Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Overshadowed...

In the midst of knitting up some catnip-stuffed cat toys, I take a moment to snap a few Instagram pics of the kitties playing like crazy with said cat toys. As I begin to scroll through my photo stream, I notice many of the IGers I follow have posted shots of varying styles to commemorate the death of Steve Jobs. If you don't know who that is, please throw away your iPhone and proceed to flog your self immediately with the white earbuds that came with your iPod.

Without Steve Jobs, none of us would have died of dysentery on the Oregon Trail. Apple IIe, y'all...

I bring up my Twitter client and begin scanning through the news posts, confirming what I can hardly believe. Ladies and gentlemen, Steve Jobs has left the building.

Another tidbit of news that I came across regarded one of the news media's favorite darlings, former half-term Alaska governor and ridiculously unqualified Republican Vice-Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin. Hiya, how ya doin'?

It seems she chose today to announce, once and for all, that she would not enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination, thus drawing to a close months...no, YEARS (at least 2) of speculation about 2012. Surely, there was no doubt that, even after President Obama won his first term in 2010, she certainly set her sights on the Big Chair and, for that first year or so, we all lived with the fear that maybe, just maybe, she could do it.

Then she opened her mouth and starting spouting off on a wide range of issues, becoming one of Obama's most vociferous, if slightly less informed, critics. Fox News, never one to be too concerned about "facts," in the loosest definition on that word, brought her on as a paid commentator. She resigned as Governor of Alaska halfway through her first (and only) term and, suddenly, she's raking in tens of thousands for each and every speaking engagement she can sign up for. It's all a little dubious, and that's being diplomatic.

But recently, she seems to have perfected the art of the Victim, pulling out the ol' violin anytime she's deemed the Lame Stream Media to be too harsh. She's so misunderstood, you see...always taken out of context. Following the shooting of Arizona State Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Palin was quick to mount a defense...of herself, claiming that she, too, was a victim. You see, prior to the shooting, a Sarah Palin political action committee released a map of the United States with crosshairs situated over states that had vulnerable Democratic seats. Representative Giffords was one of those crosshairs. And she had just been shot...in the head...at a public meeting. And the media was raising a collective eyebrow. But nevermind that...Sarah Palin is also always the victim.

Of course, she is...poor thing. And this is precisely why I find it so very a propos that, on the very day Sarah Palin decides to bring an end to the endless speculation, the positing of the pundits, the clamors of all the Mama Grizzlies (who shoot wolves with a shotgun...from a helicopter, because that's a fair hunt!)...on the very day when, due to this announcement, Sarah Palin's own importance in this upcoming Presidential cycle is necessarily and significantly lessened...

...that, on this day, Palin's grand announcement has been automatically and drastically overshadowed by the unfortunate passing of a great man whose singular contributions to our society and to our world are so much more than anything she could ever possibly envision on her best I-Ate-My-Wheaties-You-Betcha day.

Ms. Palin, with all due respect, get off the stage. This day is not yours.

R.I.P Steve Jobs...I love my iPod Touch.

Now, I have cat toys to knit.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Procedure

On this, the morning before I go under general anesthesia for the second time in as many weeks, I would offer these words of kindly advice to my oral surgeon's assistant, Belinda:

"Your bedside manner needs work, dear."

If you or someone you know works in a situation where you routinely administer general anesthesia to patients, never forget that for the vast majority of us, "going under" still has a definite element of fear to it, and this is coming from a dude who spent the first decade of the new millennium experiencing a bevy of chemical pleasures. Although it might be standard daily practice for you to wind plastic tubing around my head and to announce blithely, "Okay, we're going to give you a little nitrous to help calm you down," it is not standard practice for me to be knocked the fuck out. Remember, the main appeal of drugs to most people, I think, has to do with the alteration of perception, not the obliteration of it. So, with all do respect, find your empathy and always remember that the person in the chair is counting on you to be present, and not just physically so.

Luckily for me, I don't think she'll be there today and I've been told the people at St. John's Mercy are really quite adept at what they do. If the gentleman with whom I pre-registered this morning is any indication, this seems to be true. His voice was not just calm but calming and, as someone who knows a thing or two about conducting yourself on the phone, his skills therein were quite impressive and I told him so. I'm ready for The Procedure.

First, let me reveal The Discovery.

