All right, I confess. I am a Bad Public Knitter. I get seriously grumpy when strangers paw at my projects on the subway and bus, and I really don’t care that your great-aunt Sue used to crochet when you were a kid. Really. My time on public transit is my “me” time, and I live in a city where the social norm is definitely to pretend that nobody else is there, even at rush hour. No eye contact. No chit-chat.
In the past week, the people who want to get all in my face about my knitting have been particularly egregious. I’m not sure if people have just been going slowly crazy due to this never-ending heat wave or if it’s part of the “oh, pregnant people are approachable with my craziness” deal or what.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been doing a lot of baby hat knitting for friends. Last Friday I was on the subway during my lunch hour and someone asked me if I was knitting a blanket. At this point, I had about three inches of the hat done, and it was pretty clearly small and tubular. I just barely managed to not respond with “Why yes, funny you should ask. It’s a very small blanket for a baby’s head,” and instead managed the more-polite-but-less-hilarious “Umm, no, it’s a hat.”
I’ve been working on a scarf for a commission since Saturday morning, and I’ve had to fend off even more people and their comments. They range from “Oh, a scarf! You must be a new knitter! Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be able to make hats soon!” (umm, I’ve been knitting since I was a kid, and this scarf has cabling on most of it for three rows out of ever four, and is not exactly a beginner pattern) to “What is it?!” while grabbing at it. Please don’t touch my things, ok? I don’t grab your personal belongings. I don’t know where your hands have been or how clean they are. Yes, I’ll be washing this and blocking it before sending it to its recipient, like anything I make, but still, didn’t you learn in kindergarten to keep your hands to yourself? *grump*
Ok, on to some less grumpy aspects of my knitting of the past week. First of all, I got a commission for two ringing scarves, both in methods (ok, one is a principle) I had never heard of. I was a little bit wary, since not all methods are created equal in terms of visual appeal, but definitely I would say so far so good. I started the scarf of Purple Cyclic Bob Major on Saturday morning and worked on it for most of the day since it was way too hot for me in the ringing room at Groton and I wasn’t able to ring. It’s really quite visually pleasing, and is coming along quite nicely. So far I’ve been managing about a half lead a day, which should lead to the scarf being completed in about two weeks, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up that pace. A side effect of this knitting project is that now several ringers in my local tower are interested in learning the method! Definitely win-win, wouldn’t you say? Here is the first lead, all done:
The other scarf will be Banana doubles, which should go a bit faster because there are fewer bells (and thus less cabling). I’ll make the border slightly wider, but otherwise the setup will be pretty similar. Both scarves are being knit in Cascade 220, which conveniently comes in the purple and yellow requested by the woman who commissioned them. I really cannot say enough about this yarn — it comes in every color you could want, is pleasant to work with, relatively hard-wearing, and relatively inexpensive. Cascade makes me a very, very happy knitter.
Speaking of Cascade making me happy, I have also started working on Jesse’s Christmas sweater (to coordinate with the other six I made for the nieces and nephews). I think I’ve decided that one of the joys of knitting for my own child is that I feel like I have more say over the yarn choice. For the six nibling sweaters, I used Plymouth Encore, which, although very nice for an acrylic, is just not as nice as working with 100% wool. For my own kid’s sweater, I decided I was willing to go the hand-wash route, and am using Cascade 220 in a bright, fire-engine red, which is one of my favorite little kid colors.
Ok, there, I managed to end on a positive note, even after such a grumpy beginning!