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Who-Dun Knit?

Who is this creature in my skin who is so thoroughly obsessed with yarn and patterns and dpn’s and circs? Why can’t I think about doing something else? I’ve been knitting for over a year now. My projects keep me up till the wee hours of the morning. I take them in the car with me wherever I go in the hopes that maybe — just maybe I can get a few stitches in while I am … well, wherever I am. It’s something I use as a bribe to reward myself: If I go to the gym, I can knit for a half hour. If I walk two miles, I can knit for an hour. If I make dinner now, I can knit all evening.

I do not have an addictive personality. I’ve never really felt compelled to do any certain behavior such as drinking, smoking, eating. Well, okay. Sometimes the eating. But it’s never been where I felt I just had to do it because of a craving of some sort.

I keep thinking it will probably pass. I’ve talked to other people who used to knit who were gung ho, knitted up a storm for a couple of years then slowly stopped. Is that what will happen with me? How far down the road? When I’m broke from adding to my stash? When I run out of room for all my gadgets and patterns and needles? When it takes over not just the family room but the family? Do they make a patch for this sort of thing?? Do I need to find a KA meeting somewhere????

I guess I’m still okay, though. My kids still recognize me; they seem to have gotten used to hearing me respond to any request with, “Hang on. Just one more row.” I’m still happily married, though my cat does seem a little needy lately. I still hold down a part-time job. I haven’t completely let myself go. But I’ll definitely have to watch for signs of knitaholism.

I already recognize some of them: Every sweater I see is studied for its knitting pattern. Every purse is discreetly appraised for its use as a knitting bag. Every store is graded on whether it carries yarn. If I have to explain what a “stash” is or what “frogging” means, our conversations won’t be that long.

But I think I’ll be fine. It’s not a problem yet. It’s not like I was using that space behind the couch for anything else. No one can even see the stuff that’s back there. And I have lots of extra vases, so it’s not like those needles are in the way there. And you can always use an extra hat or scarf or purse or two. Right?

I mean, it’s not really a problem yet; right?

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One Down, One to Go

Sock number one is done, but it definitely didn’t turn out that great. This was knitted on two Addi circs. I do like doing socks better this way since I’m not keen on dpn’s, but hopefully the next sock will be better. I’ve casted it on — in fact, I think I casted it on six times; I wanted both top edges to be the same color. Course, now I get to do the k1p1 ribbing; nothing but fun, fun fun! At least it’s only for three inches; not a tall sock. These are mostly for practice, anyway. Maybe I should try the Magic Loop method…
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It’s the 23rd — No, it’s the 24th…

You’d think I’d be tired. You’d think I’d be worn out. I went shopping again today. The MOB and I left here at 9:30 in the morning to drive 70 miles to a town where there are a few more options in mothers-of-the-couple wear. The roads were dry, the sun was trying to make an appearance, and we were both armed with numbers and pictures of dresses we wanted to try on. And this time I wore the tummy-sucker I’d bought over the weekend to relieve my ab muscles of holding in my belly all the time. As an added precaution, I made sure not to drink too many liquids. We even braved the 30-degree weather and left our coats in the car so as not to be too encumbered during our quest.

Our first stop didn’t pan out, although we both discovered the high school girls should be shopping for prom dresses right now. ($25 bucks for last fall’s designs!) We put a couple things on hold knowing we probably wouldn’t be back for them.

We made our way to the bridal shop in the mall, none too confident that we’d find anything there after seeing bright, bushy, teenage-styled gowns in the window. Entering the place and taking it all in changed our minds. In 15 minutes I had 35 dresses to try on; the MOB had maybe 15.

Of course, never sure what size is really accurate and being ridiculously size-gunshy, I actually had pretty good luck with straight 10’s and tried on gown after gown. Dashing in and out of the dressing room, trading mirror time with the MOB, I was once again amazed and appalled at the creature looking back at me. I can’t say I found nothing; I did find a couple things I liked. But when I shop for something like this, I really have to love it before I can buy it. And these babies aren’t cheap. Plus the gal is now telling us they’d have to put a ‘rush’ order on the one dress I was considering in order to get it here by the wedding in May.

Lucky, lucky MOB, though! She found the most perfect dress for her that you could ever imagine. Nothing she would have taken a second glance at normally, this dress really was made for her — with some alterations. (Did I mention she’s a size 2?) It’s stunning, really. So gorgeous, in fact, that I feel the bar has been raised so high that I just can’t get near it.

So now the pressure is really on. That’s why I’m sitting up at 3:00 in the morning clicking through collections of dresses trying to find something to wear in May. I ordered a bunch of dresses online that can be returned, but I want to try them on. I ordered them all in a 12. (I bet I’m at least an 8 with this company!)

Finally, having never fallen asleep in front of a computer before, the little clock reflecting on the wall is telling me to JUST GO TO BED!

Posted in Knitting

When Did I Become A MOG?

Okay. So I’m thrilled and excited that our oldest son, Andrew, is getting married this spring to a wonderful, beautiful young woman who adores him. Isn’t that what every mother wants for their boys? Well, sure! They can’t be just ours forever. And, hey; it’s not about me anyway.

But since shopping for a dress for the upcoming nuptials, I’ve suddenly become a “Mother of the Groom.” What the world?!? How can this be? Can I be a MOG when inside I’m still their age? I look at the dresses on the racks and online. I love all the shape-hugging, flirty, shoulder-baring designs with their wavy hemlines and soft-as-a-cloud material that pass the ‘twirl’ test. And the shoes! Every color, every style, leg-flattering and strappy — why, I remember wearing those shoes many years ago! How many years? Well, just enough to allow me to believe, somewhere in the deep recesses of my aging mind, that I could still look darn good in them.

