Saturday, 12 November 2011

Failure to convey the complexity of fibre arts

It is a truism of the knitting part of the internet* that non-knitters do not understand how long it takes to knit things, and therefore will occasionally expect you to whip up a super kingsize bed cover in a weekend for £4.50. This is fair enough as I would have no idea how long it would take to, for example, make a table, but you might want to be aware of it so you can wave them and their £4.50 away if necessary. I can now, however, exclusively reveal that non-knitters also do not know how long it takes you to knit things even when they sit next to you every evening looking at you curiously and going, ‘oo!’, every time your wool touches their thigh.
I wonder if handknitted socks have ever been taken as an exhibit to Relate counselling? (Actually, they probably have)
Scene: this morning. Partner and I are moving a million black crocheted granny squares so he can sit down (I’m on 41. 41! When I get to 50 I will be over half way and I will open the champagne/ Asda Prosecco).
Me: If I ever again decide to crochet 99 granny squares I want you to stop me. That’s your responsibility.
Partner: I thought of that good way round it. If you’d listened to me, you’d be nearly done by now. (Partner had previously suggested I should only crochet half of the squares and ‘make a feature of the holes’).
Me: No, but that wouldn’t work, would it, because the pattern only looks good if it’s entirely solid.
Partner: I’ve got another idea.
Me: Have you? Is it a helpful one?
Partner: What you could do in future if you want to make people things is, you could just knit them socks.
Me: Just knit them socks?
Partner: Yes. Because you knit those very bright socks. It’s as if you’ve got an inexhaustible supply of those very bright socks.
Me: ???
Partner: Socks for everybody!
Me: But, but, socks take a bit of time as well, though, you know.
Partner: No, they don’t. They only take you an evening. I’ve watched you do it. You like it! It’s knitting for fun!
Me: No, honestly, they take much longer than an evening.
Partner: No, they definitely only take an evening. Quick bright socks! (Picks up paper). There we are. Sorted.

So there we are, readers, if you want to knit for Christmas, a pair of socks will only take you an evening. You’ll be able to kit out all your family, all your friends and possibly the local rugby team as well if you start soon. It’s no more effort than walking into Marks and Spencer and buying them a gift voucher and a miniature of Tia Maria**. Should I be pleased that I make it look effortless? (Note in case I do actually end up giving anyone any socks: it isn’t effortless! Socks are not an afterthought!).

*That would be about 20%. The other 80% is 79.99999% cats in boxes and the rest varied.

**Does anyone know if you can buy miniatures of Tia Maria? Only I've got this Nigella cake recipe that uses it, but I don't want to buy a big bottle because it's expensive and I'd never drink it. (God. Sometimes I feel like that bit in Miranda where Stevie didn't want to go to a nightclub and said, 'I'm too old! I'm in my thirties! I want to grow my own vegetables and make ratatouille!'. Note to younger readers, you too will one day find yourself getting excited over a Nigella cake recipe and thinking briefly, gosh, I used to leave the house after dark occasionally wearing the kind of makeup you don't just poke on with your index finger and have the ability to attract men, whatever happened).


The Foggy Knitter said...

BHS do a lot of miniature based gift items at this time of year too. Or a well stocked off license if you have one near you and can stand going in. I've found Nigella cake recipes exciting since I was a teenager. I guess there just isn't any hope for me.

Alittlebitsheepish said...

Wow, I am amazed at your restraint and the fact he has eyes left!

Susie said...

Thank you for suggestions - I will have a look in BHS! And yes, I am sure we have an off licence and I don't mind going in. I once combed Cambridge for citric acid, which is apparently used in the manufacture of crystal meth, so I am un-embarrassable, sp? (I was making elderflower cordial, not crystal meth).

Partner has eyes left, and is very pleased with his practical suggestion O_O.

Voie de Vie said...

Buy the whole bottle of Tia Maria. Then take that to Relate counseling.

Rachel said...

I'm enjoying the insight into your internet use ;-)

Denise said...

I once had a Jerk suggest I should make adult sweaters and sell them for $9.99 as I had to compete with Walmart. This to supplement my disability.

I feel your annoyance.

I suggest you buy the whole bottle of Tia Maria and drink the rest after the cake.

kristieinbc said...

I knit my husband a pair of socks last year for a birthday gift and he was totally surprised. These were the same socks I had been knitting on for the previous couple of weeks IN FRONT OF HIM. I think non-knitters are oblivious to what we do. :-)

Marushka C. said...

So apparently the sock knitting looks more "fun" than the granny square knitting? Maybe it's just the bright colors that make Partner think so? Too funny.

I have been in despair about sock knitting since I read a Yarn Harlot post about how many she was making for Christmas one year -- and that she could do a pair of them in 7 hours if she stayed focused. Even with liquor in tiny bottles I couldn't get a pair of socks done in less than a month ;-)

Lien said...

The way handknitted socks feature in my marriage is: I knit them for him, because he truly loves and appreciates them, but also as insurance. If we ever divorce, I shall only have to stand up in court and say, "I knit this man socks! By hand!" No judge would hestitate in concluding that I had certainly put my all into the marriage and would grant me whatever I wanted in the divorce.

Vivianne said...

Heh heh I was just discussing with my SIL the sweater I want to knit for her 18 month old son; pattern is for Rowan Denim (I was looking for a substitute) her eyes bugged out at the cost approx. £40 ... she had thought knitting was cheaper than that ;-)

Marie/Underground Crafter said...

Partner sounds pretty sure, so I'll be patiently waiting for the pair you will whip up for me tonight.

Susie said...

I'm actually worried he's almost right. I did almost a leg and half of a heel last night between the beginning of River Cottage and the end of Toddlers and Tiaras, 3 hours. I wonder how long it would take me if I just sat there till I was done? (I'm not going to!).

GirlAnachronismE said...

Oh how i wish I could make socks in one night... The pair I'm knitting have been going on for 3 weeks now...
But at least my SO has a similarly time consuming hobby...