Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Demise of 2,418 Tortured Stitches

Upon retiring to bed last night, the Mister asked me if I was done with my most recent library book. No. I've had it for 3 days and I homeschool/cook/manage our 5 children, plus I like to sleep, and I do shower but maybe he can't tell. But, although I'm not quite sure he thinks I'm superwoman or if he feels that I let things like the children and hygiene go to the wayside, but obviously he thought I have enough time to finish a 350 page book in the past 2 days. Whatever.

"Okay, well, let me know when you are done with it, because I found a great book at the library that I can't wait to bring home for you," he tells me.

"What is it?" I ask.

"I don't want to tell you."

Now, the Mister hates leaving things a secret surprise. He can't help but tell. I knew that if I were silent for all of, oh, say, 6 seconds, he would spill something.

"Okay, okay, okay," he said (as if I were begging him or something.) "It's going to be made into a movie, and it's about a bunch of women sharing their lives, and it's about knitting."

"Oh, Friday Night Knitting Group? or something like that?" I asked.

Disappointment set in. "Oh, you know about it?" he asked.

"Yeah," I replied indifferently. "But I live my own knitting group story."

Can you tell that I've been watching Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Rango, plus a couple of other western-esque movies, as of late? Far too often. I sometimes feel like everything I say comes out in some wise-loner-who-is-against-the-world-melodramatic-pause-in-a-Clint-Eastwood-voice sort of way.

It's driving me crazy. I'm driving myself crazy. So hopefully, in an attempt to reach a faux-Western catharsis, I'm going all out.

Here's a (true) knitting story of my own, where my Knitting Friends and I battle inclement weather, bad parts of town, and our scariest nemesis: knitting gone bad.

* * * * * * * *
Last night, right around the time for knitting club departure, the darn tornado sirens went off. I used to mostly ignore the things, just keeping an eye on the local news instead. Now, after watching the constant devastation to entire regions, one after the next, you bet I heed them. I herded the kids into the basement.

Within a half hour the the warning had expired with nary a drop of rain here in our little village.
Within moments of the warning's expiration, my other die-hard knitters texted each other: Leaving home! Be there soon!

The sky looked ominous out there on the horizon, but I was game, and soon out my own door.

Knitting requires a 12-minute venture into the bright lights and big times of the city (eye roll.)

Down the hill toward the river, over the bridge, and through a "questionable" block (eye roll) here in the city (eye roll.)

But we're not scared. The city (eye roll) can bring it. We're armed with multiple sets of sharp metal needles, Essie's renowned stink eye, Angie's castration skills (seriously) and a creatively wicked array of bad ass vocabulary (praise be to Essie) that leaves others wisely avoiding us.

One-eyed eye roll, cause da truth's da truth, no?

5 minutes north of my home, I hit some of the most torrential rain I'd ever experienced. Literal sheets of rain and wind were smacking my window, and about 2 dozen cars had pulled over to wait it out in the SuperValu parking lot.

Not me.

I pressed on.

I got rockstar parking, counted about 5 lightening flashes between leaving my car and entering the door, 10 feet away, and sighed an immense sigh of relief. Not because I avoided the bad weather. But because I was home to my knitting family.

(Note: I was GREATLY TEMPTED to write: Because I was safely ensconced in the warmth and safe bosom of our cozy knitting retreat. But I don't want you to choke on your own vomit, so I didn't. So if at an point you think that I getting a bit over-the-top, remember! I held back on being safely ensconced in a bosom, for your benefit.)

Here is a curtain/window treatment I'm making for my bathroom. I want a spa-like curtain that lets the light in, while offering privacy.
I started this waaaaaayyyyyy back in March in Orlando.

Upon beginning the project, and for the first half of the curtain, I had to follow a pattern, which required my counting out each row (a varied pattern of 15 stitches repeated 6 times per row, and changing every row). So I couldn't bring it to knitting, since I can't Count and Drink and Knit at the same time (but I can talk and chew gum, and I can rub my belly and pat my head at the same time. And if I were in an actual Western, I might be able to ride a horse and shoot a gun at the same time, although I'm scared of horses. Either way, don't think less of me.)

But as the bubbles in the curtain lessen, I didn't have to count so much, and I started brining it out.

For the past 2 months I knitted nonstop on this damn thing.

I'd knit, and then hold it up to measure against my bathroom window.

And no matter how much I knit the night before, do you know that the damn curtain was always--ALWAYS--- 7 inches too short for my window.

7 inches. For 2 freaking months, it was 7 inches too short. What the heck.

Anyone, way back in, oh, I don't know, June, I realized that I made a mistake in reading the pattern way back in March. I was creating the curtain without a border edging. And since the curtain is in stockinette stitch--the edges were seriously curling in.

In my own Happy Land of Denial, I pressed onwards.

By August, though, I realized that I was about to have a problem on my needles.

So one night, after a Corona Light with Lime and an order of fried cheese curds, I had to put aside my Denial, and my Ego, and confess my Stupidity, out loud, to my posse.

Essie put down her knitting and peered over. "That's not a big deal. Just pick up the side stitches and knit a garter stitch border. It will actually be stronger and stop the curling less than had you knit a border in at the beginning and ending of each row."

So my mistake was actually awesomeness that I had not known about. THIS IS WHY I LOVE MY KNITTING FRIENDS.

Now, fast forward a couple of weeks, to this past weekend.

All last weekend at Kelly Lake, I worked my little tail off, picking up the side stitches, every last one, (italicized to foreshadow my impending doom) to create a fabulous, strong, worthy border.

During my bind off, I realized that the damn sides were now ruffling.

There can be no ruffles in my spa curtain! Ruffles have no part in my attempt to create a smooth, soothing bathroom experience.

F*ck a Duck.

Man, is this not the longest story ever? Still, I must press on.

I brought in my freakishly ruffling curtain, through the torrential downpour and neverending lightening.

I laid out the curtain over the couch.

"Yep, it's ruffling," Essie confirmed. I momentarily wanted to writhe in agony on the carpet. But the carpet--ew.

"But I pick up stitches like this all the time in my log cabin blanket!!" I whined. "I didn't miss a single one!"

"But that's a garter stitch blanket . Don't you know that there is a different formula for stockinette stitch?" she asked me.

My dumb-founded silence was the answer.

But here's the awesome thing. She knew the formula! Off the top of her brilliant head! And she shared it with me!

My friends held my hand as I had to rip back all 2,418 stitches (not literally, because I was using my hands to rip those !&Y#$*& stitches out.) Which. Was. Painful.

And that was when our waitress brought out the complimentary chocolate wine.

* * * * * * * * *
No, I don't want to read that book. I announced indignantly to my well-meaning Mister. I have my Tuesday Night Knitters, and a bartender who buys us chocolate wine.

What more could anyone ever need.


Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

omg, my eyes are tearing and I'd be peeing myself if that were allowed in the house.


I should say, I think I remember breaking the news to you with a little more empathy. Along with something like "don't shoot the messenger!".

That book has NOTHING on us anyway. I read it. It's good, but we are FAR more interesting.

Corey said...

This is my favorite story evah! A story of three friends, picked to knit in a bar...

(ok, the mister does get points for thinking of you and trying to do something nice.)

every success can reprduce said...

great keep it up nice !!!!