Wouldn’t you think, in the world of high fashion (or at least expensive-for-me fashion), that vanity sizing would have found its niche? Me, too. I found so many beautiful dresses to try on, grabbing 8’s and 10’s (though surely 10’s would be too big) in beautiful shades of pastels named “sage green,” “persimmon,” “ice pink,” and “buttercup.” This would be a piece of cake.

And I came prepared. I wore easy-on, easy-off clothing. I had on nylons with belly-hugging spandex. I wore a strapless beige bra. What fun!! Catching sight of my pale pink, half-naked body in the wall-sized mirror only made me throw the dresses on faster. Trying to reach around my back to pull up zippers seemed harder than normal — until I realized with embarrassing horror that it wasn’t the zipper. It was the start of BACK CLEAVAGE!!! That zipper wasn’t going anywhere!

Peeling off the size 8, I grabbed a size 10 to try to gain back what little self-esteem I still had. What the — where are the straps? Are these STAYS in the bodice? Do they expect us to BREATHE with these things pressing against our ribs? What twisted male designer decided we women yearned once more for the 14th century? And when would this start to be fun? As I watched my daughter in the next dressing room model dress after dress, style after style, I turned back to that wicked, dreadful mirror reflecting lousy lighting and wondered where had all my curves gone? Where was my glowing skin? My perky breasts? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED???

So, yeah. That was the beginning of a slow and rude awakening. I might feel 25 inside. My mind still knows what it feels like to slide something over my head and have it fall around me and fit like it was made for me, the silky material glancing against my legs. I remember twirling with my arms outstretched, in strappy heels, peeking in the mirror over my shoulder as I’d spin, looking like a ballerina and feeling beautiful. Beautiful!

I guess I had my time. I guess now it’s their turn. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. Thankfully they make dresses for MOGs like me who aren’t quite ready to give it up completely. There are some lovely, elegant gowns out there, beaded and silky, more suited to my age and in shades that won’t make me disappear. Maybe next time I’ll take my mom, or maybe my older sister. I’ll find it. I’ll make it work. It’s not about me, anyway. It’s about my son and his fiancé; about them starting their lives together.

But now I know for sure: Youth is definitely wasted on the young.

Posted in Knitting

Quotes I Love

  • A perfect parent is a person with excellent child-rearing theories and no actual children. ~ Dave Barry
  • There’s nothing so tragic as seeing a family pulled apart by something as simple as a pack of wolves. ~ Jack Handey
  • To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. ~ Unknown
  • Beware of running with scissors and other pointy objects. It’s all good fun until someone loses an eye. ~ Jack Handey
  • Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels. ~ Faith Whittlesey
  • The loneliest woman in the world is a woman without a close woman friend. ~ George Santayana
  • For two people in a marriage to live together day after day is unquestionably the one miracle the Vatican has overlooked. ~ Bill Cosby
  • Laughter rises out of tragedy, when you need it the most, and rewards you for your courage. ~ Erma Bombeck
  • It takes a village to raise a child. ~ Unknown
  • Suppose you were an idiot; and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. ~ Mark Twain
  • People will forget what you say. People will forget what you do. But people will never forget how you made them feel. ~ Unknown
  • It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. ~ Mark Twain
  • My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk until I faint. ~ Erma Bombeck
  • If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning. ~Catherine Aird
  • The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them. ~Mark Twain
  • Life is difficult. This is a great truth; one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters. ~ M Scott Peck
  • Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. ~Unknown
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    Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!!!

    Here’s my Cali — an unoriginal name for a very original cat, at least IMHO. When she chooses to, she’ll avail herself of the kitty bed I knit up for her. She found us when we moved into our house over 14 years ago. She was just a kitten, probably 5 or 6 weeks old, looking for some food in all the boxes in our garage. It was love at first sight, and she’s been with us ever since. She’s very independent (natch’), and will take any attention she can get, as long as it’s on her terms. She absolutely HATES anything else with four legs. We had a small dog for awhile, and she tolerated her with disdain. My mom has a long-haired calico kitten who comes to visit occasionally, but Cali thinks she’s a complete and total idiot. Bertie Kitty will tease her, sneak up on her, follow her around, and poor Cali has to hiss and swat at her to tell her to “back off!”

    Then Cali will turn to me with a look of complete disgust, as if to say, “What’s the matter with you, woman? Why would you let this thing in my house?” Once little Bertie gets the snot kicked out of her, she finally gets herself worn out enough to take a little ‘cat nap.’

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    I’m Gonna Try This Again…

    While I did knit a pair of socks before, they were wool, and after washing them by mistake, they felted quite nicely and hid all my mistakes. So I can’t really claim to be comfortable yet with the whole process of turning a heel, picking up the correct stitches, and hiding that inevitable hole in the gusset. I found a wonderfully helpful site that should be called “Sock Knitting For Dummies.” God bless Silver for creating this site.

    Digging through my stash, I found some Schoeller Stahl Fortissima Colori sock yarn I bought quite awhile ago. (The sample sock looked so cute!) I’ve been reading up on knitting socks on two circular needles since I got a bunch of them for Christmas. I finally started this one a couple days ago. Working in a k1p1 pattern is so tedious, I’m glad there was only a few inches of it. I’m also finding one of the circs a bit on the long side, but the Addi cables are so soft and flexible, it hasn’t really been that big a deal. Anyway, so far so good. (HA!)
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    Baby Hats!

    Aren’t these the cutest THANGS!?!? I love making these little hats. They knit up so fast, and there are so many cute patterns. And I’m so lucky my brother and his wife had boy and girl twins so I can do both. Who knows if they’ll ever use them? They’re just fun to make, and they’re a nice break from some of the bigger projects.