August 31, 2009

Ja, but she never tells you how much she spent!

My Grandma Ditsch was one of the most straight-talking people you'd ever meet. Whenever she'd try to mince words, it was a disaster, so it was for the best that it didn't often occur to her to try. At the same time, she could take a hint like no one I've ever known. I take that back; my mother (her daughter) was a champ at taking a hint.

I figured out this useful bit of information about Grandma when I was in college in Minnesota. Since Grandma also lived in Minnesota, I would often spend long-weekends on the farm with her. On one such weekend, she and I were visiting after a breakfast of grapefruit, Sanka and toast with cottage cheese (her) and Cheerios (me), when I mentioned that I hadn't had her spare ribs and sauerkraut in a long time. Flash forward three hours and a half hours and what are we having for dinner (the noon-time meal; supper was served in the evening) just as Y&R was ending and the WCCO newscast was beginning? You guessed it: spareribs and sauerkraut, with mashed potatoes on the side. Oh, I was so happy!

I tested my powers of suggestion again that summer while reminiscing with her one day: "I remember watching you peel peaches for canning when I was little. And the peach pie you would make? With the custard? I'd never had anything like it before! So delicious." BAM! We had peach pie that day for dinner. And again, I was so happy.

But this is supposed to be about her straight talking, so . . . Katie was Grandma's younger sister and one of her best friends. Never married, Katie was the kind of woman who, when asked "How ya doin'?", would respond "Oh, I'm fat and sassy!" And she was. Katie liked her beer, and the Waconia American Legion was her favorite watering hole. It being a small town, Katie knew everyone in the Legion, and so there she spent many an evening with her pal Verna, shooting the shit and playing the pull tabs. She liked winning, and would always tell Grandma how much she won. "Ja, but she never tells you how much she spent," Grandma would say to me, meaning Katie was telling only of her wins, and not her losses (also, Grandma didn't think much of gambling, and truth be told, neither do I).

I think a lot of us are like Katie, happy to share our successes, but considerably less eager to share our failures with others, myself included. you see, not everything that I make turns out as I'd hoped. My first batch of blackberry jam was a $20, 2 hour fiasco. I couldn't get it to the "sheeting" stage, and so cooked and cooked and cooked it. Cooked it right into hard candy, is what I did. I was so sad and disappointed. Then there's this:

Pattern: Sedum, by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Noro Kochoron
Needles: US11s/8 mm
Started: July 29
Finished: August 13
I didn't know it when I started, but this project was doomed from the beginning. The pattern has instructions for only one size, S/M. As I am an M/L, I tried to modify and wound up making it way too big. Add to that the fact that seed stitch really grows when blocked (I wet block everything) and you end up with one ginormous and ill-fitting sweater. Since I love both the yarn and the pattern, there's nothing to do but rip it out and start again. This time, I'll follow the pattern more closely.
So there you have it: the knitting equivalent of how much I spent in all of its embarrassing glory.


Rima said... Best Blogger Tips

Hehe. This makes me smile. Hey--it might be a"little" too big, but it is yours!

Oiyi said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh no!! So now you have blackberry candy, right? I am wondering if you could felt the sweater a little. Tomo's recent sweater turned out huge after blocking so she felted it in the dryer. Now, the Malabrigo is even softer.

Great story!

Sayschnicklefritz said... Best Blogger Tips

I'll take the felting under advisement. It could be a good solution, but it also scares me.