Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Little Knitting Bits

I've decided to buy each of my daughters a pair of knitting needles and some yarn for Christmas. Not that I expect either of them to begin turning out scarves and mittens any time soon. You'd be amazed though at how entertaining simple things like pointed sticks and long, long bits of string can be. I broke up a sword fight earlier, braving the size 10 bamboo double pointed needles for the safety of my children. I spent an hour this morning untangling a mess of linen yarn that my one year old got ahold of.... while it was attached to my current project: a bag with a 169-stitch lace pattern.

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My husband is not, nor will he ever be, a knitter. One knitter in the house is plenty of insanity, thanks. But honestly, if he ever picked up a pair of needles and some wool, I'm quite convinced he could turn out an Alice Starmore fair isle without one stitch of difficulty because he hears me talk day in and day out about my knitting, and I don't bother using "simple" terms for him. The other day, a newly-knitting friend was over with a freshly finished washcloth. "The ends roll under" she fretted. He looked at her, and her washcloth and said, "That's because you haven't blocked it yet."

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Hand knitted socks are my very favorite thing to wear, and my least favorite thing to knit. Do you see the twisted irony in that? Thousands of stitches, knitted on little needles the size of toothpicks and yarn not much heavier than quilting thread. But the joy of wearing them is unsurpassed. It doesn't matter if your socks match the rest of your outfit, and knitted socks are never too special or fancy to wear even when you're spending the day chasing small children and folding laundry. Maybe that's why it is the way it is... after all that work, it better be worth it, or knitters would buy their socks for $1.99 at Wal Mart, just like everyone else.

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And then there's the really special person that came up with the idea to make size 1 wooden knitting needles. Every knitter knows the pleasure that comes from knitting on wooden or bamboo needles. And every knitter who has had that pleasure knows that you just can't pass up a great deal on wooden needles, even if they are size one. Mine were purchased at the Yarn Barn in Lawrence, KS while we were on a trip to visit family. Less than one hour later, in the car on the way home, we hit a bump. One of my prized size one needles snapped right in half, mid-stitch.

I'll save the luxury of wooden needles for things like sweaters, knitted on reasonably sized needles instead of toothpicks.

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My youngest daughter has an actual need for clothing: she needs socks. This wouldn't pose much of a dilemma for most mothers - you can buy toddler socks $4 for 12 pairs at the local department store. But for me? I'm debating when to start a month-long toddler sock-knitting spree (and dreading it.) She'll be lucky if she has any socks to wear at all come spring. Just as I won't let my child be seen in public drinking from a bottle or wearing a disposable diaper, I don't think I muster the humility to let her be seen wearing store-bought socks.

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"Do those look like toys?" I demand to Chloe as she uses the above mentioned bamboo double points as walrus tusks.

Stupid question. Obviously they do or she wouldn't be playing with them.




1 comment:

Deb said...

Julie, I cannot figure out how to change my template.... I clicked on the little link on your blogpage, and followed the instructions, and yet I never could get it to stay... HELP!

I'm off to meet Don for a steak, then have rehearsal tonight...

TTYL~