Monday, March 05, 2007

It Must Be March

How do I know this? Because of the hint of spring warmth in the breeze? The almost indiscernible aroma of fecundity among the flowerbeds? The palest green promise of buds on the bare branches?

Fuck no. Are you kidding? I live in Chicago. Everything here is dead, gray, and frozen with no end in sight. It's like Narnia without the exotic animal life. If I'm not still wearing my frigging overcoat in June, I'll feel lucky.

Ah, that's it. That's how I know it's March. It's because I have offically Had It with winter and have withdrawn into my own season, the Season of Crabbiness. If Mother Nature were to peek her smiling, ruddy face through my window right now, I'd rip it off.

Knitting: Big Whoop

At such times it would probably be best to keep me away from all undertakings involving sharp, pointed implements. Nonetheless, I knit. Nothing spectacular, but at least with both hands full I can't smack random passers-by.

Here is what I have to show you right now. It's (are you sitting down?) a square-in-progress.

I wouldn't even show this to you except that even in my present state of mind I think the combination of yarn and stitch pattern is quite successful.

Square

I got the pattern out of one of the Vogue Stitchionary books. I can't remember which one, and the book is all the way over there. It's called diagonal lace or prettyprettywow lace or happyshinyfuckitlace or something like that. The sample shot uses green yarn. I think. I'm not sure. Like I said, the book is all the way over there.

I had to re-do this dazzlingly complex work of art three times before I finally realized that there's a mistake in the three-row pattern and that if you follow it verbatim, your left edge gradually decreases and you will wind up with a right triangle instead of a square. Now, if you want to knit a @#%!* right triangle, why, it's just the very thing.

The yarn, which is soothing even to hands that might otherwise be hurling chunks of ice at widows and orphans, is from Black Bunny Fibers. Carol, one of my favorite Yarn Pushers, sent it to me along with instructions to knit it up to certain dimensions and not to ask any questions.

Square Also

I may be a bitchy mood, kids, but I still know better than to argue with a lady who sends me free yarn.

83 comments:

Karen said...

How would one get on a list like this? Just curious.

T* said...

I usually laugh at your blogs, but this one is simply HYSTERICAL! Part of me feels bad for laughing at your crankiness, but you should know that Philly feels the same as Chicago, and we are all cranky here, too.

SJ said...

I know how you feel about winter and being done with it. Last week it started to get just the tiniest bit warm -- I think we even hit 50 one day -- and then what do you think happened over the weekend? Snow, that's what.

Elspeth said...

You poor darling! Something to cheer up your day: Cadbury Creme Eggs are on sale! That is the surest sign Spring is coming that I know.

Shan said...

Yeah, your March is my February...even if, here on Vancouver Island, the tulips are five inches high. The way you feel, I'm surprised you have the will to post.

Julie McC. said...

Finally de-lurking to note that even those of us born and bred in Chicago reach the "I'VE HAD IT" stage by the time March rolls around. You put it so eloquently, though, that I almost fell off my chair.

doodah said...

I've de-lurked once before, but am doing so again to say, "I don't even knit, and can tell that stitch is fabulous." Oh, and, "Sucks to be in Chicago."

SallyT said...

This is the way I feel in Houston in September when it has been over 90 degrees and over 90% humidity for months and months. Right now our weather is just gorgeous so I'll have to read this again in September.

Thanks for the laugh.

Lizbon said...

I second that chicago bitch and raise you a nyc snarl.

Fabulous post. Grrr.

marie in florida said...

isn't that some beautiful sunshine on your beautiful yarn and pattern? lovely stuff

Anonymous said...

in philly, my daffodils, crocus, and snowdrops are up.

there is grapefruit league baseball on the radio.

there is no grass (the legal kind) in my backyard, only mud.

and right now, the wind is howling like a mother outside my living room.

and yet I know that on 3/21 spring will be here.

from the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection to the city of big shoulders, I wish you peace.

damnit!

anne marie in philly

The Guppy said...

My first winter in Chicago was the coldest on record. (1993/94) and my last summer was the hottest on record (1996). I can totally. relate.

One of my best friends grew up in Buffalo and she is convinced Valentine's day was created to put everyone in a sugar-induced stupor to keep those living in a snowy climate from killing each other for just another month.

Just remember...if you stab someone with one of your knitting needles, the police will take said needle into evidence and then you'd just have to go buy more.

