Happiness is . . .

. . . recovering from being an idiot.

I know I’m being hard on myself, but I did a dum-dum thing the other day.  In the process of knitting my Juliet-Inspired cardigan with Anthropologie Undertones (from now on to be know as the JICWAU), I used a helpful tip I learned from some of my lace-knitting friends.  I put in a lifeline into a row of my stitches. 

For the non-knitters, a lifeline is a string of dental floss* or fine yarn that you insert into a row of stitches at a point where you’re sure you’ve got things right but are about to begin a trickier part of a pattern.  If you mess up, you can rip back to the lifeline and easily put your stitches back on the needles.  Without a lifeline, it could be really difficult to get all of your stitches back if you have to rip.

*A word about dental floss:  Waxed floss + metal needles + yarn = sticky mess.  Lesson learned.

When I’d knit the top of the sweater and was ready to put the sleeve stitches on scrap yarn and continue knitting the body, I put in my lifeline, a length of dark sock yarn.  I was happy with the fit at that point and knew I was about to begin an experimental lace pattern.  Pretty sure that I’d mess up, I wanted to be able to get back to that point if I needed to.  So, instead of putting the sleeve stitches on scrap yarn, I just used the lifeline to hold them.  Simple.  Easy. 

I knit on and on for a few days and was amazed to find that I was happy with the body and with the sweater in general.  I went into the bathroom and tried it on in front of the mirror.  Happy!  It was working!  I liked it!  Woohoo!  I checked out all the angles and view of my lovely melange of stitches and decided that I was safe.  I liked the lace pattern and I was confident that it was simple enough that if I made a mistake and needed to rip back, I could do it without sweat and tears. 

And so . . . I pulled out the lifeline.  Lifeline?  I don’t need no stinking lifeline.  Once the line was out, I could see the sweater without a dark line of string going across the front of it, distracting me.  The front of the sweater looked even better.  The sleeves looked a little wonky, since they were short and rolled up.  Hmmm.  Wanted to get an idea of how they’d look once they were laying smoothly around my arm.  I pinched the knitted fabric under my arm to pull the sleeve tighter and . . . the stitches pulled away like a mess of blue spaghetti.  Crap.  The sleeve stitches had been held by that stinking lifeline.  Dope. 

I stood in front of the mirror, watching my face turn bright red and my forehead become shiny as I held the mess of stitches between my fingers.  Idiot.

It took me more than a half hour to put that underarm back together and to put it on the scrap yarn that I should have used in the first place.  And something hit me.  In the making of my sweater, there was sweat.  There were tears.  Sweat + tears = Sweatears.  I’m knitting a sweatear.

Here it is:

 With luck, I’ll finish it this weekend.  Then I can wear it to Rhinebeck!  Rhinebeck is next weekend.  Can’t wait!

 One thing I won’t be wearing is this:

Yes, I sat on it.  Sat.  On.  It.  Maybe I haven’t recovered from being and idiot yet.

Happiness is also . . . the journal writing of 3rd-graders.  Last week, one of the journal prompts I gave was this:  Would you like to be a mom or a dad when you grow up?  Tell why or why not.  I wrote the prompt on the whiteboard, read it aloud, and carefully explained that if you are a girl, you’d tell me if you’d like to be a mom, and if you’re a boy, you’d tell me if you’d like to be a dad some day.

From the boy who never listens to me:

I would not like to be a mom when I grow up because I would rather be a dad because I can drive myself to a football game in New Jersey.  I would like to watch the Giants win.  I can do whatever I want to do for the rest of my life. 

A few that would make their moms proud:

I would like to be a mom when I grow up because you get to have kids.  Kids keep you company day and night.  One thing about kids is that they keep you working.  When I grow up I will probably understand why my mom likes to go to work early.  When I get older (65) my kids will have kids and and I will be a grandmother.  Like my grandmother, they will sleep over and I will have to buy a million loaves of bread.  (My brother LOVES cinnamon toast.)

I would like to be a mom when I grow up because I like being with children.  I can tell my children about how it was when I was a kid!  I love telling stories.  My grandma told me to be good girls, as not to be like the girls in stores. They knock everything over and don’t pick it up! My mom has a cup that says, “Good women . . . May we have them, may we raise them, may we be them.”  It is yellow with daises on it!  I like that cup!

I would like to be a mom when I grow up because I love kids and babies are so cute when they’re young.  I would like to be a mother of two kids – a boy and a girl.  And kids keep you busy and compnay.  My kids would have kids and I would get to be a grandma and spoil my grandkids.  And I would let my kids pick their sport even if it was 100 dollars because they’re worth every penny. 

A few that might make their parents bite their lips:

I would like to be a mom when I grow up because you would get to have the baby.  If you were the dad you would have to watch.  if you were the mom you wouldn’t have to work if you don’t want to.  You don’t have to do anything you could just stay home if you want to.

 I would not like to be a mom when I grow up because you have to do a lot of work.  And you have to make dinner and wash the dishes and wash the clothes.  You also have to clean the house.  I don’t want to be a mom because of that stuff you have to do.

I would like to be a dad because I would be in charge of the house.  And also on Saturdays I would sleep in really late.  Also I could go to sleep whenever I want.  Also no one can boss me around except for my boss.

Hmmmmm.  Out of the mouths of babes.

6 Responses to “Happiness is . . .”

  1. yankeel Says:

    Yow — out of the mouths of babes…

    Love your sweatear — can’t wait to see the finished product!

  2. accountantgrrl Says:

    Ohhh, Knelley, honey….we have all done idiot things. Your sweatear is very purty.

    And those “snowflakes” are absolutely darling.

  3. Mom Says:

    Love the sweater, just gorgeous. Your kids are funny and so honest !!!!

  4. jennsquared Says:

    I just realized… I still have your old link on my google reader. No Wonder I didn’t see any posts from you when I get back and I was confused!!! doh! Well now I’m gonna go catch up now.

    Cute 3rd graders. And the sweater is turning out beautiful!!!!

  5. Mad Knitter Says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your armpits :(.

    Really, it’s a beautiful sweater, and I can’t wait to see it on you this weekend! I’m such a load, I have nothing handknit to wear!!! I read that they hope to have a contest for handknit stuff too at the party! You are a contender!!!

    I love your third graders!

  6. betsy Says:

    okay, never heard about that dental floss trick. YOu have just saved my knitting future.

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