Monday, March 8, 2010

Making Mittens and Keeping Friends

I think I told you that I got a couple of books on mittens recently. I really wanted to try a pair of festive ethnic mittens. I do have some yarn that I want to make mittens with, but of course, more yarn keeps creeping in.

Like this stuff here! I got it last week on another pilgrimage to Yarnorama in scenic (small) Paige, Texas.
Ella Rae Lace Merino

I went with Suzanne and Susan, so we definitely were on "Sue" name overload. Much of the fun on these trips is the conversation and camaraderie. It makes me almost (but not quite) want to learn to spin so I could go to the spinning Saturdays. We had a fun trip, and especially enjoying the farm animals. Susan is an expert, so it's fun to have her around. We saw this fine fellow at a really cool Brahma breeding facility, where there are these beautiful bull apartments, each with one spectacular bovine specimin.
Brahma Bull in eastern Williamson County, Texas
So, anyway, we met some nice folks in the knitting group there, and I saw that orange yarn above, which is the color of butternut squash and is a semi-solid, and chose the other one as a good contrast. I also got their yarn of the month colorway, which is definitely bright and happy:
Yarnorama sock yarn in "The A-Ha Moment" colorway.

My birthday gift to myself on Friday was a knitting day. I started a pair of mittens from this book, using the two new yarns:

Mostly Mittens: Ethnic Knitting Designs from Russia
by Charlene Schurch
The ones I am making are second from right on the bottom row. I cast on the medium size and knit through the cuff and about 6 rows into the pattern, but decided that using this laceweight yarn and 0 needles made it a bit snug. So last night I frogged it while I had a helpful older son visiting to help unwind one of the balls of yarn. But, before I frogged it, I took a photo so you can see how the colors work out (done with the phone camera, so not the best and NOT accurate):
Corrugated ribbing in Ella Rae Laceweight. Colors in earlier photo are more accurate.
I was having trouble going back and forth from the mitten guidelines to the chart, so I missed an instruction to knit the first row rather than rib it, so the new version is already better. Also, the rows are not numbered on the charts, and that bugs me a bit. It would keep me on track with the thumb and hand rows if they were numbered. The new version still isn't too big, just less snug. I look forward to knitting this along with my shawl. And luckily we got a new printer (ooh, ahh, color laser), so I was able to photocopy the chart for easier reading. 

I was also going to talk about keeping friends. After the nice trip to Yarnorama, we went to a meeting of people from our old LYS, which closed shortly after I stopped dropping in there (no surprise, when a yarn shop stops ordering yarn and needles for over a year other than a couple of dribs and drabs, stops paying teachers, and no longer has any employees other than the owner, it's a hint). It was at a nice La Madeleine restaurant that let us use their meeting room. I guess when I said I was going I didn't realize all who would be there. But, I think I made it through the meet-up pretty well. Interestingly, the folks who de-friended me on Facebook and sent me the helpful email telling me how poorly my breakdown reflected on me were not there, so that helped. The other members of the LYS in crowd who hadn't asked how I was or checked in with me in over a month were quite friendly, so that helped my comfort level a lot. I was repeatedly told to "be a big girl," which somewhat got old, but, heck, it will be fine. It was nice to see how everyone was doing and catch up on news. I have nice knitting friends, including the ones who invited me to the meeting, which I really appreciated, and I'll just enjoy all of them! I will try to make another of those meetings at some point, though this week I am making my dear husband a nice meal before choir on Wednesday, so I won't be going out. Sometimes family comes first!

A little aside about being a big girl, for any of you who may have to deal with disliking how you or others are treated: it IS a sign of being a "big girl" or maturity, even, to take yourself out of situations that aren't good for you or where you feel uncomfortable. Yeah, in a job you have to be around whoever you are assigned to be around, but in optional activities, if people treat you or others unkindly or repeatedly show a lack of compassion, you can choose to be elsewhere! Life's too short to torture yourself! Surround yourself with love and friendship, because kind and generous people by far outnumber the sourpusses!