Robin said...

(Chicago is) "like Narnia without the exotic animal life". Have you patented that one, because I'm definitely stealing it if not!

Sue said...

I was reading your first paragraph, thinking I live in Chicago and I haven't seen any of that! I was happy to realize in the second paragraph that you aren't hallucinating!!
But I agree 100%. Thanks for the laugh.

Gail said...

The farthest north I ever lived was Columbus, Ohio. The north end. When we drove down to North Carolina for Easter that year I wasn't sure I was going back - every dogwood and azalea and daffodil was in bloom and it was like Dorothy entering the Land of Oz.

Knitting Addict said...

I can so relate! Even though it started very late here -- I am over it as well.

But I will meet you and we can take turns snapping photos of the faces/heads we rip off, either literally or figuratively, as they pass by....wanna?

That would certainly improve MY mood, or maybe even slapping my own self would work.....Nope. Gotta be a stranger not expecting it, ready? ::ggg::

Your knitting, as always, is lovely! Your stitches are so even and I love that pattern! I will have to see if I can find it in my book :)

Erica said...

k...that made people around me look because I was laughing so hard...mostly because that's exactly how I feel!

Signed - Ready for Spring in Seattle

Bridget said...

Well, I'm in Philadelphia, and I think I'm the only person on earth who is fine with winter ... mostly because I dread summer like most people dread winter.

Anyway.

Regarding your yarn from Carol, I'm just saying that I do what she wants even when she *doesn't* share yarn!! :-)

webber the webulous webhead said...

You have my complete sympathy. I fully expect the snow to be gone and the trees to at least be thinking about leaves by March 1st, and as this has failed to happen even once in my twenty years of existence, this part of the year makes me pretty crabby too.

Twilight said...

Great post.

It got down to 8 degrees last night in NM so I too am ready for spring. I'm tired of wearing my long johns dammit!

Oh and I'm working on lace now and have had to rip it out twice. And I'm not even following a pattern Argh!

Sean said...

Oh, my! Is it me (or us) or have the editors of knitting books forgotten the fine art of proofreading and proofknitting?

I hope spring comes to Chicago soon! Here in Boston temperatures dropped almost 30 degrees in the last 6 hours!

Paul said...

"happyshinyfuckitlace"... I love that name! It's really very beautiful. Thanks for figuring out the mistake and showing it to us. It's awesome.

Jeanne said...

My, but we're in a mood today! LOL! I'm so with you on it, though. Today I went out to the barn to have my horses' feet trimmed. It was NOT that cold at my house. The wind at the barn, though—I've been home for four hours and I am STILL cold! After two cups of hot chocolate! Argh! I'd tell you which pattern that is, but my Stitchionary is also way the fuck over there.

Heather said...

Oh dear, I was wondering what the problem was with that square. I knew it couldn't have been your fault.

I'm not going to go on about the shitty winter we've had in the PNW this year, since you guys have shitty winters every year, but GOD, what a shitty winter! It's acting a bit Spring-like here, but I will not let my guard down, or we'll be up to our arses in snow and living without electricity for another 2 weeks... oops, I said I wasn't going to go on. Oh well, Franklin, it gets worse as you get older, sorry to tell you. Not the winters, just your tolerance of them.

Oh yeah, eat a Cadbury egg reeeaaal slow with a nice glass of Shiraz. I promise you'll feel better. Then finish the bottle.

Heather

FiberQat said...

I've been told there's an errata page, but damned if I know where it is and can't remember who mentioned it while working on Georgia lace.

I'll refrain from sending you pictures of the camellias in full bloom over here in the Rose City. I don't want an angry Dolores on my doorstep.

JoVE said...

I recognize the Season of Crabbiness. It has broken out here, too, despite the fact that winter started rather late. However, my partner informs me that when he was in Chicago last week is was above 0 (Celsius) and thus you should stop complaining. We are forecast -24C overnight and very windy and I'm sure you know what that combination means. See, crabby.

I'm coming to Chicago in May, though, and I hope it is nice then.

AnnaMarie said...

My husband and I *both* are laughing out loud. We have been grumbly all day because Idaho is the same as Chicago without the lake. Windy, Cold, Might snow, Might not. I lived outside of Chicago for 3 years, I feel for you and raise my Iced Caramel Machiatto to you (had to have something to remind me of summer).

knottykitty said...

