Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

Gadding about and exploring is all very well in summer, but in this kind of late Fall weather, I’m content to sit home, reading, knitting and, of course, blogging. The leaves are all off the trees. Some are still a beautiful, bright yellow, but raked into heaps on the ground, defeated by the wind and the cold.

So, inspired by a certain mad hatter I brought yarn, needles and instructions to the chilly north. The plan was that I’d knit for a few hours, after which I’d have a lovely warm hat to keep the frost out of my ears. I’ve now joined the ranks of those mice and men of the ill-fated plans.

I am on my THIRD try.

The required circular needle size not being available in Florida, I searched for and found them here, in a tiny little yarn store whose name is a line from Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.

After three visits in as many days, the store is starting to feel like home.

Day one: Baa,Baa,Black Sheep, Have You Any Needles? They did, I paid and went home happy to the nest, curled up on the couch, and cast on.

My smile faded after a couple inches, as I started to realize that it would be just right IF I were making it for a wee elf, but since it is for me, and I’m no wee elf, back to the shop.

Day two: Baa,Baa,Black Sheep, Have You Any Wool? Maybe if I worked in thicker yarn the problem would right itself. Did they have wool?! They did indeed. I finally settled on a lovely blend of heathery blues, greens and purples, which, the lady assured me, would give me the correct gauge. So, back to the nest, curl up on the couch, start again.

Several inches in, it’s looking like this attempt will be just right for the aforementioned elf’s…….. baby sister…….Drat!

Day three: Baa, Baa Black Sheep, It’s Me Again, Have You Bigger Needles? So, she let’s me return the size seven in exchange for size nine and oh, by the way, I think you should cast on in a size ten! Lordy, this is turning into one helluvan expensive chapeau!

When we were growing up, if you didn’t learn to knit at home, you learned at school, from the nuns. We, lucky us, learned from both. My mother was a very good knitter. After I mastered the basics, she encouraged me to try my hand at Aran sweaters. I had often seen her rip out half a sleeve upon discovering she’d made a mistake back near the cuff. No such perfectionism for me. If I got to the armhole and saw that I had twisted a cable the wrong way, back at the beginning, I would not stoically go back and fix it. Life was too short. Besides, a mistake increased its value, proof that it had been hand-knit by a fallible human, not by a machine. Today I’d call it my Amish touch.

This hat would have been tossed aside long ago by the younger, more impatient me. I find as I get older I have more patience. I also enjoy the process as much, if not more, than the result.

This hat will get finished. I’m already through one skein, and it takes less than two. It’s soft, and warm and so relaxing to do, it would ALMOST make you wish you lived somewhere cold. Almost, but not quite!

Baa,baa, black sheep
Have you made a hat?
Yes sir, yes sir, in three days flat!
One to find the needles,
One to find the wool
And one to sit and stitch like mad...

Wait a minute.......
Are you from the knitting police?
Did the mad hatter send you?


Pam said...

How I would LOVE to sit at home reading and blogging. I suppose I'd even do a bit of knitting. Into every life a little rain must fall.

molly said...

Don't be too jealous Isabelle. you wouldn't want the torrential rains that fall into this life.....

Tanya Brown said...

"I had often seen her rip out half a sleeve upon discovering she’d made a mistake back near the cuff."

AIIIIII!!!!! Aiiiiiii!!!! (Tanya squirms under desk and curls into a foetal ball at the very idea.)

Tanya Brown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie's Journey said...

Sigh - I wish I could knit and at the moment I wish I was someplace cooler!

Ali Honey said...

I have years of knitting experience but rarely use it theses days. When I was teaching many, many moons ago, a young newish knitter sitting near me in the staffroom at lunchtime found just such a mistake in her knitting and was about to pull it undone. Being me I volunteered to show her the easy way to rectify the error. It took me a short while but I just dropped the offending 2 stitches all the way down to the mistake twisted them the correct way and picked them back up again. It left no evidence of being corrected! ( she was very pleased! )

Lily said...

So you wouldn't want a hat for Christmas????

molly said...

I would LOVE to have a hat made by a tiger!

meggie said...

I yearn for cold Christchurch winter to curl up & knit!
Instead I have sweaty Aussie summer, & a desperate quest for cool!

Stomper Girl said...

I really need to finish off the last line of your song. It's a sick compulsion.

...cos she's no knitting fool?
...this is the knitting rule?
...and now her hat's so cool?
...then wipe up all the drool?
...and eat a bowl of gruel?
... to scare away the ghoul?
...upon a comfy stool?

somebody help me please.