Wednesday, February 12, 2014

More knitting stuff

As much as I love knitting, I may love the knitting tools even more. I love all the little things that go into my knitting bag. I have two basic modes of knitting. One is sock knitting, which, for whatever reason, I tend to do more of in the summer, and scarf knitting. Both are pretty much mindless; I knit the ubiquitous Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf, which I have memorized by now, and I knit my own basic sock pattern, which I have cobbled together from various patterns that I've tried over the years.

I also occasionally knit other things, like baby sweaters or novelty items, but socks and scarves are the constants. When I'm knitting a scarf or something like that, i.e., larger than a sock, I usually carry around a small tote bag with the knitting and a few tools, i.e., tape measure, crochet hook, stitch markers, etc. I have a Vera Bradley bag that I'm currently using as my knitting/tote bag, it's their Holiday Tote from a couple of years ago.

If I'm knitting socks, I carry a smaller bag, and I like clear vinyl bags because the yarn is so beautiful. I have a couple of small ones that I've purchased at yarn stores, but I kept hoping that Vera Bradley would make one, and they finally (sort of) did. I went to the VP store last weekend to get a coin purse, but when I saw it in person, I didn't really like it, but they did have something new--a Clear Beach Cosmetic.

It's the absolute perfect size for a ball of sock yarn and all of the accouterments. The only thing that would make it better is if it had handles, but other than that, it's pretty perfect. Inside the bag are:

  • Ball of sock yarn
  • Half a sock on five Size 1 bamboo double-pointed needles
  • Extra needles -- I seldom break one, but it can happen, so I have three or four extra ones
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Yarn needles -- a "chibi," a little plastic tube, with two needles, one plastic and one curved-tip metal one
  • A pill box with stitch markers, a couple of fancy ones that I made and a ton of tiny colored rubber bands that I just love
  • A crochet hook in case I drop a stitch
  • A laminated card with my sock pattern on it
  • One of my business cards, also laminated, in case I leave my bag somewhere
  • A pack of Post-it notes and a pen in case I need to make a note
  • And not absolutely necessary, but handy -- a tube of handcream, a package of tissues, and a spare pair of reading glasses

That pretty much covers all the basics. There are things that would be nice to have, and have occasionally been recommended, like a nail file, and band-aids in case you cut yourself, so you don't bleed all over your yarn, but there is such a thing as going too far, and that's pretty easy for me to do, so I try not to.

Olympic Knitting

I LOVE the Olympics. I always have. I look forward to them every time. I'm not exactly sure why I love it so. I have almost zero interest in sports at any other time of the year.

I've tried to analyze it; I like seeing the different countries, the different customs and scenery, and I enjoy the human interest stories about the athletes, but I think what I love most is the insular nature of it all. I enjoy books set in defined spaces like hotels, airports, resorts. There's just something about it that intrigues me. I think that's a big part of why I love Disney World so much, too.

I hurried home Friday evening so I could see the opening ceremony, and I've been firmly planted on the couch every evening since then, from 7:00 to 10:00. As far as the ceremony, I don't really care all that much for the pageantry, but I love seeing the athletes walk in, and I try to see all of that part.

And I also knit. I settle in on the couch with a fleece blanket and my knitting, and I'm set for the evening. Dinah sticks right by me, either on my lap or beside me on the couch. Or on my lap and under the blanket, which was kind of funny.

I do more knitting during the two weeks of the Olympics than I do any other time of the year, I think because I really watch so little television. In my down time I'm normally reading, and it's hard to knit and read at the same time. But watching television, I feel like I have to be doing something with my hands, so I knit. I finished a sock over the weekend, and started a new one, and I'm about halfway finished with it already. If I keep up this pace I can probably finish a pair before the Olympics are over.