Score!

Word has gotten around the office that I’m a knitter.  It could have something to do with all that sock knitting in the lunch room. I get a lot of comments about how pretty whatever I’m working on is, or that they could never do something like that it’s so hard, or they don’t have the patience.  I take this admiration as my due, of course :P but I also try to convince them otherwise… like knitting with DPNS isn’t that hard, you really only have to worry about two needles at a time.  Or that patience doesn’t come into it, it’s a lot of fun to watch something take shape as I build it stitch by stitch… but so far, nobody believes me.  I’m the only knitter in the office for the time being.

About six months ago, one of my bosses – let’s call him Boss B – gave me a gift card to JoAnn’s Fabrics.  He said he and his wife got it as a gift, there was no way they were going to use it and he knew I knit.  I bought knitting needles and sock yarn.

Then Boss A left on a sales call recently, and when he came back he had this for me:

Okay, so my camera sucks.  That’s a pretty nice quality (if blazing orange) tote from a defunct yarn store that used to be in my area.  Inside was this:

That’s a bunch of Paton’s Worsted, a beginners knitting book, and the start of a largish scarf.  Boss A’s wife took up knitting, then had a whack of kids and decided she could only have one hobby and still maintain her sanity.  I’m not sure why she picked photography over knitting, but to each her own.  And now I have more yarn!  The book isn’t much used to me, and the yellow stuff is… actually, I don’t know what it is.  It looks like someone plucked Big Bird and  spun the feathers into yarn.  But I had been planning on buying more Paton’s Worsted to make mittens and hats with, so this was totally perfect timing.

I’m not sure why I’m sharing, other than to say that my bosses are super nice and thoughtful.  I’m lucky to work where I do, with the people I do.

That doesn’t make it much easier to face Mondays, mind you, but it makes me mostly happy in my work.  It isn’t what I’d be doing for a living if I had my dream occupation of fantasy novelist going, but it’s a good gig all the same.

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Sock Bane, Destroyer of Knitting

Meet Lola, also known as Sock Bane.  Lola is seen here, an innocent-looking black pooch of unknown origin (read: Mutt) who is normally pretty well behaved, affectionate, well trained, and ever vigilant in the defense of our home from that dastardly marauder, The Mailman.

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Don’t let those big, brown, innocent eyes deceive you.  Deep in this dog’s heart is a ravening hunger for destruction.  Leave nothing that will fit in her mouth within her reach if you want to keep it.

Leaving things on the kitchen table or counter counts as ‘in her reach.’  I think she’s worked out a deal with the cats.  I have lost many an item to underestimating what Lola will help herself to – up to, and including, a bag of menthol flavored cough drops.  This dog has an iron stomach.  She suffered no ill effects at all.  I don’t get it.  I would feel sick if I had even two at a time.

This is Lola five minutes after I got home one Friday night, not long ago:

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D says Lola has no comprehension of the things she does – whether they’re good or bad, or if they’re going to upset me or not. But all I said to Lola was, “What did you do??” when I saw this:

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I admit it was in a not-happy tone of voice, but she doesn’t react with this kind of guilt if she’s innocent.  She knew she’d done wrong.  She chewed through the plastic yarn store bag where my sock in progress was being stored.  The needles were in what was once recognizable as a DPN holder.  The needles were bent and useless.  The yarn was, somehow, mostly untouched, but pulled off the needles.

I took about five minutes of that look on her face before I called her over to make up with her.  It wasn’t going soft on her, it was knowing that she really is just a dog – and while she knew she’d done something wrong, and while I was still very unhappy, she probably didn’t get exactly what it was she’d done.  I turned my irritation on her owner, who I (possibly irrationally) held responsible for the attempted destruction of my sock.  He took me out to Red Lobster in self-defense.

I was just so bummed out though.  About the needle holder, about the needles that had been destroyed in the process, and most of all… because I should have seen this coming.

This is the second time she did this.  I just forgot my sock-in-progress at home that day, and stupidly left it out on the coffee table.  The worst thing was knowing this was the second of a very large, very boring, very hard to finish pair, and I was just two inches from the toe when this happened.

I managed to pick up the stitches on the sock, which now looks like crap, but it fits.  Which is fine, and I McGuyvered myself a way to Kitchener stitch without a tapestry needle OR scissors, because I was in the middle of a Twilight Imperium game and had forgotten my tools at home and really wanted to finish the sock so I could start the next one.  The sock was completed and all was mostly well with the world.  Sanity and knitting prevailed.

But still.  Lola is the Sock Bane.  Forget about cats – beware of dogs when it comes to your knitting!