Thanks! NOW I have a name for how I always feel in February and March living in Seattle---The Season of Crabiness!! Fabulous! :)

Anna-Liza said...

You need to come work at Univ of Colorado, darlin'. 60 degrees and sunny today.

Of course, it will snow again many times before summer, but at least we get these days in between!

Cheryl :) said...

I haven't attempted lace yet, but I definitely want to use the "happyshinyfuckitlace" pattern.

When I hit the Season of Crabbiness (which comes MONTHLY in women), chocolate usually does the trick.......

dragon knitter said...

ummm, are you being rabbitch in another life (or gender, whatever?)

i can understand, though. i'm so ready for winter to be over. i want my birkies!

Jen said...

You're so cute when you're pissy!

Would this be a good time to remind you that California is a lovely place to live? I can give you a list of the yarn shops. I don't own an overcoat. I live in the Bay Area, where last week, it actually rained, but we got over it. Now it's back to perfect. Tell you what, I'm never moving back to the East Coast again. We have more exotic life than Narnia out here, too.

By the way, the happyshinyfuckit lace is really gorgeous.

mehitabel said...

Bridget isn't the only one who dreads summer--I hate heat, and it's been over 80 here for the last couple of days, with no end to this in sight. Yard is totally dried out and baked hard. SoCal is a bitch and I'm ready to move back to cold country. Maybe not Chicago, but wanna trade for a week or two?? I need me some winter chill!

Liz said...

Not to worry, dear Franklin, Mercury will be out of retrograde Wednesday.

Yeah, that's what I said, too.

We need a bit more cold up NW of Boston, actually. Part of the natural cycle of things is that the goddamn mosquitos and other horrible bugs get killed dead by -10F for a week or so, and this year, the bug-killing cold hasn't quite panned out. Fingers crossed that your crappy weather floats on east and sits on us for a while.

Mel said...

Well, mud season was about to set in, but the next couple nights of single digits (which JoVE is apparently sending our way), should freeze it back solid at least until the weekend.

I'm already starting to plan out my garden, though. Who cares if I won't be able to plant anything for another two months.

Anonymous said...

Dear Franklin,
You can console yourself that even in the midst of righteous crabbiness you are still not one of those people who says 'passer-by's'...

Evie (lurks)

Varia said...

That looks like diagonal cluster lace. I don't remember there being an error, but sometimes clues and I are not the best of friends. I do like that stitch though, and have a tendency to use it anywhere I need something a bit geometric. It makes such beautifully defined diamond shaped holes.

Oh, yes, also, winter can f-off.

Mary Lynn said...

Oh, shit and I was looking in the wrong book for a right triangle!

Winter is on the down side. Winter is on the down side. Winter is on the down side.

It is 4 degrees this morning in Cleveland. I got on the bus (which was late) and announced that everyone was to remind me about what the cold was like when it is 90 degrees this summer.

Sarah R said...

Hmmm...well, I have to admit that I like winter, and hate summer. But I do agree, from my years living in Chicago, that winter can go on a tad too long there.

What I'm royally pissed at is the idiot Congress moving day-light savings time. Thanks, guys! After finally getting to see the sun in the mornings, I get to leave the house in the dark...again!

But what I really wanted to say was that I finally got some Black Bunny yarn and man, I don't know how you can bear to knit with it. I just want to snuggle with mine.

Nita said...

It's -8 in NH as I write this. I only wish I had such a view as Narnia's forests, animals or not. I'm hurling ice chunks at kittens, I'm so sick of 30 years of this drab March weather! Snarl!

Linda said...

Dear Franklin

I'm entering my own Season of Crabbiness here in Perth, Western Australia. It's the beginning of autumn and tomorrow it will be 42 degrees (Celsius)for the second day running. That's 108 in Fahrenheit. I wish we had just a little of your Chicago weather here!

Thank you for a very entertaining blog.

Karen said...

Someone needs a nap...

LesleyD said...

Love the knitting! Thanks for the laughs!!

Susan said...

Darling, you've given me the words for this ugly feeling that consumes me from the end of February through all of that oozing sore of a month, March. Thanks for saying what I've been feeling.

Laurel said...

Holy crap, I feel your pain. I'm from California, and my parents still live there, so imagine my pain when I'm on the phone with them and bitch about the fucking weather and they're like, "Oh, sorry, but it's 70 here... oh, did we tell you the tulips and daffodils and iris are out?" fuck.