And on that note let me say that I look forward to our new Monday meetings at Dawn's house, and really enjoy the atmosphere of respect and support for all that is maintained there. I wish you all could join us! I am glad that Dawn, John Francis and others are stepping up to host meetings so the community that developed at the LYS is not lost.


  1. I agree about the people topic--life is too short to spend it with unpleasant people when you don't have to!
    And I am occasionally tempted by weaving, as you are by spinning, but then I think of the knitting time I would lose...

  2. Hey now,

    WE have knitted beside you for YEARS, ...I've known you myself, for over 5 years I think! and it PAINS ME DEEPLY to read how you misrepresent so many of us knitters and slant our exchanges with you in (what we thought were) friendly gatherings...

    These gals you speak of are among the same ones who have cheered you on in your ups, and knitted beside you thru your woes, and yet you still cannot see us clearly. You misrepresent us nearly at every turn, take pot shots at some people but don't publish their comments when they, or their friends, try to explain or come to their defense...

    ...and these parenthetical remarks about our beloved LYS *BBYS* that are simply ridiculous!

    I just don't get it, unless you are trying to stir up some crazy heaps o' drama for your readers...I know scabby newspapers do this sort of thing, but I wouldn't expect that from proper knitting bloggers... should I?..

    You regard yourself as a very sensitive person, so why would you publicly throw these *blog grenades* in your retellings and then plan to be elsewhere at our next knitting do you expect me to interpret THAT?

    I really wish you had come last nite...I had stuff I wanted to ask you in person, and get some things really sorted.
    You should know at last week's gathering, we all believed you had "returned to the group" of your own choosing...we didn't realize that you hadn't planned on us being there...and I could see that you were a bit hesitant so I did a friendly thing and put an arm around your shoulder and gently told you, "You'll be fine, c'mon, you're a big girl! " ...thinking it would help relax you to kind of smile about it.

    ...I had no idea you took this as patronizing or irritating, and you should have just spoken up then and said something to me, instead of going off on it in your blog...wtheck? I recall you that nite, hunched down a bit, head down, looking all hesitant, I figured you wanted some buckin' up usually do...that's all!

    And actually, I was trying to be kind!
    What I REALLY wanted to say was, "Hey, did you ever call up sweet ol' Marcia? to apologize for UNLEASHING ON HER all your pent up fears and anger at the shoppe? and scaring away all Pat's unsuspecting customers? who then complained about said meltdown and hoped you were seeking therapy for your deep seeded issues???"

    (ok, see? now *I* am not editing *my* writings! kinda harsh to read, right? yep...)

    I don't like how your entry implied Marcia was some kind of meany to you...she was just trying to help you put the knitting disaster in perspective, as others were noticing that you were continuing on about it *all day*--or flogging a dead horse--, and perhaps needed some friendly perspective :) ...something we all come to the shoppe for...PERSPECTIVE when we need it AND FUN TIMES KNITTING WITH LOTS OF COOL LADIES!!!

    But then you turned on her and ripped into her, yet never told your readers how you brought that lovely woman to tears, and caused such an ugly scene that she actually removed herself from the situation of being sandbagged by you and your bad day...

    you did have a meltdown, Sue Ann, and it's not the first time...and these blog remarks as if we were supposed to check in on YOU? ...We assumed you needed some time away from the shop and we expected you would come back when you had checked yourself and were ready...but you NEVER DID...not even TO PAY YOUR RESPECTS WITH THE REST OF US WHEN THE SHOP WAS CLOSING and say THANKS FOR ALL IT'S MEANT TO US??? ...after all she has done for you over the years in tough times???..who does such a thing?...

