Thursday, August 31, 2006

In over my head

In case you are wondering where I knit, this is the place: at the end of the couch with all of my necessities (Diet Coke, remote control, knitty notions, knitting magazines) all within arms reach. You can also see why I will suffer from knee and back problems in years to come. (I am wearing shorts by the way and am not bottomless despite how it might appear.) While you are at it, take a good look at those roots folks because tomorrow they will magically disappear!

I've never been one to admire other people. I admire certain abilities, personalities and characteristics, but I've yet to find one person that embodies all of the qualities that elevates them, in my opinion, to the level of total admiration. That's why I hate those questions posed as "Name the person you most admire". I always feel like I must be too critical or shallow because I can't just name someone. Maybe I'm too judgmental, but I see flaws in everyone (including myself) and am holding out for the "perfect" person. More often than not, I find fictional characters more admirable than real people. Atticus Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird" comes to mind. He was so noble.

That said, here are some qualities/traits that I admire:

1.The ability to know what to write in a greeting card.

2. The woman who picks one hairstyle/fragrance/look and sticks with it for the rest of her life so that it becomes her signature.

3. The ability to say the right thing at any given moment.

4. The ability to figure out how to recognize mathematical patterns and draft a knitting pattern as easily as breathing.

OK, it's that last one that ranks highest on my list right now, so maybe Elizabeth Zimmerman, mother of the "just do it" approach to knitting, is my hero of the hour. I have fiddled with numbers so much over the past few days that I am convinced that it's all voodoo. I've read patterns written for top down and bottom up. I measured stitch gauge and row gauge (3 swatches just to be sure). I calculated. I counted. I measured and re-measured. I wrote out my increases row by row (all 63 rows), and then ~deep breath~ I cast on. So far I have knit 15 rows, and if this all turns out right and actually fits the way I want it to, I will attribute it to nothing more than sheer luck. What am I doing? "Project Walkway"? More like "Project Crawl". This is nuts! I did take my friend Aimee's advice and used a provisional (crochet) cast-on and am knitting top down. Right about now I am hoping that I will be able to unkink my left pinky, which is permanently cramped from holding the needles. It's enough to drive a woman to drink.

Speaking of drink, and being the booze hag that I am, I am sampling Samuel Adams Octoberfest and rank it a 1 (see my rating system in yesterday's post). Too smooth, too mellow and too sweet. Mr. Strange thinks that my quest for the perfect seasonal brew is futile. Maybe he's right. Maybe it's like knitting a swatch with the wrong yarn over and over and getting the same result. I want the gauge of a worsted weight and keep knitting with DK and wondering why it isn't working. (If you don't knit and are scratching your head, just think apples and oranges, it's the same analogy.) According to Mr. Einstein, this makes me insane!

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