Kathy said...

What Franklin didn't say: it was snowing SIDEWAYS in Chicago on Wednesday, Thursday, and I think Friday. It is all a blur to me. The wind was blowing so hard that the snow didn't fall down.

This is the time of year in Chicago where we want to kill people but are just too listless from SAD (lack of sunshine) to get off the couch.

When I have had the funds, just three or four days in a warm climate perks me up. I hear Southwest has some deals...

Anonymous said...

The four Chicago seasons:
winter, crabby, sauna, and bluster.

But at least, thanks to you, we get to laugh about it.

Theresa on the south side

Carol said...

Knitting doldrums. Lots of that going around. Boston is the same. Looks nice from the couch but will freeze your nose off if you put it outside the door. Love your BBF swatch - Carol has me knitting with another yarn (quelle horreur) but I think there's a sock coming my way soon!

Diane said...

Having been born and raised in Chicago I can completely feel you. Now I live in Idaho, and the weather is just as shitty; windy and cold with summer usually around july....in a good year.
Thanks for the awesome giggle and the happyshinyfuckit lace is pretty 'cool'

Rachel H said...

Sounds like somebody needs a massage. Of one kind or another.

the one who still has a bunch of your books said...

Franklin, dahlink, i have something that would take the edge off your crabbiness. It's a hole
lot better than sitting at home stewing.

Bev in TN said...

Thw swatch is lovely; your mood...not so much. Hang in there, or better yet, don't. Grab a cheap flight to somewhere warm and sunny for the weekend. Sympathy here...you made me remember how suicidal I used to get every February when I lived in New England.

Pamela said...

um, have a lovely day Franklin. ;)

Sahara said...

Gee Franklin, your whole blog column reads like you're in a mood. I guess the cold has become more boring than bracing.

If it gets worse, start knitting something out of cashmere. That way if someone upsets you, you'll think twice about stabbing them, and getting blood on your knitted piece.

Evelyn said...

Mama knows. The crazy thing is I visited Chicago last Thursday through Sunday. As in went there voluntarily. For fun. The temp was about the same as home (rural Ohio - south of Cleveland), but goddamn it that damp wind was a bitch. I think I got chilblains. You know, chilblains, like what Victorian orphans got from living in workhouses.

Terry said...

Hi Franklin:
I emailed you last week and offered to send you free yarn from my new web shop if you would critique it for me. I just assumed you didn't want to do it because I didn't hear from you, but you made the "free yarn" comment today and it got me thinking that maybe you didn't get the email.....so did you get my email? I sent it to franklin@franklinhabit.com

Take Care-
Terry

Longhorn Diva said...

Okay, why is it that your bitchy moods are so funny, and mine are just annoying??

Fogged, at a loss, all the best,
Emily

p.s. You are literarily-minded enough, Franklin that you just might get that signature reference. Clue: a.a. milne had it in for this author. ;)

David said...

Put the keyboard down and step away from the computer. Keep stepping away until you are in a bar at happy hour.

Lynda the Guppy said...

"The four Chicago seasons:
winter, crabby, sauna, and bluster."


You forgot "Construction." Also known as "Roadwork" ala Autumn/Fall.

TChem said...

Something that might improve the March mornings--being awoken by Stephen Fry every day:

http://www.voco.uk.com/

I thought of you, as you're the only person I know of who shares my obsession.

Riin said...

Here in Ann Arbor the weather's been alternating between snot-freezing wind and mud. Lovely.

Martha said...

Yep. Always winter, never Christmas.

TheAmpuT said...

I'm trying to figure it out, but either you've got potty mouth or you had Rabbitch write this post for you!

Tammany said...

I appreciate your cynicism. I am in the throes of the Winter Doldrums as well (as well as the Heartbreak Doldrums, the My Career is Going Nowhere Doldrums, and the My Meds Aren't Working Doldrums) This was just the thing to make me crack a smile. Thank you.
(If the sample shot was in green, it was vol. 1 of the Stitionary.)

Lee Ann said...

You are my very favourite Chicago bitch.

I mean that from the bottom of my frozen little heart, sugar. I'd say I mean it down to my toes, but I can't, in actual fact, feel them, so you'll have to use your imagination.

Susan said...