  3. (cont'd...I maxed out the character count with the first half, sorry...) have got to let your ego take a back seat to what is right and what is good. And continuing on this path is not good or right. Slagging off your friends in this forum is NOT something you will be proud of in future years. You are putting those who know you in an awful position--should we try to redirect you? or ignore certain parts of your blog? or keep our mouths shut? how would you cope if you were us, I wonder?

    Your personal take on moments has ripped into our knitting events...these are supposed to be safe havens where everyone is welcome...but no one wants to jeopardize that-- and frankly, I don't want someone coming who is bringing trouble, is looking for trouble, or will imagine trouble where there was none at all.

    You have a lot of folks still hoping you will come around, or see a better way to process relationships in your mind, and stop feeding this drama you have created IN YOUR MIND.
    I know you owe them better than what you are giving. And the thing is, you KNOW you do! *****

    And lest we forget, the only reason we all have a knitting group is BECAUSE OF PAT AND HER WONDERFUL ***RED TENT*** OF A YARN SHOP WHICH SHE KEPT OPEN NEARLY EVERY WED NITE FOR CHIX WITH STIX + 1 DUDE...without so much as charging any sitting fees!!!!!!!!!

    Keep blogging about your knitting, Sue Ann, and sharing your adventures and photos with your followers, they look forward to your updates, I am certain...BUT:

    ...if I read something that is objectionable I will tell you so, and I hope you also respect that. And if I have the "huevos" to actually comment this, I think you should have the "cojones" to post it up :) Worse comes to worse--we just both look like asses. But at least I will stand by my words.

    And lastly, I don't believe in just NOT reading your blog, as that accomplishes nothing, and even worse, can be interpreted as a silent kind of agreement with what you are publishing. I believe you will take me more seriously if I write this to you as a comment, as opposed to try to talk to you in person, as you will find it hard to stay engaged and hear my issue.

    It is not responsible to put stuff out there that can later NOT be taken back. And here I was thinking you had turned a corner and were gonna be all happy about the knitting nite, and seeing folks again...I am soooooo upset now. And also angry at how you can view and perceive us in this way, to be quite honest. :(

    This is like a train wreck...that should never have happened...

  4. I know you probably will not post this, but, come one, Suna, let's at least be truthful with your representation of what went down on that particular occasion. Your delusional representation is not fair to anyone involved.

  5. Please accept my apologies for describing events at the LYS I used to go to, which I loved very much, in a too factual way. I am not the only person who saw signs that it would be closing, nor am I the only one who was saddened by it, even though I no longer was comfortable there. I am very fond the owner, past employees (ALL of them),and frequent customers. Any business owner has every right to do things as she sees fit, and my description was not intended as a put-down, just some stuff I and others noticed.

    As you will see in later comments, I am delusional for saying I was unfriended on Facebook and received some remarks that weren't kind to me, though, well, my husband saw the comments and agreed.

    And I have repeatedly told anyone who asks that I feel awful, ashamed, and embarrassed for having a "breakdown" in a public place, feel truly awful for hurting anyone's feelings, and just want to be around people who are willing to accept that there is more than one way to look at any issue. I realize this will never be enough. But, I sincerely apologize, yet maintain a right to say how I perceive things, just as people have a right to talk about me however they want to (and do, I guess!).

    I'm definitely a poor writer sometimes, definitely have been deeply hurt, but do not wish any malice toward anyone, especially people I truly care about and want the best for. I am sorry I am such a huge disappointment to you all, and will work in the future toward being a better person. I will assume all the subsequent comments were meant with love.

    Yes, I have help with my issues. Thanks. And I hope those of you interesting in knitting stuff keep reading! I mean no one any harm, but am a total screw-up! Read on and see!

  6. OK!!,
    for posting these comments and I am REALLY impressed with your "cojones" girl!! YOU JUST SCORED BIGTIME POINTS WITH ME FOR THIS! :)))))
    :) (I really didn't know if I should dare get my hopes up...!)

