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April 18, 2006

Not unlike last time

I’m taking a much-needed shawl break. It’s not that my hands feel like they’ve been beaten with a hammer, or that nearly 500-stitch rows are causing a migraine right above my left ear. It’s not that noting a mistake and tinking hundreds of stitches on Saturday was a full body workout (every. single. little. itty. bitty muscle of my body was clenched as tight as a greedy hand around the last ball of cashmere yarn on sale).

And, oh, just wait ‘till you hear this – last night I had a very vivid dream. In it: I sit on my couch and pick up my shawl to knit. Holy shit! The knots at the ends of the yarn which is holding the provisional cast-on (you know what I mean?) have come undone, and it’s gone! All these live stitches are flapping in the wind. It’s okay, I tell myself, the stitches are very well defined (yeah, right, not in real life) and I’m able to gather all of them onto a needle. Then I count them, and I have only about half of them on the needle, the rest have unraveled. Then, yes, in my dream, I very calmly frog everything I’ve knit so far and start over.

I have to say that this dream (nightmare?) is so revealing because I’m absolutely paranoid to death that the knots will undo themselves and I will lose my cast-on. I obsessively check the knots like every 50 stitches.

Anyway, none of these reasons prompted me to put the shawl down. No, no! I finally got Stephanie’s new book. And I had to read it immediately. Shawl break time!

If you remember, I read Stephanie’s last book under the most unusual circumstances – simultaneous to doing crazy-ass experiments in the middle of the night, with only the glow of the computer monitor as a light source.

And this one? Hehe ;).

As soon as I really got into it, the lights went out. Not only the lights in my own apartment, the lights on my entire block. This happens to my block frequently, especially during the summer months, and I easily diagnose the problem (and absolute lack of a solution) by looking out my window at the streetlights. Yup, they, too, were out.

Aha! I’ve lived in this turn-of-the-century house long enough – where’s my flashlight? Rummage through this drawer and that one, but no flashlight! (I later found the flashlight – it was exactly in its right place, but in my delirium I think its presence didn’t register). Okay, fine, I’ve got a candle on the table, it will have to do.

And so it was. Yarn Harlot and candlelight. The lights are back on (obviously, or I couldn’t post), and even though conditions are now ripe for the knitting, I’m choosing to read this fine evening. I’ve yet to finish the book, but from what I’ve read so far – brilliant.

Now, I’m not going to suggest that this has something to do with Stephanie and her (obviously possessed) books, but, you know, how come I’m always reading her books in semi-darkness?

And which of you fine Bostonians will I see on Thursday when Ms. YH comes to Porter Square Books? The event will be held off-site at the Masonic Temple on Mass Ave (details here). I’ll be the grumpy-lookin’ one ;).

Posted by Kathy on April 18, 2006 01:56 AM


The tension in your body is a reflection of the tension in your mind. For most people the goal is to let go of stress to ease a tight and tired body. But you seem to be putting yourself in a knitting situation that causes you to wind yourself up even tighter.

And your dreams are reflecting your anxiety. Is it really just about the knitting?

I know that I have issues in my life that I bring to my knitting. I suspect you do the same.

One word: Lifeline. It is not a sign of weakness.

I think you did the right thing. When the knitting starts invading your dreams, and not in a good way, it's time to move on. At least for a bit! ;-) I know what you mean though about the whole body thing - sometimes, especially when I'm knitting lace and concentrating really hard, my whole body tenses up.

candlelight and the Yarn Harlot. you've been invited to relax.

Oh my goodness - if I wasn't so sick, I would be ROTFLLMAO! Did you read my post a while back about the $4 per hank Lorna's Laces? I woke up before I could buy some because I was so startled in the dream that the yarn was on such a sale.

Glad your lights are back.

Just finished the Harlot's book myself. And in record time. It is wonderful, isn't it?

Relax! Knitting isn't supposed to be stressful. Loosing the stitches would probably be less traumatic than the anticipation of loosing them.

I don't think I'll make it over today, but I'll see you Thursday!

reading by candlelight! ah, yes, in true cantabridgian historical style. i know because the electricity on my block as well got knocked out... gotta love NSTAR's blips + intravenous dependency on the wireless router.

heads up for the yarn harlot visit - the location has been moved from porter square books to the masonic temple. here's the update. i guess more people RSVP'd for the event than expected! the spectacle of all the high-on-yarn boston-area knitters will be more intimidating than a KISS concert...

I started reading Ms. Harlot's book last night too. It's just fabulous. I'm jealous that I can't meet her with you on Thursday!

You know, my current lace has a 32 st repeat. I can't reliably count to 32 without getting distracted at the best of times, so on long repeats like that, I mark on my copy of the chart. In my case, I highlighted every 10th stitch in the repeat (leaving the last repeat with 12 sts, of course) because I usually CAN reliably count to 10. Usually. My return rows are mostly plain knit, and I count all 32 on the way back, except where there are yo/k2tog pairs; in those cases, I count the sts between the yo/k2tog.

I NEVER count all the stitches on the needles. That way lies madness...

Oh I am so bummed. The YH comes all the way to my own back yard, and I have to go to a meeting. :( You guys have fun Thursday.

The YH and the Grumperina in one location! Now, who can I leave the kids with at 4:00....hmmmmm

I won't see you Thursday but give everybody hugs from me, okay?

I really wanted to go, but travel plans intervened. A shame--it would have been nice to have a chance to say hello to you.

So, having now read BookBookBook3, can I ask your take? I liked it very much, and found it very informative - I think it went a long way to giving me a better understanding of clothing construction. However, I thought that the mere presence of "recipes" made it lose a little of the chatty-friend-in-your-living-room feel of the previous two.
Did you find that to be the case, or do I just have a big problem with authority and people trying to teach me stuff?

Oh boy, knitting nightmares. I have work dreams these days, vivid weird ones. Too bad I can't count those hours...

Perfect...a knitting book and candlelight.

Looking forward to Harlot Thursday and I'm also hoping to meet you again (I was the fair isle poncho gal at the post Olympics party) as well -- I have a sock question you might find interesting...

I think you'll be seeing me, o Grumpy One. My sympathies on the hand pain, the power outage(s) (at my house, we discovered that the house is laid out so the whole kitchen is adequately lit with one candle), and OH good gracious of course there's a mistake.

Yikes. Good on ya finding it anyhow...

I'm not sure about anyone else, but this was a post from way back. What happened to the recent posts?

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