First of all, I’d like to say I hurt myself in the most stupid, middle-aged way possible on the planet.
A Harmless Obsession
That’s right, folks–I cramped my hand while playing on my phone while, uhm, ensconced on the throne, as it were.
And it wasn’t just an, “Oh, ouch–a few stretches, some ibuprofen,” kind of cramp. It was an all day, “MotherFUCKER, the hell did I do to my hand?” kind of cramp–a tendonitis, if you will, and while it did diminish my screen time, it was with my right hand, and I am left-handed, so I could crochet just fine.
In fact, crocheting seemed to do it good–but then, I’ve been a big proponent of knitting and crocheting as recreational therapy for a variety of ills since I first started doing it myself, 22 years ago.
Anyway, the hand feels a teeny bit better, and I got some work done on my Caron Cakes shawl–which is embarrassing to admit I’m crocheting to be honest.
It’s so… it’s so… EASY. And the yarn is… AFFORDABLE. And it’s WASHABLE and PRACTICAL and seriously all the things I seem to avoid in yarn in a big way. Is it rare? Hand-painted? One of a kind skeins that make you feel like shit if you have more than three yards left after your project? Is it hand wash only, with special conditioning soap, with PH balanced drinking water filtered through volcanic stone? WILL IT DISSOLVE WITH EVERYDAY USE? Yup. That’s my yarn–I’ll buy a lOT of it, and put it in a box and look at it and pet it and MAYBE knit with it one day, when I’m drunk on my own power and pitiful expertise.
But easy-care affordable mass produced yarn? Well, yes. I buy lots of that too and work the crap out of it.
So, about this shawl–it’s made with Caron Cakes Cotton blend–and normally I abhor working with cotton because it’s a little like trying to weave rattan with sticks. The thing is, once it’s worked, cotton is a wonderful fiber–the more you wash it the softer and more giving it becomes. It’s glorious. Bugs hate it, it lasts forever, and, like your favorite T-shirt it BREATHES. But there’s that whole, “Makes my hands feel 80 when I’m 50 problem” and usually I’ll take a hard pass.
In this case, though, the cotton is mixed with acrylic (and again–so many things I loathe about acrylic, starting with its squinkiness on metal needles and ending with a raw scrubbed feeling in my yarn-guiding finger if I work with it too long.
But in this case, the blend works wonderfully–and the resulting fabric is sort of like a towel. Not going to keep you TOO warm–but for a summer-weight shawl you wouldn’t mind dragging to the beach cause it’ll wash like magic, I’m sort of a fan.
Anyway– I like my shawls to be monster, even if they’re for other people, and this one is fitting that bill just fine. I’m rooting for an 80 inch wingspan, and there might even be some left over for a hood–woot! (I also, inexplicably, like hoods on my shawls. Yes, I know they’re impractical. So?)
And the thing is, I’m, uhm, sort of obsessed with them.
Shawls. You may have noticed it. I shipped that box of 6 shawls to my cousins, and promptly started a sweater for Squish. Well, the sweater is probably 1/3 done, but, well, it’s a pain in the ass and there’s counting involved and the yarn is too thick and… *whine*
But shawls? Oh yes. Finished one, am working on… *counts in head* others. More. Working on more. And a scarf.
Okay, fine. Shawls as my comfort knitting are still there.
And I’m still buying yarn way faster than I can knit with it.
And it’s still bringing me great joy.
Mate and I just watched the Michelle McNamara documentary–I’ll Be Gone in the Dark–and we were riveted. For one thing, the events in the story–from the East Area Rapist’s original hunting grounds in Rancho Cordova, to where he was eventually arrested–only a couple of miles from here, to where Patton Oswalt came for the book signing–our home Barnes & Nobles– was ours. All of it. And one of the things that hit me, as Patton was talking about his wife’s death, was her fear of what she was leaving their daughter with–would Alice know she was loved.
My life is probably not as consequential as Michelle McNamara’s–but I still might leave my kids with a few things when I pass on. Definitely I’ll leave boxes full of books that I wrote and lots of shawls. And a fuckton of yarn to ship off to other people.
But mostly I think I”ll be leaving them the memory of going, “Mom was fucking WEIRD, but it was a NICE weird, so our childhood didn’t entirely suck.”
And also, shawls.
By the way– the yellow and green/green skeins up there were color-patterned after the wooly bear caterpillar.
Isn’t that FANTASTIC?