i kissed a boy at midnight

January 6, 2012

and the next day i had the mothah fuckin’ plague.
we’re talking bloody swollen tonsils,
fevers, shaking, mild hallucinations/dreams.
it was like i was in some kind of sweat lodge or something.
(go ahead bible thumpers. use it as evidence)

i called my mom to inform her that i planned on staggering to the hospital. i live a couple blocks away from one. i think ahead.

apparently, that was nonsense.
apparently, going to the emergency room for violent shaking due to a high fever and a pain in my throat so severe i thought death had taken up residence in my mouth would not have been covered by insurance.
apparently, if you can live with that kind of misery (which apparently one can), it does not constitute an emergency.

instead, she dispatched my father
who then brought me to her office
where i was promptly jabbed in the ass with a needle.


i then spent about six hours in my childhood bed
where my fever convinced me i had figured out the science/math of pain. (i shit you not. i thought i had solved the formula for how pain worked and was measured. a fever is a powerful thing)

i’m better, now.

i love western medicine.

which allows me to tell you of my recent plan to finish up some projects

it clearly goes without saying
that being a phd student cuts into one’s knitting time.
which means i haven’t had a fo to show in a while.

but as the new semester approaches,
i really felt the need to finish something.

and i did.

i got up first thing to try to take a lovely photo for you all.
ok so it was a bit too early.

so i waited and took a few more later.
when i first moved back to michigan, i was heartbroken.
more than once i found myself weeping,
bracing myself against various lintels and such.

i decided to cast on this shawl as way to work through it.

as things got better, (and they really did)
and i found my happiness here,
i stopped working on it.

i didn’t need this shawl anymore.
pattern: terra yarn: mad tosh pashmina in ‘mare’

i modified the pattern to work with a sport weight yarn. i didn’t write down the math but if you wanted i’m sure you could figure it out.

it’s being sent off to nancy, a loyal reader and sock summit stalker.
(literally, she knew what class i was taking and waited outside the door to meet me. that is dedication i can get behind).
she is taking this lovely shawl in lieu of the socks i owe her.
i think it’s a smart trade; god only knows when those socks will get done. and, really, does a lady in san diego need a pair of wool man socks?

i don’t think so.

it’ll be in the mail later today nance!

i should have another fo soon.
anyone want to guess what oldie i’m working on?

last night,
i cast on a project.
i knew the answer to my funk lay in a shawl,
but hours on ravelry left me feeling rather hopeless.
nothing inspired me.

then, for whatever reason,
i gave this shawl a second glance,
and bitches, i have found my mojo!
yarn – madelinetosh pashmina in the glazed pecan colorway.
pattern – baltic blossoms lace shawl.

let me tell you,
it feels good to be back!
it’s like that feeling when a cold breaks,
and you can finally take a deep breath again.

i was creatively congested!

then this morning,
i woke up to the following e-mail:

Dear Steven:

Thanks so much for your inspiring blog post. Because of you, we have received over $400 dollars in donations! Thank you for getting yourself tested, and thank you for your amazing support of Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force!

Emma McAfee
Development Associate
Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force
5913 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

that was a great way to begin my day.
thank you to everyone who contributed,
not only to pittsburgh aids task force,
but to their local testing centers.
that $400 will pay for 10 tests.

your generosity makes me feel like maybe the effort i put into this blog isn’t a fruitless endeavor, that maybe people are listening.
so thank you.

and congratulations to faye.
the random number generator selected you,
and my skein of handspun is yours.
you better knit with it!

i actually cast on a second shawl.
i’m not sure if i’m allowed to show you it,
but better to ask forgiveness than permission, right?
it’s the beginning of a test knit from westknits book three

that’s all i’ll say.
the cashmere mafia’s listening.

dear elizabeth,

while generally i operate in the realm of the visible, i admit to being a bit superstitious. i was raised catholic after all. and while i recognize that you were a mere mortal when you walked this earth, your impact on the knitting world was so great that many believe your influence still holds sway from beyond the grave.

when i was little, i would pray to the appropriate saint for help with those problems that were to small to bug god directly. he or she could be counted on to answer my prayer and help me out or, if need be, file the appropriate paperwork with the big man himself. (i cannot tell you how many times st. anthony saved my ass. i’m always losing shit) but as far as i know, there’s no patron saint of knitting, and even if there were, those cats and i aren’t exactly on speaking terms these days.

so i’m coming to you for help. i’ve been utterly uninspired lately, basically since i left the hospital. i feel like a beginner again, constantly making little mistakes and not having the fortitude to cope with them. it’s left me pretty bummed and has meant i’ve had a bunch of false starts.

recently, though, i found a project that actually made me pretty happy. once again i found myself working row after row late into the night with that obsessive determination that makes my whole upper body ache and leaves that special red line on my index finger. isn’t it lovely?
finally, i had a project that reignited my passion for knitting and gave me hope that i hadn’t lost whatever talent i may have had.

or so i thought.

