Cuteness report

Let’s make a deal – you tell me when you’ve had enough of my family, okay? Otherwise, I’ll continue bringing you cuteness reports :).

Here I am visiting the folks, and I must tell you, it’s quite nice. Yeah, they are that cute.

I’ve been completely overwhelmed with teaching stuff lately, and I arrived at their house in possibly the pissiest mood ever. Why? Because during the wonderful, soothing, quiet, 4.5-hour train ride to my folks’ house, I did not knit a stitch. Instead, I graded lab reports, continuously, without any break. Which of course resulted in getting car-sick by the time I had arrived. Grrrr…

But as I stepped inside the house, my mood lifted. My grandma gave me the hugest hug ever, and would not let go forever. As I was snacking in the kitchen, she daintily took off her slippers and moved her feet around, so I would notice that she was wearing these. We spoke of the shawl, but she didn’t immediately ask me to see it. Curiosity eventually got the best of her, though, and she asked for a peek.

She insisted that we move to the living room where the light was better. Because knitted lace looks like crap and a half before it’s blocked, I showed her the pattern picture first. She inspected, delightfully smacked her lips and said to my mom, “mine will be prettier than yours!” Then she held one side of the shawl-in-progress as I pulled on the other, finger-blocking to reveal the pattern. I think she really likes it ;).

She and my mom both commented on the thinness of the yarn and needles. My grandma joked that the shawl will be ready in time for next winter. It won’t be done any time soon, that’s true, but it snows in April around here, so I hope her prediction won’t be entirely accurate.

Dad’s reception of the sock-in-progress was very lukewarm in comparison. Either he was tired or truly doesn’t want another pair, despite what my mom and grandma tell me. No problem – my grandma’s feet are the same size as his, and she can have the socks if he doesn’t want them.

Mom’s shawl is holding up well. Some ends worked their way out (like 1/4″) and she freaked out a bit, tying them into all sorts of weird square knots. I assured her that the ends weren’t going anywhere, and that the best course of action was to leave the loose ends as they are without trimming, if she could handle that little hint of messiness. She agreed.

Dad’s Sharfik is a freaking disaster, however. Hear, ye, hear, ye! I don’t consider my dad to be hard on his clothes, especially a scarf, but this is what Karabella Aurora 8 looks like after less than 2 months of wear.

Shameful. The pilling makes me cringe. But my dad still wears it because I knit it – double-edged sword.

Today I’m off to a knitting lesson with the one and only Annie Modesitt. She is my knitting hero, and I feel privileged to visit her house and meet her family.

Ciao for now!

44 thoughts on “Cuteness report

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  1. Teresa C

    “Let’s make a deal – you tell me when you’ve had enough of my family, okay?”

    Are you kidding?! I’m trying to figure out how to get adopted by your family! :)

  2. sheree

    Sounds like you’re having fun! When I visit my family, someone always ends up in jail. A ‘different kind’ of fun, I tell ya!

  3. Laura

    Going to Annie’s house! You are lucky!

    Aurora 8 DOES pill a lot in areas where there is a lot of friction. But don’t most merino wools have similar pilling problems? Though I love Aurora 8, I don’t think I would use it for something that would get everyday use, such as a scarf.

  4. Cindy

    Just a comment on your dad’s lukewarm response. Unless he is much different from most men I know and most men the knitters I teach know, that’s pretty much the standard response of most men. Unless they have some reason to appreciate the work (as in, they do it themselves), they just don’t get it. I was very touched by your grandma’s excitement. I lost my last grandparent when I was 9, but I know I got my love of handwork from my maternal grandmother. I’m sure she would have reacted to my endeavors just the way yours did. It made me a little sad that I have missed that all these years. However, I am fortunate that I have 2 sisters and a mom who make a big fuss and I have 3 teenagers who will actually wear what I make them and brag to others that their mom made it for them. Maybe it evens out!

  5. Nancy J

    Looking forward to shawl updates and knitting lesson info (hope you remembered your camera for an Annie-and-you photo for your mantle.)

  6. Barb

    Nothing makes me happier then to see one of my crafts being used and appreciated. Grandmas know this:)

  7. Kate

    What a sweet story! Sorry the Sharfik is pilling, but I’m glad your grandma is excited about her shawl.

    Enjoy Annie Modesitt — I’m jealous :).

  8. Agnes

    Somebody once said that wool, especially merino, is doomed to pilling. The only solution is just to pick up the little balls. I don’t know, I try to tell myself that whenever I see pilling on my sweaters. But still, it is annoying if the damn thing pills like a sick cat!

  9. sarah

    Just yesterday I bought myself a sweater shaver at the local drug store (in the aisle with the clothes irons, hangers and such). I spent the whole morning today shaving all my handknits and some store bought ones as well. This twelve dollar item turned my tired, pilled knits into shiny new items of fabulousness. I was thrilled and I am sure that it would work for your dad’s scarf.

  10. Eva

    Your family sounds sweet and I want to hear more stories :)

    You are soooooo lucky to meet Annie. I understand about her being your knitting hero! Hope you’ve got a great day with her.


  11. Norah

    Oh Kathy, please keep posting stories about your family, they’re wonderful! You’re so lucky to be getting to meet and have a knitting lesson with Annie Modesitt….

