Saturday, December 12, 2009

Greetings and Happy Whatever You're Into

Hey Y'all,
Yikes, has it really been months since I last posted? Between finishing my latest book and starting up a new job, I have been beyond overwhelmed. You might remember that when we last knitted together, I was waiting for word back on a writing gig. Well, I beat out 199 competitors, and got hired to write all about how great Austin is for JetBlue Airways. If you are so inclined, you can enjoy my writing genius on an almost daily basis here at JetAustin.

But enough about work, let's talk about what's REALLY important: knitting. I took up knitting allegedly for purposes of relaxation. Of late though, I find that my uber-goal-oriented work style has crept into my knitting. Not long before our last fabulous Monhegan adventure, I started in on a Deb Newton sweater, which was featured on the cover of the Fall Interweave KNITS. Here's a picture of that sweater:

Hilariously, back then I had this kooky idea I could finish it before our retreat. When I realized that was about as likely as me learning to wear makeup without looking like a drag queen, I gave up that deadline. But then, soon enough, I set my sights on another. As it happens, poor me, Ori is taking me to France for a couple of weeks. We leave next Tuesday. I decided that I must, must, must finish that sweater before we get on the plane. So I actually started getting up before dawn, putting in a couple of hours most mornings, and then more time in the evenings. I love Deb Newton-- I had the pleasure of interviewing her. And I love her designs. So nothing against Deb but DANG this pattern is a pain in my batonkis, what with all the baubles or bobbles or whatever the hell they're called. In particular, I hate, hate, hate row seven of the eight-row repeating pattern, because it involves K3tbl and then K3t. Eva and I are twins in many senses but knitting style is not one of them. For every loose stitch she whips out, I struggle with my super tight, super retentive loops. So knitting three together was a hand-cramping hardship every time, leading me to yell, frequently, I HATE ROW SEVEN. Pretty soon, Ori, who has suffered with me through all this, started echoing me. I HATE ROW SEVEN, TOO! he says.

Making matters worse, I knitted so much in such a short period of time that, oh crap, I am now having carpal tunnel issues. Shooting pain in my hands cannot stop me though. I have taken to wearing a brace to bed at night, on the advice of one of my knitting teachers, who happens to be a hand therapist. And I have sworn off bobbles from here on out, so hopefully that'll help, too.

Meanwhile, as I was in the homestretch, working on the second sleeve, more problems presented themselves. I'm using Manos del Uruguay and I had to special order several skeins. I was down to what I thought was my very last skein, about to start using it, when it mysteriously disappeared. Finally, I found it. Rebound, my incredibly stupid but wildly cute Boston Terrier (above left) had dragged it off and refashioned it into a mass that makes Medusa look like she has straight hair. Ori reminded me that untangling it could be good practice towards the Buddhist attitude I so admire. I thanked him, through gritted teeth, for this unsolicited advice.

I did find one more ball of the stuff, buried in my stash, and it's a good thing, because it turns out I needed it. This discovery has led Ori to dub my project the Miracle Hanukkah Sweater, since even though it seems like I shouldn't have had enough to get done, in the end, I did.

Well, okay, I'm not quite at the end yet. That last sleeve is just about done blocking. I have set aside all day tomorrow to try to sew it together and I sure hope I don't mess it up. I've never done a hood before. I hope the French appreciate the efforts I've gone to to be fashionable for their sake.

Speaking of traveling, Lisa and I were chatting the other day about MONHEGAN 2010!! Are you ready for another Knitting and Yoga and Whoopie Pie adventure? I certainly am. Watch out, Holden-- September will be here before you know it. Let me offer a little tease here and say that I am privy to some excellent plans Lisa is brewing up for us for the next trip. I won't even give you a hint, yet, but I promise that pretty soon I'll tell you a little bit about what is up. While I make you wait, just in case you need a visual refresher for how much fun we had and how much fun we're going to have next year, take a look at this:

Meanwhile, I hope that you have a lovely December and, if you do the holidays-- any holidays-- that you enjoy them. My personal motto is Godspeed Through the Holidays, a sentiment that Bubbles, my very smart Boston Terrier (above right) shares with me, as you can see from the pissed of expression on her face, which comes courtesy of my insistence on jamming her into that Santa suit. (Rebound is wearing a sweater I made for Bubbles, but which Bubbles also is none to fond of).

More soon! I am off to France! I have packed four fairly simple projects for my ridiculously long plane rides: two pairs of socks, one leg warmer (I lost one of those gorgeous Noro legwarmers of mine on a flight a couple of months ago), and some cabled hand warmers. Oh, and Ori wants me to make him a hat that looks like the French flag, because we won't stand out enough already with me in my rainbow assortment of knitwear.
Au revoir, y'all!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Spike,
    I enjoyed your post and am embarassed to say that I haven't been as prolific as you with the needles. I did finish the cabled hat for my daughter and the back pack. I will send you pictures soon.

    Have a more than swell time in France!