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Secrets Revealed!

No, not that kind.

So, now that Christmas is over I can talk about what I learned over Thanksgiving.



I learned to knit.

Sort of. Ish.

Here's a little backstory:

Once upon a time, many years ago, I learned to knit. I was taught this craft by a man who smoked the most awesome pipe (I loved the smell of his cherry-vanilla tobacco) and was a very dear friend of the family. I was sixteen at the time and not very interested in the process, but I did learn it and even made a couple little "things" (they were "things," as they had no actual use or form. They weren’t even big enough to be called anything – just random stitches in a swatch with crap yarn) just to be polite/out of respect for him teaching me.

Later, when my grandmother died, I inherited all her knitting things – yarn, needles, how-to pamphlets – and promptly put them in the garage with other things I have and hardly ever use. A few years ago I sold most of these things at a yard sale, or gave them away to people who would actually use them. I had no interest in knitting.

Time has a way of changing things.

As you know, I went down to California for Thanksgiving to stay with my sister-in-law and her husband for the holiday. I knew SIL was a fantastic knitter, but didn't know that she is also a nationally-acknowledged master knitter. She's been knitting for over forty years – she started when she was like eight or something. She knits quickly and without even looking at/barely glancing at the project in her hands. She has a wall of yarn, shelves of books and so many needles and accoutrements that it boggles the mind of the uninitiated.

Well…I was fairly well uninitiated. I had the sort-of basics…from over fifteen years ago, and her Wall O'Yarn is extremely impressive as well as intimidating. She always has various yarn-projects scattered about her house, and this trip was no exception. The holidays being near, many of them were holiday things.

Now, I'd had it in my head to ask her if she'd refresh my knowledge. Several writer friends are knitters, and I'd been encouraged in other arenas to try it again. SIL agreed to teach me (for which I am very grateful and humbled, to learn from (and be tangentially related to!) one of the very best!) and I spent much of the time I was down there re-learning to knit. I practiced on several things before she helped me choose a good yarn for a scarf (I had no idea there was "good yarn" and crappy yarn! Or that some yarns are better for certain projects than others!) so that I could start on a holiday gift for my friend valtinen.

This project took loads of time. Three weeks, more or less. Hours upon hours of knitting and purling went into this scarf. I knitted continuously in CA, on the fifteen hour trip home as light and drive-sharing allowed, nearly every night, in bed, in the morning, every moment I had to spare (and some I didn't). If I had to guess at the hours of work put into this scarf, I'd estimate them somewhere between 60 and 75. I have watched hours of Youtube vids on knitting, washing a scarf, how to finish it nicely. I learned how to weave in the edges and add fringe and various other things to make it as nice as I could. I finished it in time for the holiday and sent it off to my friend.

It is loved and welcomed.

After I finished that one, it was only hours before I started my next one. My husband and SIL joke that she created a monster.

It's no joke. *evil grin*

Santa brought me knitting things for Christmas. My SIL sent me a huge box of "good yarn" in colors I asked for, along with some fab new needles. I've found "easy/beginnner's" patterns/stitches online along with examples of how they should look. I joined Ravelry.com. I have plans for at least five more scarves (after the one I'm currently working on). Yes, scarves. I'll attempt more difficult patterns after I get the basics down.

My town has a yarn store, and I'm counting the hours until they open so I can get down there to browse.

This is the part I mentioned on Twitter where I want to spend more money after Christmas than I did before it. The yarn store, and this great new tea shop my fab (and evil) friend Skyla found for me with her mad Google-fu uber!l33t ninja skillz.

It's in Vader, WA. I mean, come on. Dude. VADER. That's just up the road from me, AND if you don't know about me and Lord Vader by now, you've been warned. I'm a Darth Vader freak. They have my favorite tea AND are from the Dark Side.

Oh, yes. I'm a very, very happy tea junkie.

So between the tea website from Vader and the yarn store I have yet to investigate, I'm probably going to make my husband miserable.

I'll just blame the tea on Skyla. Hubby's sister is responsible for the knitting thing/yarn store, and he can't get upset with her. Besides, knitting is good for writers! It improves math skills, empties the brain (which solves plot holes) and improves dexterity (for faster typing)!

At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I also need the tea to write. (And to knit.)

I'm also going to need a new cuppywarmer soon.

What? It's for writing! I swear!



Also something else I learned at my SIL's house: the most awesome snack EVER!

You will need:

- a fruit bread of some sort (cranberry is best, but raisin is good too)
- an onion (sweets are good, but yellows are just fine!)
- an avocado
- butter (optional - fine without)

What you do:

Cut the bread in small slices if not already sliced.
Do the same to the onion and avocado.

Toast the bread. Butter the toast. Pile it with onions and avocado slices.

Eat it. Make another.

Also great with cheese (like Gruyère) melted on top via a few seconds in the microwave.

Best noms evar!

Now I'm hungry. That happens a lot when I write.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
valtinen
Dec. 27th, 2010 06:26 am (UTC)
And I love it lots and lots!
dina_james
Dec. 27th, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)
For which I am glad!
slweippert
Dec. 27th, 2010 06:34 am (UTC)
So *that's* what you've been up to! cool
dina_james
Dec. 27th, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)
Among other things. Sekrit Dina is sekrit.
elegaer
Dec. 27th, 2010 07:03 am (UTC)
"I had no idea there was "good yarn" and crappy yarn!" *efg*

My gran was like that, she'd knit all evening without looking down at the needles once!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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