INSANITY: it’s a family thing

November 1st, 2005, 8:30 p.m., phone conversation with my parents

Mom: Grandma likes her new socks, I think she finally threw out the first pair you made her. At least she’s stopped wearing them, but I bet she’s keeping the ratty things for sentimentality value anyway.

Me: Uh-hah, she’ll never throw them out, no matter how many replacements I knit.

Mom: You know what else you can knit? A scarf for your father. He needs a scarf, the one he wears right now is too short.

Me: (trying hard to contain excitement) Yeah, I can do that! What does he want?

Mom: Well, something beige or brown, like the scarf he has right now, because he has a green winter jacket with beige lining.

Me: (as though beige or brown is a scarf category!) Give him the phone, I want to ask him.

Dad: Yeah?

Me: What kind of scarf do you want?

Dad: Simple. And beige or brown.

Me: Alright, I’ll think about it.

Dad: Don’t think too hard.

November 1st, 2005, 9:15 p.m., e-mail

From: Grumperina

To: Grumperina’s dad

Subject: your scarf

4 Attachments

Do you like any of these? I would make it light brown/beige, of course.


November 2nd, 2005, 7:05 a.m., e-mail

From: Grumperina’s dad

To: Grumperina

Subject: RE: your scarf

1 Attachment


Seems to me Scarf4 is simple and very pleasant.

November 3rd, 2005, 10:38 a.m., e-mail

From: Grumperina

To: Grumperina’s dad

Subject: RE: your scarf

2 Attachments

I found some more that I thought you might find interesting. Do you like any of these better than scarf4?


November 3rd, 2005, 10:53 a.m., e-mail

From: Grumperina’s dad

To: Grumperina

Subject: RE: your scarf


Can we talk on the phone at 8 p.m. tonight? I need to talk to mom about all of them.

November 1st, 2005, 8 p.m., phone conversation with my parents

Me: So, did you talk to Mom about the scarf?

Dad: Yeah, we still like scarf4, but we like how in scarf5 the braids are separated by other patterns, and also how the braids are not too tight. (aside, to my mom) Anna, can you come here with the tape measure?

(rumbling in the background, my parents talking to each other. Dad: No, you hold it here, and I use the tape measure. It’s not straight! Hold the scarf straight! Mom: I’m holding it straight! You should also measure the width.)

Dad: I want the scarf to be 7-8″ wide, closer to 8″, so I was afraid scarf4 would be too narrow. Can you put other patterns between the braids?

Me: Sure!

Dad: I want fringe. Not too long, though. (mom grabs phone)

Mom: He wants fringe, but not too long. Without the fringe the scarf should be maybe 53″ long, and with the fringe, 58″. The scarf he has now, even with the fringe, is 42″ long – it looks stupid.

(rumbling in the background, my parents talking to each other. Mom: What are you doing? Are you going to throw it over your shoulder like that? Then she should make it even longer! That looks stupid, you’re not going to do that with your sporty winter jacket, are you?)

Mom: 53″ long, plus fringe. Light brown or beige would be great. Can you do that?

Me: (goodness, I already forget what color they want) Can you give the phone to dad? (phone handed over) Dad, I’ll make something for you, but because I’m making it from scratch, it may not be exactly like the photos.

Dad: That’s fine, don’t worry too much about it.

Me: I won’t. It will be a close approximation, if not the exact thing.

Dad: Okay. If I don’t like it, you can knit me another (laughs). Are you all set with the color?

I think this qualifies as light brown, no?

“This” being Karabella Aurora 8 in 1362, Kangaroo. I bought 4 balls (about 400 yards) – I think that will be enough. The website of the place where I bought it seems to be down, though – I hope they haven’t gone out of business already! I bought some other stuff from them that I need to return!

Now I have to write a pattern :).


46 thoughts on “INSANITY: it’s a family thing

  1. Suzann

    Well that will teach me to drink coffee and read insane family matters at the same time. Choking. Are you parents insane because they raised you? Probably not. 😀

    Deffently light brown/tan/coffee cream. And a lovely soft yarn. Lucky Dad. What are you knitting for your Mum?


    ps I love your kid pictures. My Dad said when I was a kid, if you pointed a camera at me, my face turned into a pickled prune. I have the pictures to prove it too

  2. Kristen

    I’m amazed – your parents remind me of my own, but my dad hasn’t reached the point of wearing knitted things yet. (I have faith that we’ll, someday, be at the stage you’re at now. There’s always hope.)

  3. Laura

    Thank goodness only my mother is crazy. I think I would go nuts if they were both like that. I’m sure your dad will love anything you make him.

  4. Kim

    How addorable!! Your parents are so cute.. (and funny.) I am amazed that she said “retarded” LOL.

    I’m also amazed to see so many scarves that I concidered for my friend.. I did the same kind of thing with her except she doesn’t know exactly which pattern I picked.. (And it is one of those in the pictures!)

    I made my dad a scarf over a year ago.. but I’m thinking it may be time to make him a new one soon..

    That Karabella yarn looks great! Light brown.. definitely.. but I’m glad you didn’t pick tan.. yuuck.

