Posts tagged “knitting

The Pachyderm Problem

Posted on May 4, 2010

The trouble with having my advisor read my blog is that he now sees fit to keep me honest.

To wit: In a recent post, I wrote “the education of young Paige begins.”

That, of course, prompted him to pick up the phone and remind me that I was not at all young.

Fair enough.

I will edit myself.

The education of this creaky old broad begins…

Happy now?


When I’m between stories or waiting for interviews or simply stumped, I like to take on foolhardy creative projects. Last week, while I was shopping for my daughter’s fifth birthday party, I thought “Wouldn’t it be a great idea to knit little baby toys for pregnant friends x, y and z?”

I thought it would be a stunning idea. Just brilliant.

Except the thing is, I’m the poster child for I can knit a scarf because it is flat and requires little thought. My mother thinks some of my scarves turn out pretty, or even stylish.

But she is my mother, so what do you expect her to say? That she doesn’t want my scarves anywhere near her precious neck?


Scarves are one thing and a perfect project for someone like me who is challenged in the needle arts. Knitting an actual animal shape that will be sewn and stuffed and detailed with embroidery and felt ears? Hm…I might have bitten off more than I can chew.

I bought this book called “Knitted Toys” and the patterns in it seemed pretty straightforward while I was browsing through it in the bookstore. So I blithely flipped to one page, decided “Okay, I will knit little elephants,” and went to the local yarn store to procure all the goods I’d need to do the deed.

I got home, I knitted a front leg. And then I knitted a back leg and connected it to the front. Then I knitted a trunk. Ha ha! I was on a roll. Then I connected the trunk to the rest of the body. Then I looked at the directions and couldn’t figure out why I was 35 rows into this beast and seven stitches short. I went back to the knitting store and asked them what the heck.

They told me I didn’t know how to count (which was probably a polite way of telling me I didn’t know how to knit, either). They also told me I needed to unravel my pachyderm and start over.

So I did.

And here’s where I am right now…elephant

Hopefully I will not have a tarantula when I’m done.