WIPs, Owies, and Deathflakes

I got this Samsung Galaxy “smart” phone over a year ago on which I can text, and I do actually text people on it, except about 80% of the time, if the phone is not in my purse and I’m out of the house hooting around, it’s on the charger back in the bedroom, and I’m elsewhere in the house and don’t hear the ping.  So, I have these texting conversations with friends that last, literally, for days, as in they text me, and I don’t hear the ping,  and don’t see it until the next day when I take my phone off the charger and it vibrates, and then I text them back. . . .  Hopefully now that I’m on Instagram ( the_owl_underground ) and I’m trying to post there at least once a day, I’ll have the phone by me instead of in the next room . . .

Earlier today, watching a “Must Love Yarn” podcast back episode, I got to thinking about my growth as a knitter.   Up until about 12 years ago, my knitting was pretty episodic and I didn’t do any for years and years.  Then I got back into handwork about 16 years ago and did some serious crochet (teeny thread with minuscule needles) there for a while, and then I got back into knitting again about 13 years ago, and have been pretty monogamous since then.  When I got back into it, everything I did was simple patterns, worsted weight or bulky yarn, large needles (US 9/5.5 mm to US 15/10 mm), just knitting and purling.  I did do baby socks-cum-booties on double pointed needles in tiny baby yarn, but otherwise, it was Walmart yarn on Walmart needles.  Then I learned continental style and I was heavy into Takumi bamboo needles.

. . . and you buy things like a storage ottoman to keep WIP yarn in . . . my xmas present from me to me . . . I did need the ottoman for ottomanning purposes, too . . .

But, I’ve noticed that as time goes on, the needles keep getting smaller and smaller, and the yarn keeps getting lighter and thinner.  I’m into metal needles now, ChiaoGoo Red Lace ones with the lace points, and I’m moving into the esoterica — lace knitting, two-color work, etc.  I’m thinking about starting some socks from an actual pattern (got the yarn, got the circular needle to do two at a time), I’ve bought a sweater pattern and come payday, I’ll buy the yarn for it.   It’ll be in cotton because I have a yarn impediment — I can’t tolerate wool against my skin. (Don’t mock the afflicted.) I get very itchy and sometimes I hit the jackpot and get a rash, too.   But the flatlands where I live is a big cotton growing region and, as I may have mentioned, my town is at the same latitude as Casablanca, Morocco, so climate-wise, cotton makes a whole lot more sense than wool here, anyway.  And there’s irony for you:  A knitter who’s hypersensitive to wool.

The Ilisidi shawl is coming along.  I’m really liking how it’s turning out.   Shawls, y’all.  There appears to be two schools of thought about wearing them.  I fall into what I call the “shawl as cape” school.   To me, a shawl  goes over your shoulders and wraps around  your upper body, so I like them with wide wings, long from neck to bum,  and worsted weight.   When I wear a shawl, it’s for warmth, and . . . oooh, shiny . . . shawl pins!  The other school of thought, which I’m calling the “shawl as lobster bib” school, puts the center of the shawl body over the chest,  brings the ends behind the neck and back around to the front and tucks them underneath.  This school of thought likes lace weight and fingering weight yarn,  lacy patterns, and a shorter distance from neck to waist or higher.

So, the owie.  I was making tea in my carafe, which takes 3 bags, and I had taken all the tea bags out of their paper envelopes.  And, like I always do, I grabbed up all the little envelopes and torn off bits into my left hand to throw them away, and a pointy corner of one of the foil-lined envelopes poked up under one of my fingernails clear into the quick and drew blood!   Today’s Trivia Tidbit:  The term “quick” referring to fingernails is a hold-over usage of the word from the 1500’s when it also meant “alive, living” (as in “the quick and the dead” — yeah, that!)* The “quick” is the part of your fingernail that’s alive, and hurts when you poke it with the sharp corner of a foil packet, and bleeds like a stuck pig for half an hour because stupid clopidogrel, because stents . . .  argh!.  And, of course, you know which finger it was . . . . that politically incorrect finger in the middle of my left hand that I use to pinch each stitch against the needle to hold it when I knit it . . .

So, I just couldn’t stand it.  I’ve been giggling about it for days.  Now I’ve gotten the ribbing done on a hemmed toboggan in black that is going to have Deathflakes on it in white.  So hysterical.  I’ve got about three rows to go before I can start the colorwork part.  The hem on this toboggan is going to be really deep, because knitting worsted, US 6/4 mm needles, and a 30 stitch x 30 row motif, with only about 2-3 inches left to knit before time to decrease for the top of the hat, but Deathflakes, y’all!  And Deathflake mittens!  I’d have to buy yarn for the mittens because I don’t have any fingering yarn, but I have the Chiaogoo sock set needles.  I knitted Xmas balls with them and they are lovely needles.

Dear friends had mom and me to Xmas dinner at their house this year, and they gifted me with a tin of this tea.  I’m having some now.  It comes in the gauze cloth sachets, kept in an airtight tin (no paper envelopes to stick up under my fingernails!).  It has cinnamon and cloves in it, too, which are two of my favorite spices.  We’ll see how my tum handles the orange peel. (I’m allergic to “regular” oranges, Citrus × sinensis, but not other citrus fruits.)  Maybe this won’t bother me too much, because cinnamon and cloves!  (I gifted them a pair of hand-knit xmas balls and gave him a couple of bags of a tea I discovered,  Stash’s “Breakfast in Paris.” which has lavender and vanilla in black tea.)  Nums.

I have this one task to do, and I’m done adulting for the day, and then I’m going to go back to my knitting nook and work on Deathflake.   BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!

*Another usage is "quicken" which refers to the point in a pregnancy when the mom first feels the baby moving -- the baby has "quickened."  However, that usage has declined just in the last 30-40 years.

Author: WOL

My burrow, "La Maison du Hibou Sous Terre" is located on the flatlands of West Texas where I live with my computer, my books, and a lot of yarn waiting to become something.

2 thoughts on “WIPs, Owies, and Deathflakes”

  1. “Deathflake” cracked me up. That’s just funny. What’s not funny is that attack of the tea packet. The last time I did myself in it was with some plastic packaging: the kind that resists everything from scissors to straight-edged razor blades. You could slit your wrist with that stuff. I suppose it’s to prevent shoplifting, but it can turn into a lethal weapon pretty quickly.


  2. When I read ‘owies’, I read it as ‘owlies’ and was waiting for the owlies. When the owlies didn’t appear, I realised you were talking about ‘ouchies’. 🙂 I hope it’s feeling better now.


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