Married, With Knitting

"You're knitting a hat," Nicholas says pointedly, eyeing the stitches on my needles with the practiced eye of a knitter's husband.

"Why, yes, I am knitting a hat," I reply, as innocently as possible. I continue knitting, humming a tuneless tune just to show how innocent this little knitting project really is.

"I thought you were knitting a sweater–you know, that purple one. Is it done? Can I see?"

"Nope." More humming. "It's not finished yet. One more sleeve, then I have to weave in the ends." I continue knitting on the hat, careful not to look him in the eye. (I've heard people can see guilt written all over you if you look them in the eye.)

"So why did you start a hat? Shouldn't you be working?"

"I am working. This is working. This hat, this is work. It's the Blume Hat, from Knitscene, and I'm writing about it on my Interweave blog. It's one of the patterns my readers suggested last week, actually. So, I am working." Still avoiding his eyes. But now I'm starting to really feel the guilt, and I find I'm having to avoid the dog's eyes, too. Everyone's a critic.

"Where did you get that yarn? I don't remember seeing it before."

Now, I'm getting defensive. I know better than to show any signs of weakness, however. Act as though it's all No Big Thang, that's the way to handle these sorts of conversations.

"Oh," I say after a moment, pretending I had to concentrate on some complicated stitch before I could answer him (I'm working 1×1 ribbing right now, oh, yes, quite complicated), "…this? I've had it for months now. It's Kim's yarn, you know, Indigodragonfly, the dyer up in Haliburton? Yep. I blogged about it last spring. Remember that photo of the gargoyle holding the merino/cashmere? That was this skein." I go back to the humming, trying to look for all the world as though I am working intently on a valuable work project that I didn't just go out and buy an armload of yarn for.

"More hand dyed yarn." He is starting to sound resigned, beaten down. Time to go for his weak spot.

"You know how I love to support the indies. And she's local! She sells her yarn through the local yarn shops in town, so it's good all around. Local dyer, local yarn shop, community support, the whole thing." I sneak a rabbit-fast glance at his face, to see if he's taking the bait. Nicholas is passionate about supporting local businesses.

"Uh… Honey, Toronto's where the yarn shops are, and it's an hour away from here." He's a professor. He's very logical. I pretend not to have heard.

"Are you going to finish the purple top?" Sometimes being a knitter's husband tries a guy's patience a bit, especially if one is a guy who is logical and all smart and stuff.

"Of course I'm going to finish it! I'm nearly done. It'll be finished any day now. I'm just taking a little break, that's all. It's like…like cleansing your palette during a really good meal. You eat something with a different flavour to refresh your tastebuds for more of the super-delicious stuff." He's a cook. Food analogies, score!

I look up, confident now that I have won, to see that he is shaking his head, as though I am one of his students who has missed the point of the course entirely.

"Silly you," says he. "You're never going to change, are you? You're always, always going to be working on a zillion projects at once, so that they all take forever to finish. You could have had six purple tops by now, if you'd just focus a bit more."

"But then I wouldn't have this hat, dear." I am triumphant.

He's in the kitchen by now, abandoning this fruitless discussion. From the other room, I hear a light-hearted roar: "ARRrrrrrrrrrrrgggghhhhh! You are hopeless, woman! Cute, but hopeless."

Smiling, I go back to knitting my hat.

P.S. The hat won't take me long…what should I knit next? The Leitmotif Cardi is getting votes; leave a comment with your suggestions! – Sandi

Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. You can find her blogging here on Knitting Daily every Thursday. Want more? Visit Sandi's personal blog, wiseheart knits. Or, if you're on Twitter, you can follow her: sandiwiseheart.

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20 thoughts on “Married, With Knitting

  1. You forgot to use the argument that it’s better ergonomically to have more than one project going at a time, so you don’t hurt yourself by doing one type of stitch on one size of needle for too long. Feel free to use it the next time! HaHaHa ;-}

  2. It sounds like you are married to MY husband. We have this conversation alot. Thanks for letting me know that I am a normal “married with knitting”.

  3. Sandi, I’m so in awe that you can take the comments in stride! I think it’ll be a few more years of marriage before I can accept his, “What’s that new project and why haven’t you finished my sweater?” with anything but a rueful pout, LOL.

  4. You crack me up! Let’s not talk about unfinished projects. I’ve got about 15! My son is getting on my back about not finishing his “big woobie” that I promised by the end of September (starlight afghan).

    Get into as many projects as possible–life’s not dull!

  5. After MANY years of marriage we have come to an agreement. I don’t nag him about ivory (his passion) nor does he mention my stash (or packages in the mail from my favorite sites.) It works well.

  6. I vote for the Plein Aire Tote. At first I thought, “Oh she couldn’t talk about fit – so maybe she wouldn’t want to do that” but then I thought ” The handles would be an excellent topic for teaching, as would the box seams… and wouldn’t it be nice to do something different?” So there you have it! I vote for the Plein Aire Tote!

  7. I am knitting the Yggdrasil afghan, teaching school and parenting two children. That is a lot of cabling and a huge expanse of macadamia colored cotton at this point- sometimes I need knitting that is simpler and a different color.
    as to what you knit next, I LOVE the Breacon Swing Coat but it kind of terrifies me. I would love to read your wonderful tips and comments about how to knit it.

  8. Sandi, I read this to DH (darling hubby) and we both got a good laugh… a while back I promised I would not buy anymore yarn, as I already had 3-4 big plastic tubs in my craft room.
    But I didn’t say anything about not buying patterns. And of course, if you buy patterns, there’s got to be one you really love in the book, so you need to get the right yarn for it, because there’s not enough of any one yarn in your stash to make that particular cardigan, and…. Well, let’s say DH shares Nicholas’ frustration with me!
    I also use my ADD as a good excuse – I can’t concentrate on any one pattern for too long… (note, DH doesn’t buy that reason either!)

  9. I just had to laugh, too much of that conversation could be heard in my house too,

    Especially after this last week’s voyage to a number of indies both in and out-of-state while my husband sat patiently in the parking lot as I added to both my stash and library. He tried to remind me we have knitting stores in our area too, but I quickly reminded him that most of the stores in our area are of the large chain variety and it is the indies that have the best inventory – each being uniquely stocked, and that there are only 3 LYS’s within an hour’s drive and I just can’t find everything I read about locally. He just looked at me with disbelief, shook his head, and then added but you don’t have to ‘import’ yarn do you? I just smiled and continued working on the latest project.

  10. Don’t do it Sandy. The L. Cardi won’t do a thing for you! I predict it will appear as if it’s sized too small no matter how small you make it, with the ladies and the tum-tum peaking out between the fronts. Not a good look, I don’t think. Sorry.

  11. I’m really lucky since I am engaged to a knitter. He totally gets the yarn thing but he is still a monogamous knitter. I think he will soon learn the love of multiple projects!
    What about the Jali Cardigan by Pam Powers (Interweave Summer 2010) for your next project? I love this cardigan, especially the small cable twists and the open front.
    Good luck!

  12. Thanks for the great tips and inspiration you have given me through this blog. You helped me tackle and master setting in sleeves and I’m grateful.

    I have been admiring the Leyfi sweater from Interweave Knits Fall 2010. It would get my vote for your next project but you should do a pattern you are in love with. I have gained knitting insight in the past from whatever you decide to knit and look forward to seeing what’s on your needles next.

  13. I just almost finished a hat for my granddaughter (age 6 months) and obviously I messed up the guage. it is WAY too big. How can I fix it without having to rip it all out? pleasse heltp