Friday, January 08, 2010

Knittle me this Batman

Yesterday was a nice snow day. It started snowing during the night and continued all day long. Light and powdery, easy cleanup. We were supposed to get about 10 inches. we might have come close to that, but it seems like a bit less.

Anyway, it's pretty today. Everything is so fresh looking. But, I have to admit I like the day of a snow storm better than the day after. It's nice to have that snowed-in feeling. A cup of coffee, a project, and a view of the falling snow.

Just before Christmas, I had a strong urge to learn how to knit. I know, "boys don't knit", but what do I care? I have always loved thick, hand-knit wool sweaters and have always wished I could make one. The urge stayed with me through the holiday so after Christmas came and went, I bought some yarn, needles and a couple of books.

You have to walk before you run and I hadn't even stood up on my own yet. After some false starts, I finally figured out just what "cast on" meant and puzzled out how to create a knit stitch. It took a day of trying to limp through that only to not like what I saw and pull it apart to start again. The only thing that happened quickly was that I mastered starting and pulling apart. It wasn't until later that I found out that the pulling apart was called "frogging".

Frog master, master of the frog, frog daddy...the frustration built.

Day two saw some progress. And, oddly, the progress sped up. I was doing the simplest knitting process possible, something called a garter stitch. It's basically just the same thing over and over again. Knit a row, flip it around and knit another row. It wasn't exactly fun, but it was satisfying in an odd sort of way.

I went through a skein of yarn. That's more than a ball and less than a hank. Most of the yarn you can buy at the local store comes in a skein. I went back to the store and picked up some more yarn. I was going to use the same color and just keep going, then decided I didn't want to drive all the way to the same store I originally bought the yarn at.

That led to learning how to do horizontal stripes. Oddly enough, the pictures in my books and the accompanying descriptions didn't look like blueprints for a nuclear power plant and this part of the job was easy. And, more important, easy to learn.

Around this point, it started to get fun. Maybe it was the visible progress or maybe the whole finally "getting it" thing.

I plowed on and on and on.

Finally, all that was left was to finish it. Back to the books I went. It might as well have been ancient Sumerian. I couldn't figure out what the heck they were talking about. Thankfully, my friend Mel has been knitting forever and she explained it to me. Of course, it was amazingly easy once you knew how it was supposed to be done.

So, there you have it - boys can knit. And, now that we've had a great snow storm, I'm glad that boys can knit because my new scarf is really, really warm.


Laura said...

OMG he LIVES! Does this mean I should add you back on my blogroll?

Congrats on learning to knit. I think more men should learn how to do creative things. There's some great websites & books out there for learning new stuff. Just wait till you try a hat!!

Josh said...


P.S. Your Christmas card was returned because apparently you have moved again, since the last time I mailed something to you.

kris said...

This is kick ass, S. Good. On. You!

Happy New Year, sir. :)

Shawn said...

Laura - Hats scare me, but I'm hoping to soon conquer that fear! And, I have some time on my hands so I will probably be posting again. I've missed blogworld.

Josh - Just think of it like I sent you a card. Come to think of it...that's not a bad way to excuse my lack of keeping in touch with friends.

Kris - I think we can both hope that this is going to be the big year where our lives get so fabulous we don't even have time to let people know how fabulous we are!

dbackdad said...

If I was more of a manly man, I might be upset that you are knitting. But I'm not, so I'm not.

In my book, it's manly to do what interests you and not give a shit. Knit on, brother. Good to have you back.

Laura said...

Hats aren't that bad, the hardest part is joining the round. I suggest picking up Stitch N Bitch knitter's handbook. There's also a great Youtube user called Knitwitch who has instructional videos.

I'll add you back on my blogroll.

Shawn said...

I have another friend who loves the stitch n bitch books. She swears by the little workbooks/journals they put out.

tshsmom said...

Good job!
Now you're ready for the stockinette stitch. Just knit one row, purl one row...

With the economy the way it is, everybody will be learning to knit and sew before long.

I'm glad you're back. I can use your humor.

Shawn said...

Hi Tmom...I'm on my fourth project now. You'll be glad to know that I can knit, purl, increase and's nice to make something, especially something sort of useful.