Monday, January 25, 2010

Adventures in knitting, and more Big Love...

Back at work today, and feeling out of sorts. I had a very, very nice weekend, and wish that it continued still. *sighs* Mike and I went to a movie on Saturday (New Moon - don't laugh at us) and then out to dinner. By ourselves. No regular interruptions to address recent potty happenings or what Iron Man is up to these days. It was bliss :)

Also on Saturday, I started over on Mike's hat, and that's where the title of this post comes into play. *huffy sigh* So, leading up to Saturday, I'd had 2 prior attempts on this thing. Let's keep tabs, shall we?

Hat Attempt #1 - floppy; needles too large.
Hat Attempt #2 - stretchy; needles too long.

That brings us to Saturday and my new, perfect needles. After breakfast, and after I did a puzzle with Hank and he hurried off to play by himself for a few minutes, I pulled out my knitting bag. I cast on. I moved through seamlessly, until I uncover a problem of nefarious origin - miscounted stitches. I noticed because I got to the end of the round and suspiciously finished on a knit when I should have been at a purl.

I was only on the first round, so it wasn't worth it to painstakingly make my way *all* the way back around 120 stitches to try and fix it, so I abandoned the attempt.

Hat Attempt #3 - bad stitchery; too many stitches.

I cast on again, and packed the knitting bag to take with me to my parents, who were set to watch Hank for us while Mike and I went out. I knew we would linger at their house a bit to visit afterwards, and I figured I could get a few rounds in while I chatted.

At aforementioned visit, I begin to knit, purl, knit...

I will not repeat the word I said in my head when I realized that I had miscounted my cast-on AGAIN. I thought I had put in an extra stitch so I knit two together to start the first round. I was wrong. I got all the way to the end of the round and was 1 stitch short. *simmers*

Hat Attempt #4 - bad stitchery; too few stitches.

By this point, I was utterly beside myself. I put the hat down for the night. If the needles and yarn are actually making me angry, I know that I need some distance from them. I worked on the lap afghan I'm knitting for Christina. I've made a few mistakes in the afghan, but I've always been able to fix them. It listens when I talk to it and cooperates with directions.

Christina's afghan = GOOD.
Mike's hat = CURSED.

On Sunday, after Mass and some grocery shopping, I did my house chores so that I could get back to the hat. I *really* want to finish it for Mike this winter. This time, I fastidiously counted my stitiches as I cast-on. I counted them again before I started round 1. and I made sure to keep track of my knits and purls as I made my way around. They all lined up. Thrilled, I moved on to round 2. Things kept proceeding well. My gauge measured perfectly. I began to hum as I knit. I felt all domestic and content, knitting a warm hat for my husband.

Intermission - I took a break to go shopping with my mom. In an unsurprising development, the new purse that she bought didn't fit all of her stuff, and I promised to help her select another. I bravely brought Hank along. He did pretty well, actually. After about 10 minutes in the purse department at JC Penney's, he *did* file for conscientious objector status due to his Y chromosome, but all things considered he did well. It was about the time that we found a perfectly designed purse for her, but she rejected it because it didn't come in black, that Hank really began to put up a fuss.

"But mom, why not try a different color?"

"It won't match my coat."

"Your coat is *black*, won't any color match with it?"

She smiled, but put the camel-colored offender back on the shelf. Sigh.

About 30-40 full minutes later, I sped Hank out of the store while my mom checked out so that I could fetch him a cookie and some lemonade at Mrs. Field's. He earned it.

Ok, back to the knitting. After Hank went to bed, I pulled my bag out again. Knit, knit, purl, purl, happy, happy. I finished 8 rounds, and was thrilled with the consistency. Mike was admiring it. And I'm sure you know what's coming. Right around 8:30 pm, as I was preparing to put it aside and relax for the night, I noticed a fatal, beginner knitters mistake:

Hat Attempt #5 - twisty; *SOBS*

I knew of this potential problem, yet I still committed it. Right from round 1, the stiches at one point on the needle cord twisted around. I unwittingly knit into them that way, and then as the hat grew, the twist simply became obvious. At that point, there's no salvaging; you simply have to start over.

I was so upset that I couldn't even talk about it. Mike tried to soothe me, but I stuffed my yarn and needles back into my bag and pouted into the kitchen. It was nearly 9 pm, and I wanted a glass of Chardonnay and to watch Big Love.

Mike approaches me, delicately, as he's a smart boy.

"Hey, sweetie? Do you want to watch the NFC Championship game with me? Or would you rather watch Big Love on the living room tv?"

Even though he'd done nothing wrong, I gave him a pointed look. I wanted to watch Big Love, and I wanted to watch it on the nice, living room flat screen with high definition picture. Mike quickly agreed that that was the best possible plan. He retreated to our bedroom to watch the football game on the teeny tv we keep up there.

I settled on the couch with my wine. I quickly became absorbed with Bill and his wives. He's running for a Senate seat and is trying to keep his polygamist lifestyle hidden. *snorts* I love this show.

As I'm watching, I can hear Mike upstairs, talking to the tv:

"What?! Are you kidding?!"

He's so cute. Every once in a while, I could hear feet padding down the stairs, as he came to update me on the latest interception or fumble. And the beauteous thing here is a gadget that I simply have to go off on a tangent to mention. While Mike is upstairs conversing to the tv, Hank is in the very next room, sleeping soundly. And do you want to know why we don't fear waking him up?

People, if you're going to become parents, you simply must remember these three words:

White Noise Machine.

My, GOD. We didn't discover this until this past year, if you can believe it, and it's been an absolute miracle. Our house is nearly 100 years old, and the complicated ballet dance that we'd have to do to sneak out of Hank's room after he'd fallen asleep without creaking the floor boards involved an agility that I simply don't have. We have this one. It plays nature sounds, or even the sound of a heart beating (for babies, although Hank was in our bed as a newborn, so that would have been moot). We play the waterfall setting, and Hank is happily esconced in his little room and no noise that we make in the house wakes him. But we can hear him, so one doesn't need to worry about it blocking the parents from being able to hear the child. Like I said, MIRACLE.

I happily finished watching Big Love, and I could tell that the football game was heating up just as the credits began to roll. I called Mike down and we watched overtime together. I felt a bit better.

Today, on my way out the door to work, I grabbed the hat bag for my lunchtime knitting group session. The afghan is getting too bulky to lug around easily. So, in about an hour, we will commence:


And there you have it. I kind of can't wait to go home, I'm feeling pretty punchy today. The book I'm reading is excellent, and I'm dying to get back to it. Will blog about it tomorrow...

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