Saturday, October 18, 2008

Shamed into Knit Blogging

If you're new to my blog I've got a surprise for you. This is not a mommy blog, a family blog, a journaling blog, or simply an exercise in writing because no one around here listens to me anyways blog. Despite the archives you may have read this blog is none of those things. This blog serves a different, very specific, purpose.

This is a knitting blog.

No really. Stop laughing. I knit. I really do. Stop laughing! I swear, this is a knitting blog to show off my mad knitting skillz! (cause I roll with the z! Don't be hating.)

Unfortunately the last time I did any significant knitting was almost a year ago. I was near the end of my pregnancy with Sweet Pea. I was enormous. I was exhausted. And I was driven. My urge to create was in maximum overdrive. I was not content to merely sit around and create an entirely new human being with my spare calories (and with the amount of left over Halloween candy and Thanksgiving pies everywhere, I had calories to spare). Nope, in classic over-achiever style growing a person was just not enough. I needed to be DOING something every second of every day. Washing baby blankets, scrubbing the tubs, wiping finger prints from the windows. I needed to be productive. But this was not soothing, nor relaxing. Somehow cleaning just made more work. There was always more to be done and never enough done, never anything to show for it. My internal agitation reached near its breaking point. I NEEDED to make things, tangible things I could hold until I could hold my baby, tactile things I could touch until I could touch my baby. I needed a finished object to show what I had been doing with my time. (in retrospect this could be a possible explanation for all the Thanksgiving pies) As I spiral towards my breaking point that would have resulted in my boiling the children to kill their germs and possibly decoupaging the dog, a solution presented itself.

Christmas Knitting.

Thank goodness for Christmas knitting.

As December 25th loomed I took up my needles in anticipation of Christmas and the requisite gift giving. I knit a scarf for every member of my family. And I took such enjoyment in the feel of yarn flowing between my fingers. It soothed my soul and calmed my nerves in a way that sewing, baking, and cleaning were just not capable of. I took such care in choosing each color, yarn weight and pattern for my beloved family members. I loved every second of that knitting. I miss my family so much, and instead of not thinking about them because it makes me miss them, I reveled in thinking of each one as I knit their scarf. I took out my memories of why I loved them, and how they drove me crazy, and how I looked forward to seeing them again. I took everything I could from these projects, everything but pictures.

As December 25th creeped closer and the deadline to mail the scarves approached with frightening rapidity, I wrapped the tangible proof of my work and mailed them on their way without even thinking of taking a few moments to document my mad skillz. I know! I've become such a bad blogger.

It wouldn't be so heartbreaking, but they were A.W.E.S.O.M.E. The black kidsilk haze Wisp for my fashion forward sister (oh the evil crack that is kid silk haze). The monstrous Harry Potter scarf (Azkaban, not Sorcerer's Stone) in OSU colors for my poor misguided brother. And the Noro scarf, oh the noro scarf. Three colorways of silk garden striped into the most awesome scarf on the planet. I know I'm over using this word, but that scarf was just made.of.AWESOME! I loved it so much it took every ounce of Christmas spirit and generosity I had to wrap it and mail it instead of keeping it all for myself.

The good part, or bad part, about living so far from my family is I didn't get to see them open their gifts. I don't know if the red I choose was just perfect with her skin tone like I thought it would be. I don't know if that monster scarf was indeed long and monstrous enough or if it was too thick. I think they liked them. But my Mamma raised us right, my siblings were all gracious enough to SAY they liked them, and hide their disappointment if they hated them. And being so very far away they were free to quietly give them to charity without my ever knowing or even suspecting, as is their right.

But my Dad. Oh my Daddy. He LOVED his scarf. He raved about it, and I smiled because I had at least got this one right. A perfect marriage of yarn, pattern, and giftee. He called me a few weeks after Christmas filled with woe. Someone, the lowest of the low kind of someones, had stolen his hand knit scarf from his desk at work. It is a sad sorry state of affairs when people go around stealing hand knitted Christmas gifts.

I was suspicious.

"Dad, if you didn't like your scarf you don't have to invent phantom thieves to steal it. You can give it away and I would never know. I promise to never ask what became of your scarf."

He assured me he had not imagined the incident in an effort to hide the fact that he secretly hated his scarf and had given it to Goodwill. In fact he was hoping I would knit him another one.

So I ordered replacement yarn, and not a moment too soon, because the color was being discontinued. It arrived a week later, and then the yarn sat in my yarn cabinet, for eight months.

I had an excuse. I had a newborn who never slept. Then I had a baby with thrush who never slept. Then we were busy house hunt, then we were busy buying a house, and busy painting a house, and busy packing a house, and busy unpacking a house. And oh yeah, through it all, Sweet Pea continued to not sleep. I was one tired Mamma.

But as my Dad made plans to come visit in September my guilt got the best of me. I still haven't finished his sweater, can't I at least finish his lousy scarf for him? I dusted off my needles and cast on a new replacement scarf. And wouldn't you know it I enjoyed knitting him this scarf a second time as much as I enjoyed knitting it the first time, maybe even more, because I KNEW he was going to love it.

I proudly presented him with his scarf and he asked

"Did you take pictures of it for your blog?"

No. No I hadn't. Again with the bad blogging. Evidently I don't learn from my mistakes (did you notice I have FOUR children). My Dad was here several days and he asked me several times if I had photographed it yet. I had not. He finally took matters into his own hands (and camera) and photographed the scarf himself.

So allow me to present to you, on my knitting blog, courtesy of some photographs and guilt that only a parent can provide, some fine-ass knitting: My Father's Christmas Scarf, version 2.0


Pattern: Irish Hiking Scarf

Yarn: Knitpicks Telemark in Snow Leopard, 4 skeins

Needles: Size 7 Addi Turbos

Modifications: None


Review: I love this scarf. When knit on the larger needles the telemark becomes wonderfully drapey, yet still supports the cables. In theory I don't want to knit patterns I've already knit more than once, but this pattern is infinitly knit-able. The resulting design is simple, but so beautiful in its simplicity. I don't know why cables just scream my Dad to me, but they do. And I'm sorry Dad, but the grey is you as well. It is probably because you have told me my entire life that every grey hair on your head can be directly attributed to me. I associate grey with you. It's your own fault.

So there you go. Finally some knitting on this knitting blog. Look for more soon, I've got lace on my blocking wires as I type (did you catch that? I OWN BLOCKING WIRES, but that is an entirely different blog post). I've got several things in my knitting queue that need knit right now, but I see more knitting for my Father in my future. With a fan like this


how can I not?


Misty said...

What a great story! And I love everything you knit. You really should take more pictures and blog them. :)

Prasopchok said...

Thanks, you is the best !!!

Make your Notebook fast

Make your notebook fast.

marit said...

Love the story- love the scarf! You have a great dad. Tell Sweet Pea to keep quiet and smile- you have important business on your needles! (just for the record- I too have four children, they are now 16,15,13 and 11. When you get this far in life, you knit instead of biting your nails wondering what the kids are up too!!!)

Bezzie said...

Hee hee! Cute story! And now I'm tempted to do another IHS--my first one was a littler, erm, begginner!

And your dad looks eerily alot like mine--but yours has more hair!