Two weeks ago, while I was having my last two wisdom teeth removed by an oral surgeon, a biopsy was done on a suspect area on the underside of my tongue. The biopsy came back showing "mild to moderate dysplacia," or a fancy description for pre-cancerous cells. As I understand it, they are pre-cancerous only in the sense that they are irregular; not in the sense that, if left unchecked, they would eventually develop into cancer. This may...or may not...happen. In any case, the course of action decided upon is to remove the offending tissue.

And that leads us to The Procedure.

This afternoon, I will again go under general anesthesia and my oral surgeon will remove tissue from the soft area under the right-side of my tongue, as a preventative measure. There's a pathologist involved, who will conduct analysis in real-time on the samples to determine if the margins are clear of irregularities. Once determined they've gotten it all, I'll be stitched up, smacked on the ass and sent home with more pain meds and a week off work to recuperate.

And yes, I am a little scared...not just for the procedure or the recuperation but really about the whole thing. Any time anything is prefaced with "pre-cancerous," you have to count on having a PR problem right out of the gate. And this is particularly poignant given the recent death of my Gram from lung cancer. It runs in my family, or, at least, my Dad's side, it seems. Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Dale, Aunt Jean, Uncle Huey...

In any case, I'm being told by the medical professionals that this is not a big deal, a little out-patient procedure, I'll be home by mid-afternoon. The refrigerator is stocked with yogurt, applesauce, pudding and cottage cheese. I also bought a dozen eggs for when more advanced food (i.e. scrambled) is permitted. And I've got enough knitting projects in the works that I should have no trouble staying occupied (and non-vocal) while I heal.

A great big thank you to Mama Mary, Daniel's mom, who has graciously offered to be my driver to and from the hospital. Also, much love and thanks to my friends and co-workers who have all offered such support. Kisses and locked pinkies to BK, who can't be here but will be in spirit.

In a sense, this is the "broken foot" all knitter's secretly hope for: that terribly unfortunate happening that keeps you in bed or, at least, around the house such that really all you can do...is knit. This week is dedicated to healing...and to making serious progress on BK's birthday "Bitterroot" (now 2 birthdays in the works)...

...and a "reglier" scarf for my lil' dude, LoLo. I may even get to finally finish "The Tudors."

Here we go...time to get cleaned up and ready to roll.

UPDATE: I'm home, in some pain though on meds. Also, as expected, I can't really talk very well. All in all, though...I'm okay. :-)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"It's going to be Ritchie..."

Welcome to Seasons 6 & 7 of "The West Wing," brought to you by real life politics.

Prediction: Barring some major political derailment like a tawdry sex scandal, Rick Perry's going to nab the Republican nomination. And he'll do it for all the politically incorrect reasons.

He's a ruggedly handsome older white man, fatherly and reassuring in stature with a mild downhome accent. He's the anti-Obama, devoid of any semblance of the intellectual elitism that conservatives list as one of Obama's faults...as if being smart was a bad thing. And let's face it, racism is still alive and well and, in some backwoods areas, thriving. Can you think of a more quintessentially white man stereotype than Rick Perry? He's the fucking Marlboro Man!

Sure, there are other anti-Obama-ites in the Republican line-up, white persons one and all...well, except Herman Cain but he's already identified himself, in my eyes, as a hypocritical douchebag for his hardline stances against Islam and Sharia Law. It's always a bit shocking to me when such sincere bias comes from a member of a different minority.

Speaking of which, Rick Santorum...he's a tiny minority all his own...he's going to be the next Tim Pawlenty. Poor frothy fecal matter (Google his name.)...you're just not gettin' any political traction, are you?

Michelle Bachmann just won the Ames Straw Poll, taking in something like 23% of the vote, followed in close second by our favorite libertarian, Ron Paul. Well played, yes, but Michelle's not going to nab it, I don't think, because...well, were do I begin? She's too far Right for her own party's nomination. She lacks the executive experience. How about her pesky habit of referencing historical events out of context and saying things that are just not true. Oh, and you had better bet that this pesky "Pray Away the Gay" counseling bullshit WILL be an issue. (Marcus, honey...if you could come out sooner than later, dear...that would really help us all, don't you think, hmm?)