  12. freecia

    I always wondered if a man’s Norelco electric razor would defuzz well….

    Those pills. Grrr. I have to remind myself not to pick off fuzz from other people’s garmets. At least not while they are wearing it…

  13. Monica

    Hehe, your grandmother’s glee at getting the prettier shawl is so cute. My hubby takes a while to get excited about anything until it’s pretty much done and as a non-knitter can’t visualize what something will look or feel like, so I hope your Dad is the same. Still, good thing you have a back up plan and a super appreciative one at that!

  14. Judy

    We are SO not tired of your family!! They sound great, keep sharing the cuteness with us. My grandma was like yours, reminds me of her…

  15. Annie

    Please don’t stop telling us about your family! It’s one of the things I love about your blog. Your knitting is great, and definitely inspiring, but I love the personal touch of who you’re knitting for, and their reactions. I wish I still had my grandma…I never got a chance to knit for her. So keep “sharing” yours with us, please.

  16. Amelia

    Family stories are always good! I don’t know if your dad is the same as mine, but I find that scarves pill because of the beard hairs on their necks – at the end of the day, when their shadow is starting to show, the hairs on their throat can be quite rough. He seems to wear out the collars on sweaters that have high necklines quite quickly too. Just a thought.

  17. elisa

    I’m with you on the Aurora 8. I knit some fingerless gloves for my boyfriend and after two weeks they are already pilling horribly. Ugh.

  18. Stacy

    That’s too bad about the yarn on your Dad’s scarf. I’d thought about using it for Backyard Leaves from Scarf Style but probably won’t now. Don’t worry about your Dad’s lack of effusive praise for your knit items. I think a lot of men are just like that. The men I know are. Just the fact that he wears it shows he loves it. Your grandma sounds so cute!

  19. Kelly

    Your family is adorable. I love how your grandma and mom are all competitive about whose scarf is prettier. Priceless. Sorry to hear about the Sharfik, too. I just started knitting one in Karabella…wondering if I should keep going.

  20. ivete

    ugh, that sucks about the scarf. Can I ask what gauge you knit it at? I’ve never noticed much pilling in the items I’ve made with it, but I’ve never made a scarf out of it. Is it pilling all over or just in some areas? What’s your dad’s jacket made out of? If the jacket’s particularly sprickly it might be the culprit!

  21. joy

    I love reading about your cute family. Your grandmother’s so sweet, showing you that she wears your socks. My mil is pretty sweet too; she makes a point of showing everybody what I make for her. :)

  22. jpt

    The wear & tear on Sharfik reminds me of a scarf my mom made for my partner. The stubble on his neck just tears apart some yarns. Scarves that won’t always wrap/rub on the same spots seem to hold up much better– for example, he loves his Clapotis. I’m contemplating a loose cowl-like scarf on the same principle.

  23. Stephanie

    No way I’ll get tired of all that cuteness. Sorry about the scarf – good to know about the yarn though. How was knitting with AM? Great, I’m sure. I’m glad you had a great trip.

  24. Kenny

    Wow, great to have a lesson with Annie Modesitt. Be sure you update us on what kind of class it was and what you learnt.

  25. Julia

    I’m suprised that the Aurora 8 has pilled so much for you. I’ve knit with it alot, and although the majority of things I’ve made with it were gifts that I haven’t gotten reports on, my husband’s Aurora 8 hat has been around and worn into the ground for the last year and still hasn’t pilled. Strange. I wonder if this is affected by stitch pattern?

  26. Grace

    Just one more read before I go off to bed.. really enjoyed reading about the socks and your grandma!

    And what beautiful photo’s you take of your knitting:)

  27. Jess

    Hmm… I was thinking about using Aurora 8 for a sweater. How would you compare it to other merinos in terms of wear? I’ve only made cotton sweaters, so I don’t have any basis to judge. Is there another, super-soft, worsted wool you’d recommend instead?

    What kind of coat does your dad wear? I’ve found that knitted ANYTHING really sticks to my wool coat, and produces a lot of wear at the friction points, but not elsewhere. I noticed that the wrong side of your dad’s scarf has much worse pilling than the right side; could that be what’s going on here?

  28. Shelley

    Very cute and sweet story about grandma! Sorry to hear about the A8, but it looks like a sweater stone or defuzzer might help out. I have a bunch of that yarn and have often wondered it it would do that.

  29. Laurie

    Holy Pile of Pilling! You’d think, for the amount you paid for the yarn, it wouldn’t pill like that!

    Your grandma sounds so cute! Really makes me miss my grandmother – she was such a character and we had the best times, together.

    Enjoy your family time. Bring it on – I can handle the cute!

  30. Pauline

    Just found your blog and have enjoyed reading a few entries. I am constantly amazed (and extremely jealous) of prolific knitters. How do some knit so quickly??? Love the items you have photographed – beautiful! I am envious of you meeting the famous Annie. And, last of all, your mother’s shawl is just so lovely. I am knitting my first lace shawl and have easily spent over 4.5 hours correcting MY OWN MISTAKES (i.e., those not attributable to the pattern). How frustrating is that? Looking forward to reading your entries.

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