I’m a knitter.  Stop groaning, having knitters for friends has its perks since appreciative recipients are often well-rewarded.  Anyhow, somewhere between Marc’s pneumonia, Kate’s rope work and Simon’s, er, Simon’s Simon-ness, I made these:

I’m showing you this because I’m narcissistic and I want you to be in awe and praise me.  Period. 

The design is Norwegian, with a little bit of Estonia thrown in for good measure.  They appear sparkly because there’s silver thread spun into the wool.  That’s right, SILVER.  REAL SILVER.  I’m not normally one for sparkles, but the idea of having fancy mittens that always seemed to be covered with snowflakes touched the inner (outer)  corn in me so deeply, I was helpless.  They’re not terribly warm, I can’t drive with them on, and while soft, it’s not cashmere.  And yet… love. 

Okay, I’m done.

On the subject of cashmere (work with me here, it’s two days before Christmas), I’ve never been able to quite wrap my head around the fact that it comes from goats.  I don’t know, goats are kind of, um, goat-y.  I’m not sure that sheep are any more regal by comparison, but there’s something not cashmere-y about goats you know?  Now please, no mail about the virtue of goats.   Goats are great, goats are fantastic, I love a good goat as much as the next person.  In fact, I love goats so much I used to have one.  Seriously.  Not in the city though, in the country.  A long time ago. 

 I had a goat and I named him Templeton.  For some reason I found some sort of romance in naming my lovely little goat after that nasty little rat from Charlotte’s Web.  I remembered Templeton (the rat, not the goat) as not-so-bad, and dug the name, and I was ten (or something), and that’s that.  It wasn’t until I re-visited the story when I read it to Kate this fall that I realised that Templeton (the rat, not the goat) wasn’t not-so-bad after all, and I probably should have named my goat Charlotte.  Or at least Wilbur. 

Templeton was black with patches of brown and white and grey and beige.  He lived at my grandmother’s farm and he was mine in as much as I got to name him and feed him whenever I visited.  To this day I have no idea why he was given to me or what he was meant for.  Templeton was the only goat, and if he was in fact a he,  his singularity made his usefulness somewhat singular (a fact I’m only just acknowledging and plan to blot out of my mind immediately).  Whatever his destiny, Templeton was mine.  At least whenever I wanted him to be. 

One sunny afternoon (isn’t it always) I went to the barn to find my old pal Templeton and give him some oats or hay or whatever it was I was supposed to feed him.  Because I hated the ducks and wanted them to get the hell away from me, I got the corn from the feed shed first in the hopes they’d peck at the corn (or themselves) and  not me.   As expected, the ducks went ducky and flapped their wings and dove for the corn like they’d never been fed before and never would be again.  To my surprise Templeton was just as ducky (I know I know, a goat with a rat’s name who acts like a duck.  Roll with it).  He got right in there, gulping down that corn and fighting just as hard as the ducks for those precious kernals.  And since I was pretty fond of that little goat, and seeing that goat happy made me happy, and since eating corn made the goat the ducks and me happy, and I don’t think I ever really knew what to feed him, I did what any unsupervised little girl in a barn would do with her corn-loving goat –  I fed him more corn.  Like a lot more.  I fed Templeton corn until I was sure he was full.  I fed Templeton corn until was full.  I fed Templeton corn until I actually got bored of feeding him corn and put it back into the feed shed so he’d friggin’ stop bothering me about eating MORE DAMN CORN.  I fed Templeton corn until Templeton’s stomach exploded and Templeton died.

Thankfully it took Templeton’s digestive tract a few minutes to collapse (erupt?), so I was already picking apples in the orchard, oblivious, when the carnage occurred.  My dad told me the next day, which is when I found out I wasn’t supposed to feed Templeton corn. 

Perhaps the explanation for my unexplained uneasiness about cashmere and goats can be derived from that story.  Or maybe I’m just a goat-killer with some fucked up discrimination issues around knitting fibre and animals.  It’s probably the latter.

Since death is a terrible way to end things (get it, hysterical), and one person so many of you asked, I present Kate and T-Rex.  Sideways.  Because YouTube is in cahoots with QuickTime and won’t recognise the fact I have  rotated it, unless I spend $37.99 for QuickTime Pro to press the “rotate” button.  Fuck You QuickTime, fuck you.  Next time I will shoot landscape and save myself the trouble.  Ahem: