Poor Skeptic

Oh dear, I hope I didn’t paint my poor Skeptic in too negative of a light. He really is a sweetheart and his skepticisms are always said kindly; he just can’t help himself. He comes from a community of Central Wisconsin farmers who are, shall we say, practical people. If you’ve ever listened to Lake Wobegon you’ll know what I mean. The accent is a little different but that practical nature is the same. They are genetically coded to notice the one thing that might need some improvement before they notice anything else. The noticing does drive me a little nuts, the fact that he is right quite often drives me even more nuts. Case in point:

1. The bag, as gorgeous as it is, has straps that are too narrow. When I made the bag I originally screwed up the measurement. Being too lazy to re-cut I just thought “Cute! Skinny straps!” and sewed them on.

If the Skeptic had been making the bag he would have thought, “Hmmm, skinny straps on a very large bag would equal uneven weight distribution, cutting off all circulation on my shoulders when the bag is crammed full of junk. I’d better re-cut.”

So now, I’ve been dragging a large heavy bag full of stuff around that keeps digging into my shoulders. And, at least three other people have said to me, “Cute bag. Wow, those are some thin straps. Do they hold all that?”

2. The socks, which he complained were too pointy in the heel and felt too big, were ripped back just past the heel, knit one more time and now fit him perfectly. And, I will be victorious when the garter-stitch rib does not fall down. (Ironically, we were having this debate while his coveted Eddie Bauer socks were sagging near his ankles). As soon as he is not working a bizzilion hours a day I will have non-sagging shot for all to admire.

Anyway, my whole point in this story is that I hope I didn’t sound angry with him. Yup, he can drive me a bit crazy but I think all husbands/wives/partners are capable of that. And the bottom line is that he is the reason I usually do quality work. I tend to get sick of something, want it done, and might not bother to fix the minor mistakes. Then I get mad at myself later when I’m unhappy with it. So when I hear him start to say, “Hmmm….” I tend to give him a listen.

And on the other side of it, I am the reason that things do get done around here. My get busy attitude keeps him moving when he tends to spend too much time thinking about something. He will spend weeks agonizing about some little detail if I don’t step in and get him moving. Bottom line is we compliment each other perfectly, which is the way it should be, right? πŸ™‚

Anyway, enough rambling about the Skeptic and I, although this does make me wonder now, what kind of knitter are you? Do you ponder through heavily detailed, washed and blocked swatches? Do you fix every detail? Do you just jump right in and hope it works out in the end? A little of both perhaps? And do you have someone who keeps you balanced, maybe when you’re freaking out about the 1/16 of an inch difference in swatches, or when you’re insisting that your sweater really isn’t too tight?

Lastly, so this isn’t too word heavy, photos of my recently completed apron.

Calavacas 1

Calavacas 2

And the conditions in which I worked:

Working conditions

I rarely sew in the presence of my boys, as you can see it’s not the ideal set-up. But my mom was here and I was desperate to get this done. Note Little Man’s rockin’ hairdo. He is quite into his long hair, but I do think it’s time for a trim…

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “Poor Skeptic

  1. Oh, that is one fun apron!!

  2. Amy

    Want. That. Apron. It matches my bag.

  3. Love the apron!

    Also love the tale of you and the Skeptic. Balance is good and I have a balancing Skeptic of my own over here. πŸ™‚

  4. Love the apron!
    Helpers can be a joy, can’t they?

  5. Very nice apron! Is that a piece of elastic I see in that cool ‘do? As long as the Skeptic means it kindly… πŸ˜‰

  6. Gretchen

    Love the Day of the Dead fabric! It’s so colorful and cool!

    I’m definitely a “jump in and hope it all works out” kind of crafter. Gauge swatches? What are those? Rip back to fix one tiny mistake? Heck no! I’d never get anything finished at that rate! I slap it together as best as I can, and take pride in anything I finish.

    My “helpers” have stripped thread from spools, cut all my elastic into 4″ pieces, taken needles out of projects, gotten into my buttons and pins… That just adds to the challenge of finishing everything.

  7. I love that apron!

    RM is a bit like the Skeptic. Most of the time I don’t mind it, as his input do help to make the best finished product.

