By PDMACpayday loans
Knitterly Pitterly Things ~ 2006-09-29
Because La Grumperina is one of my favorite Boston nerds and because I am especially grumpy today…
1. I am an excellent finisher, but not an excellent completer. I thank the woman who taught me to knit for the finishing skills. That and the insistence that I could and WOULD learn to fix problems. Her philosophy, which is now mine: “If you’re going to spend all that time knitting a garment why the heck would you stop short at the finishing, or leave a mistake. You will have wasted your time.” I am first to admit this is a delicate balance between mania and practicality. However, good finishing skills are NOT hard to acquire and they make a HUGE difference in the finished product.
2. Cheap acrylic sweaters, the kind that squeak when you touch them, make my skin crawl. Debbie had one at her trunk show and I almost lost my cookies. That thing and those damn freaky ass knitted clowns. That woman is going to be the end of me.
3. I have been knitting for 2.5 years. In this time I have never finished (I’ve started) a lace project, a fair-isle project, an intarsia project, or anything else that is too complicated. While I consider myself a decent knitter. I just cannot find the concentration to conquer these mountains. See #4
4. I am a perfectionist. In fact, I am actually shocked I am a knitter. I have few hobbies because I hate failing and I am too impatient to give myself time to learn how to do something well, and if I can’t do something well (or perfect) then I don’t want to do it at all. It took me a few months to get to the point where knitting “clicked”. The fact that I kept at it is nothing short of a minor miracle. See #3
5. I throw with my right hand. When I do this I fully let go of the right needle and prop it with one of my left fingers. This is horribly inefficient yet I feel as though I have decent speed and control. Furthermore, it is hard wired and trying to change makes my brain feel like I am asking it to move inanimate objects.
6. I love wool. I mean wool wool. Sweaters made with scratchy, warm, dense wool are my favorites. Chalk it up to all those teenage years spent in my dad’s Woolrich sweaters.
7. I am obsessed with the little things. I realized this at a baby shower where the mother was gifted with 800 knitted objects. Seriously, the woman had a family of knitters. While this was awesome and inspiring it made my dinky little sweater seem like small beans. From that point forward I spent more time on the little things….packaging, personalized details, etc. Moving the gift from the “grandma knit me this” pile to the “oh-la-la, I came from a fancy pants boutique” pile.
8. I am the only person alive in my family, extended and immediate, that knits. My grandmother was a knitter. I have a sweater she made for herself (which I hope to share someday), a swatch she knit with her gauge notes pinned to it, and her little plastic box filled with notions and DPNS. My aunt (her daughter-in-law) has her needles. When you open the box the smell of her end table drawer (where she kept the box) fills the air. I am considering vacuum packing this smell so as to not loose it or forget it. Man, I cannot even begin to tell you how much I miss her, especially now. She was my soul-mate and my biggest fan. I wish she was still here.
9. I believe in the power of a knitted object. One that either me or someone else knit (as long as they did it while they were “present” and not unaware). I am not a hokey sentimental person but this force I cannot deny. Some may remember my story of fixing my computer while dressed in items that I had knit. I did this to gain confidence. I am thinking of knitting something to bring with me while I’m in labor.
10. I can’t think of another one….so I’ll tell you a none knitterly thing about me…. I yelled at a bus driver this morning! My commute is done via Public Transportation in Boston. While most mornings, at best, this is an exercise in patience and a grand sense of humor this morning was beyond my capacity to cope. I can usually deal with anything and everything with an understanding that people are people and, in most everyday cases, they are self-centered and tunnel-visioned. However, this morning my coping skills took off for Tahiti and left me screaming at a bus driver from the side of the road through the door that he had just shut in my face without warning because he was a moron and decided that the 800 people on his bus was enough and 801 might just throw him off or something. Asshat. It was not pretty. I do not yell at bus drivers. I am clearly being inhabited by an alien. Please send divine peace.
6) I love wool wool, too, greasy sheepy wool with bits of nature in it. Love the smell, love the texture, just love it. And I rarely knit with it because it’s so hot and heavy.
That is a beautiful picture of your grandmother. Thank you for posting it.
10) You should call the MBTA and tell them the bus driver shut the door on a pregnant lady. And then ask them whether their new courtesy program extends to their employees. Loser.
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 11:34 am
10) When I was pregnant (2 years ago) there was one day when I just started screaming at my husband at the top of my lungs for no reason. Hormones make women crazy!
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 11:43 am
Warrior Knitter says:
Your #5. I’m a self taught knitter, no knitting friends or family. I “throw” that way. Completely let go of the right needle & kind of tighten my hold on the left needle when I let go to throw.
