Friday, November 18, 2011

The definition of insanity

I have recently requested several books of sock patterns from the library, just to see if I like the patterns before I buy them.  There's a new book on the market called The Knitter's Book of Socks and it was the first one to make it into the house off the library request list.  It's a great book, if you like to knit (like I do) and you like to knit socks (ditto.)  The patterns, though?  Whew, boy, they are not for the faint of heart.  Cables, ssk (slip slip knit) yarn-overs - they will definitely be a challenge.  More challenging will be taking on one of these patterns to knit a new style of sock as a Christmas gift.  And I'm only half-finished the pair I am knitting for my goddaughter E for Christmas, so those have to be finished before I can start anything new.  This is the definition of insanity - starting a brand-new sock pattern for a pair of adult socks with five weeks to go until Christmas.  I'll likely be bald by halfway through Advent due to tearing out my hair.....

Man, it's a total bummer about the expectations they have at my job.  I'd have so much more time to knit if they didn't expect me to show up and do actual work for my check......

Friday, November 4, 2011

(Knit) Wit

So I'm a knitter.  In some circles, admitting this is like admitting you have a fondness for crack cocaine or beating baby seals.  I have always been old before my time, and getting married and buying a house in a semi-rural area (we have no stoplights in town, so in my mind this counts as "semi-rural") was the best thing that ever happened to me - it's like society expected me to stay home and cook and craft, not go out to fancy restaurants and engage in late nights.  Which I couldn't do even if you gave me a double espresso at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.  Most people think my knitting is a quaint, cute hobby.  They smile benignly, like one does at a small child whose stick figure pictures look nothing like the dinosaur the kid is claiming it is, and probably resist the urge to pat me on the head.  Those that really embrace it get the benefit of my hand-knit gifts for themselves or their children.

One of my biggest recipients is my mother. About two years ago I took a class to learn how to knit socks.  Walking into the class, I didn't know how to cast on properly (don't even ask what I was doing), knit in the round, or pick up stitches.  I walked out of there 4 hours later able to do all those things and knit a basic sock.  Best $40 I ever spent.  Best $40 my mother ever saw me spend, too, since before I even sat down to knit a stitch she insisted I knit her a pair of socks.  Which I did.  Thereby creating a monster.  Now twice a year (Christmas/her birthday, which are 8 days apart, and Mother's Day) there is an expectation that socks will be part of the loot.  Which is fine, but the average pair of women's socks has 400 yards of yarn (four football fields' worth!) and can contain 20,000 stitches.  That's love, right there.  Because according to one of my favorite knitting bloggers, who also writes great books, when you knit a pair of socks you are committing to the creation of an item that will eventually wear out, since it takes constant abuse by being on your feet.  So far mom isn't wearing them so much that they've worn out, but I know that day is coming.  That will be a sad, sad day.  She does always wear socks I've made her when she comes to the house for dinner.  Maybe that's the only time she wears them?

So because I'm up to my elbows in the Christmas Crafting Extravaganza right now (I have target goals for completing various gifts - knit and sewn - on a week-by-week basis in the hopes that I make it) I haven't posted everything I did for Halloween.  I'm planning on photographing the household decorations (of which there are many) as well as the two projects (a light-up trick-or-treat bag and Halloween sleep pants) I started for the holiday.  Notice I said started.  Neither is currently finished.  I could use the excuse that we got whacked with a major Nor'easter the weekend before Halloween, but we never lost power at our house and I wouldn't have been done with these projects anyway even if there hadn't been a major weather event.  So my goal is to finish both this weekend, so I can photograph them, post and then put them away for next year. 

Or worst case scenario, hide them in a drawer until February and work on the furtitively through spring and still not finish them for next Halloween.  Which is more likely.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Doesn't it snow all but six weeks a year in New England?

So since I started the other blog on gardening the most common question I get is, "Yes, but what do you do the rest of the year?  (What, besides spend time with my husband, work and volunteer?)  I do a ridiculous amount of crafting and cooking for someone with a full-time, 60-hour-a-week-plus job.  I do it because I enjoy it, and because I'm always, always amused by people's amazement that I have hobbies that are domestic.  Apparently, my personality does not lead people to believe that I would ever consider things like sewing, cooking or knitting fun.  But I do.  Mostly.  This time of year the knitting and sewing is generally directed towards creating holiday gifts, so I'm hyper-focused on timelines and deliverables.  Much like being at work, although at the end of a work project nobody ends up with variegated socks - usually just paper cuts.

A dear friend of mine writes a really great blog on all of her cooking adventures and her family's history surrounding recipes, which is amazing to read but doesn't really work for me because I don't necessarily cook something elaborate or even noteworthy most days.  Also, my family does not have a long and storied history involving recipes.  And because I tend to dabble in a variety of craft mediums, a blog focused on one specific thing (knitting, sewing, scrapbooking) doesn't work either.  So this blog will likely be a mishmash of whatever I'm up to on the home front.