Friday, December 24, 2010

Sure, Why Not?

So, it's Christmas Eve. I've actually done pretty well this year, all my shopping was done weeks ago. We decided not to go overboard this year buying gifts and decorating. We're having a pretty calm and relaxed Christmas, which is really just what we need right now. I didn't even do any Christmas knitting this year. Except, my mother asked me yesterday what I had gotten for her boyfriend Tony.

I had sort of forgotten about Tony. I asked her what she thought I should give him and she said a hat. I pointed out that a couple of weeks ago would have been a good time to mention a hat, but let's not dwell.

It is, as I mentioned, 3:00 in the afternoon on Christmas Eve. She's going to see him about 3:00 on Christmas Day. I've got bulky yarn. I see no reason why I can't have a hat done by tomorrow.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cleverness and the Lack Thereof

I decided last night (when I got off the train and saw that it was snowing) that I need a hat with earflaps. So, I went online after dinner and found a pattern I liked and stayed up way too late knitting.

I love that I knit when it gets cold and snowy and windy. There's nothing like leaving the house covered head to foot in hand knits to make you feel really clever and productive.

Making me feel slightly less clever is the fact that I forgot my pants this morning. (I'm wearing pants - just not work-appropriate ones.) Our office dress code doesn't include casual, but it's really damp and windy where I live (also, I'm a bit of a clutz, so if I fall on my butt in the snow I don't want to ruin my work pants) so I'll frequently put my dress pants in my bag and wear jeans, then change in the ladies room when I get to work. This morning, though, I left the bag with my pants sitting next to the coat rack.

Oh, well. At least I'm warm.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Keep it Simple Stupid

The space on one of the few non-slanty walls on the second floor needed something and I decided on a small shelf. About the same time, I was trying to come up with a storage solution for my drop spindles, as my current method of leaving them wherever I was sitting when I used them last wasn't really working. (This method also led to one of my favorites going missing for nearly a year.)

The solution that presented itself was so simple that I feel a little stupid for not thinking of it sooner.

A wooden shelf that we already had in the house and a two dollar package of eye-screws later and I have a perfect storage/display rack.

There's also space for this little guy. My mother got this for me last year from a booth at Rhinebeck and gave it to me for Christmas. Of all the sheep-related items in that particular booth she picked this one for me because she thought I would like it.

She was right. I had already been through the same booth and gotten an identical one a few minutes earlier.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Unidentified Finished Object

Okay, so obviously it's a pair of socks. I would love to tell you which sock pattern it is - but I don't remember. It's a cute pattern, and it was really easy to memorize, but I had it written out onto index cards and I apparently lost the pattern at some point, so your guess is as good as mine.

I think I started these about a year or so ago. I don't know why I put them down when they were so close to being finished, but there was just half a sock to go when I found them in the knitting basket. So... one pair of socks down.

I feel so productive.

Monday, November 29, 2010

To the Rescue

So, my friend has this lace scarf. It's pretty but not really anything special. It's acrylic, not hand knit or anything just something that she picked up at H&M, probably for under $20, but she likes it.

The scarf started out as a mobius , sort of, it looked like it was knitted flat and then seamed, but you get the idea - until someone borowed it from her and didn't "get" why the scarf was one big circle so she took a pair of scissors to the seam and cut the thing open.

My friend was understandably - bothered - when she got her scarf back. (I'm trying to keep this blog family-friendly so I won't go into the details of her exact reaction.)

Some liberties were taken but fixing it wasn't too big a deal. The scarf is lace weight but the only thing I had that was even close to the right color was fingering weight. The shade isn't exactly a match, but from more than a few inches away you can't tell. I had originally planned to knit a little border onto it, but when I got a closer look I decided on a crocheted edge. Partly because I just couldn't face trying to pick up all those stitches in any kind of pattern, but mostly because the person who cut the edge off apparently did it with a dull machete and I thought a crocheted edge would have a better chance of hiding the damage. So, a quick row of single crochet then a little picot edge and it almost looks like it was done that way on purpose.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What Difference Does it Make?

