Friday, January 10, 2014

YO, Mama

There is no other way to start than with a word of thanks. Your reaction to the bathing drawers was everything I could have wished. Quite aside from the compliments, for which I am grateful, I was so happy (and relieved) that my preamble was taken as it was intended: as a plea for civility, not for praise.

You might like to know that the drawers will be going on the road. I'm heading to St Louis and the Kirkwood Knittery, and on the evening of January 24 I'll be giving one of my favorite talks: Impractical Magic: Oddities and Curiosities from Weldon's Practical Needlework. (Seating is limited. For tickets, call the shop.) The original photogravure from the pattern has been the title card for that lecture since I wrote it, and now I'm thrilled to present a realized specimen.

Around the same time I finished those, I finished a simple design that has since come out as part of a collaborative eBook, Dreaming of Shetland. The project was undertaken in support of Deborah Robson's research into Shetland sheep and Shetland wools, about both of which I am unabashedly crazy. Deb and I had a chat about it a year ago at the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat (read her own words here), so when the chance came to help support her I jumped at it.

This was my contribution: a lace scarf called "Fair Phyllida."

phyllida-01

You may be aware that I have borderline-creepy obsession with old lace edgings. My first sketch for this piece was, rather unsurprisingly, a scarf with a lace edging.

Then I thought–why fool around with the scarf part? Why not make the whole thing an edging? So I fixated on a 19th-century Shetland motif as my point of departure, fussed with it, mirrored it, and this was the result.

phyllida-03

Fair Phyllida is a gentle ride. (That doesn't sound quite right, does it? Never mind, time presses. Moving on.) If you have basic lace-knitting skills, you can do her. (No. Never mind, moving on.)

phyllida-02

There are all kinds of things (not all of them lacy) designed by all kinds of people in the book, from bags and mitts to wristlets, shawls, and baby clothes. Take a look.

So's Your Mother

A couple of months ago, in my monthly column for Lion Brand Yarns I presented a selection of riddles reimagined for the yarn-centric. A friend who read it asked me if I'd consider doing the same for her favorite humorous tradition: the yo mama (var. yo momma, yer mom, yer mum, tu mamà) joke.

Before you curl your lip, please remember that maternal insults, like motherhood, have probably always been with us. They are ancient. They are hallowed. They go back as least as far as Shakespeare, who used them; they are almost certainly far older than that. My knowledge of classical theater is imperfect, but if there's not a yo mama joke in Oedipus Rex, there should be.

That being said, if you're one of the gentle, dewy-eyed souls who is never remotely amused by this sort of thing, you'll want to stop scrolling now and head elsewhere.

I mean it.

Seriously, stop now.

Okay, fine.

I warned you.


Yo mama's so short, she needs a ladder to read the top row of a chart.

...

Yo mama's so old, she remembers when they invented the second knitting needle.

...

Yo mama's so skinny, she tripped and fell through a yarn over.

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Yo mama's so stupid, she thinks stranded colorwork is stuck at the airport.

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Yo mama's so lazy, she gets First Sock Syndrome.

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Yo mama's so tall, when she drops a stitch it takes three weeks to hit the ground.

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Yo mama's so cheap, she tries to k2tog with one stitch.

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Yo mama's so fat, she can't even cross her cables.

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Yo mama's so ugly, she can only get gauge by sneaking up on it.

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Yo mama's so fat, she tried to make an Elizabeth Zimmermann
percentage sweater and ran out of numbers.

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Yo mama's so greasy, all her stitches are slipped stitches.

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Yo mama's so stupid, when she saw "k1 tbl" she knit a coffee table.

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Yo mama's so chunky, she knits up at three stitches to the inch.

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Yo mama's so hairy, she is easily mistaken for a ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze.

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Yo mama's so twisted, she biases sharply to the left when worked in stockinette.

...

Finis



51 comments:

Sarah said...

I have never been to a knitters' retreat, but in my mind they now all consist of a "Yo Mama" battle around the fireplace. Winner gets yarn of course.

Laura said...

HA! Crack me up!

Simone OwlCatDesigns said...

Haha! Too funny! And as a sidenote to anyone that is thinking about getting offended, really the whole 'yo mama' thing is a strong statement of love to our mothers. For if Mothers were not loved the way they truly are, the whole insult part would never work and no one would get upset. I mean try and substitute 'Tax man'. See?

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Great humor, love yo' mama jokes and I had not heard a single one of these--thanks so much.

Really glad your swim trunks worked out so well; I love a good escapade and you have such an adventuring spirit. Appreciate you blogging the ride so I can come along too. Happy 2014.

GUNTer said...

second knitting needle! hahhafkkahhhdr

Otter said...

I thought Oedipus Rex _was_ a yo mama joke...

poodletail said...

Bravo!

poodletail said...

Bravo!

FiberQat said...

Hahahahaaa! I can see a bunch of knitters gathered around with intoxicating beverages of choice and cuttin' each other with yo mamas.

Yo mama's so cheap she can get a Shetland shawl out of a ball of Peaches and Cream.

Kenneth said...

If you're going to be modeling your bathing costume at your talks, I'd like a full list of dates and venues, please. :-)

Dana S. Whitney said...

Expecting a Dolores/illustrated book of Yo mamma comments... Ewe AND Yo mamma.... :-)

mousiesnax said...

Yo mama so dumb, she thinks "yarn over" means the skein's finished.

Yo mama so wild, she makes Dolores Van Hoofen look like a nun.

I really need to pack it in and go to bed now.

jenann said...

Ah, sweet Knitting Man, you always make me laugh or think deeply about something.
Enjoy your time away and as you Yo mama through long evenings of companionship and kitting, remember that Yo Mama should be immensely proud of her son.
J xx

Lizy said...

