Knitting The Sock (Or Don’t Tell Me What I Can’t Do)

16 08 2009

(And that, my friends, is how you go from knitting to Lost in one easy step.)

not so hard, actually

I have been a sporadic knitter for about 6 years now (unless you count when I was 8 and learned how to make a square, but never learned to bind it off, in which case I have been knitting for much longer) but I have always been afraid of socks. People talk of turning the heel with a sense of accomplishment and relief that made me cower in awe of their ability. But this year I decided to jump right in. I bought this super cool sock book that has all sorts of fun flippy pages to let you design your own sock – I figured I had enough knitting knowledge to follow the directions and get it done, and enough experience working on teeny little DPN’s.

So I headed out to the local knitting store. I nnounced I was knitting a sock and asked for help in figuring out how much yarn I’d need (I don’t do math) and was told that sock yarn is too small for my first time, and the book I have is not good for a beginner at all. I walked out the door, uncertain of myself, and with $20 in yarn and patterns I now regret.

I have made it a habit to keep my mind open to advice which has more often than not resulted in good personal growth, but on occasion instead merely creates insecurities about what I can and cannot do. I could do well in following John Locke’s example in the video above.

Anyway, as it turned out the pattern they sold me SUCKS. It was awkward and stupid and confused me more than it helped. It did come with videos on the associated website, but I can get those free (and in better format) on or even in random YouTube gems. So I tossed it aside and used the book I had. I decided I’d just make a set of socks to practice on so I didn’t care how they looked and I started with a simple ribbing. Which was a mistake. Because ribbing is kind of boring and I wasn’t loving the sock I was making which made me completely uninterested in the project. I finished it up as a sock puppet instead of an actual sock and decided to just buy some damn sock yarn and see what I could do with it.

second sock

As it turns out, I can do LOTS with it, thankyouverymuch. Pft. So now I’ve learned that the book I chose for myself works very well (more on that in a minute) and that I am not too stupid for sock yarn after all. I’ve also learned that I’m smart enough to do fancy designs in knitting and so now I’m thinking if I can do that, I can make awesome sweaters, too. Hrm…

As for the book – I love it. All except for one thing – it assumes I cannot handle DPN’s. Don’t tell me what I can’t do! There is a page in the beginning about needle choices and, essentially, it says something along the lines of, “Yeah, you CAN use DPN’s, but you don’t want to. You’ll like using two circular needles instead.” and then the entire rest of the book assumes you are using two circs which means I have to do math to figure out which stitches go where and when I decrease and etc. It’s annoying. It’s close to offensive, actually, to assume things like this. And it upsets me that I sometimes let people make me think less of my abilities.

As for the dreaded heel? DUDE. So easy. All I did was follow the directions in the book and – voila! – I had a sock!

heel, I did it!

I am thrilled with the sock, proud of myself, and I think I have learned a valuable lesson here. Two, actually. One, that knitting isn’t hard at all. Two, that I can do things that appear difficult – despite what others think.

Now, I just have to make the second sock match the first.



30 04 2009

“And Hispanic people, too!”

Ode To Trader Joe’s

15 02 2009

And by the way…

26 08 2008

This really pisses me off, this (while a rather weak presentation, in my opinion) is scary, and this is just warm and fuzzy all around.

Novocaine for the Soul

6 08 2008

I mean, for my head.

Recently I got it into my head that an awesome thing to do would be to go to the dentist! Go ahead, laugh at my naiveté. I figured that so long as they aren’t pulling out any wisdom teeth (of which, I have none left so I am safe) it wouldn’t be a big deal. I knew a deep cleaning would likely be involved (six years of no dental insurance will do that to a mouth) but I was completely unaware that a deep cleaning would involve Novocaine. I thought it would be medieval torture, sure. But I also thought I would suffer and then go eat food. Unfortunately for me, I was wrong. It was a pretty easy procedure, but I was unable to even talk without biting my tongue when it was finished, let alone chew or swallow without ingesting parts of me that I am rather fond of. Like my lips or cheeks.

So I spent the afternoon in a major funk of feeling crappy physically (b/c I am not so much fond of the lack of feeling), feeling hungry which makes me grumpy, and feeling violated which I think has more to do with the x-rays (b/c, seriously I gag when I watch my daughter get dental x-rays, let alone when someone shoves them into my own mouth) than with the care of the staff (they were very kind and friendly).

