Friday, June 30, 2006

Like looking for a needle in a leather sofa...

All was apparently well, knitting and otherwise:

1. I had gotten a major pat on the back at work;

2. I was really loving the sock now; just at the point when I could imagine what it would look like finished;

3. We got a congratulatory letter from Gavin Newsom (about our wedding);

4. The raspberry sauce for my father in law’s birthday cake was finished and perfect;

5. I had worked a few rows of the triangle shawl;

6. I cast on and worked a few rounds of the Floral Gathering Sac.

All signs pointing to productivity, I decided to swatch the yarn I planned to use for the Debbie Bliss Aran sweater. I opened my scrupulously organized needle case to get my size 8 straights.

There was only one in there. Just the one. All by itself. WTF??? Let my fingers do the walking through the compartments – all was in order, except for the glaring gap where that other size 8 should be. Okay. Deep breath. I felt around in the stash basket and in my project bags. Back to the needle case, this time emptying every compartment and re-sorting the needles. Sip of wine and back to the stash basket and project bag. I emptied both and re-sorted. I was really starting to get alarmed now, because my knitting stuff, apart from being an investment in creativity and preservative of my sanity, is impeccably organized. Usually. However, there was obviously a giant, gaping hole in my process if a needle had gone missing.

It wasn’t on, under or buried in the couch; there was no evidence that the dog had eaten it (you think I am paranoid, right? She has eaten photo corners, cash, gum, a stash of a different sort belonging to a former housemate…). Nor was it rattling around the coffee table or anywhere on or near the bookshelves.

Upon the assurances of my always calm and reasonable husband, I called back the search party for the evening. I am still perplexed, but I suspect I will find myself picking up another pair of Clover Bamboo Size 8 straight needles today. I have an unprecedented urge to swatch.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Impatient Bit

An example from as recently as yesterday evening’s commute.

I understand that public transportation in parts unfamiliar can be confusing. But there are times when it just seems that people refuse to understand and/or refuse to move through the system efficiently, even when they should be able to do so, thereby causing hassle for the rest of us, who use the system every day.

I take Caltrain and MUNI every day, to and from work. There is only one MUNI train that goes to the Caltrain Depot; and quite often, there is some delay or other f-wittage on MUNI’s end. And if there is one thing I am super, scarily, freakishly hyper and impatient about, it is taking my same Caltrain (the 270 ROCKS!) home every single day, without fail, exception or interference (unless, of course, I happen to get off work early and take an earlier train).

I headed down to MUNI as usual, where I noticed a couple with a double stroller speaking with the station agent. Mom and stroller paid their fare and entered through the side gate. Dad, with a giant canvas duffel, was wedged in the only fare gate that can be used by the folks with a Caltrain pass – since it is connected to a button in the station agent’s booth that manually opens the gate. Dad is fully and completely occupied in collecting his $1.50, one excruciating coin at a time, from the capacious depths of his duffel. Apparently having run out of the loose change that just hangs out in the duffel, he fumbled for a small drawstring bag within that (hopefully!) contained more change.

To be perfectly fair, the MUNI faregates only accept coins. However, even if you didn’t know this in advance, it seems weird to me that you wouldn’t have the change more accessible, either because you just changed a dollar, or because, like most normal people, you keep your change in (a) your pocket, (b) the change compartment of your wallet, or (c) a coin purse that is located somewhere more convenient than the very bottom of a large and probably disorganized duffel bag.

Meanwhile, I know that my MUNI train is due any moment, because I check before I leave the office. Just before I had my aneurysm, the station agent noticed me standing there; I showed her my pass, and she said I could go through the side gate. I went down to the platform, where my train was just pulling in.

I hopped on, pulled out my sock and started knitting.

Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, calm.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


This is a great time for me to work on smaller, portable projects. I have the Simple Sock in Three Sizes (from Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles) on the needles now. This is my first sock ever, and I am just about ready to turn the heel. Very exciting.

Because the pattern yarn is discontinued, I substituted Koigu KPPM in color 627, which I'd originally bought to make the Koigu Fun Sock. I didn't do that well with the DPNs, and I am glad to be able to make socks another way with this yarn. It seems to be working well, and it is cool to see how the colorway ends up in the knitted project.

