Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sweater Curse

It is well-known in knitting circles that nothing will doom a relationship faster than knitting a sweater for your man. If you are already married/partnered, or at least engaged, then you're probably okay. But if you are not, then it doesn't matter how long you've been together, or how strong your relationship is, as soon as you cast on to start the sweater, you've sent your relationship on a downward spiral from which it will never recover.

We don't know WHY this happens, but we don't question it or challenge it. If a relationship can survive a sweater, it's built to last.

As it happens, I do not have a significant other for whom to knit. Last night, I went on the first date I've had in months. While I enjoyed it a great deal, I didn't start going through my yarn stash or patterns in my mind. I'm not opposed to entering into a relationship right now, but I'm not seeking it out. And I'm certainly not going to test it by knitting.

However, I've learned that, at least for the gay boys, the sweater curse can be circumvented. The way to do this is to knit for yourself. And, if your paramour happens to get a lot of use out of the sweater, well, didn't you go into the relationship at least partly to double your wardrobe?

Okay, I'm kidding. Sort of.

"My boyfriend knit this for me, you bitch!"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Viva la Revolucion!

Curious observation. For two consecutive days now, while knitting on my evening commute home, another knitter has noticed me, and quietly pulled out her knitting as well.

It takes a small amount of chutzpah for a guy to pull out his knitting on public transit. But apparently I am now inspiring others to knit on the Red Line.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

By Request

So, a reader asked what I carry my yarn around in. When I'm going to and from work, I generally carry my project du jour in my backpack.

Handy, this. I can also stuff my lunchbox, the book I'm reading, and various other items in this and it doesn't really get in my way.

However, I also use tote bags if all I'm carrying is knitting. Typically, this means I'm headed to the coffeeshop for a couple hours of people-watching, chatting, and knitting. Some of my bags have knitting themes...

...and some do not.

Today, I headed out to a social lunch event, and decided that I need something small that I could fit in my jacket pocket, so I started on the second transit sock (as I've chosen to call that purple-and-green wonder in my previous post).

However, after the lunch to-do, I went to a friend's birthday coffee. (Why aren't there more birthday coffees? Coffee is a major vice for me...better than cake...when I turn 31 next summer, perhaps there will be a birthday coffee celebration). Anyway, this particular friend recently had a child. I had considered whipping out a quick hat for the babe, but never really got around to it. But B (the friend having the birthday) asked me if I would do her a huge favor and knit a hat for her child. "We don't have any hats for him yet. We're not ready for winter. I was going to knit one, but J [her husband] won't let me, because I still have that scarf that I started two years ago and haven't finished yet."

To be clear, I don't understand the concept of someone else not allowing you to knit a project. Even if there are other unfinished projects around. Perhaps if that someone else controlled the purse strings, and the project in question required an expensive amount of yarn. However, hats for babies generally don't require a lot of yarn. And I'm fairly sure that B is in charge of the family finances, because she is an accountant by trade.

However, that is not the point. The point is that the child needs a hat, and I don't mind knitting for children, provided that the knitting doesn't ultimately lead to being responsible for the children. And really, as soon as she mentioned the idea, my mind was already working through yarns in my stash and patterns that could work. So, at this point, I've got this.

I haven't had the opportunity to do anything on double-pointed needles (DPNs) lately, and this is kinda fun, if for no other reason that it looks really bad-ass, though it's not at all complicated. I'm also double-stranding, which simply means I'm knitting two strands of yarn from two separate balls at a time, instead of the standard one strand, one yarn deal that encompasses most knitting. All this means is that the hat is going to be a bit thicker than one might expect.

The yarn I'm using is Sugar-n-Cream, an inexpensive 100% cotton. I prefer cotton for children because there's no issue of itchy wool, and there's no risk of accidentally discovering that the child is allergic to wool by causing a giant rash on their head. Plus, it holds up in the washing machine better than most wools (gentle cycle, of course).

The little dude from The Nightmare Before Christmas came into my possession at a Halloween party I attended last weekend. I'm not really sure why he's in these pictures, but he is becoming something of a mascot, so I think I may use him for that purpose. He's also a pen-light, which I'm sure will be useful at some point. If I'm sitting at my desk in the dark, anyway.