apparently, the joy of feeling like a knitter again eradicated my ability to access basic knowledge of how knitting works. triangular shawls are kinda my thing. i’ve knit quite a few of them. they could be the only knitted objects besides a hat where i totally understand its construction. yes, this shawl is bottom up, and i’m more into center-out, but the same principles apply. yet there i sat, knitting thousands of stitches, only ever stopping to think,

“how odd it is that there are no center decreases.” or
“i wonder when the center decreases will start. maybe in chart two.” or
“hmm, that picture looks kinda different from my shawl. must be the yarn.”

nope. not the yarn. i just completely read the chart wrong and must now rip out about a week’s worth of knitting.

of course, i could point out the flaws in the chart and its instructions that led to this error, but really i have enough experience to know better. i should have caught this one.

the enormity of this particular gaff left me paralyzed these past few days. i didn’t know how to blog about it. i couldn’t face it. i’m not sad or anything, really. it’s almost hilarious how bad i seem to be at this.

but i wanna be good again.

now, i must admit that i haven’t read any of your books, nor have i knitted any of your patterns. i live a somewhat unwholesome lifestyle filled with lustful thoughts and the f-word falling from lips about as often as “the”. you’ve no reason to help me. i doubt we have anything in common. i’m an english knitter for christ’s sake!

but here’s the thing. i’ve got nowhere else to turn. i literally think my only option is to address the spirit of a dead woman who, if she ever met me, would probably frown. please, liz. just tell me what i should cast on. tell me what i need to do get back on track. i’ll burn incense, chant, dance naked under the full moon, whatever. tell me who to blow and i’m there!

because i don’t want to lose knitting. i love it.
and crochet just ain’t gonna cut it for me.

sincerely yours,


p.s. i’d appreciate it if you’d keep this particular failure between you and me. wouldn’t want it getting out that i’m not the perfect knitter i pretend to be.

bon anniversaire!

August 9, 2010

well folks, today is the one year anniversary of bitches get stitches!
i started it a year ago for some reason i suppose,
but i’m finding it hard to remember why.
if i go back to that first post, i wrote,

“here I am world, Steven A.
why am I here? besides the fact that all the cool kids are doing it? I needed a place to talk shop.
knitting that is.”

simple enough.

it’s harder to articulate why i keep going exactly.
i guess, on the most basic level,
i write because there are people who read;
there are people out there who actually care what i think,
(at least when it comes to stitch manipulation)
and like the part of me i’m putting out for the world to see.

it’s great to feel like i’m actually a part of the conversation,
and not just some crazy person talking about yarn.

there’s also the fact that,
no matter what,
this is my space.
a place where i can be sassy and irreverent as i want.
i get to go there,
be the mayor of there,
and no one gets to tell me to shut the fuck up.

or at least if they do,
i don’t have to listen to them.

in any case this year has been great,
and i can’t wait to see what happens next.

of course, i couldn’t have an anniversary post without a f.o.

so i busted my buns,
tracked down more beads,
and finished my shaelyn shawl.

(veronica was kind enough to model for me)

(you really should check out the rest of the photo shoot. it’s gorgeous!)

i used madelinetosh pashmina in the “copper penney” colorway leftover from the juneberry i knit for stephanie. i added size 6 miyuki beads, color 135 (root beer). 648 freakin’ beads.

i knit this with no one specifically in mind;
i just wanted to use up some beautiful yarn,
and try my hand at some beaded knitting.

it would have made a great gift for so many people in my circle of friends,
but it really didn’t seem to fit anyone.
so i guess it’s that time again,
time foooooooor. . .

the third bitches get stitches giveaway!!

the rules:
this one’s going to be a little different guys.
i want this shawl to embody the essence of giving.


just leave a comment to enter,
but not for yourself.
instead explain who you think i should send it to and why.

it can be for your sister’s birthday,
or your coworker just because she’s fabulous.
maybe you think i should send it to meg swansen,
just for shits and giggles.

in any case,
the best person/reason wins.
the decision is completely arbitrary;
it’ll just be whichever comment i like best.

so help me out people,
and make some one else’s day!

thanks for a great first year bitches!

a quickie

June 19, 2010

i’m pretty beat so i’ll make this quick.
i blocked my juneberry triangle, and it turned out lovely.

i was a bit nervous about blocking this puppy,
since i’d never done it before.

i mean, we all understand the basic principles:
soak, then pin in place. (threading blocking wires through the edges is optional really, but holy god do i recommend them)

but trust me, if you’ve never blocked lace, there’s a bit of a gap between theory and practice. no one tells you through which stitches exactly one is supposed thread the blocking wires, or how ‘hard’ to stretch the lace. no one tells you precisely how to use the pins to hold the wires in place (fyi, pin at a sharp angle to hold them down). nor does anyone mention how uncomfortable it is to lie on the floor at 1 a.m. repositioning pins again and again to get that sucker into just the right shape, especially if your dog decides that is the perfect time to take an interest in your tush. (dog people, you understand. the rest of you, don’t ask)

i swear, we don’t give bitches enough credit for good blocking.
(maybe i should start a blocking business to supplement my habit)