  8. Speaking of rockin’, that’s one rockin’ apron – I love it!!!

    I tend to lean toward the “good enough” camp. I’m always bugged by the imperfections and sometimes I listen to that little voice and go back and fix it, but sometimes I just ignore it and hope it’ll all be ok. It depends on how much work it will take to fix it. Like last night, I thought I had forgotten to do a decrease, so I ripped back part of a row to do the decrease, kept knitting and realized I was right the first time – it wasn’t time for the decrease yet. There was no way I was going to rip back AGAIN, though, so I decided to leave the decrease where it was and carry on.

  9. LOVE the apron!

    And totally get the Skeptic thing…the moments that you just want to throttle the SO are so much more blog-worthy than day-to-day everything is just sailing along fine, right? Just last night, I sent KittyDaddy down to (1) turn off the A/C and (2) open the downstairs windows so I wouldn’t have to drag my 36 week belly down the stairs again. Well, he got the windows open…

  10. Oh my, I sew in the same conditions as you though cut out one kid. Aidan is usually in my lap.

    I am like Skeptic – I can ponder a project for months before getting started. However, when I throw caution to the wind, I love what I end up with.

  11. Suz

    Hey R!
    I was a little surprised by all the wacks on Skeptic’s head last post. I think the best marriages have a Skeptic and an Optimist. In my life, the Skeptic is ME and the Optimist is my dear Mister, St John. Works great. Perfect complements, just as your Skeptic sounds like the perfect complement to your wonderful optimism.

    But, I have to say, even as a skeptic, I have been freed of such in my knitting once I read Elizabeth Zimmermann (God rest her saintly knitting soul!!) I’m all over the “new design element” and letting go of lots in my knitting. Not a slave to it at all. I will rip, but I’m not obsessive about it. Definitely a Relaxed Knitter.

  12. Eeee! I love that apron fabric! That surprises me… : )

  13. That apron is GREAT. I love it.

    I’m really a “press forward and hope everything works out” knitter, although I have been known to rip back when it’s obvious things have gone horribly wrong.

  14. Groovy apron. And I didn’t think you sounded angry with the Skeptic – just a well matched married couple!

  15. I read the pattern, make a gauge swatch, check how much yarn I’ll need, then disregard it all and knit it anyway and hope for the best.
    I love your apron!

  16. Meg

    I heart your apron. So cute!

    I am absolutely a “knit on regardless” knitter…I rarely frog anything since even if it doesn’t turn out to be what I wanted it to be, it will be interesting/useful in some other capacity, or if nothing else, a learning experience for me.

    When I do decide something needs fixing, knitting or otherwise, it’s often because of my husband’s influence. He is dedicated to perfecting the perfectable – which leads to a similar type of dynamic between us. The mere knowledge that he would “do it right” instead of “just get it done now” reminds me to fix some things that need fixing, and to slow down a bit to think things out before diving in.

  17. I LOVE YOUR APRON!!!SOO cool!!!

    I make a good estimate about the needles, gauge and what not. I will usually not take something out and little mistakes are okay, that way people know it’s handmade! πŸ™‚ haha…

    My DH is also a skeptic. He’s an engineer and comes from a family of two engineers and a math teacher. Practical and logistical thinking runs purely in his blood. I on the other hand am a grad student in psych working in social work. Needless to say, our ways of thinking are totally different. He keeps me in line, I keep things relaxed. He also thinks similarly to your Skeptic, that I should do it right the first time and correct the small mistakes. I’d rather not. πŸ™‚ He won’t wear the socks I made him, not because they don’t fit, but because they’re too nice to wear. πŸ™‚

  18. That fabric is awesome!!!

    You inspire me to try making an apron sometime soon!!!

  19. That is a fabulous material. Makes me wish I could sew….speaking of which…how on earth can you do that with 2 boys??? I have one son and he talks so much I cannot seem to follow a pattern without reading it several times and that is no guarantee that I have absorbed any of it. Not to mention that it is really hard to knit when he is hanging onto my arm asking more questions than I have asked in my 37 years! I have enjoyed reading your blogs! (I read others than I write in mine!)

  20. Oh…I am a jump in and hope for the best knitter (gauge swatch? we don’t need no stinkin’ gauge swatch!)

  21. wow… awesome fabric on ur apron….
    I am a bit of both on my crafting…. I get so exctied to start and finish that I usually jump right in… but I get urges to do it the right way occasionally… hehe…
    luv Abby

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