Monday, October 23, 2006

Dumb Knitter says Hi.

It was Barbara's plea for other dumb knitters that finally made me wrestle with my technophobia and get to grips with doing this blog thing.

First, hi all. My name's Elizabeth Allen and I can't tell you how thrilled I am that 'the girls' have invited me to join Romancing the Yarn. I'm chuffed to bits. About me, very briefly: I'm English. I write novels. I knit. A lot. At the moment it's socks. I'm so into socks. But when I'm knitting, I feel guilty that I'm not writing. When I'm writing I feel guilty that I'm not attacking the oodles of WIPs I've got busting out of bags all over my study. So I reckoned why not do both at the same time, or at least something that might fool my conscience into thinking I was doing both at the same time? Current projects therefore: writing a book about knitting, and about to start first draft of new novel in which one of the main characters knits for a living. So now when I'm knitting I can happily tell the little rat that lurks somewhere over and behind my left shoulder that it's legitimate research. Clever, huh?

Yes, I know I should be doing either of those instead of this blogging thingy, but hey, I've got a stinker of a cold and I work on the principle that when you're not firing on all cylinders (or even when you are) a little bit of self-indulgence is the best medicine. So here I am.

OK, so this dumb knitters thing? Here's my confession. I'm supposed to be good at socks. I design my own (something to do with my inner rebellious child who doesn't like being told what to do, so following patterns or recipes is something I'm not good at) and even got published in Knitty (woohoo!!!) which is how Barbara found me when she published a picture of Sox on 2 Stix... anyway, there I was at the end of last week, patiently knitting away at a new sock design (I design 'on the needles', which is another way of saying I make it up as I go along). Two whole days I was working at it.
"That looks interesting," said Husband. I should have heard the alarm bells ringing then - 'interesting' is that kind of word. "Doesn't look much like a sock yet, does it?"
"I know," I said, feeling rather clever, "but it'll be great, you wait and see."
So I carried on, finished it, even kitchener grafting the seam all the way up the side of the leg (it's a sideways knit sock on 2 needles). And I still didn't notice...

Husband was perfectly right - even when it was finished it didn't look much like a sock. In fact it was anatomically impossible. The heel increased where it should have decreased, and decreased where it should have increased and the only way I could make it go on my foot and leg was to swivel it round so the 'heel' part was on top. Duh.

I blame it on the lurgy. My brain feels like porridge. Lumpy porridge. And speaking of food, that night's dinner wasn't too good, either. I put the frozen oven chips in on time. Cooked the peas, hacked up the cold chicken, was just about to dish up so opened the oven to get the chips out - and there they were, white and frozen. Guess who'd forgotten to turn the oven on?

The good news is that thanks to the disaster of the sideways sock (which I've kept as a souvenir and might post a photo of one day when I've worked out how to get pics up on to the blog) I now know exactly what I did wrong. Which is, of course, the first major step to getting it right. That's the theory anyway. And I always was an optimist.

So it's felting next month huh? Haven't done that before but I've got an idea for a pair of thick and quick knitted slippers to felt. I've got the yarn, I've got the needles, I've got a bucket and a plunger and I'm raring to go. And if it doesn't work (the state I'm in at the moment, that's a strong possibility) I shall tie strings on them and dangle them from a doorframe for my puddy tats to play with...

See ya.

Elizabeth. Monday Oct. 23. (I think)


Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Welcome, Elizabeth! I'm glad you overcame your technophobia because we're delighted to have you as part of our merry band of bloggers.

It was wonderful to "hear" you say "chuffed". I have a lovely friend from Scotland who's moved three hours away from us and I SO miss her. "Chuffed" is one of the Britishisms I associate with her so you gave me a nice reminder.

12:03 PM  
Blogger kshotz said...

Nice to meet you!! I will look forward to reading your posts, etc. Can't wait to see some snaps of your WsIP and FOs too!


12:08 PM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

Glad to have you here, Elizabeth. This will be fun. And more books ... great! I'm trying to read at least one book by each of our bloggers so I can feel like I "know" them a little better. Again, welcome!

12:26 PM  
Blogger Cindi Myers said...

Welcome Elizabeth. So nice to have you joine us.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Dallas Schulze said...

Welcome, Elizabeth. I love the story of the sideways heel! I've done that kind of thing more times than I care to admit. Why is it that the brain doesn't register what's happening until you're sitting there looking at an anatomically impossible object?

5:19 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Elizabeth, welcome! I'm over the moon, just reading your accent! (Okay, sort of another anatomically impossible thing, get the drift, right?)

As a sock virgin, I am beyond wowed that you design on the needles. I do that all the time (with my share of not-so-great results) on bigger projects, but I'm not impressing myself with my prowess on socks thus far WITH the directions...though, come to think of it, maybe that's my problem!

Kidding. The thought of socks I'd turn out with my current level of expertise is too grim to contemplate.

Anyway, it's delightful to have you with us!

8:58 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Elizabeth, you found us! We couldn't be happier. The fact that you forgot to turn on your oven proves you're one of us. Welcome!!

11:20 PM  
Blogger LauraP said...

Elizabeth, I'm so glad you've joined us! I love your sideways sock story. And am in awe of your 'on the needle' designing.

11:22 PM  

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