So, I am sitting in Black Water Loft, a nice artistic cafe just past the only traffic lights in Floyd, sipping a cup of Chamomile Spearmint tea and trying to decide what to write, while reveling in the delicious calm around me.

You can imagine a week cooped up in a house of 13, with it then dropping to 6 in a day.  At first I was relieved to have the sudden quiet and was able to read several chapters of Memoirs of a Geisha while Ellette sat at my feet doing a puzzle before the wood stove.  The boys set up a game in the other room and spent the rest of the evening, and much of the night, playing.

When Ellette grew bored of the puzzle and wanted someone to play with, she crawled into my lap and we watched a few episodes of “Rugrats,” which a bit of a flashback for me.  It was somewhat amusing to be watching this show I had adored as a child now with the eyes of an adult – a mother even – and notice things I hadn’t noticed before.  I appreciated the simplicity of it in contrast to the overwhelming chaos of the kids’ shows I see today, but at the same time I found myself a little annoyed, disgusted, and amused at how they followed and perpetuated stereotypes.

While Ellette and I were watching Rugrats, I set to work on the knitted cowl thing I had been trying to design and knit over the past week.  I had worked out this intricate cabled pattern and knit the neck warmer in it’s entirety.  It wasn’t until I had finished casting off and tried to slip it over my head that I realized my most grievous error.  I had failed to calculate the in-elasticity of the cables, and the fact that most of the neck warmer was cables, I should have added nearly twice as many stitches as I had cast on.  Even when I tried to slip it over the head of my 5 year old, it wouldn’t fit.  I spent a few minutes staring at it, wondering if there was any possible way I could salvage the several days of work I had put into it, and then decided to frog it and try again.  As I was ripping back the stitches, Odin’s sister was staring at my in horror.

It is somewhat amusing how non-knitters can not understand the joy of knitting, the necessity of frogging, and the benefit of the challenge.  I am by no means a process knitter, although I do enjoy the quiet monotony of making the same stitch over and over without having to think about it.  I can create the most beautiful things without paying attention just so I keep my hand occupied.  But I am a Knitter on a budget, and live by the motto: Never knit something you cannot afford not to wear.  So, when it became clear that this knitted “oops” was going to go to waste, I salvaged what I could and started over.

Unfortunately, halfway through the second one my mind decided it didn’t like what I was making.  The cables, for some reason, weren’t as satisfying in the design as I had hoped, so once again (although not quite so horrifyingly) I frogged that.

I spent a few days mulling over a new design, as I do want a neck warmer/cowl, and I have a bunch of leftover Cascade EcoWool in the stunning purple that I had made the Hemlock Ring Throw out of.  So, on graph paper, I began to chart different designs, until I had settled on one I had liked.  Well, I cast on two or three times and knit (and frogged) several times before I had worked out the glitches in the chart, my counting, and the definition of the design, before I was at last satisfied.

I am excited to complete it, but in the process I am wondering what this pattern would work best as.  A simple neck warmer?  I could have it button, or just be a complete circle, although if I were going to make it a complete circle I might make it more of a cowl.  I almost want to make it a scarf hood( skood?)  There are plenty of options, and I do enjoy the pattern, so maybe I will make several variations.  Who knows.

I don’t have much more yarn with me, I noticed.  A skein of a dark green for making I-cords, and a couple bags of remnants for…whatever.  I packed them, thinking I would end up inspired towards the end of my travels.  Which may be happening now……


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