Afer seven Chicago Winters I moved back home to the South last March. No more "I've had it with winter in Chicgo" for me. It IS Spring here in Kentucky and it's beautiful! Achooo!

Jack said...

You'll feel better once you buy your tickets to ABT's "Romeo and Juliet", later this month at the Lyric Opera House.

Britta said...

I'm de lurking to raise my mug of cocoa high in agreement! I'm in Minnesnowta, where its more frigid than a nun, and I am just trying to remember that summer will come again... some day... I hope...
Screw it. Lets just go to Mexico. I'm sure Dolores knows of some great establishments...

Kate said...

Sorry to hear about your cranky troubles. No one appreciates a good crabby these days. Nevermind - I will comfort myself with my 'Lucy Van Pelt' underwear. What, everyone needs to have 'SO WHAT?!' plastered all over their butt.

Nice stitch pattern/yarn combo, btw.

Franklin, is there any possibility of providing your spots on Cast-on for download seperatley? While I love cast-on there is a limit to the number of times I need to hear each episode (then I simply hanker for MORE NEW ONES) while 'quoth the romney' never gets old.

Isela: Purling Sprite said...

I hear ya with this stupid frigid temperatures, I am ready for some warmth.

Gaile said...

Gorgeous knitting, and mindless is a bonus this time of year. Man, I so remember the march moods! 10 years in madison, and i Just couldn't take it anymore. I don't miss midwest winters one little bit, but I really really miss midwest people. In a big big way.

Misstea said...

I hate this time of year too.

Stupid Smarch (Simpson's reference)

Cheryl said...

In the not-to-be-outdone weather talk...be comforted....I live in Dublin, Ireland where it's pre-spring-but-summer's-never-coming, with no snow to cover the muck. At least warm weather will eventually come to you and you'll get over it. Not a hope for us though. Nice stitches by the way.

anneonymousone said...

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. wrote that in some parts of the world (such as Upstate New York, where I lived for years) there are actually SIX seasons: spring, summer, fall, locking, winter, unlocking. It's the last three that raise the homicide and suicide rates. Good thing there's yarn and good blogs to read.

And I'm in my third round of Upper Respiratory Unhappiness since 2007 started. Waaaaaaaaaaaaah...

But I'm so glad you're on the planet...

Sandi said...

Fell OFF my chair laughing at this post. The temperature here actually struggled up to 20 degrees today...which isn't enough, of course, to melt the ice that I intend to right now go hurl at widows and orphans. Someone wrote that March is an "oozing sore of a month"--can't remember who, and the scroll button is out of reach of my thumb currently. but it's a perfect description. Thank you for this!

Kathy said...

Baby, you have just described every March of the last 12 years here in DC for me. You nailed it. I worship at your cranky, frozen feet.

sophanne said...

Apologies if this comment is "too much" but I need to say that last night here in conservative rural Western PA, in spite of the warming trend, I almost said, "you too assfacesisterfucker" to the grocery store clerk who told me to have a nice night. I know the season of which you speak.

knitnzu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
knitnzu said...

Ok, here it is... I know it's March because even though there is nearly 2 feet of snow on the ground and it is about zero degrees in the morning, the g-d birds are singing loudly at 4:30 in the morning and eau de skunk is in the air. I also become another year older.

Liz said...

I know, I keep saying "I am sooooo over winter, why doesn't it just get nice out." But nobody listens. This is why they invented spring break. I just visited London, the tulips and crocuses are up (crocii?) and everyone has adorable flower filled window boxes - it was loverly.

Heather said...

Weather report for PNW, spoken in smarmy voice by smarmy weather man: "Hello Seattle! Tired of the windstorms that knock out power for weeks and the minor snow flurries that shut down schools for day? Well, folks, the end is in sight! Oh no, it's not Spring, it's the Rainy Season, and have we got a show for you! Batten down the hatches, 'cause we're in for 8 DAYs of driving rain, with flood warnings for the Entire State! You poor saps who have nothing to get around on but a motorcycle? Suckers!"

Lise said...

It's now March 13 and spring like here in Toronto. Surely that's brought a smile to your face?

Lise

~laurie said...

I miss you. I suffer with depression in the winter ( yes, even here on the west coast of canada where we seldom get snow)
Are you depressed? Hmm? does Dolores have email - maybe you need a hoof in the butt :)

~laurie