Dixie Peach: When Multi-Tasking Goes Wrong

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

When Multi-Tasking Goes Wrong

I'm knitting a pair of socks for Darling Mollie. Alright, alright - I know others of you are patiently waiting for socks from me but I really want to knit this particular pattern and this pattern is just Mollie.

All day I've been chomping at the bit to get to the main part of the pattern. Knitting the cuff of a sock is like being in an airplane just after they've closed the door. You're about to take off but the taxiing to the runway seems to take forever and all you can think is "C'mon! Let's get in the air! I want my plastic cup of tomato juice and my little bag of snack crackers!". I'm knitting a two color pattern for the first time and I've been anxious to see what it's like to have two balls of yarn going at the same time.

Unable to leave the sock knitting alone while I'm online, I've been knitting as I read email and while I've been chatting with Darling Mollie online. I've also been looking at bulletin boards of which I'm a member and at one point I set my knitting aside while I wrote a reply on a thread.

After I was finished writing I picked the sock back up to finish the round I was working on and couldn't find the free needle. I'm knitting with a set of five double pointed needles - four in the sock and one free one to knit onto. I looked around on the sofa where I'm sitting and couldn't see it. I got up to see if I was sitting on it and no needle. Looked under and around the pattern book I'm using. Looked under and around the sofa pillow I'm using to keep the pattern book open (Note to knitting pattern book publishers: use ring binding so the book will lay open flat on its own) and couldn't find it. Looked on the coffee table, looked around the computer, looked on the floor. No needle.

And I was pissed. Furious. How in the world did I lose that needle? How was I so irresponsible as to misplace that needle? I'm normally so careful. I am anal about keeping up with my sock knitting needles and not getting different sizes mixed together and not breaking up a set of five. I looked over and over and over in the same places and the whole time I was cussing up a storm. I haven't been quite this pissed in a long time. "Muthafucker! Where in the fuck did I put that needle? I hate breaking up a set! Dammit to fucking hell, where is that needle?!!".

Meantime B's patiently ignoring me and was fully engaged in playing his computer game. I suppose he's become accustomed to my profanity laden rants.

Another five minutes of frantic searching and foul language passed I finally went to fetch another needle from another sock project that's being knit with needles of the same size. And it's bugging the hell out of me to have to get a needle out of a different set of needles because that's mixing them up! It's inter-needle marriage and I am pro needle-purity. There's something wrong about mixing needles together from different sets even though they're needles of the same size, of the same length, made from the same material and are from the same manufacturer. It's just wrong. It's not...symmetrical or lucky or some such nonsense that in reality has no effect on anything.

Yes, you've just discovered another embarrassing quirk of mine.

I came back into the living room still in full rant:

"Fuck! Dammit to holy hell, I am so pissed! Where in the fuck is that needle? I still can't see where I dropped that fucking needle and now I'm going to have a set that's broken up! Shiiiiiit!! And why do they have to make these sons of bitches so fucking hard to see? Why do they have to paint them that dull ass gray? You can't see them when they're that dull ass gray! They need to paint these fuckers orange or something so you can see the pieces of shit!"

"It wouldn't have done you any good if they were orange."

"Why not? If they were orange they'd stand out better!"

"Because your knitting needle is tucked behind your left ear."

He enjoyed that entirely too much.



Anonymous Sue said...

I can just imagine the look on B's face. That is almost exactly (down to the last curse) how I would have reacted. Thanks for the laugh. :-)

8:54 AM  
Blogger Marsha said...

ha, ha, so funny. Glad you did find your needle. I have had a couple of similar searches lately, must be the heat.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Princess Cat's Pajamas said...

Giggle! :-D

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny. i curse constantly when knitting and my husband just alugsh and says "i am glad you have such a relaxing hobby."

5:07 PM  
Blogger jane said...

correction for above comment. my husband laughs not "alugsh"

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so funny!! I bet B is still laughing.


5:31 PM  
Blogger Hilda said...

OK - wait!

You are knitting with FIVE needles at the same time? You have TWO hands and you're using FIVE needles?

What kind of demonic activity is THAT?

I'm glad you found the needle...I think B is probably more amused by the five needle thing than by the freak out.

The mind wobbles...:)

7:17 PM  
Blogger Katya said...

I'm glad you don't have to break up a pair of knitting needles but I'm with HIlda on this -- 5 needles AND two hands?! What exactly are you doing? Extremely funny story, btw, I laughed out loud in the library. :)

7:29 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

To the uninitiated, multiple needles in knitting does sound daunting. I remember as a child my mother telling me that when you knit a cable you need a third needle and thought that would be impossible. Now I can knit cables on socks and with the addition of the cable needle that makes six.

But you never knit with more than two needles at a time. With a sock you're knitting what amounts to be a tube, right? Think of this tube as having four sides and one needles is holding each side. When you're knitting the sock, you're only knitting one side at a time. Even when you knit cables and use an extra cable needle you only actually touch that needle when you're knitting the cable itself. Otherwise all these other needles are just hanging free.

I guess that takes all the magic out of it, eh?

9:20 PM  
Blogger Hilda said...

Dixie writes - like it's a normal thing:

"Now I can knit cables on socks and with the addition of the cable needle that makes six."

That.Is.Not.Natural. So don't try to pretend it is.

Dixie then goes on to try to rationalize the whole thing - again, like it's normal. Finally she says:

"I guess that takes all the magic out of it, eh?"

No my friend, *it* isn't magical - you are!


11:08 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Hilda, you are so danged cute! Actually what's magic is trying to knit the first row and they needles are all flopping around. The first time you ever do it you think it'll never work but by the time you get to the third round it all firms up and it's easy.

We could teach you to knit, Hilda!

11:11 PM  
Blogger Hilda said...

Clearly the back-of-the-neck-pimple-funk has seeped into Dixie's brain because she writes:

"We could teach you to knit, Hilda!"



Alas I have already battled the knitting demons and lost.

From the 3rd-6th grade the girls had knitting class as part of my school's curriculum. The teacher was evil and I had no talent, interest or patience. After impaling myself with the traditional knitting needles (just two of them, thank you very much) I *took up* crocheting.

When I say *took up* I actually mean making a neverending first row of crochetted material. In Spanish, or at least in *Cuban* that first row is called "cadeneta" which upon Googling it I find translates to "chain stitch" - who knew? I guess I only know how to *not knit* in Spanish.

Look, here's a video of the "cadeneta":

I only did the first row because I didn't care to learn how to start the second row. I told the evil teacher I was crocheting a bed spread for my parents' king size bed. It took me 3 years and I never finished that first row.

My knitting career is most definitely over! But thanks for the thought.


3:45 AM  
Blogger Miz said...

WooHoo! Lol!

5:54 AM  
Blogger purplepassion said...

ok, that was laugh out loud funny and it's also why I crochet or embroider etc. Things that only require ONE needle. My mother knitted and I she was never able to make my fingers and hands do and hold all the things and ways they should.

5 needles WOW! Good for you!

7:26 PM  

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