Thursday, January 18, 2007
the internet lied to me - or - how i learned to stop being delusional and love knitting again
i love to knit. i am a nerd. and my husband wants to visit ireland someday. i am delusional. this, my friend, is not a good combination.

about 5 years ago, i took knitting lessons from a lovely irish woman. she is so lovely, i've forgotten her name. anyway, she taught us to knit while crafting from her hands some of the most amazing sweaters i've ever seen in my life. she told us about growing up on a farm in ireland, and how she would shear the sheep and make her own wool. she was knitting perfection to me and i wanted to be just like her when i grew up.

because i am a nerd and recently learned how to cable my knitting, i thought it would be great to learn about aran knit sweaters, those cream-colored "fisherman" sweaters that have beautiful cables and feature intricate patterns on them. i found a lot of information on the subject on the web. it seems every pattern is unique to family names so that when a fisherman was lost at sea, you could identify the body when it washed up just by the pattern of the sweater. a little irish lady would get a knock on her door and somebody would say "we found this lad and this is the sweater he was wearin' " and the lady would say "aye, that would be me youngest, colin." interesting, isn't it? just say yes, and we'll get on with the rest of the story.

my husband would love to visit ireland someday. so would i. one day we will go there. we love to travel, and ireland is up there on our list of places to visit (at least it was the last time i looked).

yes, one day we will go there and have a wonderful time. maybe we'll have the kids with us; maybe we won't. in any case, we'll go there and i would really like to visit a place to pick up a murphy family name aran sweater pattern so i'll find a local shop in a tiny village while the husband waits for me in a pub. the shop keeper will be a nice older woman who is more than happy find out that i am looking for the pattern for our family. she'll put the kettle on and we'll have a nice cuppa tea while we look over the pattern. (this is the delusional part, in case you hadn't noticed). she'll sell me yarn from her brother's farm and throw in a couple of extra skeins because we got on so well. i'll stay for another cuppa tea and then i'll be on my way.

when we get back home, i'll knit, as a surprise, aran sweaters for the entire family. four identical sweaters. if we have a dog i'll even knit a little coat for fido as well with my freebie skeins. we'll take a family photo in it and i'll send a copy to my friend in the yarn shop back in ireland. people will come into her shop and say "my what a lovely family. and look at those jumpers!" and my friend will say "aye, that was a nice woman from new york. knit the whole clan those sweaters with yarn from me brudder's fahrm." and my kids would give the sweaters to their kids, explaining how there was a picture of them in a shop in ireland wearing the sweaters and that their grandmother had made them on the sly. (i told you i was delusional.)

yesterday, there was a knitting show on hgtv about aran sweaters. this i had to see, so i tuned in. according to janet szabo, the guest expert on knitty gritty yesterday, the aran sweater/dead fisherman family pattern story is a myth. a myth! it isn't true at all! the patterns just evolved with adventuresome crafters. it's a lie. and now my whole trip to ireland is now ruined. ruined!

oh, well. now i am back, with my feet planted firmly in reality; the delusion is gone. i guess it's better to know before you go, anyway. so i'll just keep on knitting. no need to give up a perfectly good obsession (you would give up chocolate because the antioxidant claim turned out to be false, would you?). my current project: a scarf for our wonderful babysitter. originally intended for christmas, it will now be a birthday present (not only am i delusional, i'm a slow knitter, too.)


Blogger Andie said...

i have faith in you: someday you will get to ireland, but you have to bring me back a magnet, ha ha ha (get it?)

Blogger me said...

no, no, i'm bringing you back wool and we can craft something together on our route 66 road trip!

Blogger Andie said...

i have two left hand & three left thumbs. i can't knit, crochet, quilt, sew a straight line...get the hint? But that's a good idea: me & oprah against the world, well route 66 anyway.

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