Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Catholic Librarian evening of theology with a 3 year old and swearing at my knitting...

Yesterday evening found me, well, sweating, given that we don't have central a/c and the humidity was up. As I put Anne to bed, we were sitting in her rocking chair, reading a book. 11 books, to be exact. Anne has a 12 book collection of mini stories from "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." I did try to protest that it is decidedly not Christmas time (although I am working on Christmas knitting already, so go figure) but such seasonal subtleties are lost on my daughter. She wanted Rudolph, and as much as I love her, I wanted her to go to sleep so that Mommy could have a glass of wine. Thus, I obliged her.

Me being me, I carefully rearranged the tiny books so that they were in order (I mean, it's bad enough that we're reading them out of season :0) and discovered that we had books 1-11, but were missing book #12. This immediately bugs the snot out of me. I am:

(1) Type A,

(2) A librarian,

(3) An annoying perfectionist.

I want ALL.OF.THE.BOOKS.TOGETHER. We have to be organized here, people!! We don't want one tiny board board going astray when it's part of a larger set. We need Rudolph flying off into the storm with his nose aglow! That book can't be *missing*!

So we did what we always do in such situations, which is to say a St. Anthony prayer:

"Dear St. Anthony, please come around. Anne's Rudolph book is lost and can't be found. Please help us find it."

My children have always loved the St. Anthony prayer. They even say it on their own when I'm not there, Mike has reported back to me. Adorable.

"St. Anthony helped me find my cookies, Mommy." (her wooden toy cookies)


"Yes sweetheart! He did. You said the St. Anthony prayer when you were looking for them."

"Mommy...where IS St. Anthony?"

Well. That's a pretty deep question from a 3 year old, no? We're asking someone to help us find something. So...why isn't St. Anthony waltzing into the room, brown habit flying, going through her bookcase to find Rudolph?

"St. Anthony is in heaven, sweetie, he's with Jesus. When we say that prayer, we're asking St. Anthony to *pray* for us to find the book."

"But. Can't St. Anthony come here? To our house?"

"No, he can't, honey."

She seems disappointed, but accepts my answer. :)

Rudolph is still on the loose, but we have confidence that he'll turn up. In the meantime, I go downstairs to pour a glass of wine and knit while Mike and I watch television. Can I just say, dear reader, that your Catholic Librarian just doesn't learn some lessons in an expedient fashion? One of which is:


Drinking makes me relaxed and chatty. When I'm relaxed and chatty I lose focus on what I'm doing, which is to say knitting. When I lose focus on my knitting, I make mistakes. When I make mistakes, I get porky. When I get porky, I backsass my knitting project and do things to it that I will inevitably later regret. And when *that* happens... yeah, I regret it. Suddenly it seems like a good idea to rip a 247 stitch sweater off the needles and "just pull back a few rows!" to eliminate the error without having to painstakingly unknit all of the stitches. Or maybe it seems like a good idea to improvise some crucial characteristic of the garment because "this designer is clearly UNHINGED if she thinks I'm going to knit the sleeves like THAT!" Next thing you know, you have sleeves that are two different lengths and attach at your waist. Little things like that.

So last night, I was working on a baby garment. One that I have been super careful to follow the pattern with and count my stitches. Suddenly, my neat increase/decrease line isn't lining up.

"Wait. What? Let me count... Ok, got the total, let me check the pattern. I have... 4 more than I need. How the---- *censored dialogue here*!*#$!"

This is resulted in a plaintive, albeit humorous, text message conversation between me and my knitting friends, which brightened my mood a bit. Mike sweetly suggested that I put the sweater down for the evening and approach again in the morning, which earned him an undeserved glare. See "porky," supra.

I found a way to discreetly bind off more stitches than called for at the neck opening and am hoping that fixes the problem. It had better.

And how was your evening, kind reader? :)


  1. It's kind of a shame you have to choose between two nice things like wine and knitting. ;)

    I surprisingly found myself having a conversation about St. Anthony with someone from my leadership program last week--I can't remember how it came up, but she said she invokes his help in her classroom and one of her students' parents mentioned the student has starting doing it, too! Cute.

  2. I had a snafu yesterday like that .... only it didn't even involve any wine! I've been struggling with this hat. The first issue is that I don't have any dpns. The second issue is that I have much less yarn than the pattern I started with calls for, even combining two different kinds of handspun, and the brown that is the main yarn for it was awful awful awful to spin, so I refuse to spin any more. So I decided to strike out on my own and just try to match the measurements for the pattern that I liked, but changing lots of stuff because I couldn't follow it. (This is kind of standard for me.) The pattern said it fit a 16 inch head, at least I think it did, so I cast on enough stitches for 16 inches and knitted for awhile (on straight needles). The whole thing is annoying me so it's been taking forever.

    But the whole time I was knitting, I kept thinking "16 inches doesn't sound right!" and "Didn't both my babies have 19 inch heads AT BIRTH? No way is this an adult hat!!" Finally I realized that the longer I put off figuring this out, the more time I was wasting knitting something that would have to be ripped out, so I measured my head: 23 inches. And I measured the knitting on the needles: 16 inches. Ugh. No way to fix this other than rip the whole thing!

    So I did. I ripped and ripped and my yarn got tangled and broke and I was so upset. Then I grabbed what was left and wrapped it around my head, just to see. What do you know, IT FIT. I have no idea why. I guess it was stretchy. And it was kind of scrunched up on the needles, and my gauge is always a guess, so somehow I had accidentally managed to make a hat that would work.

    Except, of course, I'd just ripped it down to almost nothing.

    Well, I found my only dpns, which I thought I was missing, and just started over. Different size needles, different gauge, number of stitches a wild guess. We'll see how it goes. A hat is not supposed to be a difficult project!

    1. Yes, knitted fabric is definitely like that. It has a lot of stretch, in contrast to crochet. You can absolutely knit a hat for an adult on 16 inch circular needles, so I suppose the head size thing makes sense, but I never though about it, lol. There's probably a formula online somewhere. This many inches around for an average sized adult head, start the crown decreases once you knit this many inches, etc. I should look into this. :0 I'm so sorry about the frogging, been there. Solidarity, girl!

    2. If there is a formula out there, I couldn't find it. :P I am much better with inches than with patterns, because I never have the needles or yarn to match a pattern.

      But my new guess-and-gosh attempt turned out GREAT! A little short, but the person I gave it to said she liked it that way. And it looked great on her. :D

  3. Hi! Found your blog through Cristina and so glad I did! This is awesome that you have a cAtholic book club. And oh we work St Anthony to death around here especially when those library books are due. Love your theology. I too just had a theology over laundry lesson with my 3 yo

    1. Welcome, Anabelle! Library books, lol. US TOO!


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