Outdoor knitting can be terrifying

I’ve had a truly lovely Victoria Day weekend (once I stopped being sick as hell). Lots of time spent outdoors enjoying the summery weather, my husband and I had our monthly at-home date night (SCHMOOP!), I planted my herb garden (basil, tarragon, dill, and mint), and of course I did a lot of knitting.While my husband worked on resurfacing our driveway (and doing one hell of an awesome job if you ask me) I sat on the deck and knit. I did try to help him some, but he quickly scooted me back to the deck to knit, telling me that I was sick and supposed to be resting up. I suspect it was more that I wasn’t doing it “right” and he was happier to just do it himself.

This is how I look on my deck knitting. Notice the two fans. They are there not to cool me down but to blow away the bugs. Jury is out whether it actually helps.

So, I did lots of deck knitting this weekend. HOWEVER…

I have learned today that knitting outdoors comes with risks.

Let me explain. I am a total wuss when it comes to bugs. I loath all bugs, which I know is cliche girl stuff, but it is what it is. My great tragedy is that the mosquitoes at my house are insanely bad. Like, I’m thinking god is punishing us or something because this is divine retribution level mosquitoes. This is why when I am on the deck I have multiple fans blowing on me to (hypothetically) blow the mosquitoes away. Today, however, the problem wasn’t mosquitoes… it was a mother effing spider. What happened was that I dropped my little ball of yarn under my deck chair and when I reached under my chair to get it an effing spider effing crawled on my effing hand! When I saw it I screamed bloody murder and flailed trying to get it off me, throwing my knitting clear across the deck in the process. My husband, used to my occasional bug freak outs, looked calmly up at me, and then looked at my knitting that I threw, and then back at me sort of questioningly, as if to say “What minor thing was it that made you freak out this time?.” I just defensively said, “There was a spider on my hand….” and he expressionlessly blinked a couple times, and then went back to whatever he was doing. I think he believes I overreacted but there was a SPIDER ON  MY HAND for heaven’s sake! That is terrifying and absolutely warrants screams and knitting tossings.

Aside from that horror, knitting has been going well. Maaaan I am all about the sock yarn blanket again. I am just hammering out squares like a machine, and it feels gooooooooood. I do feel sort of guilty for putting my Fellowship of the Shawl aside for now, but at the moment I just want to work on the blissfully mindless sock yarn blanket. It is scratching all sorts of happy knitting itches – lots of pretty yarns, mindless, fun, lots of mini-completions/victories, etc.

Current state of my blanket, all 163 blocks of it!

As always, I have some notes:

  • I’m up to 163 blocks which is frankly awesome.
  • Current dimensions are 48×20 inches.
  • I don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier, but I took the 8 seconds to count how many squares there are in each row (alternating rows of 14 and 13 squares) so now counting how many blocks I am at is stupid fast and easy. The only thing that it sort of requires is knitting in even rows (ie. knit squares across an entire row), rather than all whack a doo uneven lumpy. In case I decide to go all nutsy and start knitting whack a doo uneven again, I put a little marker at the row that represents 162 blocks, so at least I won’t have to count those any more.
  • I still don’t know how big I want this thing. Right now it is currently the perfect width for a couch blanket, and would also work okay for a twin size bed. I still kind of want to make this mofo queen size, but honestly that just feels…. overly ambitious.
  • OPERATION: Never Weave In Ends is going well. Basically, I am “cheating” to ensure I have no ends to weave in. When I start a new square I pick up and knit the first stitch as normal, and then pick up the next half of the stitches (ie. one side of a square I am picking up stitches from) using the working yarn AND the tail. It results in a “double” stitch to knit into when I do my second row, but that is pretty minor. So there is that end sorted out. The other ends that need handling are the top of the square, finishing end. I grab that end as well and pick up the stitches using the working yarn, the yarn tail, and that tip yarn. Does that make sense? If you look at the adjacent picture it should be more clear. The red lines are where the end tail was used (along with the new yarn) when I picked up the new stitches. You can juuuuuuuust see the pink end there knit in to the edge of the blue square. And you can juuuuuuuuust see the blue end knit into the side of the burgundy square. And I kid you not, I had to really look through my blanket to find this example where it is noticeable. This actually is working fabulously and is pretty invisible. I mean, just take a gander at the above picture of my blanket’s current state and tell me if you can see where I did this! I’ll bet if I hadn’t told you you wouldn’t have known. I can’t see it at all. I was a bit worried it would be noticeable, giving a weird edge to the squares, but nope! Looks fine and works great. And I have no ends to weave in! I just periodically go back and snip off any loose ends and voila! Done! The back looks super tidy too. I’m sure there are people who would be horrified that I am doing this, but whatever. If the knitting police want to arrest me they know where I live.
    • I knit most/all of the tails in because that’s just how I roll, but you could easily just pick up a couple stitches using the tails and then drop them and pick up the rest of the stitches only using the working yarn. You don’t need to knit the tails into very many stitches for it to be secure. Me, I just do the whole thing because why not.