Monday, April 27, 2009

Mindless/Brainless/Demented/On Hold.

I am stuck in the mindless zone - a granny rectangle blanket, a garter stitch triangular scarf (Noro), a V-stitch bath mat (a baaaath maaaaat?!!! what do I need a bath mat for?! from a dollar/skein plain vanilla white cotton from Michael's, but it is actually quite comfy) and now a seed stitch crochet scarf (another Noro) while some more complicated projects are languishing.

I did a few stitches (read: inches) of the Kidsilk Haze Veronique to finish the back, but have not had the wherewithall or the backbone to put it on a spare yarn and to block it, and I have tried a few starts on the second Tomatomus sock, but it keeps pooling, so I keep on frogging it and trying to start at different point of the color sequence - the first sock did not pool at all, so I do not know why the second is doing it. That's about it. The Veronique was supposed to be for opera-going with my dad - the orange should look nice with black.

I went back to work today - everybody was nice and kind, there wasnot much new stuff to deal with, but mounds of things from the past ten days.

I think I will go and block Veronique. I need to get out of this rut.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Blanket for My Father.

My father loathed knitting. He thought it was beneath me. Plebeian and pedestrian. Vulgar, common. He worked hard to rise above peasant things, and his daughter should harness her energies and intellect for scientific and professional endeavors. He was crestfallen when recently I had stared to knit and crochet obsessively.
He would cringe when he saw me pull out my knitting in public – I did it just to bug him and show my independence from his prejudices.
To him there was no such thing as a luxury yarn - if he knew that yarn could cost more than most people make in an hour, he would have certainly scoffed. There was nothing difficult or beautiful about intricate lace patterns. Silesian housewives did it, cleaning ladies did it, his daughter did not do it. It was a waste of time, money and talent.
Some time in the past he got the idea that it “calmed my nerves”. I think my mother – herself lacking insight – told him that. I do have my share of psychological problems, but none of them can be – or have ever been – helped by knitting. It infuriates me when people suggest it.
So it is multiply ironic that I chose to crochet a blanket for him when he got sick. The morning after he was admitted to ICU and placed on life support I drove to the store and bought more than a pound of expensive thick fluffy wool and mohair blend and started a large granny rectangle with it. He died later that day; I finished it for the visitation at the funeral home – it was draped over the prie-dieu by his coffin and later I asked for it to be put inside. My husband and best friend thought that it was “sweet” – meaning caring and thoughtful? – that I wanted to do it for him, but I have my doubts.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy and Cheerful Will Not Happen

My father is critically ill. I just got back from the hospital. He will not recover.

He died yesterday. I will finish a blanket for him.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

After the Forty Days...

I need to cast on something happy and cheerful.
Any ideas?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Forty Days - All Done.

Well, it sort of worked out, and it sort of did not. I did not blog, I did not post, I did not comment or write anything. In the first days I did not look at Raverly, Nasza-Klasa, PBase or my genealogy websites. Then I slowly started to sneak bits and peeks here and there, but feeling guilty all the time.

But I continued to knit and I:
1. finished four pairs of socks - one for me and three for Lukie - these are tiny;
2. finished the silk baby doll and matching thong;
3. finished the Ogee skirt before the March break holiday;
4. cast on and finished two completely unnecessary scarves (Aria and Kerchief) from yarns in the stash; realized after I got home from the holidays that I actually did not know how to wrap stitches; called it a design modification;
5. crocheted the Ariadne Tears scarf complete with sea glass beads and had a person refuse to deliver it to the person for whom it was intended;
6. had re-discovered the Fan Bookmark, had to make it and did two; realized that I still got it with the 1 mm hook;
7. got carried away and did a scarf from the same pattern in leftover yarns in the stash;
8. instead of frogging and redoing its border cleaned up the Infinity Shawl and declared it finished;
9. did not finish the Tomatomus socks, or the (now) Twenty-One Year Vest; realized that I cannot find my place on the chart for the Pomatomus and that the only way I will be able to do so is to start the second sock and get in the groove with the pattern again;
10. fiddled and agonized ovet the Lace for Me; finally settled for a crochet border at the neck, but am still fussing over the ties (I-cord? ribon? crochet ties?), still have not decided;
11. cast on a scarf for Susan, realized that I will not have enough yarn to finish it and bought another skein of - almost - matching HandMaiden Silk; am not plased with the combined result at all;
12. went to cast on Aimee for which I had been buying up skeins of KidSilk Haze only to realize that it is meant to be in Aura; gauged it and decided that it will work on larger needle in Haze; cast on a few hundred stiches - because I was going to make it in the round - only to realize that it did not stretch enough to allow anybody through, except may be the Olsen twins and only one at a time; frogged it and decided to
13. cast on Veronique, only to discover that I used the number of stitches for the next size up; decided to keep it anyway and just have a bit more swing in the back.

Toward the begining of the fifth week I started to sneak photos to Ravelry and PBase; updating my stash and project pages. I still did not read the forums or groups on Ravelry. Later that week I started to sneak peeks at patterns on Ravelry.

Throuout that I kept on borrowing knitting and crocheting books from the library and photocopying what I was going to make (Twist Vest, Sweater and Skirt). I also caved, went to LYS and ordered Summer Tweed for the vest for Jimm for the holiday in Greece. Yes, I do know that I still have not finished the previous vest, why do you ask? And bought more sock yarn (Lorna's Laces in camouflage for Lukie, at his specific request; and Noro Kureyon - I needed a match to make the simple scarf as I had Natural and did not know what to do with it). Bought a bunch of CottonEase as it was on sale and Lisa is having a baby and it is a good yarn for kids' stuff. Bought a bunch of Rowan Cotton Glace for the crocheted motifs for the bedspread that I do not think that I will ever make, but what the heck. Bought a bunch of statin and grosgrain ribbons for the Amy March slippers which I hope to make sometime, but cannot start right now, because I lost my photocopied directions for toe-up cast on.

And I bought books - even ones that I had from the library: French Girl Knits, Knitter's Book of Yarn, Closely Knit, Estonian Lace, Knitting for Good, Knitting without Tears, Knitting New Scarves, and just about every knitting and crochet magazine (well, only four). Sigh. I also realized that I did not like the YH as much as I thought I did - reading her blog and most recent book I noticed many recycled ideas. And she dislikes crochet so much. I know - I will most likely be stoned by yarn balls for admitting this, but what the ....

Took two trips - Warsaw, for me and genealogy, and Mexico, for March break with the boys. Knit like a maniac on both of them - socks, the Ogee skirt in Warsaw and the scarves and socks in Cancun. Forgot all about them by now - just a tiny blip on memory lanes.

And I did not write anything. I am not happy with that at all.

So? What do you think?