I had basically the same conversation with two different people this week. I've had it before and normally I just find it mildly annoying, but in light of recent goings on, it really pissed me off.

The conversation goes something like this:

"You know men who knit? Are they all gay? Oh, they're gay, they just don't know it yet."

Usually I just shrug and say, "Some of the guys I know who knit are gay, some of them aren't. What difference does it make?"

Also, some of the guys I know who are lawyers are gay. Some of them aren't.

Some women that I know who are accountants are gay. Some of them aren't.

Some people that I know who are assholes are straight. Some of them aren't.

I am not gay, but I was bullied as a child. It went on for years and I never understood why it was happening at the time. My teachers were no help because they either didn't notice me and forgot that I existed, or at times, they were the ones doing the bullying.

Did this change the person that I am now? Probably. Because our experiences are what shape us. The point is, though, that I eventually got to have different experiences. Because grammar school, high school, even college - they all end. It's hard to see out while you're inside, especially when this is all you've ever known, but this is not the world.

It does get better.

Not perfect. But better. You will find your community, just like I did. You will find people who are like you and who love you because of who you are. There will still be people who hate you because of what you are, but they are the ones who are wrong, not you. And you won't have to face them alone anymore.

Friday, October 1, 2010

On a Thursday Afternoon

I had to go to a closing on Thursday for work. Well, first I had to take the subway over to Brooklyn to pick up a document that our client left out of the closing package. (My fault, they did fax over the documents the night before and I didn't realize it wasn't in there until the fedex package arrived.) Then I had to come back into Manhattan and get on the Long Island Railroad to go to Flushing. I had to do all this in the rain.

Usually when I do these closings it involves dropping off some documents and picking up a check. If things go right, this should take me about an hour. Two at the most.

These things rarely go right.

I was there for five hours.

Also, most of the time when I go to these things, I'm sitting in a conference room with a bunch of people who don't talk to me because I have nothing to do with what's going on. Which means that I'm basically sitting there for a couple of hours staring at the wall, so I bring a book because its just not a situation where knitting would be appropriate. (Yes, it's as awful as it sounds.)

Yesterday, though, there wasn't an extra seat in the conference room, so they left me out in the reception area all by myself. So I took out my knitting and sat (mostly), happily. And in five hours, I managed to knit quite a lot. Much more than I would usually get done on a Thursday during work hours. I can't show you what I did though, because it's part of a Stealth Project.

I can talk about my other Stealth Project, though.

One of my friends at work is extremely pregnant and due any minute now, so we threw her a baby shower/lunch before she goes on maternity leave. We're not exactly what you would call a group of criminal mastermind types. We got everything in and set up without getting caught, but when it came to actually getting Jann into the conference room, things sort of fell apart.

Notice that her expression is a little less "Oh my God, I'm so surprised!" and a little more "What the hell are you people up to now?"

We had some really fantastic food,

there were some Stupid Fetus Tricks

and the Stealth Project

which I had to give to her without sleeves because, of course, I procrastinated. I would actually have managed to get it finished if I had gotten home before midnight the night before. The baby hasn't been born yet, though, she seems to be pretty comfortable where she is at the moment, so I still have time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Every Time

I started my Rhinebeck sweater the other day. I’ve only got 60 days to go, which isn’t a lot of time to knit a sweater. Two months seems like it should be plenty of time, but since a large portion of my days are taken up with Gainful Employment and they won’t let me knit and work at the same time (I’ve tried), that means I only get an hour, maybe two, per day. But that’s only part of the problem. The other part is that I chose an intarsia sweater.

It’s not a complicated pattern, but I don’t do intarsia that often and when I do, I inevitably mess it up. (Maybe that’s why I don’t do it much.) I know what the problem is – my tension is always off when I start changing colors. I can see that there’s a problem, and what do I do about it? I keep going. Because DenialJenn! has taken over.

I look at the knitting after a few rows of starting the intarsia pattern and say something like, “That bit right there isn’t tight enough, there’s a hole. And this part is so tight that it’s starting to pucker.”DenialJenn! says, “That can all be evened out when you weave the ends in and block it. It will be fine.”

