Mittens, and hats, and even huggable bunny toys…these are all well and good. Accomplishments even. What separates the little girls from the Grown Ass Women? The real knitters from the dabblers? The bad asses from the run of the mill jackasses?
I will tell you: knitting an actual piece of clothing, a wearable piece of clothing. And today, I join that Grown Ass Women’s Knitting club. Someone needs to knight me with a pair of straight needles – barring that, I think I’ll just have a glass of champagne and snuggle with my dog.
For many years, I’ve tried and failed, in some cases spectacularly. I spent a weekend with a friend in Bloomington, Indiana (our menfolk were there separately on a bachelor party), knitting away on a cardigan, only to reveal that I apparently made a cardigan for a two-year old. I’ve also made sweater parts, only to fail in the grafting/sewing stage, and then ripped apart the work in deep and abiding frustration.
So what did I accomplish? An actually pretty gorgeous cardigan from Berrocco (although I did not use their yarn) called Aidez. It’s slightly long, mid-butt length, with long sleeves, no buttons, a semi-cowled-ish collar, and utterly awesome cables and mini-patterns. Ear of corn, trellis and cable patterns made this challenging but also supremely fun. The front panels have the ear of corn pattern, easy but very pretty in 8 rows, and the sleeves have sort of a variation on that theme in the seeded wishbone pattern. I can see myself repeating this for something else, a blanket maybe? The trickiest pattern was called simply the Left and Right Cross- Stitch Cable. You had to wrap the stitches twice around to create the cable, and drop them in the following RS row. Once I got the handle of it, it was fairly straightforward, but I guess I was expecting more from a all the work required of that cable pattern, hrm. It just kind of looked like a regular old cable. As Eddie Murphy said, “These are just some regular old crackers.” I couldn’t find the Berrocco in a light oatmeal color as the pattern indicated but I found something similar, soft and off-white. The only challenge with this yarn was that it was a little fuzzy. But dang – over Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, I made this Grown Ass Woman’s sweater.
And huge hat tip to the lady who is responsible for the (apparently short lived but loved by me) Grown Ass Women’s Club, and always good to review her definition of Grown Ass Women. Take note, all you women under 35. Haters gonna hate. Grown Ass Women stand tall.
One of many things I like about my man-friend are that we agree that gifts are fun but experiences are better, so we decided to hit storied Half Moon Bay for his birthday weekend. It’s usually a stone’s throw from SF, but this weekend happened to be the Mavericks Invitational, in which super famous and floppy haired surfers convene around a world renowned spot for tasty waves. So while we made great time for the first 13 minutes of our trek, the last 5 miles were 2 hours instead of 2 minutes. Parking illegally, walking into the beer garden without a ticket, and we didn’t even see any actual surfing (they keep people from the beach for safety). However, it was sunny, hot, the 49ers won the NFC championship, and all was right with the world.
In addition to staying here, and having a room that had a real fire pit in it (well, outside of it), we also tooled around the downtown Half Moon Bay, which was utterly delightful on a holiday weekend. We stopped in at the San Benito House, right on the main drag, lured in by the promise of the “Best Bloody Mary in the Bay!”. Hey, advertising works. Turns out, they meant HMB, which includes maybe one other bar/restaurant, but it seriously was a phenomenal bloody – the secret apparently being the addition of lots of smoked paprika. Greg certainly enjoyed it, even if the massive celery stalk proved somewhat challenging.
The other signal that HMB is a winning town in my book is that they had a yarn store. Fengari is full of yarn ideas, books, projects and has a ton of inventory in the back. The lovely ladies working there were kind and helpful, but not all up in your grill. Aside from the fact that I already had about a zillion projects underway, I simply could not help myself – I bought a beautiful bright lemon yellow yarn, with the idea that I might make the lovely swing sweater pattern I’d seen a few months ago in Knit Simple. Here’s the good news, the news of my improvement: I bought cheap yarn. I bought yarn which had a sign next to it that said, “Good for Felting!” which might as well mean, “Wipe your ass with this!” I don’t care – it’s a solid wool, slightly scratchy, and incredibly cheap Lamb’s Pride in bulky weight. If I am still going to battle my uncontrollable yarn urges, at least I will make them more economical. This color is called Lemon Drop, and it’s bright, but a slightly darker “lemon” color – as if you added some Dijon mustard to it. It’s actually 85% wool and 15% alpaca, so not entirely a hairshirt experience.
The Knit Simple Bell Sleeve Turtleneck is a really cute design, although I loathe the garter stitch. I really do. There, I said it. It looks JV. It looks dumb. It looks like worms worming around each other, especially in bulky yarn. So I decided it would look better in stockinette, realizing there would be a roll at the bottom, but thinking I could live with it. After, oh I don’t know, 25 rows or so, this bitch was still rolling. Rolled up like a rugelach, or a rug. Rolling, in a way that was just wrong. So, I’ve just taken it apart, and starting over. The question is, do I follow the wormy garter stitch pattern? Or do I do a tiny garter border and keep it in stockinette, as I wanted originally? What a cliffhanger! Tune in again in about 6 months to find out. See how I roll.