OH...and Ronnie! Good ol' Ron Paul. Good showing in Ames, he did...but he's not going to win the nomination, either. You know why? He's too libertarian for the whole country. Not that I would necessarily be opposed to a Libertarian President but I think the country wouldn't go for it. But then how did he do so well n the straw poll? Listen, straw polls are a lot like the first round of voting in French Presidential elections. There are so many candidates from the entire political spectrum that the People can vote their conscience. The main parties still garner the majority of votes but the smaller parties sometimes have a good showing. Not too terribly long ago, the far-right party of France, due to the general disgruntlement of all the people, was able to sneak their leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, into the second round of elections. This, of course, had the obvious effect of guaranteeing the reelection of Jacques Chirac for the simple reason that, though many people share Le Pen's extreme xenophobic-isolationist sentiments, no one would say he was fit to lead the whole damn country. So it is with Ron Paul.

Rick Perry...southern, down-home charm. A gentleman, a Man of God. Bingo! This...this is what the evangelical wing of the Republican Party was missing and waiting for with baited breath. A God-Fearing Man of the People. Sure, Bachmann is Jesus-carzy, too...but she's also just fuckin' crazy. Rick Perry seems...sane, sensible, thoughtful and compassionate. He recently led a prayer meeting called "The Response" which pulled in an estimated 30,000 participants. He wants to lead by Biblical Law...which is what makes their opposition to Sharia Law so ridiculous. But I'd bet evangelicals are having a collective Jesus-gasm...finally, someone we can get behind without the embarrassment.

You mentioned embarrassment? What about Sarah Palin? Her fuckin' balloon's got a hole in it and whether she realizes it or not, she's losin' air fast. Make up your fuckin' mind, seriously...you look like a reluctant child tip-toeing around the pool, not sure if the water's warm enough for you to swim in it. Mama bear, my ass. But, yeah, Palin's a Jesus nut, too...but, man...she's got baggage, now. She's going to be the mosquito in the Election's ear...ever-present, popping in and out with her annoying, high-pitch "you betcha-hopey-changey" buzzing, the one you're going to want to smack down before too long. I think she likes the sidelines. I think she knows she lacks the leadership abilities and, quite frankly, it's easier and safer to simply butt-in to political conversations, say a few things (which will be either dumb, factually incorrect or self-absorbed), then duck back out again. C'mon, people...she couldn't even finish out one term as Governor of Alaska. I venture to say she has very little sense of civic responsibility; had she had more, she would have fulfilled her obligation to the People of the State of Alaska. Instead, she resigned, realizing she could rake in tens of thousands of dollars just by showing up, smiling, saying more generic political slogans and platitudes, shaking hands, kissing babies and, just generally, irritating people.

But the Tea Nuts, they looooove her, which is precisely what scares me about them. They say Obama's a narcissist; I think it's the pots calling Mr. Kettle...narcissistic. And while we're talking about narcissism, let us also talk a bit about racism because (WARNING: Gross generalization not meant to be taken literally) the Tea Party has no black people. (And a silence fell across the room...) Perhaps not literally, true...but their rallies are a testament to the white bread establishment. Obama is a "black president" and there are many people, both in the general population and also in Congress, for whom this is ample and sufficient grounds for wanting him out.

Mitch McConnell, you look like Jesse Helms...that's all I'm sayin'!

It's going to be Rick Perry. It's going to be Seasons 6 and 7 of "The West Wing" all over again, when President Bartlet went up against the Republican nominee, Governor of Florida, Rob Ritchie (played excellently by James Brolin). And I don't think it's going to be as easy as trouncing the opponent in one televised debate. So I say, let Obama be Obama. Sure, I don't like everything he's done and I don't view him as a very strong leader...but the reality is that he's better than anything they're going to throw out, so...

Game on, boyfriend! Let's step it up, Mr. President!

(Or...I could just be full of shit because it's really too close to tell anything and I'm just blowing smoke outta my ears. Meh...*shrug*)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Goodbyes & Endings

It's Monday morning, I have an oh-so-lovely cup of my special home brewed coffee (3tbsp Folger's French Roast, 2tbsp Folger's Vanilla Biscotti) and the rain is coming down slow and steady. I'm newly home as of last night and can say with some certainty that sleeping in your own bed is an underrated joy. What was supposed to be a 5-day romp through Chicago ended up being a whirlwind tour of the northern Midwest, some good spots, some low spots...but altogether an experience not to have been missed.

