I’ve been knitting away in my knitting nook, knitting on washcoths a while, then knitting an Xmas ball or two. I’ve knitted 7 so far, and I plan to do three more — one is already on the needles. (“knitting” has a “k” but “needles,” and “nook” don’t — and because I tend to spell phonetically, keeping them straight drives me knuts. But for once, it’s not English being obtuse and arcane. Big difference between “knits” and “nits.”) But for the moment, my production of finished Xmas balls has ground to a halt — I ran out of polyester fiberfill — I’ve got no stuff to stuff them with.
I’m like the mice in Beatrix Potter’s story, “The Tailor of Gloucester.” They ran out of “twist” — a particular type of sewing thread that they were using to make buttonholes on the Mayor’s waistcoat. They pinned a little note to the waistcoat written in teeny tiny writing which said, “No more twist.”
Except the little note pinned to the three latest knitted balls would say (assuming you can read my handwriting!), “No more stuffing!”
The stuffing makes a big difference.
The ones at right have already found new homes — two were hostess gifts to the couple who had mom an me over for Thanksgiving dinner, one went home with my mom for her tree, and one is going to the lady in “B” of my duplex as a token of appreciation for all the help she’s given me during this annus horribilis. Some knitting I can do while I’m watching TV, but not stranded colorwork — I’ve got to keep my eyes glued to the grid pattern! Instead I turn on my internet radio and listen to SomaFM’s DroneZone, which is their ambient music channel.
I’ve gotten one washcloth basket finished, and have three more to go, but the washcloth patterns I’ve chosen are simple and easily memorized — TV knitting. I’ve been knitting and binge-watching the “Sherlock” television series that Steve Moffat and Mark Gattis wrote and produced with Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Watson. (All four seasons are available on Netflix, which I have been watching on my tablet in my knitting nook, with my feet propped up on the otttoman, a lap robe on, and a pot of chai au lait to hand.)
This pic shows you how I’m packaging the washcloths — each basket will have three rolled washcloths and a bar of glycerine soap. I pop the basket into a cellophane bag and tie it with gold ribbon. They’re intended to be put in a guest bathroom, or given as gifts. (There’s another orange washcloth in that basket which I finished after I took the picture.) I’ve got five more washcloths to knit by the end of the first week of December, and one of those five is nearly done. (It will finish the orange basket.)
I’ve got to do some running around tomorrow — get my car’s oil changed, get my state inspection and get a new license sticker. I also plan to visit my friend LB and her husband C. He had open heart surgery in October with a triple bypass, and she’s going to have a corneal transplant the first part of December. I’m going to take them each an Xmas ball. While I’m out and about, I’ll get more polyfill so I can stuff my balls! I think I’ll go to Joanne’s (store) as Michael’s didn’t have any actual stuffing, only quilt batting. It works, but you have to pull it apart into “tufts” with your hands just like you have to do with raw wool before you can card it.
As much fun as this all is, I’ll be glad to get over this “hump” of projects and get back to the WIPs* I’ve been longing to work on. But everything is pretty much on hold until I get these two projects out of the way.
WIP – Work In Progress
I sometimes wonder where we’d be if all those young men we lost, not just in WWI but in all wars, had been able to become what they might have been. What contributions to society would they have made, what would their children have accomplished?
The loss of life in WWI was so horrendous that it’s hard to get your mind around it. (The word “decimate” actually means killing one out of every ten. During WWI, it was more like one in every ten survived.) We in America can’t fully appreciate the impact that such a loss of life has on a society because our losses compared to total population were not that great as England’s, France’s, Belgium’s, and Germany’s. They quite literally lost a whole generation of their best and brightest.
The irony of it is we are still paying the cost of that war, because it sowed the seeds for WWII, the Soviet Union, genocide in the Balkans and Turkey, and the trouble in the Middle East. We call our species “Homo sapiens,” but looking back on our history, I wonder if we wouldn’t be better named “Homo bellicus.”
You take the healthiest and most intelligent and send them off to war, and leave the least healthy/least mentally fit behind to breed. The ones that are good at fighting and killing survive and come home to breed. You do this for 6 or 7 thousand years. Then some guy goes off the deep end and shoots up a house of worship, or a concert, or a school, or a night club, or a post office and kills a bunch of people, and everybody is all aghast. Get a clue, people. You get what you breed for.