Snowstorms and Slipped Stitches

Well, I’m posting this quickly while I still have an internet connection.

It’s still snowing, the temperatures are in the negatives, my internet is spotty at best. I’m developing that sour taste of cabin fever in my mouth. And it doesn’t taste like s’mores or board games, like I sometimes think it should. It tastes more like one too many cans of Mountain Dew and lethargy.

All through our busy year we dream of a reprieve, of a break from everything and everyone. When we get it, we go crazy. Or, at least, people like me do. I imagine that it’s pretty small potatoes to an Amish person, or my grandma, who I’m pretty sure thinks the computer is evil and might steal her soul if she gets too close. But for people like me it’s not even so much that you’re home, it’s just that you’re stuck there. Without internet it might as well be the Dark Ages.

Bearded Glory

My dog, on the other hand, loves it. She gets me all to herself all day, and she gets to eat copious amounts of snow, ending the task with an Odin-like snowbeard. Look at that cocky bastard.

I went into this storm thinking about all the reading I’d do – and I did do a lot of reading, just not in the books I had planned. I realized I didn’t really remember anything about Fahrenheit 451, and after dying a little inside I decided to right my ship, un-tip my cow and read the book right then. I’ll be finishing it tonight or maybe tomorrow morning, and a good decision it was.

I also got some work done on other projects – namely, my knitting. (Here’s where the username comes from.)

It's safe for you to assume now that my photography equipment ends at my cellphone.

It’s safe for you to assume now that my photography equipment ends at my cellphone.

This is a pattern I found on Ravelry called Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder.

I taught myself how to knit when I graduated high school. I don’t quite remember how it came about, or how it got this far. I picked up one of those “I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting!” kits from a department store, and went home excited to knit a scarf and show everyone how good I was. Boy would they be jealous of my talent, I thought, I’d probably get it quick. How hard could knitting be?

The answer to that is pretty hard. Once home I couldn’t even figure out how to cast on. At one point I just kinda spiraled the yarn around the needle, like early man experimenting with sticks, lucky for me there weren’t any anthills nearby. But I continued trying and by the grace of some omnipotent deity, I figured it out. Not that night, it might not have even been that month.

Then came learning to knit the stitches I finally managed to cast on, here the mechanics of knitting come in. You’re really just taking the loop of a knot, and pulling a new loop through it. Over and over and over, with little sticks. There were many dropped stitches, those proud little casualties, and I was starting to think I was doing something wrong. Have you ever seen a cartoon where a character might happen be knitting? I’m sure you probably just never took note, but if you did you might recall that they always seem hold their needles pointed down.

Like so:

Here’s Obama knitting the shirts right off the private sector’s back. Note needle position.

You know how many knitters actually hold their needles like that? Almost none of us. There’s a lot of different ways to knit, some people even use their armpits. But most people knit one of two ways: English or American, continental or throwing respectively. Neither one has you holding your needles pointed at the ground. I went into learning to knit thinking I was supposed to hold my needles pointed down. ‘The cartoon gods wouldn’t steer me wrong, would they?’ I thought, ‘Surely your average animator must have an extensive knowledge of knitting.’

Eventually I figured out how to hold my needles, and moved on to the knit and purl stitches. Purling was a complete impossibility to me, the physics just weren’t there. It was like trying to explain the flux capacitor to a Dallas cheerleader. Making a long story short – I kept at it and now I’m a pretty wicked knitter, if the above picture is any evidence. I used to have a crafting blog, that I’ve since abandoned. It took joy out of the art and it made me feel like I had a deadline on every project. There’s no sense in ruining your own fun.

I’m also working on a pair of Dalek mittens, but I’m going to save pictures of those for when they’re further developed – so stay tuned!

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