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Yarn, Country Music, and Ditching Work

Dear Kay,
First things first, becuz the question was raised, and a yarn query trumps anything else as far as I’m concerned. The yarn shown in my last post is Koigu Painter’s Palette Merino, shade P704. It’s knitted on size 1 (2.25 mm) needles. It’s a supercloseup photo. Above is the same yarn photographed farther away. See how different it looks all knitted up? Murky. Not as pretty as in the skein. Ah, whatever.
One other sock observation: my gauge is getting tighter, now that I’m on sock no. 6. The ribs, they are stretched mightily on this sock. At this rate I’ll soon be knitting on toothpicks. Ever-diminishing socks. Tinier and tinier. Finger puppets.
Second. The digicam situation. So glad to have narrowed down the camera options. Thanks, you guys, for listing every single digital camera that is, was, or has ever been on the market. I made a list of the models everyone suggested, and Canon does seem to be a favorite. Special thanks to everyone who used the word “aperture” as if I would know how to adjust such a thing, or even why it would need adjusting. I’m beginning to look at my current Anncam with profound nostalgia and suspicion that 3.2 megapixels might be a really good number of megapixels. Still looking for that model that will automatically grill a chicken for me.
Library + Knitting + Hank Williams Jr. = Fab
Kay, we missed you yesterday. You woulda loved it. I spent lunchtime at the magnificent downtown branch of the Nashville Public Library, hanging out with knitters who ditched work to get a few rows done.
I’ll tell you because it is unlikely that you would know this, but this week is Fan Fair in Nashville, a huge weeklong country music blowout that means it is totally normal to see herds of people wandering down the street all wearing Dierks Bentley T-shirts. No, I don’t know who Dierks Bentley is, but I do know he is P.O.P.U.L.A.R. with the ladies. Getting to the library yesterday meant sipping from the beer mug that is Fan Fair. I LOVE NASHVILLE. I love the band from Japan that can perfectly sing Hank Williams songs despite the fact that they can’t speak English. I love the people who received silver belt buckles from Charlie Daniels because they’ve attended 100 Charlie Daniels concerts. I love the guy proposing to his girlfriend at a Sara Evans concert. It’s just great.
Meanwhile, inside the library, the dishcloths and kimonos and moderne blankets were flying off the needles–I am appalled to confess that I forgot to bring my camera with me, so you’ll just have to trust me that it was a SPECTACLE of handknits. There were librarians, computer security experts, people who worked for the state government–smart, great women.
Knitting during lunch hour. It got me thinking about my days when I spent my waking hours at an office. I worked at various editing jobs for 13 years after college, in companies that were enormous and small, and I have a lot of nostalgia for the texture of office life: the people around you who liked their jobs more than you did; the woman whose voice gave you a migraine; the eternal question of why nobody was paid what they were worth. I loved office culture: sheet cakes from Kroger for people’s birthdays, internecine politics, an impossible amount of work to do in a ridiculous amount of time. It’s a very rich place, the office, and a lot of life takes place during the workday.
Long ago, I tried to make a list of novels that were about office life, but I never got very far. When I first saw an episode of the TV show “The Office,” I was so delighted. It’s over the top, that show, but right there, under the broad satire, that show captures the nuances of people who are thrown together for eight hours a day.
Starting in July, it looks like we’re starting a knitting circle at the library every second Monday of the month at noon. I know it sounds lame, coming from somebody who’s been out of the office since 1998, and coming from somebody who’s knitting too much in general, but I’m really looking forward to ditching work and getting a few rows done.
Hey–I’ll see you tonight in Indianapolis at the big yarn trade show. Is it work or is it fun? I guess the answer is YES.




  1. Knitting at the library at lunch-hour sounds super fab. Too bad I’m so far away…
    I have a hard time figuring out sock yarns. Stripes, splotches, blah-ness — it’s just unpredictable, but who cares, really, coz they’re just socks. Socks that would cost hundreds of dollars if you were paid for knitting what someone gets paid in the office…

  2. I love the idea of knitting at lunch time! I work a “nightside” shift (3ish till midnightish) so most SnB groups aren’t a possibility for me. I’m going to have to see if there’s anything in my area!