A (now former) co-worker tried to teach me to do it her way (as I was doing it wrong), but it felt so slow & clumsy that I very nicely told her wrong it may be, it’s the way I’m doing it becuase it works for me.
Wonderful photo of your grandmother. The casual photos are best becuase I think more of the real person comes thru. And if you were there when the photo was taken it brings back the memories of that time.
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 11:46 am
My mum taught me to knit and I throw just the same way you do. It used to frustrate my mother to no end. “Why are you letting go?! You’re making it harder for yourself!” But just recently she confessed that she thinks I’m a better knitter than she is, so I guess my weird throw method works just fine afterall.
Seeing that picture of your grandmother makes me wish I knew her too. Lovely.
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 11:58 am
#5 – me too. I hold the left and right needle together between two fingers (needles perpendicular to one another) of my left hand and use the right to throw. I’ve thought of trying to learn another way and have tried every so often, but yes – hardwired.
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 12:10 pm
i love your finishing. it really does make a difference especially when giving the item as a gift. now if i could only get my act together.
and that is a lovely picture of your grandma. i’m sorry you miss her so much.
finally, i feel so much better knowing that you lost your cool, your sweetness, and actually yelled at a bus driver this morning. it means that you are in fact not perfect, and that i am worthy of hanging out with you — well a little bit anyway. i wonder if i were pregnant if i became all sweetness and light
and send a letter to the mbta. a nice one. and reference the route and the time. and tell them that the bus driver left you — a nice pregnant lady — standing in the street.
oh and finally — i throw like that. i totally let go of the needle with my right hand — it’s the only way i’ve ever been able to do it — and it hasn’t slowed me down. it’s quite possible that the right hand needle stays suspended in mid-air i’ll have to pay attention the next time i knit.
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 12:14 pm
When I was pregnant, I was in the Navy, and I had a dress uniform inspection where I was expected to bring in (on a hangar) my Dress Whites, including medals, socks (or hose)and perfectly polished dress shoes. (Essentially, I was expected to “Show and Tell” everything excepy my skivvies.)
I too, am a bit of a perfectionist. My uniforms were always ironed with razor-sharp creases, and my whites were always brilliant. My dress shoes were regular leather, but they looked like patent leather. I spent way too much time shining those shoes. I spent extra time the night before this inspection polishing my dress shoes- over and over. They looked GREAT when I was done.
I had everything stacked up ready to go the night before. The morning of the inspection, I put it all in the car and drove to work listening to NPR. I heard a little *bump* when I drove through a turn, and kind of made a mental “Huh. Wonder what that was.” Then promptly forgot about it.
The inspection was first thing in the morning, so I started to get all my stuff together in my shop, and I realized i didn’t have my shoes. I went out to my car. They were not there. I looked under my desk. Not there. Still not in the car. Still not on my desk, in my bag or in my car.
I am in tears now, because I remembered the “bump” as I was driving to work that morning. I had left the dress shoes I’d put hours and hours worth of work into polishing on the roof of my car, and now they were in a wet, dirty ditch on the side of the road, abandoned.
My Chief looked at my uniform and said he didn’t need to see my shoes. I didn’t care. I was in a weird hormonal place, and all I could think about was my poor, abandoned, wet, dirty dress shoes, lying in a ditch on the side of the road.
I immediately called the uniform shop, ordered three pairs of shoes and had them shipped overnight to my house.
My Chief then sent me home, because I was too worried about my poor, abandoned shoes. (He had three kids and a wife. I think he understood I was beyond help and needed to go home before I infected anyone else with my insanity.)
I stopped at every intersection on the way home and trudged around in the ditches. I spent 1/2 an hour just at the one intersection where I had heard the “bump.” My shoes- they were not there. I was pretty pregnant a tthe time- and I was in uniform. It must have looked pretty funny to everyone driving by.
When I got home, my shoes were sitting by the door, shiny as ever.
The next day, my replacement shoes arrived. They were three different sizes. Not one of them was my shoe size.
I do not know what happened to me that day. That crazy woman was NOT ME. I swear.
I chalk it up to the hormones. There really is no other explanation I can be comfortable with.
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 12:22 pm
When I was pregnant I ordered a scarf kit to take to the hospital to knit. Funny, huh? In the 8th month of my pregnancy I became obsessed with the idea that the backyard must be re-landsaped. I don’t know what stopped me from grabbing a lawn mower, a shovel and some seeds and just goin’ for it.
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 12:41 pm
#4 is me. To a T. I am such a perfectionist that it can really spoil the fun of doing things sometimes. I am trying to lighten up. And it doesn’t apply to someone else’s things. I just hold myself to a different standard than everyone else.
