Archive for February, 2006

A knitter lives here

February 17, 2006

It’s slowly starting to take over the whole house.

It started out only in my corner. By my chair in the corner of the living room, I’ve got my own little mess. Jamie is a very tidy guy, generally – he lets things get kind of disastrous, but then he goes on an insane cleaning binge and suddenly the whole house is virtually spotless. (His Valentine’s present was to clean the whole house while I was at work.) He leaves my corner alone, though.

You walk in the front door and it’s immediately obvious where I sit. My huge enormous rocking chair recliner that I love more than it is reasonable to love a piece of furniture sits next to the couch. Right now, there’s a hair elastic on one arm and two hair clips on the other. I hate having things poking into the back of my head when I sit in my delicious enormous chair, so I almost always take my hair down as soon as I sit down. My laptop, when it’s not in my lap, sits on the floor in front of my chair, on top of the plaid blanket that I made for Jamie the first year we started dating.

Next to the chair is an old side table of my parents that I decoupaged with gold leaf paper when I moved into my apartment. You can’t really see the gold, though, because the table is covered in junk. Periodically I clear it out, but it always seems to add up again in a hurry. Under the table is a basket filled with odds and ends that don’t have an obvious elsewhere to live – notebooks, chequebooks, and other odds and ends that seem to end up in my stuff. It lived under the coffee table at our apartment, and whenever Erin and I were doing high-speed cleaning we’d just dump each other’s stuff into our respective baskets and it was suddenly out of the way, so I’m sure there is some very random stuff in there. Erin’s used to hold her needlepoint so as to be conveniently located right in front of the tv for ease of grabbing during a Buffy marathon.

My knitting, however, is too big for that. It has its own basket, next to my chair. When I first moved into my apartment two years ago, I bought this basket because it fit perfectly next to my old recliner. It’s big enough to hold a lot of yarn and several projects on the go. It’s stuffed with yarn now – all my current projects live in this basket.

But the knitting hasn’t stayed in the basket. It seems to be growing exponentially – taking over the whole house, one spot at a time.

On the side table beside my chair, needles are scattered around, waiting to be organized. A partially completed baby blanket (not for me!) sits waiting for more squares to be made. That’s my in-between project, one I work on while I decide what to tackle next.

On the couch next to me, where Jamie usually sits, is my knitting bag. It’s jammed with all of my knitting accessories (and it is the most awesome and dorky bag ever – specifically designed for knitting, and I use it for everything.), leftover sock yarn from my brutal re-knit of my first cuff that nearly killed me last night, my knitting journal (as yet unstarted – I just bought it), and probably a ball or two of yarn. Sitting on the floor next to the basket under the table is a collection of needles – one case full of old circulars, my new set of Denise Interchangeables next to it. Various other cases are scattered around, holding the needles I don’t need very often.

On the chair across the room where nobody sits unless we have company, a finished project waits for felting. A few errant balls of yarn, projectless, hang around over there for reasons I’m not entirely clear on. The kitchen seems remarkably clear of knitting detrius, but in the back hallway little yarn puffs trail down the stairs from a particularly sheddy project last month.

In the hallway, my old recliner sits forlornly, replaced by a vastly superior but less sentimental chair in the living room. It’s mostly storage these days – even its second rate spot in the study has been replaced with an elliptical. But on top of the chair sit two more finished projects, waiting for me to stop being so damn lazy and just felt the damn things already.

The study is yarn central. Two huge rubbermaid tubs sit in the corner with a cardboard box on top, and all three are stuffed with yarn. It’s ostensibly organized, but if I’m going to be realistic I’d say it’s sorted on the most basic of levels and not much else. The computer desk holds a square for the baby blanket, waiting to be added, and the chair holds a sock-in-progress, left behind after a marathon session with Jamie’s computer, which records TV. (That thing is awesome for knitting, let me tell you.) I periodically go in there to wade through yarn and always vow to get rid of some, but I never seem to manage it.