My commute actually isn't that long - about 25 minutes, but I can usually get several rounds in during that time. With bigger projects, I always felt rushed to finish just one more row! It is the best way to de-stress after work that I know of - maybe even better than that glass of wine at home!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Two Knitterly Lists... way of further introduction.


1. Knit for charity.

2. Buy yarn for specific projects/patterns only: avoid simply accumulating yarn because it is on sale, it is beautiful, etc. Perhaps this rule could be relaxed if I am on a trip and the yarn is purely one of a kind/locally produced, etc. In a perfect world, I would buy a pattern to go with it at the same time.

3. Try to have only 3 projects on the needles at once, e.g., a challenge, an easy/ knitting-as-therapy project, and a small project suitable for commute time and lunch hours.

4. Knit more gifts.

5. Gain more experience with lace.

6. Gain more experience with color work.

7. Join a knitting group, or at least, make friends with other knitters and occasionally chat about knitting.

Labeling myself. I:

1. Am a ‘continental’ knitter.

2. Work mostly from free patterns found on the web (such as Lion Brand, Knitty, and I have a big stack from Elann that I have yet to work).

3. Am a self-taught knitter.

4. Knit my socks with circulars, rather than DPNs.

5. Prefer bamboo needles over most others. I have mostly Clover needles, but have discovered Crystal Palace - their circular needles are awesome; a thinner and more flexible cord than the Clovers.

6. Save my old knitting mags.

7. Enjoy the ‘working’ stage of a project the most, when I have memorized the pattern and move smoothly through the project.

8. Also love the feeling of completion!

9. Think about knitting pretty much constantly.

10. Love to read about knitting (history, current events, other knitters/blogs).

Monday, June 26, 2006


Welcome to my knitting blog, and my inaugural post.

I am starting this for a number of reasons, in no particular order:

1. Everyone else is doing it.

2. I think it will be a great virtual journal of my knitting life.

3. After a knitting hiatus of maybe... 3 years... I am back into the groove in a huge way. I got back in the game knitting a shawl for my wedding.

So, what's up with the title?

I hate to brag, but I am possibly the least patient person in the world. As my husband so pithily observed, it is therefore somewhat surprising that I knit. I started to think about this lately - what is it about knitting that enables me to do it? I have had a number of hobbies over the years, nearly all of which have tried my very minimal reserves of patience - to the point of throwing things and having what my brother colorfully refers to as a "purple-faced nut attack."

I really haven't come up with a reason for why knitting has stuck with me. I just know that it has, and possibly, in the course of blogging and knitting, I will come upon the answer.

Where am I?

Recently finished objects:

1. White feather-and-fan shawl for my wedding in Lion Brand's "Microspun," from the label pattern.

2. Pink Cashmere purse for me because it was pretty. I thought I'd knit a second one (one skein makes two purses) for a friend. While the knitting was fun, assembling the purse elicited much cursing, to the amusement of my new husband. This was Knitty's "Best Friend," in Keja cashmere.

3. Criss-Cross shrug for me in Lion Brand Homespun, from LB's pattern.

On the needles:

1. Socks for me; my first pair. Socks Soar, "Simple Sock in Three Sizes," in KPPM color 627.

2. Raglan Funnel-neck sweater for me. Debbie Bliss, from Knitting Workbook, in Rowan Kid Classic, color "Peat."

3. Garter stitch triangle shawl (gift), in Lion Brand Homespun, from their pattern.

Planned Projects:

I am in major stash reduction mode.

1. Pam Allen's "Floral Gathering Sac" for me, in LaLana Wools' Obverse blend, colors are Monet and Apassionata. I am going to take this on our honeymoon - should be a great project for the flights and layovers. I had been coveting it ever since I saw it in a 2001 issue of IK; I decided to finally treat myself to it for the big trip.

2. Aran sweater for me, no. 4 in Winter 01-02 VK. I am substituting Lion Brand's Fisherman's Wool.

3. Socks for DH, the same Socks Soar pattern but in Cascade Fixation, color Onyx.

4. Socks for me, "Broadripple," from, in the specified Cascade Fixation.

5. Silver scarf, from 100 Knitting on the Go Projects. Gift for a friend, in Lion Brand's Glitterspun.

6. Bonbon, a bath pouf from, in Lion Brand's "Incredible." I should be able to get six out of my stash for gifts.

7. Several hats (gifts) in various yarns, using the Yarn Harlot's method, described here.

That should do it for now, don't you think?

Thanks for reading!