Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Comfort Knitting

So. Anna lost her coat last week. At least, we realized last week (when the temps plunged again) that it was missing. "I can't find my coat," she said. "And it has my bus pass in it. Can I have a dollar?"

"Did you leave it at ensemble rehearsal? Laser tag? Youth group?" I went down the rather long list of possible places.

"No, no, no....and I've looked everywhere!"

Mothers of teen girls will recognize that the above conversation has not only been abbreviated for less painful reading, but also was repeated numerous times over 3 or 4 days. The coat was gone. Vaporized. No longer existent. That happens, you know. Why are you bothering me about it?

Several days later I entered her room (scary, I know, but I'm a brave woman) to get some pillow cases out of the bag of sheets in her closet (pillow cases, by the way, that she swore were not there - are we detecting a pattern yet?). I opened the door and spotted the missing coat on the floor of the closet. Preferring to be optimistic, I said, "Oh, hey, you never told me you found your coat!"

And she said, "I didn't find it."

Meaning, when she looked everywhere, that did not include her own closet. So tell me, when exactly is the uterine locating device activated in a female?


What's a woman to do? In situations like the above, I find myself turning to my comfort knitting. We all have our comfort foods - mac and cheese, cinnamon toast, whatever - foods we can count on to make us feel good and not challenge our taste buds. Well, knitters have their comfort knitting - easy, soft, dependable. Mine is the mistake-rib scarf - row upon endless row of fluffy, puffy knit 2, purl 2 - nothing to count, really, nothing to add or subtract. Reassuringly simple and soothing, it takes the rough edges off most any day with teens or toddlers.

Readers who knit - what's your comfort knitting?


  1. How many of these conversations have I had? Currently we are missing 2 pairs of jeans procured at Christmas time.

    Maybe I should take up comfort knitting.

  2. are you sure you don't have my daughter living in your house?

  3. I know your question wasn't directed to me as I don't knit, but I felt compelled to comment that for me there is nothing 'comfortable' about knitting. Which is undoubtedly why I don't knit. My grandma can't understand why fingers which (once could) coax a Chopin nocturne out of her old rickety piano cannot grasp the concept of knitting. My grandma does knit. Her comfort kitting? Afghans. On the morning the Dr rang and told her grandpa had cancer she sat down and started knitting, and by 10pm she had a queen size afghan.

  4. My son lost his digital camera, which he had for less than a month before it *poof* disappeared. I had given up on ever seeing it again when...I had to look in his closet because one of my other boys was missing a right tennis shoe.

    Tucked into the last pair of sneakers that he outgrew, which were nestled in the depths of hell in the back corner of his closet...was the camera.

    "Oh yeah, now I remember putting it there," was all he had to say when reunited with his camera. The right shoe however is still MIA.

  5. I love it!!!

    Last summer when I excavated daughters room I not only found several things she SWORE she had lost forever, I also found four of MY shirts that had mysteriously disappeared out of my closet and daughter didn't know a THING about it.

    It's so nice to know I'm not alone in my suffering, thanks!

  6. Oh I had to comment on this one! I have a 2 teens (and one almost there....boys, but still) and lately it has been, "where's my sweatshirt". I knit socks for comfort. I don't actually wear knitted socks (not very comfortable for me....ha ha ha) but I have about 10 pairs right now (and my mother and sister each have 5 pairs)....I am barely surviving the "boy" teen years...what will I do when my daughter (age 5) becomes a teen? I should start planning ahead I guess...

  7. Hmm. When my mother was dying I knit a lot of garter stitch. A garter stitch baby sweater. A tomten. Talk about mindless.

    But for less dire situations, mittens are good. I can whip those suckers out in no time when I get going.

  8. Stockinette stitch, in the round; doesn't matter if it's a plain sock, a sweater sleeve, or a sweater body. I used to be able to knit an adult sweater in six days: one for each sleeve, up to the armpit, two for the body, three for the yoke and its mitered decreases.

  9. mine has lost 2 ipods, numerous earbuds, coats, 1 track spike shoe (just 1)jeans, shirts and a trombone. We found the trombone 4 months later. In the bandroom.

  10. Kudos to you for not strangling her with the coat.

  11. I hope it kicks on soon at our house. It's bad enough finding things for my son. Was hoping the girl could find things for herself.

    NOT SO.

  12. LOL, well, the closest would be WAY too obvious to a teen!

  13. I'll raise you two sports tops and a saxaphone. Seriously.
    We had rented a saxaphone for 18 months then finally bought one which was lost about 6 weeks later, never seen again. And wouldn't you know it, we hadn't got around to insuring it and it wasn't covered by our home contents insurance as it was lost away from the house - Jules

  14. My 7th grader lost his flute for a week. It was in the front of his history classroom. Granted, he is only there every-other day, but STILL! It is "just" a $350 instrument.... and now I need to buy him a piccolo, too.
    I don't knit. I eat. I think I should take up knitting. Do you give lessons?