So I decided the best thing would be to go back on Saturday and do it all again! No. I mean, I have to go back and get the second half of my mouth done. But I promise to be more well-prepared this time.

As if that wasn’t enough numbness, I also happened to have an appointment at the dermatologist to get some harmless-but-annoying moles removed. That? Is creepy. Especially when they talk about shaving it off. And after hearing how much it will cost, honestly I wonder if it wouldn’t be just as easy to do it myself. Assuming I could refrain from fainting, that is. Which, I guess is unlikely.

It’s odd, though, to be mole-less. One on my breast which my son calls my “circle” is gone now. Last night I told him I had a boo boo and he looked and asked me, “Oh. On your circle?” And the one in my hairline is gone now, which will make for easier haircuts from now on, but feels almost like a part of my identity is shaved away. My husband called it my reset button. Guess he’s stuck with me as I am now.

I’m looking forward to more dental fun in October when I get to get some cavities filled. Until then (and aside from this Saturday) here’s looking forward to a couple of months full of feeling in my head.

Internet People

5 08 2008

Not like this or this, I mean the people who become your friends, the people who you meet in person, the people who change your life in small or large ways. I can’t even begin to list all the people I know from the internet, or how I am a better person because of them. But my life and the internet and forever intertwined, and how grateful I am.

It seems to be the season for meeting internet people right now. BlogHer just happened a few weeks ago – I used to have this passionate drive to go, but then I sat back and realized that I am not real big in the blogging world (personally) and that mostly I would be clinging to Elaine’s arm and desperately trying to remember who all these people I was meeting were. Someday I *will* get there, but my time hasn’t come yet.

But Bethany is on a mission to fill up her proverbial Bingo card with all her Flickr-mates and I think I may get a little of that action, hopefully sooner than later. But if it’s very soon, I hope it’s somewhere air-conditioned. And if not before, then certainly during the next run of 7 Days on Flickr, we have made tentative plans to have a great big So Cal meetup so I can add Sonja to my own Bingo card.

Two years ago, my AP message board had a big gathering in St Louis when I went over there to visit my dad and it was phenomenal. For a socially awkward and shy person, it was heaven walking into a room of women who I knew so very well although I had never seen most of them face-to-face. So well, in fact, that I drove someone’s car and, after hanging out alone (with my two kids) in their hotel room, I answered the door and let them in while I was, technically, topless. I rarely do stuff like that within hours of meeting someone for the first time.

group photo #2

Well, they are doing it again, this time in Colorado*. And DAMMIT but I am not there. If I wasn’t much jealous of BlogHer, it’s only because I was concentrating all of my jealousy on this one. These women are some of my best friends, who have supported me, and loved me, and helped me change who I am for the better. And they are all having a blast without me. UNFAIR.

And the internet complicates things and puts an entirely new perspective on relationships just by it’s mere existence. Last week, I took M in for an acupuncture appointment and my acupuncturist introduced me to a woman I had referred to her. Follow that? It has amused me all week.

Overall, meeting people online has a bad rap. I don’t really like to refer to the fact that I have online friends because it simultaneously freaks people out while diminishing the reality and validity of my relationships with people. But how is it any different than keeping in contact with friends or family who have moved far away? Can you not have meaningful relationships with them? Of course you can, and no one thinks anything of those situations.

Of course, since most of my readers are bloggers or internet-savvy, I am probably preaching to the choir.

That all said, let’s wrap up this post with one more YouTube video featuring the many internet people we have all come to know and love.

*There may be more blogs I’ve neglected to include, and there certainly are more people gathered there.

This speaks so much truth.

7 07 2008

When I was in high school I saw Jurassic Park. And I was never the same again. It became my favorite movie and I spent far too much time thinking about it, studying it, and generally thinking I saw dinosaurs everywhere I turned. Especially under my bed. I even used a clip of the movie in an AP English report I did on Frankenstein. Because I have mad research skillz, yo.

I felt passionately that the movie spoke truth about Man’s obsession with control and about the fact that you can’t mess around with life. Because Life Will Find a Way.

In addition to the FAIL Blog there’s another new (to me) website out there where people make songs and more into highly amusing graphs. This one pretty much sums up the message of Jurassic Park as well as stating one of the many reasons why Pirates is the Best Ride Ever.

This one is, apparently no longer on the website (I am such an outlaw!) but you can find more graphs here at GraphJam.

And for your further entertainment, may I present the Sweded version of Jurassic Park!