Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Patriotic Knitting, Farm Babies and a seriously ugly wip

One of my friends at work is the father of a marine that recently graduated from the USMC boot camp. He's getting some training and then will most likely head out to Afghanistan within the next few months. I loved the opportunity to join the ranks of people that have knitted for the armed forces throughout history. The Marine Corps is very specific about the gauge and quality of yarn used for these patterns. If you don't know a marine personally, feel free to knit some and send to the USMC Museum which will send the helmet liners along to men and women that will greatly appreciate them.

You need to use 100% wool. As EZ used to say, wool is warm even when wet and will also not cause any harm if there's live sparks or fire near the helmet liner. I used washable Mission Falls. Marines prefer desert tan colors, but black will work also. These are modeled by me, so I'm sure they'll look much more official on a real marine. Marines rock. The pattern was well written and fun to knit as well.
USMC Museum info and USMC Helmetliner Pattern

OK, now for those asking (hello Chery) there will be NO FARM BABIES!!! I must apologize to my friends here in KC as they've heard this story at least 42 times. You know, I still laugh till I cry each time I think about it. I can't believe I didn't blog about the Farm Babies Incident....

Mexico, Oct 2008. My hubby and I got to go to Cabos San Lucas for a holiday/training session for the hubby's company. (My company does training in Minneapolis in the WINTER, I heart my hubby's company!) One night while there I saw the man at the most drunk level I've ever seen him. The man has a few beers here and there, but rarely gets to a level of stupidity like when he relaxed in Mexico. The man was drunk as a skunk, but with style. Part-way through the night, he came up with this great idea.......

J: Baby, we should have a BABY, baby!
ME: WHAT? (spewing out drink, choking and falling off barstool...good thing there was a lot of sand to cushion the fall)
J: We need a baby! We should have a baby. Let's make one tonight, RIGHT NOW!
ME: WHAT? NO!.... (much unintelligible reasoning followed)

I'd distract the man, we'd head over to yet another bar for yet more fruity and rum filled concoctions and it'd come up again....

J: BABY, we need a BABY!
ME: Do you remember our kids? OUR FOUR CHILDREN? How we're outnumbered? FOUR CHILDREN! (I was physically shaking the man now)

Time would go on. Again it would come back..

J: We need a baby. We NEED a baby. Our baby. It'd be so wonderful to have one together, baby.
ME: What about our farm, honey? We're supposed to move to a farm after our FOUR CHILDREN leave the house for college, remember? the FARM! Dang, can't have a baby. See?
J: Silence. Pondering expression on his face.....
J: Baby, it could be our FARM BABY, BABY!
The rest of the night, he would just look at me, smile and say "our Farm Baby, Baby!"

Let's just say that I made doubly sure to take that little orange BC pill each day while there. The next day Jeff felt like hell and had absolutely NO MEMORY of the whole FARM BABY idea. To this day he thinks I made it up. I found a few of his coworkers to tell him he was, in fact, rambling on about some farm baby.

OK, it's totally lame here in type, but in person, I can totally mimic his words and expression. It's wet-your-pants kind of funny. TO THIS DAY all I have to do is say "farm baby" and I laugh till I cry while he walks away rolling his eyes.

The only farm babies that will join our lives will be of the cow/sheep/chicken persuasion. Holy crap. Another child? Now? wow.

OK, I don't know WHAT the hell this thing will become. All I know is that I like it. I really, REALLY like it. It was this idea hatched in my brain back in yarn school 08. It didn't QUITE turn out how I expected it to, but I'm ok with that. I spun up some thick & thin singles, dyed it in apparently horrificly jarring colors and it's going to be felted. It may or may not turn into a felted bag. Or maybe I'll find an old black or grey sweater at good will, felt it and use this as accent material to sew up a felted bag? Or I may just pull it out at knitting functions just to see the knitters go "WOW!" and jump back. Nothing freaks out a knitter working on a perfectly normal sweater like a spectacularly fugly mix of colors swung out before their eyes. You know it's spectacular when your knitting friends have to fan their faces to get the vision to clear. Wow, indeed. When asked "WHY?" last night I said, "Well, I'm trying to learn to live with color." (I usually dress in black, white, tan, boring colors) I was told "Maybe you should learn to RUN AWAY from the colors!" Who knows what it will become? Maybe it'll get a bit muted when felted.

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