  3. Ann,
    love your koigu socks ,,,,
    knitting socks out of koigu has always been my favorite tho I have tried some other yarns
    The self striping are just not as soft as koigu on my feet.
    I taught myself (partially ) how to do the magic loop method on size 0 needles
    Knitting 3 pair of socks for DH who wears size 12 shoes is a daunting task.
    What I did ,,,( as I dont have the book that explains it) was to knit them using the 40″ 0 size addi’s,,,,, the tops were knit using Magic loop method( easy went fast)
    I then placed them back on the dps ,did the heel, turn and picked up the stitches on the dps~
    then back to the loop I went.
    I guess there are no real rules, but w/o the booklet it went well this way for me as the Fathers Day Socks ,,,( 3 pair= 6 socks),, went a lot quicker than I imagined and I didnt have to change my pattern.
    I will try koigu on size one addi’s…..
    but it may be a bit before I am ready to knit socks again,,,
    love knitting with koigu, they make the softest socks but I do have to have 2+ skeins for even a size 6….glad there are so many colors!
    Blessings to all,

  4. Oh man. I loved reading your description of the office life as I sit here in the office living the life. Yesterday was migraine day. Today, oh no, I refuse. R.E.F.U.S.E.
    We watched the Hank Williams PBS special the other night–midway through, we realized we’d seen it before, but that did not stop us from watching again. Next week, Nat King Cole and Aretha Franklin!!! We Northwesterners will go for a large variety of totally excellent music, and I will bring my knitting along.

  5. Re: the camera thing. I got my Canon Elph b’cause the big, honking SLR Rebel seemed to intimidate folks in class situations. I hang the Elph around my neck like an oversized pendant. (Surprise!! It’s a camera!) But my point is that you don’t need to overdo the whole megapixel thing. There is such a thing as too much…if your purpose is mainly for publishing on the web, 4.0 mp is plenty. The higher number of mp’s is mostly for printing, but my 4mp camera does perfectly beautiful 8×10 prints. But my vote is for the Canon…any Canon!

  6. The title of this post almost made me cry, I love those things so much. I’m spending this weekend listening to the entire Hank Williams Sr. catalog and working. Sigh. Congrats on your shrinking sock gauge. Very good sign. Very good indeed.

  7. wow, sock sure is purty.. suddenly I have become a koigu addict…
    love P
    p.s. soon you’ll be knitting on 0’s.

  8. Well, you know, we’re glad to help with the camera thing!! (grin)

  9. My pink straw cowboy hat is off to each of you knitters that showed up to knit at the library. It was discussed amongst my knitting posse and we all decided there as no way we were wading into the throngs of fanny pack-ers!

  10. Oh I hope you’ve been watching the British version of The Office – once I got into it, I couldn’t give it up! I’ve heard that the US version is not quite the same…
    Also, I have a Nikon CoolPix 3200, which means 3.2 megapixels, and I find this perfectly adequate.
    And, I bring my knitting to the office every day on the off chance that I’ll have a few minutes to sit on a bench during lunchtime and decompress. A midday knitting circle is an even better idea.

  11. Ann! About the camera. Don’t do the Canon. Canons are all good and well, but the one thing they’re not so good at is taking good pictures in low light. Crap, three times ‘good’ in the same sentence. We were very unhappy with how the indoor shots of the baby were turning out: dark and out of focus, even when she wasn’t moving. Hubby went and did some research and found out about the Fuji FinePix F10 (6.3 mega pixels). As soon as it arrived and we did some test shots, we sold the Canon on eBay. Our Fuji does all the Canon does, plus you don’t have to run around trying to turn on all the lights and still use flash. ’cause you know all the pictures worth taking are the ones there’s no time to stage for. And did I mention that almost all pics are in focus now. Do give the Fuji a test drive.

  12. Oh, and wait. I thought you liked murky?

  13. ok i disagree, I LOVE our Canon. We have the canon s80 which does almost everything an SLR can do but it is much smaller. The canon S80 is easy to use, looks cool and takes great pictures.

  14. I love that sock – so much I may have to look for that yarn — and I am only on the cuff of my very first sock ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. I don’t want to sound mean or cynical, but I look forward to the day when I can have fond memories of doing time in “the office”. This week “the office” hasn’t been too rosy.
    That being said, I will always want to ditch work to get a few rows in.

  16. Libraries are so wonderfully frosty in the summer!

  17. Well, the office hasn’t changed that much – “those people” are still around and we are all under paid!! But, almost every day, four or five of us knit at lunch. We bring our lunch or grab something from our cafeteria, sit around a little table in our area and knit away. My grandma Fran taught me how to knit years ago, and I taught the girls here at my office. It’s great fun!

  18. Can I just say that I LOVE the sock; love the colors; and always enjoy your blog.

  19. The sixth sock already? You are well and truly hooked!

  20. About that muddy color thing with Koigu… that’s exactly why I stopped knitting with it. The colors were never as nice knitted as the skeins looked in a basket. But I just finished my first Charlotte’s Web shawl in Koigu. Bought a kit so I wouldn’t have to spend an inordinant amount of time agonizing over the color selection. The way the skeins get blended, and the lace, somehow improve the colors — the opposite of the sock knitting experience. Wonder why.


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