Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.


Posted on | November 6, 2012 | 8 Comments

Well, there has been a lot of learning going on over here.  I took a basic knitting class where I learned, um, the basics.  I made a visit to a knitting friend when I dropped a stitch.  She showed me how to fix the dropped stitch and lots of other tricks that I barely understood at that time and couldn’t possibly repeat at home.  I’ll be back, K, I’ll be back.  Plus, a frantic phone call to another knitting friend when I knotted my yarn, none of my co-workers could help me unravel the knot, and I didn’t know if I could cut and retie it or not.  And lots of referencing my Guide to Knitting by The Chicks with Sticks, Nancy Queen & Mary Ellen O’Connell, whenever I couldn’t remember what I had learned in class.  Also, I learned lots of tolerance for lots of mistakes in my first piece.

But I did it.

I knitted a scarf.

Please note how it is artistically arrayed for your viewing pleasure.  Also to hide all the holes, the randomly alternating knit and purl stitches from when I put my knitting down and forgot what I was doing, the differences in tension, and the curling edges.

I tried to straighten the edges by putting a heavy plate on it overnight.  It didn’t work.  Apparently, you should trim your scarf with a border stitch to stop that from happening in a project made with stockinette.  I would have known that if I had read the Guide to Knitting all the way through before starting my project instead of reading it as I went along.  Or if The Chicks with Sticks had put that “cheep” trick on page 41 instead of of page 42.  ‘Cause 41 was the page I stopped at when I began knitting my first project.  Hey, I knew how to knit and purl by that point, how was I supposed to know I needed to know something else?  All that learning was exhausting.  Besides, who was going to feed the sheep if I was doing all that reading?  The sheep, people!  No sheep, no wool, no knitting.  I’m just sayin.’

Anyway, the most important thing that I learned was something that the fashion industry has known for many years.  Put that garment on a pretty model and it doesn’t matter how many times you failed to knit the last stitch, it looks darn good.

Pretty said the curling edges made it curl around her neck just perfectly and she happily wore it off to school today.  She thought the alternating stitches were stylish.  And I don’t think she even noticed the holes.  Or the knot knitted in about 3/4 of the way through.  God, I love that kid.  She’s always been my favorite daughter.  Also, my only daughter.  Good thing I got it right the first time.  Which is more than I can say for my knitting.

But I refuse to give up.  I am already starting my next scarf and I am trying a new stitch.  I am using the Boyfriend Basket Weave Scarf pattern from my Guide to Knitting.  The Other Half was a bit alarmed at this development.

“You know me and the boys probably aren’t going to wear any scarves, right?  I mean, you’re not making a bunch of scarves for us, right?  You know men don’t wear scarves, right?”

Jeez.  Clearly, the scarf is for my boyfriend, hence the title.  Which is what The Other Half should really find alarming.  Although he is unlikely to be threatened by a scarf-wearing boyfriend.  Since, according to him, real men don’t wear scarves.

“Don’t worry,” I assured him.  “I’m adapting the pattern by using a chunky, heathered yarn and saving it to give to my mom.  ‘Cause real moms do wear scarves.  Besides, I think I’m going to make you a cowl.”

“What’s a cowl?”  he asked.

I googled it for him and showed him the images.

“Um, no.  I’m not wearing that either, ” he declared.  “Please note that all the cowl wearers in those pictures are women.”

Well, not all of them.

The Other Half is totally getting that cowl for Christmas.

Now if I can just find that model….you know, just to display my work every once in a while.  So I can be sure I’m knitting it properly.  I’d hate to have to test it out on the dogs like these people had to do.

Oh, wait.  That cowl was actually made for that dog.  By these people.

Huh.  I’m not sure he’s wearing that right.  Although he is wearing it without pants, just like the male model.  So I guess he knows what he’s doing.  Probably.  Maybe.

Dogs in cowls.  Learn something new everyday.  I wonder how many skeins of yarn I’d need for Bruno?  Does yarn even come in the color “majestic”?

And if I made him one, would everyone else in the barn yard want one, too?  An nice cream mohair to offset the chickens’ golden feathers?

Will C.C. want a bright teal to match her halter?

And what color goes best with Charlotte???!!!!

I mean, where does this trend end?

I better get back to my knitting.  Obviously, I have a lot more learning, and maybe a whole lot of knitting, to do.


8 Responses to “Learning.”

  1. Katherine
    November 6th, 2012 @ 3:12 pm


  2. lin
    November 6th, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

    Can I just have the male model???

  3. Rain Swazey
    November 7th, 2012 @ 4:42 am

    Beautiful job- the model does make it more beautiful !! Onward to create- the sky’s the limit!!

  4. Gretchen
    November 7th, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    Such a fun read – love the photos. Thanks for sharing at our Fall Harvest Link up!

  5. Practical Parsimony
    November 7th, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

    Men absolutely do wear scarves. Start him with a cowl and he will beg for a scarf.

  6. Lisa D
    November 7th, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

    I think men look just fine in cowls. Obviously, it is keeping the man pictured quite warm so they must be effective too!

  7. Cluttered Mama
    November 7th, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

    LOVED this. This is basically my approach to crochet. Though I don’t knit, I have heard good things about Stitch & Bitch; I have used Stitch & Bitch: the Happy Hooker to teach myself to crochet & I really like it.

    And I would like the model in the cowl too…

  8. Andrew
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 6:17 am

    I showed Paula this one and the Thanksgiving blog posts and she said, enviously, “Oh my God, she’s like a Martha Stewart. She’s better than Martha Stewart. She’s like a farm-version of Martha Stewart.”

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