  5. anne

    This is hilarious, and so cute. Knitting for others can be so gratifying; knitting for men can be so… SPECIFIC. And thanks for including all the links to some great patterns!

  6. Sarah

    Okay, if you substitute “scarf” for “sweater” and “light brown” for “green” it comes pretty close to the phone call surrounding my Dad’s sweater 🙂

    Too funny.

    Thanks for sharing…

  7. Pumpkinmama

    Oh my God, that is just about the funniest series of coversations ever. I love that your mom said “it looks retarted” to your dad. Hope you get it just right for them (I’m sure you will).

  8. Wanda

    You’re right. Your family is insane and now we know where the preciseness comes from, and it is certainly hilarious! I loved that your parents told you exactly how wide they wanted it to be and that it needed to be longer than his current one. No one in my family would be able to tell me all of that information!

  9. Esther

    Oh I love this entire “back and forth” with your dad!! Hilarious! It could have been my father talking!! Wonderful.

    I agree with him, like scarf4 but I REALLY LOVE SCARF FIVE!!! They grey scarf – what pattern is that from??

  10. Tam

    I’m just amazed that they would put that much effort into having a discussion about a knitted item. At least they’re taking it seriously. My family is more likely to go “Yeah, whatever you think is fine.” and then just hate whatever I make. I’d PREFER a detailed, well thought out request!

  11. betty

    That was hilarious, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. My husband said “what do you laugh at?”, and I had to answer “you wouldn’t understand”. 🙂

    and i loved the “retarded” part too, hehe.

    and by the way, i like the scarf 5 very much, it’s a shame i have almost finished my husband’s one…

  12. Laura

    I can see now that attention to detail clearly runs in families! The yarn is so pretty, and I am looking forward to seeing Dad’s scarf.

  13. Mary

    Coincidentally I’m knitting my dad a scarf for Christmas out of that same yarn (mine is navy, though, instead of beige). Navy is as boring as beige, though, in my opinion. Can’t wait ’til I’m done with this thing! I’m not doing any fancy cables, either – just k2p2 ribbing. Can’t wait to see your finished product!

  14. Kathy

    All of this seem so familiar. This is why I don’t even ask my family members about the specifics of what they want….it could easily take weeks of intense negotiations on both sides concerning each minute detail before (possibly) coming to an actual decision. Funny how insanely detail oriented parents beget insanely detail oriented children, isn’t it? LOL

  15. Lee Ann

    Oh, man, the tape measure in the background, the Scarf Summit to be sure the next scarf is not retarded…it’s hilarious 🙂

    Yep, that’s a light beigy brown, alright. Going to be beautiful, as that’s such a nice yarn to knit with.

  16. Carolyn

    I love it…all too familiar;) I love knitting for parents, they will wear anything you knit and love it. I know you will come up with something wonderful. I can’t wait to see:)

  17. blossom

    heh he… so funny!! i’m confused though how your dad wants his scarf. i’m also choosing a pattern to knit for my brother’s new baby. i’m not sure if i should involve their opinion or just surpise them.

    you (your dad) would love aurora8! great yarn for scarf.

  18. marrije

    Hi! I’m the knitter who knit scarf5 (the grey one), so honoured to have been sent to your dad. I made the pattern up myself, way-back-when, and I can’t remember waht I did, but it can’t have been complicated, since it was my very first cabling experiment. Made it for my mum, and this reminds me that I’ve never seen her wear it, though I think it came out just fine and dandy.

  19. Judy

    I enjoyed that immensely. I can hear it now. Good luck, your Dad will love it. Relationships are just so… similiar…roflol

  20. Dani

    That is so sweet.. I love the conversation type post. Your dad sounds so excited by you knitting him a scarf.. all that thought 🙂

    I am knitting that balloon scarf for Scott soon. It was great getting to meet you yesterday. THanks for stopping in 🙂 Lots of hugs…

  21. Elise H

    Hi–I have the exact same yarn and was trying to decide which pattern to knit for my father in law. I just make the Irish Hiking Scarf for my mother in law and did not want to make the same pattern again. Also, the stiches show nicely in this Beige color and I have been trying to find a pattern to show them to their best advantage. I will be interested in what you choose.

    Elise H.

  22. Michelle

    hahaha! This is such a riot, I can just imagine him saying, “don’t think too hard” – surely he must know you by now! I so love planning projects, and with a willing recipient? Priceless. Aurora 8 is so soft, he is going to love this scarf.

  23. Monica

    Hahahaha, that’s rich. Especially love how conversations/discussions range through emails as well as phone calls. Your dad surprised me, I expected him to see photos 5 and 6 and just say, nope, 4 is good. I didn’t expect the next level of discussion!

  24. Monica

    Hahahaha, that’s rich. Especially love how conversations/discussions range through emails as well as phone calls. Your dad surprised me, I expected him to see photos 5 and 6 and just say, nope, 4 is good. I didn’t expect the next level of discussion!

  25. jaya

    This sounds like a conversation with my own parents. It’s probably a good thing I haven’t offered to make them scarves just yet.

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