Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Signs That You Spend Too Much Time Thinking About Knitting

At what turned out to be 3 a.m last night, we were tucked up in bed slumbering peacefully, when suddenly the sounds of a whole lot of sirens passing by for a whole long time woke us up. And you know how your mind will turn an outside sound into something that works with your dream. I don't know what I was dreaming just before the sirens penetrated my consciousness, but at that point, I was watching a long line of toy police cars driving up a toy landscape hill just like the one near our house, and they were all carrying a single skein of Noro yarn on the roof of the car, with the yarn details written in the air above the cars in floating black type.

Of course I awoke to find that emergency vehicles were not delivering Noro to my house, but even worse is knowing that those sounds mean that somewhere out there in the night, someone is in trouble. Reading the paper this morning I found that a woman was driving down a street just to the west of us, didn't see that it was flooded, and was washed downstream with her car for a goodly distance. They had to call out a great number of firemen to rescue her. This is not unusual in Tucson during the monsoon season, but the very fact that it happens every year, would, one would hope, ensure that others would then be disinclined to drive into flooded areas. Not so. Luckily she was saved, while they are still searching for a man who was swept away over the weekend in a similar situation. A high price to pay for deciding not to turn around and take the long way to your destination.

Anyway, the sock monkey progresses! Yesterday while I was in the shop I searched out the right sort of yarn that would look like my sister's short, spiky, greying hair, and I think this is a good choice. I crocheted it right onto the head using slip stitch, and now await the arrival of glasses while I knit up the arms. I think I can live without the baseball cap if I can just find a small coffee cup to put in his hand. Still looking for the right name for it (I suppose it is a she and not a he) which I will make into a little necklace with tiny alphabet beads. I was also thinking, as I was sitting and drinking my tea this morning and looking happily out at our rainy weather, that I have a book that has small knitted doll clothes in it... And indeed, yes, I see that Tracy Chapman's Knitted Toys has some clothes in the front, and one I can adapt into a t-shirt. This was meant to be just a little extra something in the Christmas box, but is turning out to be the main attraction. I'm having a lot of fun. I had been saving all my sock yarn scraps for an eventual blanket, but now I think the non-superwash bits are all destined for monkeydom.

Can you look at that face and not laugh? If you know anyone too sophisticated to enjoy a sock monkey, you are cultivating the wrong sort of acquaintance. I'm just telling you.

In the meantime, I can finally take my second project out of the proverbial knitting closet. This is the first of a pair of socks for DH's birthday, which was yesterday. Now that they are no longer a secret I can knit them anytime, and will finish them up pretty quickly. The pattern is the Retro Rib socks by Evelyn A. Clark in Interweave Knits' Favorite Socks. I have knitted up several patterns from this book and still have more that I look forward to doing. It has become a great resource. I hate to knit anything twice so eventually it might wear out it's usefulness but I sure am getting my money's worth in the meantime.

The yarn is a Trekking XXL in color #172. It's rare to find a really beautiful sock yarn in colors that a British man will wear in public on his feet, so I am enjoying this and looking to find more Trekking sock yarns for future knitting. It's very bouncy and squishy in the skein, a little, um, stiff, or coated feeling? as you knit, but I can tell already that once they are washed they will be like buttah.

So go and knit, don't drive into flooded washes, and start your holiday knitting now. It's not like we don't know from one year to the next when the holidays will be here - at least in general, if not specifically. I strongly suggest the sock monkey.

Ah- PS: For the SM arms, the pattern suggests that you knit and stuff the arms separately, then sew them onto the body afterwards. I can never get the two sides of anything like this to be symmetrical, and that makes me just slightly crazy. Instead, I took two pipe cleaners, twisted the ends together to make one long pipe cleaner, and threaded it through the body where I wanted the arms to go, to make an - ahem - armature. (I'm sorry, I just had to slip that in.) Using my arm yarn, I picked up the required number of stitches in a circle around the pipe cleaner, and am knitting away on the arm.


Blogger duraknit said...

It seems obvious to me that that monkey's name is Luna! And you'll be able to find a cup if any thrift store near you has the pieces that are left from a kid's tea set. . .or, if it's really important, you can even buy a whole set new.

--Elizabeth D.

11:20 AM  

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