Sunday, May 5, 2013

He (or she) who fails to plan... plans to fail!

She blew in like the west wind. The storm clouds were in her face and lightning flashed in her eyes. I took an involuntary step back from the counter.

“Can I help you today, Mary?” I asked, almost a little afraid of what the answer would be and hoping that it was something that I knew how to do.

She slammed her hand down on the counter. The glass shook. “Show me your wools,” she snarled.

I agreed readily, and then, hoping to make some pleasant conversation and calm the crazy woman down a bit… I foolishly inquired what she was going to knit.

“A fairisle sweater,” she growled, “With people and zig-zags and flowers and all of those kinds of things.”

“Oh,” I said, “That’s sounds really pretty.” I paused and made my fatal mistake, “You’re the first person in the store today who wanted wool. Everyone else is getting all carried away with the summer yarns.”

She tugged on her hair in exasperation, “I KNOW!” she all but yelled, “I want them too. I want them so bad I can almost taste them.”

I was morally obligated at that point to ask why, but, my friends… I was really, really not sure I wanted to know. A knitter who goes crazy in a yarn store can get real ugly. Real fast.  Carolyn would not be pleased.

I took a deep breath. “Then why…?”

“Because,” she cried, “I always do this. At the beginning of the winter, I start knitting a wool sweater and it doesn’t get done until summer. And then at the beginning of the summer, I start a summer sweater and it doesn’t get done until WINTER. And I’ve HAD IT!”

Huh. Talk about advanced planning.  Impressive, wasn’t it? 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Wee Morsel...

One of Carolyn's favorite quotes (and believe me - this is a woman who loves her quotes!) 

"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." - Elizabeth Zimmerman (a true knitting genius)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


"People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable.
Be honest and transparent anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People who really want help may attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt.
Give the world your best anyway."

- Mother Teresa

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Really Big Controversy...

Carolyn says...

It comes in many forms.

For some, it’s a slight raise of the eyebrows accompanied by a quietly tolerant (yet mildly amused) expression of acceptance of the oddities of their fellow man.

For others, it’s a politely disbelieving expression followed by a hasty exit.

Some people almost believe it’s a good idea. Just like they almost believe you if you proclaimed that the mother ship just landed in the parking lot and the mother alien is requesting help picking up stitches.

Yep, my friends, it comes in many forms.  But, perhaps the most often seen response is “Who in their right mind would want to knit socks?”

And, perhaps if you had never done it before, you would be skeptical too. It is even possible that you used to be an eyebrow raising non-sock knitter yourself. It is even more possible that you are still an eyebrow raising non-sock knitter.

Sock knitting. Who would have thought that sock knitting was so controversial? 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Love. (Or when the yarn speaks)

As you may know, Carolyn is very in tune with the yarn she sells.  She once heard a certain yarn speaking to her from a customer's knitting bag (as it sometimes does, you know)... it said...

Do you believe in love at first sight? I do. I do with all of my heart. I knew the minute I saw her that we were going to be together. Forever. I’ve seen others that I thought maybe I could live with, but this time… this time I just knew it was the real thing. And, I could tell, when she first saw me… it was the same for her. Her eyes lit up like fireworks on… well… you know… the fourth of July. Cliched? Perhaps? True? Definitely. 

Love is beautiful. My life is complete. I just want you to know how happy I am that we have found each other. I’m going to try my hardest to be the best and most special thing in her life. But, I would just like to go on record and say that – if things don’t work out – it won’t be my fault. No. No way. It will be totally and completely her fault. I tried to warn her, but do you know what she did? The very first thing she did with me? Yeah. She casted on without doing a gauge. Yeah. I know. I was shocked, too. I mean, how could she? I should mean more than that to her. But, what can I say? When you love someone – you love the whole person – even their faults. Sigh. It was just meant to be. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Conversation That Really Never Was - And Never Should Be Ever Again

A Knitting Conversation that may or may not have been overheard at Crabapple Yarns…

Two knitters were sitting together knitting in companionable silence.  

“Do you think I should knit this ribbing in K2, P2 or K1, P1?” the first one asked the other, a perplexed look on her face.

“Hmmm…yes, I agree,” the other replied, her eyes never leaving her own knitting.

“You agree with what?”

“With what you just said,” she answered distractedly.

“I didn’t just say anything.”


“I didn’t just say anything. I can’t believe you. You’re not even listening to me.”

“If you didn’t just say anything than how can I agree with you?”

“My point exactly,” she huffed, “You can’t agree with me. Because I…”

The second knitter dropped her knitting in exasperation. “What? Now you’re mad at me for answering you when you didn’t say anything?”

“No… I did say something. I just…”

“Oh. So you did say something. Good grief. I can’t talk to you when you’re being so changeable. And, really, there’s no need to get snippy.”

“Snippy? Changeable? How dare you?”

“I don’t know what else you’d call it.”

“Oh for pity’s sake. I ask a simple question and I get this.”

“Oh. Now you asked me a question?”

“I’m not talking to you right now.”

“Well, then, you’re not going to get an answer are you?”

“You are so frustrating sometimes.”

The second knitter heaved a great sigh. “Well, thanks to you not saying anything I have to start counting all over again.”

