A blog about fibre, wine, and all things cozy.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Have Discovered Knitting Bliss!

Friday evening, my knitterly type friend Petra and her husband dropped in for a glass of wine and some general chatting time. Petra had a birthday this past week and she brought her birthday gift along to show me. She was super excited about it and I was expected some new cool yarn, or a couple of pairs of Signature Needles. But instead what she presented to my Husband and I was a Roomba. You know, one of those little robot automatic vacuum cleaner, floor sweeper things. It's round and flat and has bumpers on it. You push the button and the little guy, (whom she instantly named MOE after the cleaning robot from Wall-E,) starts roaming around and cleaning your floors. When it is finished, it will apparently find it's way home to it's docking bay where it recharges for the next use. I have to admit, the first ten minutes of our visit  was spent holding a glass of wine while giggling about little MOE cleaning my floors. It really is a toy for adults and by the end you sort of feel like you should be patting it on the head and telling it what a good job it did.

And at some point it struck me, this should be on the top of every knitters “must have” list. Now any non-knitters will probably be a little confused and thinking, “what the hell does an automatic vacuum have to do with knitting.” And they'd be a little right. It's not yarn, or needles, or patterns, or one of the other millions of knitting gadgets that we all have. I suppose that you could make it a cozy.  However I think that might interfere with it's little sensor and lets be honest, it doesn’t need to be kept warm. (Though, apparently if you have cats it doubles as a kitty ride and babysitter.) My knitter friends would already have this one figured out though. It's the gift of time and a slightly cleaner home.
Most of us knitters would rather spend way more time knitting then we already do. Unfortunately the real world does get in the way and there are things you just can't do while knitting. Cleaning the floor is one of those accursed things. So then the knitter is faced with a choice. Will I allow cleaning time to cut into my knitting time, or will my knitting time cut into my cleaning time. I know that for me, (and most every other knitter I know – this really is a common problem,) the choice is clear. Knit. That's it, just knit. That being said, we don't live in a pig trough. Our dishes get done, we do laundry weekly because I hate the thought of having laundry mountains taking over our bedroom, the sheets are changed once a week, and things generally get put back where they belong since I hate clutter. But, dusting, sweeping, cleaning the bathtub, and fridge, those things that would take me from fairly organized to super tidy and verging on “Martha” standards, those things don't always get done as often as they should. (My husband has to make the same choice as all those things can't be occurring while he engages is his hobby of playing Starcraft with the boys. He is amazing at a great many things, but I can't imagine him balancing a laptop in hand hand while trying to sweep with the other.)
Enter the little Roomba. Really think about this. You could get up on any random day, pour yourself your favourite cup of morning libation, turn on the Roomba, curl up on the sofa with your drink and your knitting and be cleaning your floors at the same time. Seriously, this is an awesome concept. Multitasking at it's best. I have never been able to justify the thought of a hiring a cleaner for a 720 sq foot apartment, but this, a little rechargeable robot that will happily clean my floors while I knit, this I can justify.
My own birthday is coming up and I have made it clear that this is what I want. I want a MOE of my very own. I promise that I will make sure his docking station is always plugged in so he will always be feed and I will take him out for a exercise three times a week. He will be well taken care of and never get bored. I will cherish him and the knitting time that he will give back to me. Now just to figure out how to get my knitting bags off the floor...................

Sunday, October 24, 2010

How it all Began

I think that as knitters there is a time when we can first remember our introduction to the craft.  Mine was in the form of a hand made teddy bear.  My grandmother lovingly craft him for me so I would have company during a visit to the hospital.  It had a big white belly and a pink head and legs.  It was all garter stitch and at the time I really didn't understand that it was knit, just handmade for me by my grandmother.  I loved my bear, (whom I named Pinky - I was four,) and he kept me company in my bed.

Fast forward a few years, and my mom very briefly took up knitting while at work.  She made me two sweaters that I remember.  (There may have been three.)  I do remember having to trek to the closest city to find a LewisCraft and picking out my yarn.  I chose a slubby multicoloured acrylic yarn that must have been an absolute nightmare for a novice knitter to use. But she finished the sweater and I loved it.

A few years later while in high-school, I was at a friend's house with a group of girls, and a girl named Tanya, pulled out a sweater and started knitting. I have no idea what colour or pattern she was using, but I was amazed and intrigued. It was first time the thought, "I could do that," crept into my head. By that point, my tiny little town had acquired a tiny little craft store and in the front corner there was one little display of a few patterns, needles, and some basic acrylic yarns. Having no idea what I was doing, I bought some yarn, needles, and a pattern for a zodiac inspired sweater. I took it all home, tossed it and myself on my bed, and attempted to learn to knit. Well, that didn’t go so well, and after about a week, it all got stuffed into my closet and forgotten about. To this day, I have no knowledge of what happened to any of it. (I think that might be for the best, as my tastes have certainly improved since I was a teenager. Or at least that's what I tell myself.)

And that was it. I didn't think about knitting again. I didn't feel like my life was lacking by not having knitting in it. I still thought about my Pinky from time to time, but never in the sense of wanting to learn how to make one for myself. Until about seven years ago. That's when I met my knitting guru and everything changed. (We bonded immediately due to the fact that we share a name with the same spelling.) I realized very quickly that she knew how to knit. Now I realize that she is a Knitter, not just a person who knits. After watching her for a long time over the coarse of a number of visits, I very timidly asked her to teach me to knit. In no time, were in a local craft supply store and I purchased a pair of metal needles and a ball of burgundy acrylic yarn to knit with. She patiently taught me how to cast on and how to do the knit stitch. She also very patiently dealt with the numerous questions that I had and the wailing and whiny about the whole process. My first finished object was a garter knit square. It took me forever and I think I spent half the time hating the whole process, but I am an insanely stubborn women and was determined to finish what I started. I clearly remember saying to my Husband that "I have no idea why people enjoy this or how they ever finished anything!" But, I stuck with it mostly due to my guru not letting me back away. Next there was purling, and cabling, and really good books and pretty patterns and trips to yarn shops. At some point, without even noticing, I started to like knitting. Somehow, from those first moments of disbelief that this was something I would ever be good at or enjoy I was a Knitter! It was an amazing moment for me.

Now, I wonder what the hell I did before I picked up the needles. I knit a lot. I've helped teach friends, and at least a few dozen children. I have a very spoiled Husband who receives many knitted items from me and proudly has worn all of them. I have a stash that is taking up way to much space in the apartment that we live in. There is a spinning wheel with my latest spinning project waiting to be finished and two baskets of knitting projects sitting under my coffee table. I have favourite designers and will buy anything dyed by IndigoDragonFly over almost anything else. I do volunteer work for Knitty.com. I've tried my hand a designing once, but realized I wasn't quite there yet. Maybe in the future. For now, I am happy to knit and spin and surround myself with beautiful wool and yarn and needles. I am proud to say that I am A Knitter!