Thursday, February 12, 2009

What kind of knitter am I?

Well when I first started learning how to knit about 3 months ago in China, I knitted 5 ribbed hats and all of them didn't fit.

I gave up on hats and moved onto socks. I guess knitting all of those hats was actually useful since my first pair of socks was perfect, knee highs beautiful and perfect fitting. My second pair of ribbed mid-calf socks were a bit ill-fitting. My third and fourth pair of ribbed socks were perfect, perfect enough to give as a gift.

Next I moved onto felted bags. I knitted 2 in China and tried to felt them but failed. Was it the yarn, the Chinese washing machine? On the Chinese yarn labels it had 100% Chinese words + 5% Chinese words. How can a yarn mix be 100% of wool and 5% of something else? And what was that something else? All I know is there was something that kept my bags from being felted. Instead they were just stretched-out, stupid, useless bags.

On the way back to the US, I started another bag, uncomfortable bringing double pointed metal needles onto a plane to make socks. I was hoping that maybe a US washer would do the trick. Nope. Then I started another bag with the Chinese wool and ran out of yarn so I bought some American wool and used it. Wow. The American wool felted up just fine while the Chinese wool just stretched and was ugly.

So here in the states, I have knitted 5 bags in 3 weeks. Only one of them has turned out somewhat to my liking. I gave the practice bags to little girls who filled them with plastic peas, spoons, plates, bowls, and hamburgers. Now I am working on another one, modifying it to perfection.

So what kind of knitter am I?

In my opinion, I am an industrial knitter who just knits and knits and who doesn't really care about finishing a perfect product. I just want to finish it even if it doesn't turn out well. Then onto the next one. Eventually something turns out beautiful.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Patience Dies in the Land of Boredom

I have been abroad for about 2.5 years now and here I am back in the states for a month home leave.

What have I discovered?

I have absolutely no patience for interstate driving.
It is boring.
It is flat and smooth.

In Africa and China, taking a 6-10 hour bus trip in terrible hot and cramped conditions is fun compared to American interstate driving. Why?

Well because interstate driving is BORING! There is nothing to look at except except nothing: trees whizzing by, ground, cars, another exit full of the same ol same ol.

The only interesting thing I saw on my road trip from Cleveland to DC were the farmhouses and these circle like buildings with tall roofs and no windows.

At least in Africa and China there is always something exciting happening: from a bag of oranges being thrown into the window and then a foot hopping up onto the window and then a hand reaching in to pull the bag of oranges up top to the landscapes and the people. It is like being on an amusmant park ride full of bumps and turns and things to look at.

Misery is made interesting in Africa and China.
Misery is made boring in America.