Tag: knitting (page 1 of 5)

How to annoy a knitter

Dear Wendy,

As you know, I’m a fairly passionate knitter. And when I say “fairly passionate” I mean in the same sense that the Pope is “fairly Catholic.”

Unlike the Pope, however, I would never claim any kind of infallibility in the knitting department. In fact, I’m one of the most fallible knitters I know—but when I pick up a pair of needles and some wool, I am pretty much unstoppable. Like a freight train.

So maybe it’s this air of intense concentration that seems to prompt non-knitters to say the oddest things to me. Continue reading

Log cabin blanket: Simple winter knit

Dear Wendy,

I can’t believe we’re rounding the corner into the last week of January! The month usually drags for me, as I wait impatiently for the snow and ice to melt. But this year, with all the frenetic activity in our house, January has whipped past in a bit of a blur.

That’s why I’m glad I chose a super-simple pattern—a version of a knitted log cabin blanket—as my first project of 2015. Continue reading

Mothers and daughters: Reluctant gifts

Dear Wendy,

Last week someone asked me how I learned to knit.

I paused for a moment, trying to remember—I’ve been doing it for so long now, it’s hard to recall the details. I do know that our mother had something to do with it, which is a bit out of character for her, since she didn’t go in much for that whole “mothers and daughters” thing. Continue reading

The joy (and pain) of hand knit gloves

Dear Wendy,

This week has been unseasonably warm in Ottawa, which makes what I am about to say sound faintly ridiculous: in anticipation of winter, which looms only a few weeks in the future, I finally finished knitting a pair of  Very Warm Gloves. Continue reading

Awesome Advice Central knits up a storm

Dear Awesome Advice Central,

Finally, oh finally, I’ve found the man I love.  I’ve been searching for years for Mr. Right, and at long last there he was, sitting on the opposite side of a bonfire last July, beating his bongo with a vigour usually found in big rock groups like The Weavers and Edison Lighthouse. 

His bongo-playing attracted me, but his personality kept me coming back for more. 

He told me he fell in love with me when he saw me remove my G-string.  That seems like a peculiar thing to say, given I change my strings so often.  Portius (that’s his name) says he adored the concentrated look on my face when I replaced it (the string, not my face) with another string. 

I commented that it’s not that unusual for a guitar player to have spare strings in her pocket, but still.  He loved it, he loves me, I love him, we should be happy. 


And yet it’s just not working that way for me.  Portius (I mentioned it was his name?  Because it is) is kind, loves my iguana (named Night—get it?  haha, I love puns), enjoys Sundays on the beach with our twin metal detectors, and doesn’t even mind when the home-brew in the basement occasionally explodes.  What a guy, right?

And then…last night I learned something about him. Something that might put our wonderful bond in jeopardy. 

It’s so alarming, I just never would have thought it of him, but dear sisters of Awesome Advice Central, I have to tell you that he…well…there’s nothing to do but just come out with it…which I’ll do in just a minute, after I have a quick but meaningful hug with Night, to bolster my spirits…Portius knits

The shock.  The horror. 

If he’d told me he’d been a murderer, I couldn’t have been more appalled. You see, I swore, after my last failed love affair, that I would never date or become attached in any way with a man who was involved with textiles.

Due to a serious purling episode involving me, Pontius (my ex), and a hamster named Ralph, I’m just not willing to go there again.  At first, Pontius lured me in to his tangled world of wool by knitting me small pot holders and tea cosies.  I thought it was charming.  I told him I loved them all, put them in a back cupboard and promptly forgot about them. 

His behavior escalated.  I suppose it was partially my fault for not telling him that I thought he was a nitwit, but that’s what we call “blaming the victim” these days.  I just couldn’t bring myself to let him know that knits are not my thing.

He knit me a dress.  It looked like a regular sweater, but it went from my shoulders to the floor.  To gussy it up, he put tassels on it, at intervals around my chestal area and hips.  I grimly thanked him for the gesture, put it in the cupboard with all those fricking tea cosies, and tried desperately to forget about it. 

Until the night when he invited me out, making a special request that I wear the dress that evening, “just for him.” Well, if he liked it so much, why didn’t HE bloody wear it. 

I put the repellent thing on, tried not to look at myself in the mirror and dragged myself to the front door to get into his car.  If I’d thought the dress was heavy and clumsy before, it was a total disaster when I stepped outside into the pouring rain. 

I won’t go into details.  I save those for my therapist.  Let’s just say, it ended that night with Pontius in tears, threatening me with his 5.5 mm chrome-plated instruments of death:  his needles.  Circulars, but still. Pointy.

Pontius is doing time in prison now, where last I heard he attempted to escape using nothing but a macramé rope made of recycled toilet paper and saliva. 

I can’t go through something like this again and I need you to help me figure out how to unravel myself from this web of love, desire and shame. 

I love Portius, but he must see how he’s just no good for me.  He’s hinting that he wants to make me something “special” for our upcoming anniversary.  I don’t think I can bear it anymore.  How can I dump him?

Nittie G. Rittie


Dear Nittie,

Well, aren’t we the special little snowflake? Too good for a knitting boyfriend, are we?

Unappreciative of the skills of not just one, but two decent-sounding fellows (with extremely odd names, but perhaps they’re related? Names puzzle us these days). Clearly, you don’t deserve either Pontius or Portius.

Young woman, do you have any clue how much love and labour goes into knitting a dress? Not to mention the cost of the wool.

Especially a full-length gown of the sort you describe—we understand completely why poor Pontius flipped his cookies and went after you with the only weapon at his disposal. Though frankly, we’d have gone for a smaller gauge needle, as they’re pointier and can do more damage. 5.5 mms are fine for larger projects, but when you’re aiming for a person’s jugular, you really want a precision instrument. However, we forgive him this gaffe, as he was clearly distraught at having picked a lady friend who so obviously scorned his devotion.

As for Portius, we suggest you do the only decent thing, and set him free. In fact, if he’s planning on knitting something special for your anniversary, you should head him off at the pass right away, as a kindness. That is, assuming you’re capable of a kindness, which we sincerely doubt. In our vast and worldly experience, those who fail to appreciate knitting paramours, male or female, tend to be unappreciative and graceless in other ways as well.

However, it is not our place to judge you for being a self-centred narcissist whose sense of entitlement is exceeded only by your ability to whine about it.

While you’re showing poor Portius the door, you may tell him from us that he is always welcome chez Awesome Advice, should he wish to join us for an afternoon (or evening) of knitting, coffee, and kibbitzing. Trust us, he’ll have more fun in an evening with us than in a lifetime with you, you pathetic creature.

Awesome Advice Central


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