Have you ever felt, while stirring your daily dinner gruel, that if only you owned a self-stirring gruel pot you could be spending that precious time knitting instead? Uncle Stashley feels like that all the time. So today he attempted to incorporate knitting into his entire day.
9:00 am: Knitting Podcast
It's the Annual Fair at my nephew's school today, and I need a wake-up coffee if I'm at all to survive awakening prior to 11:00 on a weekend. I'm going to drive to the adjacent Starbucks, then park, then walk to the school. I've downloaded numerous knitting podcasts to my iPad, so at least I can learn something on the way. It's plugged into the auxiliary of my car stereo, so I can listen to the Yarniacs discuss their latest stalkings (not a misspelling, they "stalk" patterns on Ravelry).
9:30 am: Actual Knitting
My red Cabled Viking Hat has a few rounds to go before I hit an actual cabling row, so I can easily knit this while I wait for the 10:00 am entrance bell. No one asks me what I'm working on, or even gives me a second glance, even though I am a grown man standing alone in a long line-up knitting a red Cabled Viking Hat. I am irritated, but at least the hat is going well. I stop just before the cabling row begins, about five minutes to the opening.
10:00 am: Yarn Shopping
I had hoped that a wealthy knitter with an unmanageably-large stash might have donated yarn to be sold at the Marketplace, but sadly, no. I had thought possibly some generous knitter with an overabundance of books on the subject might have donated some tempting tomes to the Used Book Pavilion, but again, no. I had even crossed my fingers that the Fashion Mall section might have some hand-knit sweaters I could gamely unravel, thereby earning a dozen balls of terrific wool for a measly $5 bucks, but everything had a label, looked machine-knit in tiny yarn (mainly black, or deep charcoal), and was probably steeked. $0 spent, but it was a bit frustrating.
11:00 am: Knitting Podcast
As a relatively kindly person, I have decided to redo my sister's front yard. Currently it is a large region of flat dirt, and I wish it to become a garden, for the sake of the children. Today I'm planting box wood in the dirt, to form the bones of the garden, and tomorrow will fill out those bones with perennials and some shrubs. Again the Yarniacs' podcast to the rescue, this time conveyed via super-comfortable, well-padded cover-the-ear bluetooth headphones. The ladies are giggling about how in sync they are. I'm still back at 2012 episodes because I like starting at the beginning and binge listening—for all I know they have a horrible fight in 2015 and the podcast in 2018 is a series of uncomfortable silences and occasional heavy sighs.
12:00 pm: Yarn Shopping
Off to Three Bags Full, my nearest local yarn shop. I have given myself permission to buy actual yarn. Hurrah!
I am delighted because almost first-thing, one of the wonderful people who work there tells me how much she enjoyed my post on "Double Knitting the Brady Bunch Way," and how she will now send any knitters who ask her questions about double knitting to my blog to find out how to accomplish this very technical feat. I am overwhelmed with the responsibility (although I imagine that very few people will likely wander into the shop to ask her how to double knit, and fewer still will follow her advice to learn by reading my blog post.) Nonetheless, I agonize over how I should have mentioned that if you're really keen you can actually knit and purl both pairs during the same pass--it'll still work. Slipping stitches is only one method. Oh, if only I had a time machine!
I end up buying three balls of Quince & Co yarn so I can make the Falling Snowflakes Stocking. This is a test stocking for myself, and then I'll make some for my kids who (I'm barely holding back the tears) actually asked me last night to please knit Christmas stockings for them. Spur-of-the moment I ask if they have a darning egg for sale, and they do! It's some fancy one, apparently. I buy the biggest they have, since as the saying goes, "big feet, big darning egg."
1:00 pm: Knitting Book Reading & Actual Knitting
Next door to the store is a restaurant which actually has reasonably-priced food which tastes good, coffee which comes quickly (even decaffeinated!), and servers who are efficient and pleasant—Chaise. Needless to say I am there quite often. I order the usual (the Five Alarm Burger with side salad, easy on the hot sauce) but am so excited about my darning egg I forget to substitute a chicken breast for the burger. Oh well.