You see, my Grandma is dying. At 83 years old, they discovered metastasized lung cancer in her brain, a tumor, which by all accounts, occupies the whole left of her brain. In the course of one week, she went from being cogent, conscious and responsive to...not so much. Resting comfortably at the moment in a long-term care facility adjacent to the hospital, she's napping quite a bit these days.

Allow me to give you some context, dear readers. The woman in question, Mrs. Frances Brickner, is the person who first taught me to crochet when I was about 9 years old. I consider it to have been my gateway drug into craftiness. With some of what I'm sure must have been some truly crappy yarn, I learned how to chain and single crochet and proceeded to hook myself a square that was so tightly worked, it promptly rolled up into a fiber burrito.

While we were growing up, my sister and I had our favorite grandparents to spend weekends with. For me, it was Grandma Tammy, aka Mrs. Frances Brickner. We grandkids called them Grandma & Grandpa Tammy due to a cocker spaniel, named Tammy, they once had when we were young. Somehow, it stuck. They lived out in the country...dirt roads, corn fields...mostly I went for the craftiness. Her influence on me during my early years has, I believe, led me to become the knitter I am today.

Changes were made to the trip and I headed north, to return to my hometown. When I arrived, my sister was kind enough to come with me to the care facility. This was advantageous not only for the support but also because it had been so long since my last trip home that I no longer remembered where the hospital was. We grabbed some breakfast at the local McD's and I grabbed a cup of coffee for Grandma. Sure, I knew she wouldn't be able to drink it...but I know if I were in her position, I'd probably enjoy the smell of some fresh coffee in my room. Am I right?

Sis took up position at the foot of the bed. I pulled up a chair right up along side. I spread the Sock Yarn Blanket out over her and gently placed her hands on top of it, moving them back and a forth a bit so that she might better feel the texture. We knit four squares together that day, my Grandma and me...and I stayed for as long as I needed to, 8 hours. At the end of which I gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek and I told her, "You were always my favorite."

"All good things...," right? Actually, just "all things." Everything ends, eventually, inevitably...life is a flowing river that segues from one event to another. We move, we marry, we die...people divorce, friends take jobs in faraway places, lovers come and go and sometimes stay. The whole of humanity is an undulating sea of connections in perpetual and persistent change. When the time comes, you have to be able to let go...for no one connection can last forever. A lifetime, perhaps...but not forever.

Live simply.
Be at peace.

And go call your damn grandma...right now.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Todd's Tri-Force Skull Cap

My intarsia most certainly did not look fine, Peter, though I appreciate you saying so.

The mini-saga that is the Tri-Force Skull cap, a lil' project assumed at the behest of my friend Todd in Chicago. Not a problem, really...just a simple stocking cap with some comparatively simple geometrical colorwork. Though I'm not intimately familiar with all the tricks of the colorwork trade, I have done one or two clever color things in my day:

...and compared to Mario there, some little gold triangles should be a snap, I was thinking to myself. And then, when it came time to knit them into the hat, I realized where I was most short-sided: I was knitting the hat in the round, not flat. For those of you not in the know, knitting in the round in one way of constructing a three-dimensional tube of fabric, like a sock, sleeves or a hat. Normally, it works great and it's normally my preferred choice of techniques. If what you're knitting is round, knit it IN the round.

With intarsia or Fair Ilse knitting, color is added as a separate strand of yarn, twisted and looped together with the main color to pull it all into one solid piece of fabric...which is when knitting flat. The strands can be carried up to the next row as you turn your work and knit back...

But when knitting in the round, the color strand actually has to come up and ALL the way back by itself, with no options otherwise, unless you carry it all the way around the circumferance of the the hat, which would just be madness. Instead, you get a WS that looks like this:

...which doesn't work so hot because the hat needs to be stretchy to fit over someone's head and still be snug. This means those diagonal strands you see need to longer, to accommodate the stretch. Unfortunately, this also means greater risk for snags and such. So, I did the hat over a second time, this time opting to NOT knit with the color, but rather add it after the fact using duplicate stitch, a technique I heretofore thought slight of as cheating, in much the same way I think a lifeline in lace knitting a little bit of a cheat.

