I Should Have Brought My Knitting
. . . Oisin was painting scenery today.* Their entire house at the moment is a kind of underwater jungle: coral reefs, barnacle-encrusted castles, the odd kraken**, sitting around among the chairs and tables and piles of sheet music and books. Oisin looks tired. I had even brought Che Faro and my Folk Song Arrangements by Real Composers*** but I smuggled them in and he looked so ravaged by fate I declined to try him further. But after the Octopus is over† . . . I will become merciless and demanding.
I had a very nice email from a reader this morning who goes on in a gratifying manner about how much she likes my books†† and the blog††† . . . and then adds: I am impressed that you are attempting to learn how to knit for the first time well into adulthood. I think that that is something that must be difficult to pick up if you haven’t done it as a child.
Honey, I ring change methods on handbells.‡ And I didn’t start that till I was (well) past my half century. If I can ring frelling bob major on the 3-4 I can learn to knit.‡‡ Although I imagine it is one of those things where the higher (or lower) reaches of deviltry‡‡‡ will remain out of my reach because I started late.§ I can live with this. I am aware that as soon as I have produced half a legwarmer that looks even remotely like a legwarmer I will be out there trolling the 1,000,000 knitting sites§§ for challenges.§§§ . . . . Although I’m apparently going to be able to sit still with my little hands folded# and people will send me challenges.
http://erssieknits.squarespace.com/knitting-charts/free-char ts/6860416 (with slightly dubious thanks to lecuyerv and blondviolinist)
http://erssieknits.squarespace.com/knitting-charts/free-char ts/6777110 (and further increasingly dubious thanks to lecuyerv who is clearly a powerful new force of enabling evil on the forum)###
To which I raise you one:
Yes, I’m afraid I bought it. Even at two-thirds off list price I couldn’t afford it. I bought it anyway. One can never have too many sighthound jumpers. I shall start a collection.
But one of the reasons knitting appeals to me is that at least down here among the munchkins and hellhound blankets it’s pretty straightforward. Restful, even. You can knit a row while you’re contemplating that next pivotal paragraph. It’s relatively difficult to stab yourself with a knitting needle.## It is relatively difficult to give yourself paper cuts with yarn. None of the accoutrements of your medium are prone to leaving ineradicable stains. Knitting: The Perfect Pastime. Although I really do need to do something about my phone technique. What does everyone else do about the ineradicable crick in your neck? Are there Phone Knitting Headsets? I can see me limping in to my next osteo/Bowen appointment all curled over with my head pinned to my shoulder and Rajan or Tabitha saying in horror, Robin, what have you done to yourself? Knitting, I reply hollowly.
* * *
* I did offer. He said no, no, no, you just sit there. —Possibly he has seen me tripping over my own feet and only failing to poke myself in the eye with pencils because I wear glasses,^ and concluded that a live paintbrush and I are probably not a good mixture. Pity, too, since the paint matched what I am wearing rather well.^^ Although I daresay I would just have splodged it on my black jeans. And Oisin’s floor.
^ Hard contact lenses are also quite good for this.
^^ Coral pink.
** Krakens take a lot of painting
*** I’m such a snob. But if I could find my ancient Steeleye Span anthology I’d be so there. It’s in the very last box up at Third House. I hope. Although if there were a good version of Buffalo Gals out there I’d give it try.^ Can’t face This Land Is Your Land. Sorry. Conjures up hideous visions of pep rallies in junior high.
^ Yerp. I had a casual cruise on Google, found some free sheet music and . . . it’s from an old tatty song book I already have.
† Next week: school hols. Amateur theatrical groups all over England are putting on performances next week.
†† I love that they are all about Girls Who Do Things. ::Beams::
††† Although she confesses reservations about my footnote usage. Allow me to remind everyone that while yes, it’s a shtick, and all shticks are annoying by definition, this one has the crucially useful function of letting my butterfly brain produce a blog post every night. This blog is one of those window-of-opportunity things, and my window of opportunity is that entries are (a) too long (b) more or less every night and (c) have footnotes. If I rewrote to shorten and tighten and rein in the footnotes, which would absolutely produce better pieces, and (logically) I could accomplish this by (say) going to every other day rather than every day . . . what would happen is that I wouldn’t do it. The blog would crash and burn. I’m not saying this makes any sense. I’m telling you that’s the way it is. This is the blog I can write.
‡ She also says she enjoys my crustiness on the blog. I want to say, little me? Crusty? But I can’t bring it off. Snooooork.
‡‡ How different can one sitting-down-wiggling-your-hands-and-concentrating thing be from another? JOKE.
‡‡‡ Not to say ravelry
§ One of my overachiever knitting friends sent me a link to the seriously frightening yarn shop she works at, and which has a page about the staff. They’re all under thirty. Well, the old one may be thirty-one and a half or something. But I’m sure she started knitting when she was four.
§§ Or possibly merely the 1,000,000,000,000 pages of ravelry.com
§§§ I want to knit sweaters. You know, those great big things that everyone I’ve ever met has a half-finished sleeve of in a bag in the back of a cupboard. Yes, I said everyone. Yes, Peter knits. Although he hasn’t in a while. He says everyone really did knit in the postwar^ shortages era.
^ World War II. Remember Peter is even older than I am.
# No, no! Knitting!
##I said relatively. I come from embroidery, you know. It’s relatively difficult not to stab yourself on embroidery needles.
### And yes, I downloaded them. Immediately. Yes, both of them. Ask me a hard one.
Please join the discussion at Robin McKinley's Web Forum.