You wouldn’t be a virgo, would you? (I am.)
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 12:42 pm
I throw with my right hand, too, and have adapted a pretty good pace. And my granny was a knitter, as well.
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 12:43 pm
I love that photo of your grandmother. She sounds like she was a fine woman.
I also love that tin can packaging. Very clever!
I’m also a thrower, and let go of the right needle to do so. I’ve tried other methods, and I’m actually faster doing it my way.
And I’m sure the bus driver has already forgotten that you yelled at him.
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 1:38 pm
your #8 made ME miss your g’ma, and i’ve never met her. Seriously dude, you made me tear up.
I wish I could’ve heard the cuss words flowing from your mouth this morning… please tell me there were cuss words!!!
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 3:41 pm
We’ve been knitting the same amount of time! And we’re both perfectionist, knitting and otherwise! I say screw practicality: mania all the way!!!
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 6:51 pm
A hand knit item is a *great* idea for labor! Something soft that you can hold, something that feels special and just plain good to you.
Oh, and I love that picture of your grandma. Looks like she had quite a spirit .
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 6:55 pm
I too let go of my needle when I throw. Glad to know I’m not alone!
Comment - September 29, 2006 : 6:56 pm
I agree with Meg on #4 me too. You’d be surprised at the power of raging hormones. Let em rip momma!
Comment - September 30, 2006 : 6:48 am
Mary Drew Powers says:
I love the idea of things we knit for ourselves or that others knit for us as giving us power above the usual. I’m going to try it!
Comment - September 30, 2006 : 9:13 pm
re#9, knit yourself some dark coloured socks – your feet may get cold during labour. I knitted myself a pair for child #1, and ended up wearing them through labour with #2.
Comment - September 30, 2006 : 10:29 pm
I am a first time reader and I have to say that I love your blog.
I too am the only knitter in my family. My grandma taught me how to crochet 7 years ago but never knew how to knit. Now, she is so impressed that I can manage two needles that she likes to sit and watch me knit (could you imagine?) It was a woman at church that taught me the basics of knitting a year ago and I just love it.
The draw back to being the only knitter in my family is that everybody else wants me to make them something. So, my to do list is a mile long! And lets be honest…I am not complaining. I LOVE giving homemade gifts. Something about the time the giver put into making it makes it that much more special. After all, time is fleeting.
So when I knit something that needs to be put together or finished I guess I know who I need to contact HUH?
Sorry to hear about the bus driver but he could have been nicer about the situation! Don’t let it get you down…go to your LYS and buy some yummy yarn to make it all better (it works for me
Comment - October 2, 2006 : 2:51 pm
Suggest that you knit some socks for while you are in labor. My feet got very cold while I was having my babies, and were still cold afterwards.
Comment - October 2, 2006 : 7:16 pm
Carrie K says:
It’s not just hormones, some days you just can’t take the world at large.
Oh no! A perfectionist. I don’t know how you all get anything done. Nice list, Wendy!
Comment - October 3, 2006 : 12:25 pm
The DH is amazed that I kept knitting, based on my perfectionistic backbone, and the nature of knitting. He gave me overwhelming odds of throwing it out the window.
And yeah, the busdriver? You are simply more disinhibited, because most of us think exactly those thoughts about those rude humanoids.
Comment - October 3, 2006 : 2:49 pm
I adore the can with your face on it!!! I can just imagine using that later for sugar or coffee or something and seeing your smiling face every day. That is just fab.
Comment - October 3, 2006 : 7:26 pm
I love the packaging! I’m never that patient – I figure if I finish the darn thing the recipient can think themselves lucky!
Comment - October 3, 2006 : 10:13 pm
I used to be great at wrapping gifts in high school. But then, for a long time, people were just lucky to get a gift in a paper bag.
Love that photo of your grandmother.
Comment - October 5, 2006 : 8:26 am
Teresa C says:
I feel your perfectionist pain! Great list, and I love garter stitch, that little sweater is adorable.
Comment - October 15, 2006 : 5:26 pm
Pregnancy, at any rate in my case, can certainly lead to outbursts of this sort. So can post-partum depression (also in my case!). I used to get so incensed that the traffic lights turned red when the baby was crying, I cannot tell you!
Nice to have found your blog!
Comment - October 16, 2006 : 4:58 pm
“I am thinking of knitting something to bring with me while Iâ€™m in labor.” That is how I feel. I am knitting me some socks to wear
Comment - October 18, 2006 : 9:39 pm
I throw with my right as well but solved the needle-in-space problem by wedging/resting my right needle in the crook (?) of my leg & hip. Drives my mom crazy (she a conti) but it works for me.
Comment - November 18, 2006 : 5:34 pm
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