Sunday, January 27, 2008

SAM 5 - January done!

Thank you, all, for your very many comments on the loss of my friend Emmett. The warmth and kindness you have shown is humbling, and a little overwhelming. Keep your friends and family close, and let them know that you care, in both your actions and your words.

On to the knitting:

Having found myself once again in the position of having quite a few singleton or half-done socks, I thought I should impose a little discipline. Hello, Sock-a-Month 5. Should be no problem, since I've likely got six pairs in various stages of completion. Right. Grab Pair No. 1 and knit, knit, knit -- get to the toe of Sock No. 2 and also the end of the yarn. Huh? I very seldom run out of yarn, but it happened this time. No problem, as there are others waiting to be finished. Grab Pair No. 2 and knit, knit, knit -- and I run out of yarn again. Sigh. I might have cursed. Grab pair No. 3, and knit, knit, knit -- try it on to see if I'm ready for the toe and notice a hole way back at the beginning of the foot. Yes, I dropped a stitch and hadn't noticed. Rip, and knit, knit, knit -- finally, after knitting what amounts to 6.5 socks, I have ... a pair.

The yarn is Schaefer Anne, in a colourway called Safari. It comes in humongous 560 yard hanks, so you're unlikely to run out of yarn. :-)

This is the first time I've used this yarn, and I like it. It is on the finer side, and the fabric feels kind of woolly and looks kind of fuzzy. The colours have a bit of glow to them. I was surprised, though, to see stripes emerging.

I need a bit more practise with yarn this thin. I got a line of wonky stitches at the needle joins, which didn't completely wash out, although I think it will over time.

In the Other News Department, I met some other Ottawa knitters! They enticed me with things like yarn and needles, so out I went. Paula put together a group Peace Fleece order, and Sarah did a Knit Picks order. Luckily, Leanne was available to meet up at the same time to pick up her goodies. It was very nice to finally meet you, ladies, and I hope to get out to some Ottawa Knit Nights in the near future.

In the Even More Other News Department, I have been very lax in posting a prize I won in a blog contest held by yet another Ottawa knitter, Joanna. She's probably been wondering what I did with her very generous gift certificate to Robyn's Nest. Well, I might have got some yarn.

And while I was at it, because my stash seems to be lacking in solid colours, I might have ... well, I did.

Thanks very much, Joanna, for both the prize and the enabling. :-)

Friday, January 04, 2008

The World Lost a Knitter Today

About five years ago, when my friend Emmett learned that I knit, he delightfully proclaimed, "I knit too! We should get together and knit some evening." And so we did. As a matter of fact, it became a ritual. Every Saturday evening, we would go out for dinner, then rent a few movies and sit and knit. Nine times out of ten they were horror movies. The cheesier they were, the more Emmett liked them.

The first time we got together, I brought over my sock in progress. Emmett said, "Oh, is that wool?" I replied that it was. He said, "I'm allergic to wool." When I asked what he knit, he brought out his slipper in progress -- Phentex, and, if I recall correctly, blue and white. He said that was the only thing he could actually knit with. I asked him if he'd ever tried cotton. He asked, "What would you make with cotton?" I showed him some patterns off the Internet, and he was delighted. I think he cranked out four or five dishcloths a week.

I did try to broaden his interests. He made scarves for all his grandchildren one year for Christmas. I finally convinced him to try a a circular needle, and although he didn't like it, he did start an afghan for his daughter, and had plans to make one for his son as well. But his main love was dishcloths. As long as he was knitting something -- anything -- he was happy.

Emmett felt that knitting helped keep his hands limber for his other love -- playing the organ in his church, where he was also the choir director and the sacristan. He knew his liturgy and more Latin words and phrases than you can shake a stick at. We had many lively discussions about religion and life -- if you knew us, you'd know that it was mostly him talking and me listening -- but I could never convince him he was wrong. ;-) I'll just say it was good thing we both had a sense of humour.

I am pleased to say that I was able to introduce some new techniques to Emmett. I taught him how to purl and do a YO. I remember the struggles he had with DPNs when he first tried to make a round dish cloth. He had great fun when he first tried the Ball Band dish cloth -- imagine, two colours at once! Presently on his needles is his very first project with cables -- a scarf for his granddaughter.

Unfortunately, that scarf will never be finished. Emmett died today as a result of a massive stroke. Emmett, my friend, I will miss you. I really don't know how I will get through this Saturday evening, but I do know that you will be knitting up there in heaven -- with Chuckie and his Bride, Freddie, Leatherface, Jason and all the rest of them.