    Now, listen...about that 2nd to last paragraph...I want you to please understand that it is not YOU that is a huge "disappointment", rather just the way you can get carried away in your mind's eye, (we all have our own bizarro mind's eye, right?) and misinterpret our discussions, which then unfortunately can become *misrepresented* to the world in your writings...and usually will not get their comments posted if they object to how things were "spun"--if I may make a pun! ;)

    We all have our issues, myself included, and I get together with ALL you awesome fiber gals + 1 dude to be set on a better path, or to be "reeled in" by you all when I am on a course of disaster in spite of myself!...

    ... don't I usually bound in and rant a bit (or A LOT, AND LOUDLY??) about my teen boys? or my dear hubbie? and then look for some words of wisdom to get my feet firmly planted on the ground and be able to laugh at myself later?? OF COURSE I DO!!
    WE ALL DO!!!...

    and yes, I know that you did have some knitters who chose to defriend you on FB for the time being...FB was not what Karen was referring to last month...she took issue, as I did, with how you portrayed the others who were only trying to help ya...I imagine that some are trying to keep their own distance for a while until they think it's safe?warranted?proper?a good idea? for them to get back in touch with what anyway? You are still here blogging, right? Some will drop in, some may drop out...(some may drop back in again) no goes on! :)

  7. ***crappola!***
    I just lost the entire other half of my text!!! ...let me see if I can remember, 'cause it was kinda fun at the end... :)

    I wanted to remind you to focus on the BEVY of followers you still have with your blog...they look forward to your posts and photos. They enjoy coming along with you on your knitting adventures and you should be proud! You, after all, are a wealth of fiber info!...

    AND I just want to reiterate again how BLOWN AWAY I am by you going ahead with a balls out-leap of faith, and posting the entirety of my have stunned me with your courage!


    Bueno!, let's all take this one step at a time...I know you don't wish outright MALICE toward anyone, that is not in your nature.
    ...and yes, we all have our own issues to work thru...and it may take a bit of time and patience to work toward trusting each other's motives completely...this would be natural, right?

    But we are not so old and decrepit that we cannot learn new tricks, right? I sure hope not! hahahahahah!

    Now, shall I make us some t-shirts?
    YOURS: ...i'm not looking for any trouble...
    MINE: ...4,000 characters or less? wtheck???...

    hahahahahhha! ;)
    ROCK ON, KNITTERS!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Wow, since when does someone 'Help' someone with comments such as these? Someone has some serious boundary issues and I'm not talking about Suna. Reality is veil that we imagine we see - not some immutable truth that passes from one individual to another. Anyone who thinks they can 'see' and judge anyone else's true feelings/pain/experience is delusional and a power monger.

  9. I don't understand your comment, Margot...who are you thinking is claiming to be able to SEE and judge anyone ELSE's true feelings/pain/experience??? Each of us experience these moments in our own way...right? I thought that is what we were all talking about...and that often things can get misinterpreted, even between friends and knittin' buddies...and feelings can get squooshed, and that is why they should be sorted out and cleared up between the parties involved if the hurt was not indeed intentional...
    *** :) ***

  10. Wow, Pilar, that, long, and maybe not something the world should have seen. Not trying to stir anything up, of course, but in person, or a phone call or even email might have been a better way to deliver your rant.

    Sometimes, a person will get upset about lots of things in her life, and then it all explodes at once, usually in a very embarrassing public situation. I know it's happened to me before. It doesn't necessarily mean you have "issues" (though in my case, I do), and it doesn't mean you aren't getting help for those issue.

    Suna has apologized again and again, on her blog and, I'm sure, elsewhere. That means the ball's in YOUR (not just Pilar, but everyone who was offended) court to say either "I accept your apology, now let's work on repairing our friendship" (don't just EXPECT things to go back to normal on their own) or "I appreciate your apology and will accept it, but I feel that it's best if our friendship ends here". The last one provides closure - at least Suna would know that her apologies do not fall on deaf ears, and that it's up to the other person to decide to be friends again, if they ever want to.