So hilarious!

Pam said...

My ravelry name is yomommaknits so I love your jokes (and yarn overs)! And at 4'11" the needing a ladder to read a chart is my favorite. I didn't comment on your last post because so many others had in a positive way but, add one more supporter to your list. Nice ass.

Monika said...

Lovely scarf, great idea to just use the important part, the edging. And your Yo Mama's made my day! :o)

Emily said...

Your momma insults had be in stitches. :)

nance needs a yarn cave said...

Your eye candy and a giggle was a great start to my day. Now that Mom has passed on, I read the "Yo Mama" as being me and all the knitting stages and aging stages I've gone through. I'm knit/street smart now but I will always need a ladder to read the top row of a chart.

Side note: Franklin- this blog post needs to be in your next book. Tell Dolores to get busy.

Chris said...

OUCH!! Glad I'm not a mama.

Marion said...

Oh, my gosh, Franklin, that scarf is what my dreams are made of! Today is my birthday and I am buying myself the ebook right now so that I can make that scarf.

Marion said...

Ok, bought the ebook, downloaded it, looked up the pattern and sent my daughter the information on the yarn; it is sold at her LYS and she said she didn't know what to get me...

thenappyewe said...

I just had a flashback to 6th-8th grade when Yo Mama jokes were the hit of the lunchroom! Damn, these were FUNNY! And yes, these would be great at a knitting retreat! Great job Franklin, as usual!

RubyC said...

FiberQat said it best. Lot of evening talks around the fire at the retreat. And a Shetland shawl out of peaches 'n' cream - yo' mama could do it. Love your blogs and posts, Franklin. Just brings levity to the yarny world. And don't forget to bring those bathing draws (trying for the New York twist on drawers) to Texas on your next visit.

RubyC said...

And I look forward to your next book with some yo' mama pages.

Holly said...

You've made my day, thank you :-)

Anonymous said...

Hysterical... I'm reading these while watching the football playoffs. Love the gauge and hairy ones.

Syd said...

What can I say, you have to be one of the bravest and funniest guys around. All the better because you are a knitter! Hope you do some classes in AZ sometime.

Leslie said...

Thank you, Franklin.
Thank you for the jokes, for the designs and for being yourself.

Yo Momma has a right to be proud.

Anonymous said...

I was late in opening Christmas Package, but it was one of the season's best gifts. At 5'1" and well-padded or over-padded for most of my days, i empathized, but i also note that I've almost never encountered a great mind and a "great" body in the same person. Given a choice, I'll take brains over beauty every time. And when the brains come with artistic/craftual talent and a wicked sense of humor, that goes double. With rare exceptions, beauty soon fades but brains endure much longer and improve with time. Thanks for one of the most fascinating blogs around.

Linda Cannon said...

Thank you for the best laugh I have had in ages. I am still chuckling and chortling.

Linda Cannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine65 said...

I'm sniggering. And also commiserating at you having to tolerate Miss Toddler.

Gaynell said...

I truly laughed out loud at the "second knitting needle!" I love your sense of humor! (and I am a mom!)

Caroline said...

Stuck at the airport is my fave... Fair Phyllida is at the top of my queue right now, I have some silver handspun merino/angora lined up for it...

Jennifer Crandall said...

Adorable...both your jokes and your drawers! Sad to think anyone would be so cruel as to make insulting comments about another person's body, especially when he's putting it out there for all to see. Glass houses, people!

Susan Smith said...

Really enjoyed this column, Franklin. The "yo mama" jokes are a hoot! here's one:

Yo mama's so clumsy, her fingerless gloves are all thumbs!

I'm still chuckling from reading...

Sharon in Surrey said...

Yo Franklin, those are the worst jokes I ever read . . .

Angelia said...

The "Yo Mama" jokes made me laugh (& I'm at work right now). I think what makes them even funnier to me is that Muggles (that is, non-knitters) won't understand them.

Janis said...

That's really pretty -- I've gradually become enamored of garter-stitch based patterns lately ...

Toni said...

It's 5pm, I'll be at work for another hour or so (past regular quitting time) and Yo mama gave me the boost I needed to keep going. Thanks for the chuckles (and occasional groan).

Marilyn from Mazomanie said...

Hope to see the bathing drawers at the Madison Knitting Guild's Knit-in in March, even if you don't model them.

Pretty Knitty said...

Hahahahaha! I don't think that my momma is any of those things, but that's too funny! And that scarf is amazing...love it!

Krystina said...

The word "bias" in a yo mama joke... you are my hero.

Anonymous said...

HA HA HA! You rock.

Yo mama's so sweaty, she gets BO by the end of every pattern.

Thank you. I'm here all week. Tip your servers. --egalaida on Rav

joan said...

Love the scarf and will look for the ebook, the design is inspirational. As for the yo mama jokes, priceless. My fav is K1 tbl, I'll never see that again without a chuckle.

Christine said...

Snort. These are genius!

The Lake Fever said...

The Kidsilk Haze especially killed me, that is one hairy yet comfortingly warm mama!

Lynne in Florida said...

"First Sock Syndrome" - laughing almost hysterically at such an apt description of myself. Must send it to my son immediately. Thank you, dear Franklin - love you!

PS - Phyllida is lovely!

Luna LaFae said...

Normally "yo mama" jokes just don't tickle my funny bone, but these had me cracking up! Thank you for brightening my day!

Ruth Marie said...

I just missed you in STL. I hope you enjoyed your time here!

Jettquilts said...

I adore your blog and this one in particular brings me back here again and again. I haven't laughed so hard in many years. Tears ran down my face and my kids thought I had lost it. Thank you for the many hours and days of joy that you bring to us through your humor and insight. BTW Nice Bum!