The bathroom, for now, remains fairly knit-free, but I’m sure that’s only temporary. Unusually, there aren’t any knitting books waiting to be flipped through, but that’s probably because they’re all piled up beside my bed. It’s a telling indication that my entire hold list consisted of knitting books with three exceptions last week. My bedside table holds my current read, Knit Lit, and others wait their turn patiently.

Patterns for things that have caught my eye, projects in progress, or ones that are mere pipe dreams at this point are scattered around the house. I scribble notes on the backs of patterns, as I find it’s frequently the only paper I have in my bag. Little clues, here and there – two hand-knitted scarves in the front closet, a sweater folded neatly in Jamie’s dresser, a bag in my closet. There are hints everywhere, and it’s becoming harder and harder to ignore. The minute you walk into this house, you realise it. It’s rare that people don’t know it about me before they come over, but even if they didn’t, it’s impossible to miss.

A knitter lives here.


The Actual Olympics

February 10, 2006

God, I love the Olympics. And no, not just because of the knitting. How can you resist when they tell you that, despite the fact that their countries are at war, the Koreans are marching in together?

Ok, the little tidbit about the poor doves who got FRIED in Korea is a little less touching. And Yoko Ono is still sort of insane. But I guarantee that the moment Peter Gabriel starts singing I will suddenly get something in my eye.

Even the commercials get me during the Olympics. I know, I’m a total sucker. But I’m totally the target audience for these things. I am a fairly big sports fan, but I’m also a weepy girl. That’s a lethal combination during the Olympics.

Watching all the Canadians with their cameras, singing along, taking pictures, cheering, and just looking so genuinely happy – it’s easy to get swept up in the patriotism.

(Ok, Peter Gabriel, I’m not so convinced you’re a good choice for this song. We miss you, John Lennon.)


February 1, 2006

I am heading down a short path to an obvious destination.

I am becoming an obsessive knitter.

Now, a lot of people (my husband included) would argue that “becoming” is an unnecessary word in that statement. There is a possibility that they are correct on this front, but I read a lot of blogs. I am fairly confident that up until now, I could be classified as merely an enthusiastic knitter.

It’s a slippery slope, though.

Lately, I have been spending many of my lunch hours at the yarn store which is conveniently but dangerously located extremely close to work. I think it’s a bad sign when you are developing a relationship with your local yarn store staff. There’s always something I need. A particular size of needles (double pointed, mostly, these days, since my Denise Interchangeables mean I don’t need many others unless they’re teeny tiny or enormous.) I finished a booga bag the other day, and the next day, I was there buying more wool to make another one.

Today, I forgot to bring my knitting with me. I spent almost all of my break twitching. And without my knitting, I was reduced to…reading about knitting. Of the 21 books currently on hold on my library card (one of the best tools in my knitter’s arsenal), 12 of them are knitting books. One of them, Knit Lit Too, is a collection of stories about knitters. Reading them, I was absolutely longing to get the needles back in my hands. I have about half an hour when I get home before I have to eat dinner. The dilemma is, of course, to nap or to knit.

For the first time, it’s a difficult decision.

My stash is beginning to take over the house. It’s been wrestled into submission in two large tupperware containers, organized into yarn I’m likely to use and bits and pieces that aren’t going to get used until I make a scraps scarf or something. The active projects get promoted to the basket that lives by my chair. Needles have, temporarily, been organized into various needle holders (one for double pointeds and circulars, another for straights, and my main line of defense: the Denises.) Notions are tucked into my knitter’s bag, into the little pouches provided for exactly that.

My Christmas list has already been started. I’m jotting down patterns, marking books that I need and putting holds on likely looking candidates. I’m plotting out my knitting schedule, figuring it all out.

I think it’s becoming an unstoppable juggernaut. I’d ask you to save me, but I’m not sure that I want to be saved.

The next step, of course, is to start converting my friends. I’ve got one person at work totally sucked in. Signing up for the Knitting Olympics and everything. The rest of you…watch your backs. You’ve seen how easily I’ve sucked you into NaNoWriMo. You are powerless against my persuasive personality.