Posted by: mick | February 2, 2008

Curing what ails me

Sorry for the radio silence for almost two weeks.  I’ve gotten back into the semester with a bang, and started a new tradition to boot.  We’ve had a few craft nights now, and friends are learning to knit.  It’s spreading like, well, like the flu that also contributed to my lack of postage.  I’ve been sick for a week, but I’m finally on the mend.

I was talking to my future mother-in-law today (Hi, Deb!) about her first knitted sock.  Deb picked up knitting a few months ago, and she’s doing so well.  Jason and I got her some sock yarn and some books and needles for Christmas, and she seems to really be enjoying the new addition to her knitting repertoire.  When we were chatting about the magic of the heel-turn, I was really struck by her enthusiasm.  I think that this is why knitting is so popular.  It does seem magical, taking two sticks, string, and turning it into something not only beautiful, but also functional.  I think those that stick with knitting always feel that amazement.  I’ve been knitting for over a year now and, while I’m still by no means an expert, I’ve learned a lot.  Each time I try a new technique, or execute an old one in a better, cleaner way, I’m still so excited to show and tell.

When I went to a meeting and plopped down next to a friend last week, she immediately whipped needles and yarn out of her purse to show me her first project.  Just a few days before we had shown her the knit stitch, and she was working on the ubiquitous beginner’s project: the garter stitch scarf.  My friend was so excited, not only about the beautiful progress she was making (and she really is doing such a great job with perfectly even tension), but to show me, a fellow knitter and friend, so that I could congratulate her as well.  Knitting turns us all into little kids, I think.  It gives us a giant case of the “Look, see’s.”  I think what I love about it even more than that, though, is the community of knitters who, time and again, congratulate us on our accomplishments.  I have made blogging friends here who are much better knitters than I, and yet they get excited over every little knitted triumph with me.  It really makes you feel good.*

With that in mind, I’m about to journey into yet another personal knitting first: seaming.  I’ve knitted three sweaters and a tank top in my short knitting career, and each was done in the round.  Notre Dame de Grace, however, will require seaming.  I washed the pieces today and ran them through the spin cycle, and now they’re pinned out and drying.  I’d never tried this before; the thought of spinning my wool at top speed terrifiied me.  However, I gave it a go and it worked wonderfully.  I prefer to wet-block everything, and this will allow my knitted items to dry much faster, as they’re more damp then soaked.  As a result of my blocking all the pieces, our spare room bed now looks like this:

nd de g blocking

Not the prettiest method, but I measured things out and they only grew a little.  That is fine with me, as I took some length from the sleeves as recommended and added some to the length of the body instead.  My gauge must have been a little off on the back, as the front is a bit looser.  This works, however, as it allows a little extra fabric to account for the boobage factor.  My only concern now is running out of yarn; I have three and a half tiny balls of yarn left, and that’s for the collar.  I’ve already decided I’ll use something else to seam, as the Jamieson, while lovely, is rather easy to break.

Now I’m off to read some Chaucer while anxiously awaiting a dry sweater.

*  Speaking of feeling good, I was nominated for another “Make My Day Award!”  Thanks so much to Barefoot Rooster.  I’ve got to say that you have the coolest life; you knit, play with your puppy, and do lots of adventurous hiking and camping.  I’m completely envious.  Thanks so much, I love your blog too!


  1. “The Boobage Factor” sounds like it could be the name of a super-heroine team!

    Time to cash in on your absurd endowment. =)

  2. oh, yay. that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. happy seaming! deep down, i am a bit scared of seaming something for a grown up ( aka me) — i’m on the last piece of my first sweater in pieces, and i seem to have put it down a few weeks ago. soon, soon.

    can’t wait to see how pretty your NDdeG looks when it is completed!

  3. So when I’m out there in just over a month (yayayayay) I can get some knitting lessons?

  4. it truly is so exciting to learn a new stitch, even just a simple increase or decrease, and watch that yarn that you so carefully pick out take a life of its own. then, to have someone who shares your excitment just makes it so much more fun!

    i love the color of your sweater. i have total faith that you will get it all together and it will look wonderful! good luck and have fun!

  5. How fun to read about your enthusiasm with knitting. Boobage factor gave me a chuckle.

  6. I totally got a needed dose of the warm-fuzzies from your blog today. It’s so fun to share your works-in-progress and be proud when things come together well . . . I love that it happens in person as well as online 🙂

    Love the sweater — can’t wait to see it on you!

    Seaming is not that scary . . . just be brave and be ready to rip it out and start over if you don’t like how it looks.

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