Thursday, October 12

Why tinkknitz ?

When I was new to knitting, I was telling the girls at my weekly knit-in about my cat's crazy reaction to some wool yarn I bought. When I mentioned her name was Tinkerbell or Tink for short, Holly Anne burst out laughing . . .

Tink? That's too funny. Tink is knit spelled backwards, it's what you do when you have to un-do stitches.

And there you have it, tink...knit. The z is, well, just because.

::fade to sepia::

"Learn to Knit" it said on the DVD that came in the kit. It cost all of $8 I think on the clearance rack at the Tar-jay'. A fuzzy scarf thing with a hole to tuck in the end and snuggle at your neck. At that price I bought another. A simple tote in three pastel colors of soft cotton yarn. It came with two short needles connected with a plastic filament. How exotic! I went home with my treasures, popped in the DVD, fondled my yarn (thus begins the addiction, eh?) and read the booklet cover to cover as instructed.

And then I watched. And watched. And watched.

Now I know all about learning curves so I bought some plain white yarn and was prepared to just knit - nothing. I thought the back button on the remote was going to wear out. Eventually though, I progressed to nice even rows and started my pretty fuzzy scarf that was marked beginners. Auuggghhhh! They had to be kidding. Giving a newbie multi-colored Fun Fur and size 13 blunt plastic needles was mean and whoever came up with that one should be shot by a smiling firing squad. Didya ever knit cobwebs with cigars? Oh, sorry, maybe you have. Because I couldn't see where one stitch ended and another began, I sometimes split the yarn. I believe I counted stitches six times in every row. Then there was turning the corners. That last loop was mangled and abused, folded, spindled and mutilated on every row. At one point I realized I had dropped a stitch and had to pull out about 12 rows before I could load it back on the needle facing the right direction with all the loops going the right way. And then tragedy struck - so I decided to give the smiling firing squad chocolate bullets to shoot the kit people. It could have been so easy if it went like this:

  • Cast on 12 stitches leaving some yarn hanging at the beginning
  • Keep on knitting until you don't have enough yarn to do another row
  • Tie it off and weave in the ends

After all, this was labeled beginners ya know. Instead I got to navigate a huge button hole thingie. Oh did I mention that already? I swear I didn't notice that in the picture. There's a lesson here I'm sure. That which looks soooo cute in the picture on the box may be evil, wicked, bad and wrong on the inside. It went something like this:

  • co12
  • k(x46r),k4co,5e,9f8e,8g,7e,ff,d,90(3g),sseeb2,#%*?#@###
  • bo and weave in ends

At least it looked that way to me. Okay, I'm exaggerating a wee bit, but that buttonhole was a bear. A nasty bear with rabies, shot with chocolate bullets by that smiling firing squad while he was snacking on barbecued knit-kit people.

But I did it. I finished that scarf and gave it to my mother for her birthday. I had my first F.O. and didn't even know what to call it. After that I was a knitting machine (albeit a hand cranked one). I tackled that tote (I'll show those kit people) and instead of squaring off the bottom and sewing it up, I k2,k2tog for a while and hand sewed the center. I was now a designer of Chemo Caps.

::back to our regularly scheduled blog::

photo by
javagem(thanks Jody)

I started to knit for a reason. 2005 was a bad year. 5 people in my family died. I knew they were all dying, but I got sooo tired of funerals at Brudzinskis and feeling sad and donating to their favorite charities. After my Godson died the night before his 16th birthday, I felt I had to actively do something instead of donate my dollars and walk out of the funeral home.

Since Cancer was the enemy, it's my goal to settle into Chemo Caps now that I can knit and purl effectively and follow a simple pattern. Interesting thing is - at one time I toyed with knitting for craniotomy patients since there is soooo much focus on chemotherapy. After all, John and I used to crack jokes about how nobody could resist a sick kid in a wheelchair. But there's nothing quite like that first look in the mirror when the bandage comes off after brain surgery. I know. So. As I get better at this, I may still try to establish donating some of my talents (yeah, right) for head cases at Shock Trauma.

As for now, I got debts to pay.

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