    As for the yarn store - I LOVE Pat and all the gals (only met the dude once), but when the stock is largely novelty yarns that went out of style five or six years ago, of course you won't sell much product (and what you have of those yarns should really not be front and center - makes newcomers to the store wonder if the owner takes knitting seriously). And there appeared to be no organization to the store at all. GORGEOUS balls of yarns hid in baskets on a shelf. Sock knitting is very popular, so carry more sock yarn. Etc.

    Again, I'm not trying to stir things up, but I do think those that were offended could have handled it better. And yes, I love Pat and the little community she helped create and facilitate, but Bluebonnet had not been my preferred LYS for years - mainly because of the lack of anything new, or popular. I surely can't be the only one that stopped coming for that reason.

  11. Hey Tina,

    ...yes, you are absolutely right ...the length of my comments are not what I imagine "the norm"...but I did want what I wrote to be in print, where I could edit it, and EVERYONE could maybe see it AS I intended for it to be seen...I wanted to speak up for those of us who get somehow implicated as "the baddies" but never get their side of the story shared...

    I am also the kind of person myself who can misunderstand a phone call exchange and then it's gone...never documented...I know my (I tried to write it slowly and with much attention to detail, so I don't consider it a) "rant"... will seem excessive to anyone who was not a regular at the shop and not privy to our groups' family-type daily dynamics...but I can assure you that whatever apology was sent out on a blog into cyberspace cannot replace a note, a word, or a phone many of us were not followers of the I don't think the people at the shop or the owner ever knew there even WAS any kind of apology...and anyways, for what? a blowup? it's a human happens, so it blows over, and then why can we not move forward??

    our knitting groups are like a family, right?? why not come back the next day? or if you won't be back, at least call the shop owner on a chix nite? or the fellow knitter we know is so nice, but left in tears?

    And sure, we were all at our knitting shop (or the proverbial court) week after week, waiting to see her, but she never how can anyone say, "hey, sit on down and let's just get some rows started..." if she never comes back?
    how can you share a hug with a friend who never returns??

  12. (sheesh, still can't figure out this character max limit...rrrrrrrrrrgh) much hurt comes from thinking the worst of people when you are not privy to the whole story or everyone else's perspectives...don't we all agree on THAT??

    ps...everyone is entitled to their take on what they wanted in stock...(and the yarn reps weren't always cooperative or flexible) but when her shop was to be closing (and this was Pat's choice btw) I never saw anyone else step up to undertake such a venture for themselves...I think she kept it open these last 12 months or more for US knitters and to save the "red tent" for just a bit longer!

    :)so I still consider ourselves lucky!

    ps...yesterday was my first blog commenting could probably have guessed that tho' NOT in the know about cyberstuff! hahaha!...
    apologies!... :)

  13. I agree that mature womanhood is knowing when to extricate yourself from toxic situations.

    I like the phrase "pull up your big girl panties and deal with it" as a PERSONAL mantra but would be deeply offended if someone told me to be a big girl when I was upset. It's patronizing, minimizing, completely unhelpful and reeks of "oh please just stop feeling what you're feeling because you're being immature and I can't deal with your messiness".

    I would like to add as a complete outsider to the Austin yarn community but a regular reader of this BLOG that I have never seen a personal dig in Suna's posts. She describes her feelings, situations from her point of view and has apologized beautifully and eloquently when she felt it was called for. I have been impressed over and over again with how she puts herself out there--imperfections and all.

    I personally am very sad that the comment section of this particular BLOG entry has used to attack her---but I'm incredibly impressed that SUNA has allowed comments to be seen that are so critical of her. Wise choice SUNA--allow people's own words to speak for them and everyone who reads will have their number.

    Jodie---without profile so commenting as anonymous.


Suna says thanks for commenting--I love comments!