Oh, where to start…
Sizing hats is always stressful for me; the difficulty is that I can never believe people have heads as small as the hat I’m making. I ripped out and resized the blue hat (shown above) at the last possible pre-Christmas moment, using a mixing bowl. Luckily, the recipient (also above) is a good sport, and works on the ferry, so he wears it over another hat in the winter. He styled it quite effectively in the picture, but left to itself, it descends over his eyes. I’m making a new one, much smaller, modeled on one his wife made, and wrestling with my urge to cast on 20 extra stitches. It’s up there, the blue and green hat.
Another source of pain is the ruffle scarf (pictured). I’m on my third one now. A lot of yarn seems to tangle itself, but this stuff…if any foreign object comes close to it, you might as well shove an angry cat in the knitting bag, too. In addition, it’s just strange to work with, like knitting with a fishing net (see close up). I’m making one more, and then I’m done. I’m only getting through it by visualizing the happy little faces of the girls who wanted them approximately ten months ago.
I’ve also been making rag rugs for about two years; Shanan* and I wanted to come up with a no-sew method, and after combing Youtube and a number of books, we did. Well, we have it down to about six stitches. I’m teaching a class on it next Wednesday at the Grange, so you would think I knew what I was doing. And you would be wrong. I have a rug I only work on while drinking coffee with Rebecca, and she is apparently very distracting, because it, too, has developed a ruffle, perhaps from its proximity to the yarn from Satan’s knitting stash (see above). As Rebecca said, it would make a nice doily. I will be taking it to the class as part of my craft museum of shame, because I was brought up in the Lutheran church. Rebecca is contributing her first attempt at a rug, which turned into a rather attractive cloth bowl.
And, yes, I’m also bringing things that turned out well.
Back to knitting. I haven’t touched the log cabin blanket in the photo since last winter because I accidentally put in some short rows while watching a movie. In my defense, it was on the largest TV I’ve ever seen outside of a bar and Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law were leaping about in a very alarming manner. I had to rip out at least three panels when I realized what I’d done, and am still sad. Movie season is on the way, though (it begins in November…did you know that?) and I may be able to resume work on the blanket if I limit myself to the CBC production of Anne of Green Gables.
I’ve made attempts at more complicated knitting, but it conflicts with my knitting personality. I like actually finishing things and giving them away or wearing them myself. And the whole process of knitting is a narcotic for me; I feel a little panicked if I realize that I left my knitting at home. I’ve begged Shanan to hand over her latest project for me to work on when I’m feeling particularly fragile. I have, in fact, most of the symptoms of addiction, although I’ve never blacked out while I was knitting and been unable to recall where I’d been or who I was knitting with. When you combine my need to hypnotize myself with repetitive tasks and my inability to sit still and have a conversation without manufacturing something…I’ve had to accept that I will never knit an Aran sweater. Which is fine – I like making things we use every day.
* WordPress keeps autocorrecting Shanan’s name to “Shaman.” This delights me every single time because I am extremely easy to entertain.