I pull out my Sweater Workshop sample, and read the Sweater Workshop book, by Jacqueline Fee. I'm working on the twisted rib section, where you knit through the back loop, and purl as usual. Uncle Stashley already knows how to knit sweaters, off course, but not every aspect of every possible sweater, besides, the sample looks fun, and I like fun. Nobody at the restaurant asks what I'm working on except for the server, so she gets a big tip!
2:00 pm: Failure to Knit
My mom's house shopping at the moment, and in the fair city of Vancouver, that means millions of dollars are at play—it's completely ridiculous. I go to open houses with her as I have a keen design eye and may glimpse possibilities where she sees none, plus, it's just super-fun to attend open houses.
(Quick digression: Uncle Stashley once paid actual money, in U.S. dollars no less, to attend some open houses outside Austin, Texas, because they called them "A Parade of Homes "and made it sound far more exciting than it was. Basically they had "staged" them and thought that was worthy of an admissions charge. Unbelievable but true! If you, like Uncle Stashley, have more money than sense, you too can go: The Parade of Homes.)
I listen to no podcasts, do no knitting, no shopping, no reading, nada. For two hours I am a complete failure, but I saw some sweet houses, so deal.
4:00 pm: Knitting Podcast
Time to return and pick up my dog and husband. Once again, the Yarniacs liven up the drive with their banter about how to choose knitting patterns (they both want to support new designers but are leary of new designers. Catch-22!)
5:00 pm: Actual Knitting
We're at St. John's Hospice at UBC, visiting my father, where I bring easy comfort knitting. My father is about to set a record for time spent at the hospice, so we have that to be happy for! If others can keep the conversation going, I can concentrate just enough to get through the next cabled section of my hat, and then it's smooth sailing again for four row.s Lucky for me, Mom is also there, and she regales my father with her increasingly terrible renditions of jokes that admittedly weren't award-winners to begin with. I try to improve upon then by tightening them up a bit and leaving out unnecessary details, but my turncoat father says he prefers Mom's versions!
I have laid claim to the comfy recliner in the corner—it's next to the window ledge, where I can rest my cable needle and my travelling notions box, plus my coffee cup. As I've said, my dad's about to set a record, so I've done an awful lot of knitting in this room. (In case you're wondering, all the jump rings are to mark which the cabling rows are—I can't read cables well enough to figure out which row the actual twisting happened on).
7:00 pm onward: Knitting Podcast & Actual Knitting
I continue to knit (giant blanket) while watching TV, and I listen to more Yarniacs while walking the dog. When night really and truly falls, I switch to my corner of the craft garage, and start in on the hard projects that require the constant reassurance of a nearby pattern and/or chart. All in all, not a bad day!
On the Needles
(I will mark with a ! those projects that have advanced, and !! those projects that are new to the blog.)
!Sweater Sample (from the Sweater Workshop, on the twisted rib section)
!Cabled Viking Hat (On 2nd repeat of the cabled section)
!Sophie's Universe crochet project (Part 3: Round 16)
!GGN Norwegian Ski Sweater (about 13 inches into it, from the bottom)
!Persian Dreams Blanket (row 39 of the second hexagon)
!A Random Blanket (about 1/3 through)
On the backburner:
Vice Versa scarf (double knitting!) starting the fifth row of squares
Feather Duster Lace Shawl (I'm repeating, for the first time, the body section)
A Church Mouse sock (post-heel)!
World's Simplest Mittens (prior to thumb)
A Hitchhiker Scarf (started over a year ago. It's for when I'm needing mobile knitting and every other project is stuck at a complicated point. I will be in the middle forever, I guess)
Simply Ribbed Scarf (again, it's ancient, intended for emergency mobile knitting, and I'm in the middle)