Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ten Things

Today I realized some things.  Ten things, in fact.  Here they are:

1. My three-season porch looks like a group of Rastafarians stopped by on their way to the Buddhist monastery the next town over and asked me to cut their hair before they got there.  But that's not what really happened.

2. I honestly had no idea what I was doing when I bought four--that's FOUR-- fleeces, at once, with the ludicrous idea that I would wash them in my tiny kitchen sink, dry them on the porch, and then card them with my little drum carder to make a rug for my upstairs hallway.  In my "spare time".  If that doesn't count as a break from reality, then I really don't know what does.

As you can see, my kitchen sink is ridiculously small.  I think the people who put it in didn't cook.  And it is just not up to the task of getting fleece washed in anything resembling "efficiently".

3. My psychiatrist is woefully underpaid.  (Refer to #1 & 2 above.)

4. I console myself with the fact that I can't afford to pay her what she deserves by knowing that having me as one of her patients affords her no small amount of job security.  Newly single Mom with a severe fiber addiction and two teenage boys living at home?  Yup, I'll be keeping that weekly appointment for YEARS.

5.  It took me two days to wash two of the fleeces and get one drum carded batt.

6.  This is not going as quickly as I had hoped.

7.  All of this means that I am now finding random bits of fluff all over the house.  This one is on my dresser, which is upstairs and at the opposite end of the house from the porch.  I don't know how it got there.

8. Maybe there's still a market for ZZ Top novelty beards in case I don't get the rug made.

9.  Maybe it wasn't a good plan to use the one batt I made as a ZZ Top novelty beard.

10.  The cat doesn't care about any of this.  Lucky bastard.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Amoeba and I

I recently found out that a lovely couple from my yoga class are expecting their first baby.  This made me very happy for a few reasons.  One is that these people are very, very nice and I think they will make fantastic parents, even though I don't really know them all that well.  And loving couples having a wanted baby is always the happiest of news, at least in my book.

The other reason is that now I have a little person to knit for.  I'm at that awkward age between being young enough to have kids of my own but too young to have grandchildren.  Most of my friends are about my age, so they aren't having any more babies who I can knit for, either.  I don't have a big extended family, and I don't have any siblings.  There are no cousins or other family members having babies; the family well is dry in that regard.  So I have to find babies to knit for, and when I do I get really excited about it.  It's like I've been given a really nice gift and I get to share it.

Cute little things in bright colors and tiny sizes.  Just the thought of it makes me want to start making pompoms to attach to the tops of little hats.  Bootees and sweaters and hats, Oh My!  A person could OD on exposure to this level of cuteness.  Well-not really of course.  It's baby stuff.  There's never enough of that kind of cute and all the sweetness and love it represents.  Never enough of that.

So this little person is getting a BSJ* striped in maroon Zara & a multicolor stripe whose ball band is long gone.  The colors are not very baby-ish, but the parents are Asian and these colors will look great with the baby's complexion.  The little person is a boy and I wanted the jacket to look like a boy's jacket.  Something that will look cute with tiny little jeans and other boy stuff.

Well, I got the thing almost done--almost done I say--down to the last dozen rows or so, and noticed a mistake waaaay back.  Back far enough that I had to rip 2/3 of the darn thing out because there was no way I could fix the mistake any other way.  Apparently I had lost track of which stitch was the center stitch for the double increases.  Instead of having a nice straight line of increases, it was wavy and looked terrible.  That was not a good day to be around me, I'm telling you. (Note to self: make appointment for a check-up with the eye doctor.) Out it came, mistakes fixed, and now it's back on track.  I hope.  At lease the lines look straighter now, and the amoeba I'm knitting is definitely more angular than it was.

I love the look on people's faces when they ask what I'm making and I have a BSJ on the needles.  Just love it.  When you tell them that the blob you're producing is a jacket they just don't believe you, not even after you explain it.  They think that you're just messing with them, or that you're a really bad knitter who is unable to come to terms with the fact that you have messed up your project beyond all hope of rescue, or that you're just a crazy lady who has too many cats at home and knits blobs because it's all you know how to make and you're not violent so your family lets you keep the pointy sticks.

Because, really, shouldn't the name of this sweater be the "Surprise! It's Really Not an Amoeba Jacket"?  Or "See? I'm Not Crazy and It Is a Jacket".  But I guess that only really works if the recipients see the work in progress because you don't give it to them in its ambiguous, amorphous, amoeba-like state.

On the other hand, wrapping up an unfinished BSJ & giving it to the lucky recipient could be pretty funny.  Imagine the puzzled look when the expectant Mom opens the box & holds up something that is utterly unlike a jacket for all at the baby shower to see as you call out, "Don't you just love it?  It's the cutest thing EVER!"  Then they'll really think you're the crazy lady with too many cats who can only knit blobs.  But you won't care because you'll be laughing too hard to notice.

*Chances are, if you're reading this blog, you know what BSJ stands for.  For those of you who don't, (that would be the other person reading this blog) it stands for Baby Surprise Jacket, one of many patterns made famous by the great Elizabeth Zimmerman.  The pattern is available here: