Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Coolest Thing

Today, while spending what seemed to be endless hours at a swim meet in which my older son was competing (no, really: 4+hours of meet, 3 minutes of actual swimming), I was fortunate enough to need a crochet hook that I didn't have.  I had started an entrelac wrap in Mistero (color, grays to white #026, based on a pattern for Di Ve's Teseo Entrelac Stole, for which I can't find a pattern link) and found out after the base triangles were done that my cast on was way too tight.  Rrrrrip!  My solution to this was to use a provisional cast on and the only one I could remember at the moment required beginning with a crochet chain.  I know you can do this with fingers or even a knitting needle, but, let's face it: a crochet hook is well, made for this.  It's the whole "use the right tool for the job" argument. 

So, I say that I was fortunate for not being properly equipped, because I happened to spy a woman crocheting a few rows down from me in the bleachers.  "Aha!", I said to myself, "Perhaps she has more than one hook with her--after all, I have my whole set of Addi Clicks with me."  So I went over and asked her. 

And this is the really, really cool part: she did not in fact have a hook large enough to accomodate the yarn I was using, but it opened the door to a really fun conversation.  We talked about knitting, our kids, swimming, you name it.  We exchanged contact information and plan on meeting up tomorrow during the last leg of the swimming competition.  How is that not the coolest thing ever?? I love people who play with yarn.

While I must admit that my past experience with Fiber Junkies of almost any ilk (knitters, crocheters, weavers, dyers, spinners, etc.) has firmly established, in my opinion, that fellow Junkies are open and welcoming to each other, this encounter confirmed it.  Furthermore, it firmly cemented my belief that it doesn't matter where you go in this world that it's easy to meet people and befriend them.  All you have to do is be open to the other person and greet them with respect and a smile and you will generally receive the same in return.  My bet is that those hours at the pool tomorrow will not be long enough.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Needless (or Needles) Acquisition

Now that I am blessed with a set of the Addi Clicks, (BTW, love, Love, LOVE them!) I have become irrevocably intrigued by all other interchangeable sets, with few exceptions.

While I don't knit with wood or bamboo needles on a regular basis (note Addi reference above), I am itching to try the Webs bamboo set, the KnitPicks set, and am eagerly awaiting the announcement from Crystal Palace that they will soon be introducing a set of their own.  In my book, they are the perfect bamboo needle: smooth, strong, smooth, and not too sticky.  Did I mention that they're smooth?  Add multiple cable lengths, connectors & a nice case and I'm sold.  Forget the cost--mac & cheese for a week or two to pay for 'em, I'm IN.  Like Flynn I'm so in.

I have also seen ads for the Hiya Hiya set, which comes in such lovely small sizes. As a loose knitter who starts all guage swatches at 2 sizes smaller than the pattern recommends, I find this particularly interesting.

Have I mentioned convenience?  Imagine, between two sets (one wood/bamboo, one metal), all your knitting needs are covered.  Perfect for one of those knitting cruises where whenever you go ashore they send you right into the mouth of temptation and a rampant case of startitis.  The Girl Scout in you would be praising your level of complete preparedness.

I admit it. I am greedy.  I covet things. Especially these things.  Need doesn't even enter the picture.  I want them all and I'm not afraid to admit it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow, Darn It, Snow!!

I am now sitting at home and waiting with absolutely not one single trace of patience for the big snow storm to hit southwestern CT.  I feel as though we were cheated on the last one: we had the cloudy sky, my knees ached due to the change in barometric pressure and....nothin'.  Not one lousy flake.

Well, the ol' knees are at about max on the ache level, all the birdfeeders are full, we have batteries in the camping lanterns and we have moved firewood inside to make sure it's dry.  Snow, I'm ready and waiting.  I have knitting to finish in front of the fire & the boys have prepared their sleds.  We have been waiting for you all winter, and now we are waiting to play in your wintery glory.  I hope to see you in the morning.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Time for a Change

With the upcoming fact (i.e. birthday) that I will soon reach "middle age", I have noticed that, increasingly, I am willing to make varied & sundry changes to my life, my habits, and my living space.  Is this a sign of middle age?   Is this the same reason that so many people (mostly men, in my personal experience) start to look for new lovers?  Or am I merely a bored, middle-class housewife?

I have been working for the last two months or so on a general clean-out and reorganization of the house.  Iam entralled by the Asian esthetic of minimalism, to the point where my New Year's Resolution is to use what I have.  Bring stash enhancement to a minimum (it's a subjective scale, granted) and to use the wonderful resources that are at my disposal and make the most of them.  I am also hoping that this will lead me to a new and profound appreciation of all that I have and of all that I can give to others. 

I rationally know that I do not NEED to buy any more yarn, fiber or fabric.  I have plenty of beads.  The time has come to differentiate between "want" and "need".  However, as all Fiberholics and Textile Geeks know, rationality has precious little to do with our cumpulsion for acquisition.  We buy the thing because: 1) We can, we have the resoures and 2) we can rationalize it, one way or another.

But now, especially in the face of tremendous loss and calamity (Haiti), I think that we should all take a step back from our own stresses & desire for acquistion and recognize how lucky we are.  If you have a home to protect you from the elements, you are blessed. If you and your family are well fed, you are blessed.  Do you have extra food/money/shelter/compassion that you can make available to another person?  You are doubly blessed, because you not only have enough of something, you have some to spare.  Be happy: there are many, many people who would give up an awful lot to be in your position.

Be grateful and thankful for what you have, and share what you can.  If you have nothing material to share, prayers for peace and freedom are always welcome.  We all have something to give.  Karma works; give of your heart and soul fully and you will be rewarded.