I spent Xmas visiting my grandpa at the hospital. He's 88, and apparently has very ironic luck, because he was speeding down the hall at my mom's and tripped on a carpet he made and broke his leg. A case of the revenge of the handicraft? Perhaps. (I can only hope that I live to be old enough for my knitting to attack me.)
So I'm visiting, hearing about his bladder and his violin making and his leg, just shooting the breeze, so to speak, when other relatives start talking about my knitting. (I guess it's hard not to, because I am covered in it.) Grandpa mentions the beautiful sweater I made him. (His adjective - I should have felt some kind of warning right then, but I was still unsuspecting. I've haven't been around Grandpa for about eight years, so I'd forgotten that he was wily.) My oldest brother immediately began angling for sweater, which I guess was a further distraction, because he's a big guy and that's a lot of knitting for me to think about. I managed to talk it down to some fingerless gloves, but while I was in the middle of doing that, my grandpa managed to get me to agree to make him another sweater out of some yarn he has. I was in the car already before it really sunk in.
Somehow, I had managed to agree to make an Aran sweater with a 48" chest out of unknown and unseen yarn that my grandpa has been hoarding for 25 years. (Do you see that "hoarding" link? That's worth a look.) Yesterday I was out at his house, trying to find the yarn. It wasn't easy. It wasn't easy even to find the bathroom. (Did I mention my family is a bit eccentric? Take a look at that "hoarding" link again, and then think about what happens if the person is crafty. Because Grandpa is crafty, in more ways than one.) I found a lot of yarn. Some of it dates back to the fifties or earlier. And I found the yarn in question.
I don't know what kind of wool this is. I'll have to ask Grandpa. But it was from a sheep he owned, and it was hand spun and plied. I think it's about Aran weight, fortunately, and frankly, it is awesome yarn. I hope it's enough.
Here's a blurry close-up: I also scored a lot of other yarn, a ball winder, a rice cooker, vegetable steamer, vegetable chopper, hand held drink mixer, and a jar of olives. Because I was just skimming the surface of the Hoard. (Grandpa is a compulsive small appliance buyer.) I was a bit surprised there wasn't an airplane or something. (Do you think I'm kidding? Grandpa has a pilot's license. The last time we cleaned his house, my oldest brother scored a half-assembled ultralight.)
So stay tuned. I'm supposed to bring him the test swatch next weekend.
I made this sweater over a moth ago, but I have never gotten so many comments on a sweater as I have on it. I'm finally getting around to showing it to you. (Of course, most of you have already seen it in person. Hello!) I have this nasty habit of knitting and crocheting for other people, which means that after a long bought of knitting I still have nothing to wear. I came up with the idea for this sweater when I was trying to think of something cute I could make for myself that would be quick. Hearts would have been a little TOO cute, so I threw in some Jolly Rogers I pirated from Hello Yarn. It's knit top-down, with a yoke that turns into inset sleeves halfway down the armhole. Then it's just a basic hourglass-shaped sweater. Easy peasy. And cheap. It's Wool-Ease.
So I am still missing my camera charger. But have no fear!I do still have the cat. And some knitting. This is an afghan I'm making from a bag of acrylic odd-balls my grandma gave me a week ago when I was back home yet again. (It's so nearby!) Pretty virulent so far, eh? I kind of like it. Fingerless mittens for one of my Philippina sisters. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to turn this picture around. Just turn your head 90 degrees to the right. Yet another seaman's cap. This one is part of an insidious scheme of mine. Yes! This FO is an object of seduction. Or at least I hope it will be. (Does knitting get the guys? Maybe. It is merino, after all.) And then here's me. I cut my hair.
...the cord for charging my camera battery is in a box near Sacramento, in my brother's garage, along with my boxes of books and memorabilia and, yes, a whole lot of yarn. This of course means that although I have a lot to show... I have no pictures.
This is a disturbingly consistent, recurring theme here at Crisis of Praxis, which just goes to show you should be careful what you name your blog.
Knitting, crocheting, what-have-you I've pirated the Jolly Roger from Hello Yarn and designed myself a pullover, knit up a headband from Vanna's Choice, made numerous scarves and fingerless mittens, and even crocheted a pair of slippers for an invalid friend that reproduce the slippers her grandmother made her. I also made a cosy for a personal massager, if you know what I mean. (And I think you do.)
Knitters Geography and chance has thrown me into the midst of the knitters from Knit One One. I have bumped into them in a coffeehouse, encountered them at the book signing for Knit Knit, and then finally sat down with them at yet another coffeehouse to do some actual knitting. They're a lively and mixed bunch, but they have yet to prove to me their prowess in knitting while intoxicated like the North End Knitters. Time will tell if they measure up, or at least can fix their mistakes the next morning after a cup of strong coffee and some aspirin. In the meantime, they sure can knit while sober.
Patterns Which reminds me. I have gotten my greedy little hands on a pattern from Emily Jan - the Blooming Bobble Bag. I saw this in a display case they have at a bakery and found it irresistible, despite the fact that I don't actually do clutch bags. I have yet to decide whether I will do a yarn substitution, what color I will use, etc.
Anyway I am going to try to abscond with a friend's camera, so hopefully there will be photo evidence of my activities before the year is out. (The non-incriminating ones, that is.)
Jeanette from the Purly Gate (A Knitter's Cult) has pointed out that the post I was promising her on Sunday did not in fact happen.
Well, woman, I am busy. I am in California. There are places to go, people to see, health food stores to get lost in, and long, sunny bike rides to take. I'm sure you'll understand. By the way, how's that snow in Boston?
Here's my home town about three weeks ago. This is one of the busy streets. Bungalows, oh how I have missed you! Inside of my grandma's house. Hi, Grandma! The crocheted blanket on the bed in my grandma's guest room. She made it. This is Cat, the Living Cat Mummy. Petting this cat is like petting a sticky muppet stuffed with bones. (What was that, Grandma? The cat's in the house? Yeah, well, this was before you woke up. I didn't know better. She acted like she came in the house every day.)
A view. Not as cold as it looks. Another view. They've got a lot of it there.
And another view.
Sibling #6, slightly wet, at our mom's house.
Sibling #7, in a coffeehouse. It's the same one I went to. Sibling #5? (Oh, no, I've lost count!) Well, anway, this is a sibling. And her baby, the one I have been knitting like a fiend for. He's actually a lot happier than he looks - he's not quite used to maniacal aunts pointing cameras at him. Another sibling. She's feigning surprise. That camera doesn't have quick flash action, dammit.