Thursday, April 2, 2009

Steeking in Public

My Kauni sweater came with me and my swollen hands to park day today. Partly, I wanted to work on it, since I'd just finished the neckband on a ride to and from the snow yesterday (thank goodness for friends who drive) and partly to cut a steek dramatically in front of a group.

It's all part of my "demystify life" paradigm. Do it right in front of people, a lot like John Cleese showed many years ago, right? Well, not quite like that. But I do try to obviously create and do and show other people that life isn't a matter of perfection, or fixed rules, and that just jumping in rarely creates disasters -- often it's a perfectly reasonable approach.

Anyhow, I used regular sewing-up needles to sew guidelines, then got out my scissors. A friend yelled, "Come look! She's going to cut her sweater!" A few of the other homeschoolers gathered around. I didn't ask their permission, so I'm not going to put their faces here, but Sarafina snapped some pictures of them recoiling in horror. Gasps all around. Poor Sarah just said something like, "I couldn't do that. I'd just knit a regular cardigan." It made me laugh.

Then I got to demonstrate how well this whole "cutting up your knitting" thing works -- "Look!" I said, "it fits really well, and it holds together nicely."

A young friend, a relatively new but already very adventurous knitter, said, "Why doesn't it unravel?" I showed how the yarn was "sticky," and had good inter-thread adhesion, and also that I wasn't pulling on it.

I didn't get the bands picked up, partly because I was wavering on the zipper/cool pewter buttons decision, and partly because this morning I tried to give the bees sugar water using my new Zen beekeeper persona. This involved lifting the covers, putting in baggies of sugar water, putting on a new empty box and replacing the cover.

I got as far as lifting the first cover when the first bee bumped my nose. Apparently it wasn't the accident I thought, but a warning shot. The next three bees didn't bother bumping.


Umme Yusuf said...

Ouch, that looks painful.Hope the swelling comes down soon.
Your steeking adventure was a wonderful read and the cardigan is amazing!

Susan said...

I wish I had been there for the cutting! I am quite certain we would not have bees had it not been for your just-jump-in encouragement

katesaid said...

Ugggghhhh, the very idea gives me chills... I'm allergic. *shudder*

Congratulations on the steeking, though! I haven't done it on a large scale, but I modified a sweater for Willem, so I've done it and survived. Someday, I'll do a project that plans on steeking right from the start...

allisonmariecat said...

Oh, ouch! I've actually never been stung (bee, wasp, whatever) so I'm sort of terrified of it. I mean, I have no idea if I'm allergic or how much it might hurt.

I love your public steeking! Usually you have to spray paint yourself silver to get that kind of captive audience out on the street :) The sweater is gorgeous.

patricia said...

Now, wait a minute. Where was I when you cut that sweater? I couldn't have been far off, but I missed it, and didn't even hear any steeking gossip. Sheesh.

It looks like good fun, and I firmly plan on steeking a sweater sometime soon. I know where to go for advice.

I kinda like the Kauni as a vest!

I dragged this comment box over the sting photo. My hives arrive next week, and the bees in two more, so sting photos are not encouraging right now. Hacking at knitting with scissors scares me far less.

Ruby Louise said...

Ouchies! I suppose it's too much to hope for that the bees will learn that you're the nice person who brings the sugar water and extra real estate, and then behave more politely around you.

Your Kauni is beautiful!! Can't wait to see the finished product!

Charity said...

Ouch, your hands look painful! Here's hoping for a speedy recovery.

LOVE the steeking story! :o)

Tammy said...

Oh no!! I'm not sure if I'm more horrified by the thought of steeking or being stung by bees! The cardigan looks beautiful... and I hope your stings heal soon!

Kristin said...

That's true, jumping into things is a reasonable way to begin. I fully missed the scissors upon the thread too! How did that happen? The photographs of the activity are fun, in stark contrast to the painful image of your arm, with dark light, swollen skin in a red background. Did you try to blow your hand up like a balloon, starting from below your elbow? Thanks for the inspiration to go for it. I promise to give something another try.

Susan said...

That looks so painful. Ouch!

The steeking in public looks a bit scary too, but I have done my own practice steek project in public.

Amybel said...

I feel like I was sitting right there with you when you cut that sweater! Cool!

Hope your swelling has gone down by now.