Friday, May 23, 2008

Economies and digressions

Today I discovered the problem with the Italian economy. I mean, besides that they’ve had like 60 different governments since World War II.

A friend asked me to knit her a sweater. I said, “SURE, I’d love to!” Mental note to self…before agreeing to knit a friend a sweater find out what kind of sweater she wants. She came over and looked through all of my 100 Rowan books filled with amazing sweaters and chose this.

Basically a box with cables.

“What color?”


In all the photos I’ve posted of my knitting have you ever seen a solid white sweater? Or ONE cable? Well, it’s knitting so of course I’ll do it and anyway, I digress…I was talking about the economy.

So I go into the yarn shop to get some white cotton yawn, I mean, yarn. This in and of itself was a challenge, not going into a yarn shop, that was easy, but rather finding white cotton. I went to three different stores and found that I had my pick of THREE different yarns (for you non-knitters 3 choices is not many). Isn’t Italy famous for its yarns? Don’t they make the most beautiful yarns in the world and export every where in the world? Well, they must export it all because the choices are minimal, beautiful but minimal.

No, I am not blaming the Italian economic troubles on their producing yarns for foreign companies (although someone should look into this), I was digressing again.

So I’m in the shop, chatting up the shop owner, telling her about the sweater, showing her the pattern – which, of course she can’t read since she only speaks italian.

“What’s the bust size of your friend?”

I tell her.

“How much yarn do you need? What does that book of yours say?” She scoffed a little when she mentioned the pattern, letting me know that she never uses one - which was obvious by the sweater she was wearing. I’m digressing again.

“Well, it says 12 balls but that I’m going to double the yarn and use 5mm needles instead of 3.5mm. So I think I’ll need about 20.”

“You’re doubling the yarn and using 5mm? 20 balls?!!!”

“ You think more?”

“Use 7mm needles or the sweater will be so stiff it could be a table.” How the fuck she would know this is beyond me given she’s never seen one stitch of my knitting …digression, sorry. “And you will only need 10 balls.”

10 balls?! You’ve gotta be freakin kidding me.

“Well, I don’t want to get like three-fourths of the way and run out.” Or HALF way, but I didn’t say it.

No, no, no. You’ll need 10 balls. Trust me.”

Since we’d been having this whole conversation in Italian (of course) maybe something was lost.

“It’s for a FRIEND, not ME. My friend is kind of busty. Remember that bust measurement I told you? And she’s got really long arms. You’ve understood that it’s not for me, right?” As if I could even knit myself a cabled box with 10 balls.

“Yes, I understood. 7mm needles and 10 balls. That’s all you need. I mean, if you WANT you can buy more but you just need 10.”

There you have it. The trouble with the Italian economy: The owner of the shop talked me into buying HALF of what I wanted to buy.

Unrelated to the economic conversation...

If someone knits you a sweater (with cables, a lot of them) and asks for the photo, you better deliver.

Here you go, mom. Thanks again. Do you feel like knitting a white cabled box? I've got the yarn, well, some of it.

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