Friday, June 8, 2007

Family and Knitting, why they don't get socks

Last week was a terribly busy one. You heard about all the operas and the piano competition and fancy dress and lots of dinners. But I also had houseguests!! My darling uncle and his beautiful wife came from LA to visit my father, who is 88. And here are the brothers, both octogenarians. Aren't they handsome?

It was lovely to see them together. My father was from a family of 8 brothers and one sister, and only these two are left. They find it hard to believe. Dad was in the middle and Steve was the youngest. Dad constantly mentions that he has lived longer than any of them, and he was the sickly child. He has battled asthma and heart attacks and cancer and other problems, and lived beyond them all.

In the little time I had to be with them, I pulled out my Monkeys and knitted while they talked. At one point my uncle asked me what I was doing. Of course I launched into an enthusiastic explanation, perhaps too enthusiastic, and I saw the eyes glaze over, albeit politely. My family doesn't get it, this knitting. My father teases and my brother belittles. Guess what? They don't get socks! Dad did get a scarf and a hat a while back. The grandchildren don't get knitting since their mother would throw it in the washer with the towels. After the first few ruined pieces, they didn't get any more. I asked the BF if he would like some socks? He said no. He did get a huge sari silk afghan last year which he wears on nippy mornings to drink his coffee on the terrace. I was so last minute finishing it, I forgot to take a picture.

And from Ireland (remark the green type)...Jo pipes up: Don't TALK to me about family and knitting! Not to mention friends and acquaintances. Wouldn't it be wonderful just once to find someone who completely got it? Someone who didn't stare first and then start the inevitable, 'Oh I wish I had your time to waste on things like that...'And that's just the women. The men fall into two categories. Either they avert their eyes as if I'm doing something shameful, and pretend they don't know me; or, even worse, they smile patronisingly and say, 'Isn't it nice to see women getting back to the traditional household tasks instead of trying to prove something in a man's world.' Of the two, I can cope slightly better with the first; the second makes me want to reach for my Gatling gun (cunningly secreted in my WIP basket and primed at all times). Even my DH, though enormously supportive, does tend to laugh uncontrollably when he sees me stressed to the limit at midnight trying to read the fine print on a chart to discover where I went wrong twenty rows back; and when (encouraged and pushed by you, Angeluna mia), I made the supreme sacrifice and offered to knit him some nice black dress socks, he tried to look positive but hedged and dodged and eventually said, 'Well...I don't know if they'd be quite my thing...'

I want ballet dancers to claim they can't possibly agree to take on Swan Lake unless they can do it in my socks! (OK, so I'd make them extra long).

Now bless my stepmother. She got a scarf a while back for Christmas. She raved about it all year long, so now she gets one every Christmas. And here is the last one, the diagonal scarf by Maia from the Red Scarf Project, inspired by WendyJ. at the last moment. It's not really crooked, the wind was blowing and it hadn't been blocked.

This is my homework. Lovely, brilliant Judi, who only once came to a special holiday week-end meeting of our Sisters of the Wool, arrived with spinning wheels, spindles and roving. And a very nice husband who helped her carry it all. I can tell this is going to be a love affair. I haven't had time yet due to those operas and houseguests, but it is sitting right next to my knitting nest, and is going to get a literal whirl in the next few days. And I snagged a wonderful book by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts called Spinning in the Old Way to help me along.
And now to introduce my knitting assistants. This is tiny Pandora. Pandora is always right next to me, in the office, knitting, whatever. That is her job and she performs it quite professionally. Note Monkey bottom right, which she is guarding carefully. She also thinks it is her duty to sit on the patterns I'm working on so they won't blow away. We won't go there right now. It was Pandora who caught Wollmeise's feather as it floated out of the package.
And this is little Paprikas, AKA Poppy the baby. Her job is to keep my feet warm while I knit. And watch to make sure I don't drop a stitch. Again, she is very serious in her duties. She gets at least a daily combing, and I'm saving the proceeds to present to the above mentioned Judi. Since animal fur is extremely warm, which doesn't suit our climate, I thought I might use it to knit little teddy bears, to be felted perhaps and kept forever. I'm wanting an opinion on this very fine and silky Persian fur.
And here are the boys. Tujagues, a funny little devil, sleeping in his favorite bowl.

And Galatoire, twice the size of Tujagues, also in the bowl. He watches to see when Tujagues leaves, then he claims it, never mind that he overflows in every direction. There are actually several of these large bowls for them, but they both want the same one on the dining table, of course. They are the centerpieces for our dinners.

Move over Lucy!!

Loved all the family and doings, but it really cut into my knitting time!!!!! Not a whole lot of progress on anything this last week.


rho said...

Thank God for my knitting friends - cause no one gets knitting at all - and can you tell that ALL my socks will be for me?!

Deborah said...

Hey, cousin!
Heard about your blog-launching from Jo. Delightful!

bookgrump said...

Dd says that your cats look like they've got attitude. I said, "Of course. They're cats!"

I understand not making gifts for family that doesn't appreciate it. Fortunately, I have family members that are just blown away by handmade gifts (and treat them like gold). I don't mind as long as they're appreciative.

fleegle said...

What gorgeous, gorgeous cats! I miss my Laptop!

And no, I am not bored. Just wanted to give everyone a laugh, or not, as the case may be :)

Debi said...

My first cat was a Tortie Persian like your beautiful Pandora. After Tatiana came Jaxon, a flame point himmy, Mickie, a Tuxedo Persian and Beau, a Blue Point Himmy. Now I have my P-Man who is indeed an Exotic. You know your flat faced cats :)

Yours are all gorgeous!

Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

So excited you're going to try hand spinning. Don't be discouraged if the spindle keeps dropping on the floor for the first few sessions - it's a phase you have to go through. How do you keep the cats from carding and combing the yarn every time they pass? Come to that, how do you keep them from your yarn, full stop?