June 29, 2012

Bronwen and knitting


Whiiiiiimper.  Bronwen was supposed to come down today—Niall and I were poised to beat her up with handbells—both our third ringers this week having pressing engagements elsewhere.*  And I haven’t seen her in yonks and yonks—I still have her Christmas present sitting in my office.**

            It’s been muggy-sultry-breathless hot*** today and I was worried about her driving in her un-airconned car.  This is the only bright spot in a day of Bronwenlessness, that she wasn’t long on the road in this weather:  no, she was long hanging around for the locksmith.  She rang me about an hour before she was due to arrive, to say that the door lock on her house had decided to secede from the union, and she needed a locksmith to break into her own home.†  She’d been waiting something like two hours at that point, and was obviously not going to make it here.

            Waaaah.††  Bronwen KNITS.†††  I was going to ask her KNITTING QUESTIONS.

            See.  There has been knitting.

First Cardi, a week ago Sunday

First Cardi, tonight (minus the extra rows added WHILE WAITING FOR STUFF TO LOAD). I'm about to start my third skein, how exciting is that?


Scale. Although I'm not sure how useful it is. The fabric is really wodged together on the needles. There's more of it than it looks like here.

And then there has been . . . knitting.

Gratuitous Error #1

I have no idea what I did here.  It looks like the yarn version of that old dumb teenage thing where all nine of you in the VW Bug get out at the stoplight, run around the car, and get back in again before the light changes to green. 

Gratuitous Error #2

I’m pretty sure I dropped a stitch here.  What I don’t know is what I did next.  I know that personally what I hate worst in knitting errors is when there’s a hole so Above All Things There Shall Be No Hole.  Well, there isn’t a hole.  But there seem to be several more stitches.  After I’d knitted a couple more rows I started to worry, so I decided to count.

            And I had SIX FEWER STITCHES THAN I STARTED OUT WITH.   How does this HAPPEN?‡  I counted and recounted obsessively when I first cast on, and used stitch counters and everything to doublecheck.  But I don’t see any way I can have LOST SIX STITCHES in what passes, in beginners’ terms, for a relatively even, regular block of knitting.  WHERE ARE YOOOOOOOOOOU?  So, since I was six stitches down anyway, I decided to let the extra two or four (this is 2 x 2 ribbing) live.  Clearly I need their aid and support.

            But I am so glad that I managed to half-plan and half-luck-into this particular pattern and this particular yarn for First Cardi.  I knew from all those hellhound blanket squares that variegated yarn was the way to go:  solid colours show up your mistakes way too much.  And then I discovered the extra disguise feature of ribbing, so then I had to have ribbing too.  The two errors we are examining here are only the largest and ugliest:  there are lots of little gleeps and oopses.  I want to be able to WEAR this sucker when I’m done—but I don’t want to spend the next six years ripping out and starting over either.  And the yarn itself is just the right level of ‘I really like this, it’s pretty, and comfortable and satisfying to work’ but not to the dangerous ‘I am not WORTHY of this DIVINE STUFF and when I make a HORRIBLE MESS I will have to FALL ON MY KNITTING NEEDLES’ level.  I have some of that yarn in my stash.

            But I may yet have to fall on my knitting needles.  This is only the back.  All the stuff that isn’t like just knitting a Very Large Square is to come.  Beginning with . . . shaping the armholes.  AAAAAAAUGH.  I realised a day or two ago I was within a few rows of having to SHAPE THE ARMHOLES and . . . stopped knitting.  (Note:  siiiiigh.)  But then Bronwen was coming, and she could . . .

            And then Bronwen didn’t come.


* * *

 * How can someone choose a HOLIDAY over the chance to ring handbells—especially with Niall and me?^ 

^ Be careful how you answer that.  I can have you banned from the forum, you know. 

** Of course I could put it in an envelope and post it.  And your point would be? 

*** No, not as E Moon in Texas would recognise sultry.  But we’re flimsy delicate little things here in southern England.  And I frankly wouldn’t survive Texas.^  

^ Neither would the hellhounds.  Another friend with dogs wrote me recently about her vet, who has a rescue greyhound.  Does he eat? asked my friend.  Oh yes, said the vet, he eats.  There was a pause.  Although he’s what you might call a self regulating eater, she added.  If it’s too hot, he doesn’t eat.  If he hasn’t had enough exercise, he doesn’t eat.  He doesn’t always like the stuff at the bottom of the kibble bag, and some of the really high-quality stuff upsets his digestion.  —Yes.  I hear this.  In my guys’ case however the list continues ‘If the moon is in the wrong quarter, they don’t eat.  If the bus at the bus stop when we walk by is the wrong colour, they don’t eat.  If the first fellow in the queue to get on the bus is wearing the wrong shirt, they don’t eat.  If there are the wrong number of squirrels in the Foremost Squirrel Tree, they don’t eat.  If they do/do not see the churchyard cat who does/does not swank around under their noses, they don’t eat.  If the hellgoddess’ knapsack is sitting on the floor at the wrong angle^, they don’t eat.’   Siiiiigh.  But what I’ve finally begun to figure out, the last summer or two, is that they eat better in hot weather with less exercise.  You’d think, once they’d crashed out in front of the fan^^ for an hour or so and cooled off, it wouldn’t matter.  But it does.^^^ 

^ The wrong angle for that day, you understand.  It will be a different wrong angle tomorrow. 

^^ Unless it’s an Objecting to the Fan day.  We have those too.  

^^^ Especially when the moon is in the wrong quarter. 

† This almost happened to me about six months ago—at grrmph o’clock in the morning, of course.  And I don’t think we have 24-hour locksmiths around here.  Fortunately my lock relented and I spent the next week basting it in WD40 and it’s been . . . fine, she says, looking around nervously. 

†† She finally got another locksmith.  But it was still too late for handbells in New Arcadia.  Niall, who is a truly loathsome human being, suggested that I could spend the already-dedicated handbell time learning a touch that I could call next time we get together.  Certainly.  Right after I finish creating this failsafe appetite stimulant for hellhounds. 

††† Bronwen knits appallingly well.  I have to avert my eyes or I would be forced to take up tatting or discus-throwing. 

‡ I don’t think the Twilight Zone ever tackled knitting.  Probably too scary for an ordinary audience. 



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