PS – As an afterthought, maybe in a way I should thank Lola.  As soon as I saw the destruction, I took pictures with my phone and sent them to Kiki, knowing she would understand my pain.  She came back with, “If you were the Yarn Harlot, this would have been blogged by now.”

Once planted, that seed grew, and then blossomed.  The blog lives.  Thanks Lola.

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It’s Time To Begin, Isn’t It?

Startitis has taken on a whole new shape for me.  In combination with a rabid case of startitis,  starting my first shawl ever, and following the escapades of my favorite bloggers… I have started my own knitting blog.  Welcome.

I have been knitting for almost a year now.  My first project was a knitted rectangle, which got folded over and sewn to make a dice bag (yes, I am a geeky knitter).  The second one was a cabled hat.  The third was a sock.  There have been several socks since then, but I’m just now getting into ‘fancy’ sock patterns.  Loving the Jaywalkers.  I sort of hit the ground running, and I have my knitting teacher to thank for it, as she just smiled and showed me the next thing I wanted to learn as I wanted to learn it.

I will always be very grateful to my buddy Kiki for teaching me how to knit, and I miss her now that she’s moved away to start her residency.  We mean to stay in touch, and this blog feels like a part of that.

I want to share some things about myself as a sort of introduction.  I’ve seen other bloggers write the ’100 Things’ lists, but this early in the game I don’t know who would slog through that long of a list.  I haven’t been interesting enough yet.  I’ll start with ten things, and maybe someday I’ll add 90 more.

1.  I started knitting in August of 2011.  My friend Kiki became my teacher after we carpooled to Gen Con with our SOs.  She was knitting a sock in the car, I was fascinated, and she agreed to teach me how to knit.  Game on.  (Using her blogger name here until she gives me permission to do otherwise).

2. I seem to have a poor sense of the timing of things.  I was convinced that I started knitting in September, but I joined Ravelry in August.  Logic tells me I learned to knit before that.  Hmm.

3. Moving on to non-knitting things:  I am a gamer.  I’m mostly interested in strategy board games, but I’ve also been in the odd RPG now and then.  My favorite board game to play while knitting is Twilight Imperium.  It has so much down time I can knit over half a plain sock over the course of one game.  I love the game, and not only for how knit-friendly it is.  It is just epic.  I also like video games, but I don’t get as into them as I did in my pre-knitting days, when it didn’t matter if a hobby left my hands free or not!

4. I love books and reading in a way that’s almost unhealthy.  I like to read better than almost anything else.  As soon as I master reading and knitting at the same time I’ll be in heaven (working on it!).  According to Elizabeth Zimmerman, it can be done.  I just need practice.

5.  I am a middle child, with an older brother and younger sister.  I’m planning a trip to England this winter to visit my sister, her husband, and their new baby P.  P is not my first niece, but she’s my little sister’s first child, so she seems extra precious.

6.  The baby most prominent in my life right now is J, son of my cousin K.  J is the happiest and sweetest baby I’ve ever met.  He is getting an ambitious knitted gift for his birthday in November.  He deserves it, with all that cuteness.  It looks ambitious to me, anyway, and I already know his mama likes it.  Once I cast on I’ll share with the blogverse.

7.  I live with my boyfriend, D.  Neither of us wants children, and I think he worries when I dote on J (and now P) the way I do.  D does not knit, and does not appreciate the finer things in life like I do (He won’t let me touch his face with the alpaca.  See what I have to work with here?)  We met at a gaming event and it just clicked from there.  He is a wonderful man otherewise, so I’m willing to look over the alpaca thing.

8.  I have almost always lived in Wisconsin, except for when I went to college in Minnesota.  I lived in a very rural area growing up, and I sort of miss that kind of setting, even though I like being in Milwaukee.

9.  We have a dog (Lola) and two cats (Karma and Shiva).  Shiva does try and bite my yarn if I give him the chance while I’m knitting – the wiggling yarn is too much for him to resist – but otherwise the cats aren’t much of a problem for the knitting.  Oddly enough, Lola is my main knitting adversary, which inspired the name of this blog.  She will get a blog post of her very own in the near future.

10.  I am very tall for a woman.  I am over 6’2.  Consequently I have long limbs and very large feet, which makes it hard to find shirts with long enough sleeves, and nice-looking socks that fit and don’t develop holes in the toe overnight.  This is related to why I think I’m a product knitter.

There is more, of course, but that will come out in the future or in another installment of this list.  If anyone’s out there, comments are welcome, but the rambling will continue with or without outside participation.

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