But as of this Sunday morning, I admit I am now a convert to the wonders of duplicate stitch. Sure, it's more needlepoint thank knitting, though you are working with your own knitted fabric AND you're following the strands as they knit themselves together...but really the clincher to the whole thing is the finished result: a smoother, flawless graphic with a much cleaner WS:

...all in all, the damn thing turned out splendidly! I'm quite please with myself at the moment...and in a couple of weekends, I'll give this to Todd and pray it fits his head.

What else? I celebrated my thirty-something birthday in May...this little bird was a gift to myself. He just looked so ready for a party, what with his little hat and everything, so I brought him home, where he promptly started hanging out with the Cylon. I told him to be careful but you just can't talk any sense into felted birthday birds these days...

In other news, I recently acquired an iPod Touch and have come to really enjoy the Instagram app, wherein you snap quick shots of stuff, apply a filter and post, not only to the online community that is Instagram (I currently have 52 followers), but I can also simutaneously post to Twitter, Facebook and Flickr! Just like Twitter sapped a little of my blogging juice away when I started it, I find Instagram has sapped some of my Twitter juice...which means actual blog posts like this one might become a rarity (as if they're not already) and I would LOVE for you to follow me elsewhere, too!

Fin me on Flickr HERE and you can find me on Twitter HERE. What will you see? Check it:

That's all for now. My parents are headed into the city. We're going to lunch and then, for my Dad's birthday, he wants to go to Trader Joe's. He's never been there, ever...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

It Never Rains...

...but it pours. An old saying, usually alluding to a deluge of bad time and troubles, all happening at once. Luckily, in my case, I'm using it only to indicate a ridiculous amount of activity, not necessarily and, in fact, mostly not of the undesirable persuasion. Big words, BIG words! But what do they mean?! It means there's a shit ton of stuff so sit down and here we go!

First, the super secret knit project! At the beginning of this month, the Lady Susan retired from our shared workplace after 20+ years with the company. We worked together in Customer Service for the 2 years I've been with the company. As a quilter, she and I often had crafty talks about patterns, colors, projects...

She was also my go-to gal for all things mathematical, which is to say numbers boggle my mind and she was often there to help untangle them. It's ironic, somehow, considering I partially define myself by a passionate hobby that, in all honesty, is heavily steeped in numbers. The key is that knitting is also visual, which allows me the opportunity to understand numerical concepts but without the clutter of the actual numbers. It's pure coincidence that the scarf, when finished with some occasional beading, resembles, I think, a knitted abacus. The beads weren't part of the original pattern; I just added them for class.

There was a party, many kind words, gifts of various sorts. Then, with much envy in our hearts, we sent her out into the world with nothing but oodles of free time to do anything she desires. I don't know a fellow crafter who wouldn't give have their stash and then some for that deal.

Then, it was time for a serious break. A semi-annual trip to the North would be just the thing to recharge after weeks of hellacious conditions at work, some of which led to a week's postponement of said vacation. 7 days in Michigan...drinking coffee, playing video games with a 6-year-old and knitting to my heart's content, often while watching said 6-year-old outperform me at said video games. Smart as a whip, that kid!

I was also gifted this silver and kyanite pendant, hewn by the loving hands of my oldest and dearest companion. She's a self-taught metalsmith by trade, visionary artist by nature. You can check out Willowsong Studio on Facebook or on Twitter.

On my way back home, not only did I have this lil' guy as a traveling companion...

...but I also swung through Chicago to visit an old friend. This is something I often think of doing but have never, ever followed through on until this trip. Several important events transpired during this roughly 24-hour period:

1) I acquired this cake of handspun, made by my good friend Shivian.

2)I immediately set to work incorporating it into the Sock Yarn Blanket.

3) The next morning, after a vegetarian brunch and ample walking around Boys Town, we found Loopy Yarns, a well-known Chicago yarnie den...:

4) ...which is wear I met, quite by accident, Stephen (Ravelry: sbarendt), a fellow dude knitter whose been part of my friends list for some time. It's awesome and...slightly strange...when you run into an online bud in person just by happenstance. Well, okay...we are both knitters and it was a knit shop. By the way, he's super cute...

5) I also broke my 16-month yarn fast due to a 50% off sale Loopy was having on some Koigu.

