The Knitty Gritty

That’s not a lion typing out his frustration on the blog you are reading. No, no, it’s me, sillyliss. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.

All my life I have yearned — YEARNED — to do something feminine, housewifely, practical, trendy, grandmotherly, erotic. I’m talking hemming pants. I’m talking mending socks. I’m talking sewing a button back on, or crocheting an afghan.

I’ve tried all of those things and failed at all of them. Except for the afghan, because my attempts at crochet ended with the world’s longest chain of yarn. I think it was tying the slipknot that really threw me.

Then my mother bought me The Magical Hat Loom. It is magical because you can make stuff without knowing a bit about knitting. You just put the thing on the loom and PRESTO CHANGO hat. No counting lines, no fancy patterns. I make hats. And half a scarf.

See the flower? You won’t believe this but I MADE IT WITH YARN. Thanks to hectanooga. Also, I USED A HOT GLUE GUN. And accidentally glued the hat together. BUT THEN I UNGLUED IT. The end.

Okay, I watch a lot of youtube videos and do a lot of unraveling. I don’t like anything I’ve made. You know what I like? Shopping for yarn. There. I said it.

I love my yarn. I love my worsted weight, my bulky, my accidental purchase of embroidery, my baby alpaca, my 39% wool, my Valley Yarns Cold Spring, my cable knit, my Made in Italy, my Peruvian cotton.

Erma wanted to knit. Probably because I make it look so easy? Hah. She was begging me to teach her. She is four. I bought her a Knitting Nancy (the yarn was a bit thick and it never did come out of the bottom) and a small can’t-go-wrong loom. She worked at both these things happily until she was sobbing in frustration. She is four. But she keeps at it, and while I was at work today, she tried to show her father how she knits. It didn’t end well. She is four, did I mention that?

Knitting with Nancy…before it all went so, so, so wrong.

Tonight she told me she REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to knit. I told her, go ahead; knit your heart out. She said, she needs me to sit by her and help her. I knew how this would end. I sighed, but relented. “Go get your loom and hook out of the yarn box.”

I took a few moments to collect my thoughts. How wonderful to have a daughter who wants to share a hobby with me. We have come a long way since her “I want Daddy; I don’t like you” days.

Five seconds had gone by, maybe less, when Ben calmly told me that there was a situation developing. “The girls have gotten into the yarn,” he said.

I darted toward the bedroom, but it was too late. My beautiful, beautiful, precious, gorgeous, soft, Peruvian, Italian, cotton, wool, alpaca, 6% silk, worsted weight, bulky, fiscal cliff yarn — it. was. everywhere. There was some screaming and the leaving of children from the room. And then I sat amongst the tangles and tried not to sob uncontrollably while I unweaved the superwash from the handwash, the Italian from the Peruvian, the Merino from the Angora.

When it was done, I stared at my neat bundles and felt a pang of anxiety that it was only a matter of time before another epic wreck occurred. How could I prevent an epic wreck?

It’s odd how needlework and crafting is a lot more expensive than just buying off the rack. Is that how the universe is supposed to operate?

Yarn – $
More Yarn – $$
Tote Bag for Yarn – $
Loom(s) – $$
Low Temp Hot Glue Gun – $
Low Temp Glue Sticks – $
Combination Safe for Yarn Storage – $$$$$$$$

ROAR. This hobby is making me stressed out. Maybe I should find something a little more relaxing, like whittling or anger management.

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23 responses to “The Knitty Gritty

  1. You’re doing great! I’m particularly impressed with the flower on the hat.

  2. Yes, crafts can get very expensive, especially if you end up making a mess of them like I usually do. It always looks so easy when you see these things in the store. I go around Hobbylobby saying “I could do this” but when it comes to the crunch it’s not such plain sailing. I have a closet full of left-overs from some of my more memorable disasters.

    • We are kindred spirits, Sue! I have a massive collection of crafts that were never to be or crafts that almost were but then crashed and burned. Hobby Lobby is my weakness.

  3. I am SO relieved that you didn’t hot-glue the hat to your daughter’s head. I had a little panic attack when I started reading the caption. I know, of course, that you wouldn’t actually do that. You are obviously a mom who keeps her wits about her, patiently untangling the yarn of yarn, so to speak. (Substantiating my claims as a mother – based on experience – that simultaneous screaming and patience is possible.) And that you are teaching your 4-year-old to knit qualifies you for Sainthood. Dare I say that I admire your “close-knit” family?

    • I never thought of that, but I bet it would deter her from taking the hat off and throwing it like it didn’t take me 45 minutes to make!

      Actually, I touched the glue to make sure that it was dry before giving her the hat. It wasn’t dry. It was…hot. Now I know why they call it a hot glue gun.

  4. All the running/exercise groups I follow on facebook have a good philosophy that I’d like to repeat: it doesn’t matter if it’s a 14 minute mile or a 7 minute mile, it’s a mile. Alternatively, who cares if you’re last, you’re faster than everyone who’s still on the couch. The important point is, trying is better than not trying, and every step counts.

  5. LOL! Oh dear!! Who knew knitting, crocheting, etc., involved such drama!!
    Keep going, we’re all cheering for you…a little chocolate might help the anxiety…

  6. FYI mending socks is actually called darning them if you want to feel all super housewife πŸ™‚

    Maybe you should get the girls some cheap yarn for them to have so they leave yours alone, I would have a mental breakdown if I bought expensive fancy yarn and it got all messed up LOL.

    Welcome to the yarn club though, soon you’ll be guest posting on my blog! πŸ™‚

    • It didn’t sound as good to say darning as mending. What can I mend, if not socks? What else should be mended and not patched or hemmed or altered? πŸ˜›

      PS All my yarn is cheap yarn.

      • So is (most) of mine. We have a fancy smancy yarn store just up the street with absolutely beautiful yarn but I am too cheap. I don’t think I’m good enough at crocheting to justify spending the extra, my things still come out wonky sometimes.

  7. Love it – your stories always make me laugh. I used to knit and crochet sweaters and hats and vests for my kids and force them to wear the damned things. Thankfully we all ‘grew out of it’ and moved on. I buy things for the grandchildren. I’m not going through that again. lol

  8. The hat is adorable! I am addicted to yarn, too. I buy yarn and then forget that I have it. You have inspired me to pick up my knitting needles! πŸ™‚

  9. Hahahahaha! And perfect! I just bought a bunch of yarn today, great timing for me to read this now!

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