Saturday, February 28, 2009

A knotty situation

Well, I tried.

For the last two years, I've been trying to teach myself to knit, with little success: I've made a bunch of scarves, some better-looking than others, but can't seem to get any further than that.

In the fall of 2007, I bought two skeins of gorgeous hand-spun, hand-dyed wool at the Mountaineer Week craft show, with the hope that it would inspire me to work toward the next level. The skeins were dyed in beautiful shades of green and lavender--one smooth and the other an amazing loopy light mohair. I decided I'd combine the two strands and knit them together to have both weight and texture.

I started with a scarf, which turned out pretty well; Tom's actually adopted it as his go-to scarf this winter, so at least it's getting some good use.

With the rest, I decided I'd try to make a hat. Bought myself some circular needles, found an "easy" pattern online (Oh, how I have learned to distrust such descriptors), and went to town.

First attempt: made a woolly Mobius strip. Seriously--the thing got twisted around the circular needles in a perfect, infinite loop. So, I ripped it all out and started again.

Second attempt: made what a friend referred to as a woolen tube top. Pretty accurate. My attempts to decrease worked poorly, if at all, and then I ran out of the regular yarn and only had the fine, loopy mohair left, which was hard to work with on its own.

But damned if I was going to rip it all out again. So, I pulled it all off the needles, folded the top together in quarters, and sewed it up. Here's the result.

Tom's first reaction: "It's probably a little more granola than I think you had in mind."

Second reaction: "I think you need to spend about a month knitting with Don."

At which point I offered that I might just give up knitting entirely, since I seemed to have no facility for it, and found the more intermediate stuff frustrating and discouraging rather than relaxing in a Zen-like way, which is why I picked it up in the first place.

Oh well. At least the cat might like this. Our calico kitten has recently shown a proclivity to be a rug muncher, literally: she's been obsessively chewing up the wool rug in my office, to the point where she's pretty much unraveled a whole corner of it.

Who knew that cats could develop a form of OCD that focuses on wool-chewing? Let's hope that it's just a phase that she outgrows. Tom and I have been trying in vain to find a chewing substitute that she might go for: tiny dog chew toys rubbed with fish oil and catnip (a pungent combo), rubber balls, straws...but apparently, this is really a very specific fetish for wool.

So, the hat might soon be Pip's. At least I know she'll love it.


yarmando said...

That hat is adorable.

Pam said...

I agree I love the hat!

Christy said...

Vote #3 for keeping the hat! It's lovely and sweet, with a great story attached. Plus I hate to think of you being a cat-addiction enabler. It's just plain wrong.

Jim said...

With that description of your cat, you're going to get some interesting hits.

Secret word = bonis.

Rosemary said...

Thanks, everyone--though if you saw the hat up close, you might consider retracting your votes. :^) Still, since it's supposed to be single-digit cold here again tomorrow, I may wear it after all.

@Jim: consider it a test, sorta like the Bob Seger thing. Believe me, it was all I could do to avoid the obvious Mrs. Slocombe reference to "my pussy."

historiann said...

You had never heard of a wool-sucking Siamese before? I don't know if there's anything you can do about it, other than locking up your sweaters and scarves.

You are very brave for trying to knit. But I think you've done the right thing: if it's not fun for you, then bag it.

Rosemary said...

Nope, I have to say that the phenomenon of the "wool-sucking Siamese" was new to me! And since these are shelter kitties, I can't imagine that they have any Siamese in them...but Pip *is* a calico, and they're known for being a little wacky.