Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Knit through the pain, you maggot!

I have a boo boo. I knitting boo boo. (Is it inappropriate for a 21 year old to use that term?) Dry winter air has resulted in delicate skin that, as it turns out, is easily pierced by aluminum knitting needles. When knitting I occasionally hit the side of my thumb with the tip of the needle. Usually that's no problem but current atmospheric conditions and a feeble epidermal layer resulted in very slight blood loss earlier this week. Yes, I've reached a new level of knitting devotion. I bleed for it! I'm furiously knitting a birthday present for a friend, so Madeline told me to knit through the pain (see post title. Oh yes she did say that!).

I failed to bring my camera to SnB last night, though I did manage to bring some classy looking beginner supplies to casually place on the table in hopes of attracting new members. Kat was better prepared, so I was able to get a picture of Mary's latest crochet masterpiece. I had to go to the second level of the SUB to get a good picture!

Can you find Clara?
This is her tablecloth masterpiece for a friend (pre blocking). Yes, she's giving that thing away! Must be an exceptional friend. 

As promised, I'll end this post with the first installment of:

Things Not to Get Your Knitter

Item #1:  That bag of yarn you found.
To begin with, I will say that it was a nice thought. You saw some yarn or yarn-like thing and you thought of your nearest and dearest knitter. But don't do it. Maybe it was unearthed from the back of a relative's closet. Or maybe you found it at a thrift store. It's a sweet gesture, but don't do it! There's a whole wide word of yarn out there. This might not be your knitter's cup of tea. Especially avoid this gift if:
  1. The yarn smells like anything other than yarn. Sure, that smell it acquired during years of residence in a smoker's home might wash out. But who wants to knit with an ashtray?
  2. The bag appears to be entirely scraps. Knitters generate their own leftovers. I don't need anybody else's sloppy seconds. 
  3. The yarn appears to be more than 15 years old. This sort of yarn is easy to spot, and there's a lot of it floating around in thrift stores. Pastels. Pictures of models with outrageously teased hair in droopy sweaters. The mid 90s and earlier were good times! But yarn has come a long way since then. Most of the mass produced yarn you will find from this era is acrylic. Wool vs. acrylic debate aside, acrylic yarn has come a long way since then. Stay away from bags of this scratchy stuff. 
If you do come across some knitting supplies and feel compelled to share with a knitter, just be selective. A set of needles or stitch markers might be a welcomed addition to a beginner knitter's collection. Personally, I'd never turn down a cable needle or stitch holder. 

I'll admit, it's the thought that counts. But when you give a knitter a bag of questionable yarn, you're really giving them a headache. You see, knitters have an innate desire to stash. They might be tempted to tuck the bag away, in case they find a need for it. But there will never be a need. Eventually it will just take up precious stash space and they will begin to resent the bag, and you by association! So when you see the 2lb bag of yarn for $1, keep walking. It is indeed too good to be true. 

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