On the Bench

I generally have a very low tolerance for hearing people’s excuses as to why they haven’t done something they’ve been intending to do. You know the ones: “I’ve been meaning to call, but things have just been so crazy” or “I wish I had the free time to blog, I’m just too busy.” Well make time, I say! If it’s of value to you and your wellbeing, make the time.

This is what I have had to remind myself of this week. Because I have been busy and unable to get to some of the activities that bring me peace and comfort during the rigor of daily life: knitting, writing, and reading. And if you bear with me through a couple of anecdotes as to why I haven’t been writing for this blog, I promise to talk to you about knitting.

1. Last night I was trying out a new recipe that my friend Katie passed on to me in response to my pleas for new recipes. It is Chicken Vesuvio from the ever-perky Giada De Laurentiis of Food Network fame. It basically goes like this: brown up some chicken thighs and potatoes, add wine and broth, then bake for 20 minutes. Sounds good right?

Everything was fine until I took the whole shebang out of the oven. The recipe asks that you remove all the meat and potatoes from the pot, then add artichoke hearts and butter to make a sauce. In doing said activities, I forgot that the pot had been in the oven at 450 degrees and proceeded to grab ahold of its handle. “Ah!!! I burned my hand!” My thumb and first two fingers were brutally singed, and as I rinsed them in cold water I reflected on the recipe’s title. Isn’t Vesuvius a volcano? As in molten hot, flesh-melting lava? I couldn’t type or knit at all last night; I was benched from Team Knit! Dinner was delicious, however.

2. This morning, during my favorite hours of the day, those in which the house is quiet and my office is reasonably sunny and perfect for writing and knitting, my cat decided to bring a bird into the house. I thought it was dead at first, and I immediately went to fetch a paper towel to dispose of the body. When I came back, the bird was flopping around against the window and Spike was seriously excited. I had to quarantine him in the bathroom while I tried to convince the bird to let me lay hands on it in order to set it free. The bird was not cooperative. The next couple of minutes passed as I put on some rubber gloves and followed the frantic bird from room to room making promises. I could be heard saying things like “I won’t hurt you, little bird” and “That’s it…come here…dammit!” as Mr. Bird repeatedly fled my grasp.

The good news was, the bird could fly, and I had to take a moment to appreciate the sheer strangeness and wonder of having a wild bird flying around my living room. Finally I was able to coax it out the open front door where I got to watch it fly across the street and land in a tree. Free at last, free at last!


Hunting is such hard work. Is he smiling with satisfaction?

Finally, to the knitting!

I just purchased Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s book, Knitting Rules! for her chapter on socks. While I have knit 3.5 pairs during my short knitting career, I feel like there is a huge gap in my knowlede of sock construction. McPhee’s approach is part make-it-up-as-you-go and part explantation of how all the components come together. I feel it’ll help make me a more confident sock knitter. I had a moment of clarity when she explains that a heel flap should be made up of half the total stitches. Knowing this, I feel entirely comfortable knitting away on a pair of socks without following a pattern. And that is so liberating!

So here’s my night to come:

peacock sock

  • Pattern: Yarn Harlot’s Generic Sock Recipe
  • Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in Peacock
  • Needles: Harmony double points, size 2.5

3 thoughts on “On the Bench

  1. Great cat! Oh, the socks are nice, too. My cat only brings me chameleons who are dumb enough to wander in around the screens.

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