Tuesday, May 30, 2006

my sister has a tighter miter

Prologue: My bright idea. My sisters, my niece and I will make a mitered throw for my parents. Surprise our mom who knits for everyone.
This'll be in the spirit of Mason Dixon Knitting - a collaboration, two of us Yankees,
the other two south of the divide line in the DC area. We ignore history. The last collaboration - a parody song for an anniversary party- unleashed levels of sisterly sniping unseen since we used to share a bathroom and steal each others' clothes. (usually they took mine. For the record..I still want that vintage mexican jacket back).

The rules: We agree there are no rules. We will use the same yarn & pattern. Choose any colors you want. No quota of squares per person. No hard deadline. No telling anyone else that their square is ugly.

The personae: We are all in the visual arts professionally. warning warning! We have Opinions on Things Visual. We grew up knitting but only one of us knits all the time now. One of us used to work as a textile designer/illustrator. One of us is more experimental with materials than all the others. One of us is still in high school and is slightly freaked out by her mom and 2 aunts bickering like 12 year olds.

Scene 1:
My front lawn, late Saturday afternoon. I've already persuaded the sister who doesn't relax enough to watch me garden, take a long bike ride and have a glass of wine .That last one wasn't so difficult, persuasion-wise. We crack the book, take out the freshly arrived yarn. We cast on.cast We sip wine.deet Lulu develops some problems. The pattern says size 6 us needles gets gauge, she is using 7's. I am on size 5 because I almost always need to go down a size. A few rows in, Lulu's miters are looking funny. She can barely move the yarn, its squeaking she's got it so tightly pulled. She accuses me of telling her to keep the knitting on the tight side. I, of course, deny. We then have an extended conversation about why its pointless to try to guess gauge when you've only knit 3/4 of an inch. I tell her to measure when she gets to 4" or better yet, consider her first square a swatch and we'll measure when we finish them. She further claims I'm not demonstrating the ssk well.
We sip more wine. We admire the stripes.
she: what color will you do next?
me: ummm, I don't know. I guess I'll see what I'm in the mood for.
she: but , only two colors, right?
me: No, I might use more. Remember, we agreed, no rules on colors?
she: But you will keep the stripes uniform, right? No skinnier?
me: oh, I think some split stripes will look cool
she: No! the pattern says 6 row stripes
me: remember, we all agreed, no rules...
she: (and here's where the conversation starts to devolve )
You know. Saying No Rules is Making a Rule. You are making a rule.
me: (with attitude although I guess she's right on a technicality but you didn't hear me say that ) well. I'm am not promising my stripes will all be the same thickness.
We restrain ourselves from sticking out our tongues. I breathe deeply and contemplate the nature of collaboration and sisterhood.
Any Family Psychology PhD candidates looking for thesis material? Sign on now!


Tracy Batchelder said...

Ah, sisterly love...I have two sisters myself. Great post!

Kris said...

Your post cracked me up. I'm not sure that I could handle working with my sister for that long, even though I love her dearly!

kathy in Juneau said...

Too funny. I have two sisters also and I think you're very brave.

Isn't Shine wonderful? Looking forward to watching this blanket grow!

Anonymous said...

LOL. Bring on the sisterly dishing! (Do the other sisters get 'response time'?)

This blanket will make your family even stronger (sniff). xoxo Kay

Melissa said...

You are cracking me up. If our family knit a blanket together, it would be used as the casket cover for a very large family funeral.

yarngirl13 said...

You have knitting sisters - you've already got me beat! Good luck.

Elysbeth said...

I am curious about the fab bag sitting in the sun. Any chance of a closer look?

Also, I envy you your sisters...or is it jealousy? I can never remember which one is the really bad one (the one that says I don't want you to have it) Either way, Congrats on a familly project.

kristinknits said...

I just checked out your portfolio - absolutely amazing photography skills. WOW! I am jealous.

shobhana said...

hilarious! can't wait to see the end result!

ashayne said...

Totally LOL. I just returned from a fambly "vacation" and I am laughing like crazy at this little saga. My sister and I would NEVER attempt such a bold undertaking. Brave you! Can't wait to see how this turns out.

Anonymous said...

Fun, fun post! I too come from a family of all girls -- there are 5 of us -- and we have a blast knitting and bugging each other!

Unknown said...

Oh, that was fun to read! I have two sisters, one a knitter. We are the Bickersons, too.

And re: your comment on my K post -- how could it be that I never noticed all the variegated yarn in my life? There it is, though!

Debbie D said...

quite funny and um can I have your front yard for some of my backyard? I have bottles of wine here.