After a few more rows I spread it out to look at it again and say, “Well, my tension is evening out, but I think that just makes this part look worse. Look, it’s actually so puckered here that it’s raised a bit and the stitches aren’t straight.”
DenialJenn! says, “It’s fine. It’s down at the bottom of the design. Nobody ever looks at the bottom third of a sweater. No one will ever notice. Plus – Blocking! Keep going!”

This usually goes on for a few more rows until I can finally get DenialJenn! to shut up long enough for me to be able to rip back to the beginning of the design section and start over.

Oh, DenialJenn! puts up a fight while I’m frogging and getting it all untangled, but we both knew from the start that this was how it would have to happen. And, we both know that we’ll be happier when it’s re-done properly.

Well, I’ll be happier. DenialJenn! will be sitting over in the corner, muttering about blocking.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I try to go camping 2 or 3 times every summer. Sometimes we throw things in like hiking or rafting, but sometimes we go just to hang out and do nothing. (Unless I go with my mother, who, wherever we are for some reason always wants to go find a Walmart. I don't really understand it, but I go along with it. Sometimes you just have to choose to find your loved one's weird little quirks amusing and not try to hard to figure them out.)

This past weekend was the Second Annual Knit and Fiber Camp at Kettle Pond, in Vermont. It's a pretty long drive from Long Island just for a weekend, about 5 1/2 - 6 hours, depending on whether I stop to eat, but it's totally worth the trip.

This year it took more like 11 hours, but that was because the tred on one of my tires disintegrated on I91. Scared the crap out of me because I had no idea what was wrong with the car, just that it was shaking really hard and making a loud banging noise while I was going 70mph. (It sounded like the entire undercarriage was about to fall out.) I put on the emergency lights, got the car pulled onto the shoulder, started to cry and then called my mother. (As one will in an emergency.) Once I got Mom all worked up and upset, and she got me calmed down, I called AAA and once we figured out where exactly I was they sent me a tow truck.

The guys at the garage I ended up in were terrific. The first thing that the mechanic said to me was, "You don't drive that car a whole lot, do you?" When I asked him how he could tell, he said there were two things that made it pretty obvious. One was that the car is eleven years old an only has 85,000 miles on it, and the other is that the tread on the tires was actually fine. The rubber degraded before it had a chance to wear out. (I didn't mention that I don't remember the last time I got new tires. They may well be the ones that were on when I bought the car.) He recommended replacing all four and at that point it seemed like a pretty good idea. Except that when he checked, it turned out that they didn't have the size tires I needed in stock. So he made a few phone calls to find a set and sent someone over to pick them up (which they didn't charge me for) and got me back on the road in a few hours. I got there at about 5:30 instead of 1:30, but I got there.

It was a fantastic weekend. The weather was gorgeous. It was cool enough for long pants and sleeves during the day and at night it got pretty cold - low 40's maybe. I spent the whole weekend nice and bundled up, which just made the heat and humidity feel worse when I got back home. It's amazing how fast you forget what 90 degrees feels like.

The best thing was the complete lack of structure. We ate when we were hungry, wandered off for a walk if we felt like it, and otherwise sat and talked and knit and spun. There was yarn for sale/swap on one table, and food on the other and a group of friends to share it all with. What more do you really need?

I'm already counting down to next year.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dear Blog,

Okay, I knew it had been a while, but I didn’t realize exactly how long. I know I’ve said it before, but I’m a very bad blogger. Please forgive me.

It’s not you, it’s me. I can’t say why I’ve treated you so badly, but I’ve neglected you terribly and you don’t deserve it. I could give the excuse that I’ve been busy – but really, if there’s that much going on then I should have plenty to blog about, shouldn’t I?

Well, from now on, things are going to change. At least until I get distracted by something else again, but for the moment you have my undivided – well, partial attention.

After all – I have thoughts. Occasionally I have more than one thought in a day. There’s all sorts of stuff going on in my head and there’s nothing but a short attention span keeping me from telling you about it.

Where was I?

Oh, right. I’ll be back soon – I’m thinking.

Love, Jenn