“Oh.” The first knitter looked somewhat guilty. “You were counting?”

“Is that a question?”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright. I mean. .. I was almost done counting, but I really don’t mind starting over.” The pointed look over the tip of the glasses did nothing to confirm this.


The second knitter heaved a great sigh – for she was a great sigher – and picked up her knitting again.

Silence reigned once more.

Our first knitter experimented with a sigh herself and, with a shrug of her shoulders, picked her knitting up once again as well. She peered at it intently. The cast on row seemed to be mocking her. Wasn’t there something she… oh yes… she couldn’t decide on the ribbing. “Do you think I should do K1, P1 or K2, P2 ribbing?” she asked distractedly.

“Hmmm… yes… I agree completely,” the other knitter replied.

Let’s just leave these two knitters now shall we? What happened next wasn’t exactly pretty.  And, perhaps, it would be better for everyone involved in these two particular knitters were left nameless.

Lesson learned? Never bother a knitter when she’s counting. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Gauge Goblin

A note from Carolyn... "Molly recently discovered the joys... and the woes of gauge. As a result, she decided to write the following article for the Crabapple Yarns Newsletter. Poor little thing. She was quite upset with her sweater. It did fit very nicely. Just not on her."

The Gauge Goblin... by Molly Stevenson

Ahem. Excuse me? Knitters? And yes, you crocheters too. May I have your attention please? Ahem. Knitters – excuse me? Knitters - please, yes - you in the back with the red yarn– just a moment of your time, if you will…Ah... Thank you.

I’m very sorry to interrupt your projects, but there is a matter which we simply must discuss. Dear friends…it is time. We just cannot, in all good conscience, put this off any longer.  It won’t be pleasant, but we’re going to stick together and… I really think that we will all feel better if we talk about this now – out loud – in broad daylight – like adults.

I think you know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

Yes, my friends, it is time. We must speak of IT.

How long have we turned a blind eye? How many projects have we carefully tucked away never to be seen or heard from again? How much longer will we allow IT to run our lives? How long have we remained silent – venting only to a comfortable and safe circle of friends? Never daring to speak of the creature too loudly – lest he hear and we gain his ire.

But, I say - No longer! For today – today - we give this foul creature his rightful name. Today, we stop pretending that he is our friend and give him the title he deserves. Today… we confront the vilest of all the knitting creatures. Yes, we are going to talk about… The Gauge Goblin. It’s okay, go ahead and sit down. Shaking knees are common when speaking of IT.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. It’s so much easier to pretend that he does not exist, isn’t it? It’s so easy to knit our little gauges with smug superiority and knit on with blind confidence in the outcome. But, let’s be honest. Is it confidence in our gauge or a healthy dose of denial that makes us keep knitting when our head tells us the sweater won’t fit but the Gauge Goblin whispers that everything will be fine? After all, if the gauge is correct, the sweater will fit. Won’t it? Won’t it?

Uh-oh. What was that noise? Did you hear it? The rustling? Oh dear. The Gauge Goblin is sneaking closer. Quick! Repeat after me, “Oh my, look at the time. I need to cast on for  my sweater. Wow! 380 stitches of fingering weight mohair. It’s a good thing MY GAUGE is correct. I’d hate to DO THAT ONE AGAIN!”  Yep, that did it. Whew. That was a close one my friends, but do not worry – we have lulled him back to sleep.

So, what shall we do? Our main problem is that we are not united. There may, even now, be some of you who think that The Gauge Goblin is your friend. Aren’t you cute. There may even be some of you who believe that if you were just a wee bit more faithful as a gauger... The Gauge Goblin would be appeased and your sweaters would fit so perfectly that strangers in the street will weep with joy at their beauty and precise workmanship. Yeah. Cute. Very cute. But seriously – stop taking the problems of the world so personally. Not everything is your fault, you know. And… you are most definitely not responsible for the behavior of The Gauge Goblin.

There may even be some of you who are still in the happy land of denial. You think the Gauge Goblin does not exist. You whip up your little gauges with complacent superiority and knit with blissful assurance. And, when the sweater you are knitting for your husband fits your little grandson, you shrug your shoulders and laugh. Surely, the pattern was wrong. Surely, you are not perfect. Surely, the yarn was not quite the size you thought it to be. Surely, it could not be an issue of gauge. Wrong, my friend, wrong. Wrong. Wrong. The Gauge Goblin simply did not want your project to succeed. He has a rather strange sense of humor, and I’m afraid he is not the kindest of creatures. Perhaps the other little goblins used to make fun of him… but nevertheless… he is not your friend.

So I say...Enough, knitters (and crocheters), enough! Today we say NO MORE! The Gauge Goblin has devoured his last sweater. He has terrorized his last sweet little baby hat! We will stand for it no longer. Today…oh dear. Huh. I really shouldn’t be knitting and talking at the same time. Hold on one second… I have to…Hmmmm… Strange. I never noticed that this sock was quite this big. Oh. Dear. Oh. OH. Yes…ahem…my goodness. Look at the time. I must be going now. All this silly talk about a Gauge Goblin was quite ridiculous, don’t you think? Personally, I love gauge. I live to gauge. I apologize for taking so much of your time. Goodbye.