  15. Baby hats in the round. With soft luxurious yarn (like Sublime or Debbie Bliss) that I can only justify purchasing for small projects. There's just something reassuring about making baby hats.

    I thought you were talking about my teenage son until you mentioned the Uterine Locating Device.

  16. I threaten that I am going to start buying all their stuff at the local thrift store-nothing scares a teen and preteen more then the thought of wearing somebody else's old clothing. Doesn't stop me having to routinely go in and dig through the junk though. Maybe I need a better threat?

  17. My sister has a system:
    1. They ask where something is...
    2. She tells them where to find it.
    3. They can't find it "It's NOT THERE!!!"...
    4. She walks in, picks it up... EXACTLY where she said it would be...
    5. They Pay her for the service of finding said article.

    PS. The "UTD" does not kick in until you are responsible for keeping track of OTHER PEOPLE'S THINGS...ie: Motherhood.

  18. Maybe the UTD doesn't activate until you turn 20 or something. I go through this CONSTANTLY with my sons. I spend so much time looking for their crap that I don't have time to knit:(

  19. I like a pattern with a little more challenge, just to distract my brain from the agony of the latest seminar on autism I've attended...

    When I lost things as a teenager, my mother always asked, "If I find it, can I beat you with it?" Never worked very well, though since obviously she never did.

    I say if you find it, you should be able to ebay it and keep the cash. ;)

    "If I find it, can I sell it on ebay?" THERE YA GO!!

  20. Okay, I have to comment! My daughter did not clean her room for 10 years. (Looonnnggg story rife with maternal failure and not for public consumption here.) In that period of time she lost 2 library cards. This summer she finally started cleaning her room last summer, because she was going to college, and I told her that if she didn't do it I would and she would live with the results. She found many lost and forgotten things, but only one library card! On the other hand she only uncovered half the floor, so I am still optimistic about the library card!

  21. Whew! I am glad I am NOT ALONE! LOL Teens always seem to loose something and they can NEVER find it, I keep telling them to wait unitl they are parents, then they will REALLY know everything!

  22. I can knit fish.

    Yet again I would like to recommend Taken. Seriously go see this, you will never let your chidren leave the house again. This may not be a good thing but any of the ones you take with you to see it wil probably to scared to talk for the next few days.

  23. My 13 year old son lost his coat this fall. He brought it back from Scout camp (I saw it with my own eyes) and then it mysteriously disappeared. He layered sweatshirts for a while (because "It's really not that cold, I can handle it.") until grandpa sent Christmas money. The other kids got to pick what they wanted to buy with their Christmas money, we went ahead and used his money for a new coat.

    I don't knit. When I need comforting, I turn to chocolate. Or cheesecake.

  24. I can testify that children are not required for the use of the ULD. The instant something leaves my husband's attention, it's physical location becomes irrelevant. That's how we get a book in the fridge, and mustard on the bookshelf. What always puzzled me, was *why* I should remember where he left his stuff. Until the day I found him about to go out:

    Me: Are you going out?
    Him, holding sneaker poised over foot: Uh, yeah.
    Me: Don't you think you should wear your own sneakers?
    Him, looking down to see he's about to put on mine: !!?
    Me: They're on the rug by the door.

    And I'm more of a project knitter, and don't usually have more than three projects going, but the comfort knitting is whatever is simplest. Easy socks, hats or mittens, a scarf, or miles of mindless stockinette sweater body. As long as thought isn't required, it'll do....only, is it comfort knitting if most of it falls into that category?!

  25. lol, anna reminds me of myself just a few years ago. i could not see the forest for the trees (is that the expression?) - what i mean is, you could have put whatever i was looking for in plain view and i just didn't see it.

    surely is a teenage thing!

  26. I have been knitting a shawl for the last couple of months. I'm new to knitting, so I find it all comforting.

  27. I'll raise you one. When the kids are not sure where a rarely used cooking pan, bowl, whatever goes, they ask me. After I tell them exactly, (second shelf of the cupboard over the microwave, in the bottom of the pile of glass bowls, for instance) they put it somewhere else. They asked just to make sure it didn't accidentally get put where it belongs?

    Billy lost his winter coat for a few weeks this winter. He left it hanging up at the Dr's office. I recognised it the next time we went in.

    Favorite comfort knitting- Something knitted in rounds that I can work on while reading something on line. Not anything that requires me to remember a complicated pattern. I used to knit fishermans sweaters- I think that is what they are called. You know with the patterns for cables and other patterns that Are very hard to follow when you get distracted constantly.

  28. I don't knit---so I have to watch TIVO instead to calm down---lose myself.

  29. I don't knit, but as far as the uterine locating device? Apparently it's activated as soon as you pop out the first child. Because my two teenage daughters? Can not find a DVD in its own case. It's not there...they looked!

  30. Actually, when I'm distracted, I can't seem to find knitting comforting, but this pattern-the One Row Scarf=http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archives/2006/10/12/one_row_handspun_scarf.html -- by the Yarn Harlot is very simple and makes a really prety scarf . With only one row to follow, you can knit it as long as you wish!