beautiful and I’ve been thinking about it. Or pooling colors scarf (see it on Interweave, nice idea). A nice lacy crochet stitch can also sometimes work better than a knit. Though, you know, I know, it’s a knitting blog.
    Before anyone accuses me of trying to get you to cheat on your knitting, Cheating on projects? Cheating on yarn? Yes, ha, ha, ha, we all talk about that a little, but there’s a huge difference. One is with PEOPLE, one is a HOBBY involving INANIMATE THINGS. Oh, I know, no one really means it.
    I have often reminded Mr. Cake that if there is cheating in our marriage, there will not be a divorce. There will be a funeral.
    I think what happens to people, though, too, is that they forget what they’re doing. Not LITERALLY, but they put themselves in situations they wouldn’t normally dream of. I remember high school, and everyone says, this is totally harmless, and we’ve already openly said that we’re not interested in each other, we’re just going to sit next to each other in the back seat of a dark car and talk. Like co-workers who aren’t “interested” in each other, just friendly, and they have lunch together and work on projects together, and she invites him to her place for lunch one day, really only just because she’s got a lot of leftover xyz and couldn’t bring it all to the office, but it would be nice to enjoy it together and all of the sudden – there you have two people with “no intentions”, alone, at someone’s house, with spouses away and no one knows where they are.
    I also remember a FASCINATING article by Ira Glass (of This American Life, also an excellent sound measurement for knitting) about his mother who studied cheating her whole professional life and was fascinated by it. Her biggest conclusion was that it had almost no relation to happiness in marriage or relationship, but the biggest factor was a sort of dis-connect. Cheating was happening with people who were friends with or close to people who didn’t know their spouses. Work friends or related-to-work friends, or whatever. I found that the woman who for 6 years harbored the fantasy that she “just wanted to be friends” with my husband actually completely stopped speaking to him after she finally met me and I became a real person to her, even though he had always been totally upfront about our relationship and spoke often of things we were doing together, blah, blah, blah. The meeting was totally pleasant and we even spoke of future possible get togethers involving our common interests.
    I think her rule is to never ever have a friend who knows more about your spouse than your spouse knows about the friend.
    I should go post something on my own blog, eh?
    -Amber, Novelist of the Comments.

  44. If people would use the energy towards their marriages that they use for cheating, they would have great marriages. If you are going to romance someone, why not the person who knows the most about you, it would sure add spice to any marriage. I’ve been married for 28+ years and it is really hard work, but bringing it(desire) home has more glue than anyone really seems to want to try for. Keep up the no cheatin’ talk, maybe we can plant a seed for someone else. Love your blanket even with all the different oranges. Love your blog. Lisa

  45. Cheating? Either you value your own honor and keep your word or you don’t. It’s always amazed me that some people who set great value on “keeping their word” regarding a $20 debt seem to think that their marriage vows are a different sort of promise and frangible.

  46. Dadgum, you amaze me ladies! So much disagreement over the trim for Big Ol Tweedy, so much certitude over other people’s marriages. Ann, in case yer putting together another bar graph, mark me down as Being Able to Imagine Darn Near Anything as Being a Good Idea for Somebody, Somewhere, Sometime, Even if I Think it Isn’t Very Nice.

  47. Oh boy. I had to chime in on this one.
    Here’s the thing: in this day and age, it’s not just cheating any more but putting the life of your spouse in danger. I know a couple who had been married for over 10 years. He cheated early in their marriage and years later she found she had cervical cancer. The overwhelming majority of those cases are caused by HPV virus which is sexually transferred and can lay dorman for years. Talk about your past coming to haunt you, your wife and your children (because eventually they’d ask questions).

  48. whoa, it’s like a virtual SnB. So much talk, so much snark, so much with the preach. And all positively therapeutic to read. I think I’ll go call my hubby right now to tell him how great he is.

  49. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people put as much energy into keeping it together as they do to tearing it apart?

  50. it’s not just the men.

  51. Well, I use my knitting to distract myself from all discussion of the nature of the church, which, being Episcopalian and clergy, goes on around in my neck of the woods a lot these days, too.

  52. I don’t care for the swatch either. That’s a bit of a disappointment I’m sure.

  53. Why do married people cheat/break their vows? To paraphrase some lines from “The Women” (starring Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford), “when some man can think up an excuse how he can love his wife and love someone else at the same time, he’ll get that there prize they’re giving out in Sweden.”
    My ex (thank god) brother-in-law cheated on my sister for 20 years of their 20 year marriage. The extent of his perfidy was astounding when the truth came out – and I doubt whether the family will ever know the entire truth. His actions not only deeply wounded my sister and their 3 children, but affected everyone who knew them and everyone who thought they knew my ex-BIL. And he was involved in their church as an elder – went to church every Sunday. He informed my sister that his cheating was her fault. Thankfully, she came to realize how full of BS he was and that the only person he could really blame was himself. He has never acknowledged his actions were wrong and he can’t understand why his children don’t really like him anymore.

  54. Why do married people cheat/break their vows? To paraphrase some lines from “The Women” (starring Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford), “when some man can think up an excuse how he can love his wife and love someone else at the same time, he’ll get that there prize they’re giving out in Sweden.”
    My ex (thank god) brother-in-law cheated on my sister for 20 years of their 20 year marriage. The extent of his perfidy was astounding when the truth came out – and I doubt whether the family will ever know the entire truth. His actions not only deeply wounded my sister and their 3 children, but affected everyone who knew them and everyone who thought they knew my ex-BIL. And he was involved in their church as an elder – went to church every Sunday. He informed my sister that his cheating was her fault. Thankfully, she came to realize how full of BS he was and that the only person he could really blame was himself. He has never acknowledged his actions were wrong and he can’t understand why his children don’t really like him anymore.

  55. Love the free marriage advice. If you’re unhappy in the marriage, why create extra helpings o’ misery for everyone else by cheating?

  56. You are SO right. Wish more people would think with their brains instead of their britches when temptation rears its ugly head. What happened to personal integrity and being responsible for your actions? Sigh…