This is significant, people. Since December of 2009, I have purchased no new yarn for my stash. All included, I bought yarn only twice, both times for specific projects made at the behest of others. Imagine it, fellow knitter...no new yarn for sixteen months. Self imposed, of course, but when faced with the all too delicious temptation of 50% off Koigu, I didn't even try to resist. Fuck that! It had been 16 months, I was on vacation and c'mon...it's a frakkin' steal! Besides, the Sock Yarn Blanket needs love, too...

Finally, after 9 days of no Twitter, very little Facebook and once-per-day e-mail checks, I finally made it home, only to discover:

...a huge, honkin' box that I did not order. Coming all the way from Pennsylvania from my Twitter bud @Knitsophrenic, it was full of...

...yarn. Holy hell, it was totally stuffed with yarn! It seems Miss Kate was engaged in a little destash action of her own and, knowing how I knit kitty blankets f for local shelters, she sent me a message, asking if she could send me some yarn. Do you even have to ask twice? Of course you can! Look out, Tenth Life...kitties are going to have some new mats to curl up on this Christmas! Many thanks, Kate!!

That brings us up to speed. Currently, I'm working on a Tri-Force beanie, a project that is teaching me the horrible truth about intarsia in the round.

This is clearly going to take a few attempts to get it right. I may even opt for duplicate stitch, though it seems like cheating.

All for now. It's time for a damn nap...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mysterious Knitting

Sometimes, despite all your best intentions, things happen and you don't know why. And while you might think I'm referring to something larger in life, something more incomprehensible, something fateful or destiny-related...but I'm not. I'm talking about knitting.

I just spent the last 2 hours knitting and tinking, knitting and tinking, knitting and tinking the same inch-and-a-half of fabric, over and over again. Why? Because there was a problem. Specifically, a missing stitch. Not a dropped stitch...a missing stitch. And not several...just one. I was off by one, single, lonely, bastard stitch...but I couldn't figure out where or why.

It's the super secret project. It's due in a week at the end of this month. And it's lace. Lace is a beautiful, delicate and intricate weaving-webbing thing based entirely upon numbers, patterns and visual rhythms. You start with a certain number of stitches and you end with a certain number of stitches. Everything that happens in between is only numeric poetry, conducted by deft and nimble fingers.

And because I'm a dude knitter, living on the edge of the knit world, a rebel, a loner...dare I say even, *gasp*, a dangerous knitter...I knit without lifelines. Lifelines keep a knitter from completely losing their frakkin' mind when a lace pattern has gone totally, terribly awry. They allow one to unceremoniously remove the errant needle and haphazardly tear out the offending stitches until peace and order has been re-established...at the base of the lifeline. Screw lifelines, I say. It's knitting, for crying out loud...how many ways to we have to liven it up a bit?

So, as you can imagine, I was so very tempted to rue my fate this evening when, to much perplexity and wonderment, I found myself several stitches into a row, yet missing a stitch. I knew instantly I was missing a stitch because I was slated for a SSK...but I lacked an S. At first, I considered just doing an SK, though that looked cheap and tawdry. Well, okay...not tawdry but most definitely cheap. And cheating. No cheating allowed.

I take a moment's reflection, then begin tinking back to the beginning of the row. I read my stitches, following the pattern in head bit by bit and arrive at the end of the row utterly convinced that all the stitches are there. I start out again, only to arrive at the same place with the same problem: one damn missing stitch.

Next, I tink back not only to the beginning of the row but also the prior all-purl row. All purl WS rows are great for lace. I call the equalizing rows, as the serve to set up uniformity and regularity in the stitches for the next complicated shaping row.

So, now 2 rows tinked and back to a shaping RS row. I count the stitches...53, right on the mark. I read the stitches and follow the pattern. All present and accounted for. Excellent! I redo the all purl WS row, turn my work and start in again...and discover one missing stitch.

...

...

At this point, conspiracy theories begin to form in my brain as to how everything can check out, yet still I fall short one stitch in the same place every single time. Tink, tink, tink...3 rows out, then 4. Count stitches...53...run through pattern, a-ok. I consider handing my knitting to my friend, Daniel, and having him count to verify but I can't take a negative hit to my massive PR machine, so I don't.

I take a deep breath. All systems go, sir. We should be ready for take-off. Alright...here we go. Slowly, like a newbie knitter, I work stitches as though I were in the midst of a walking Buddhist meditation. K2, ssk, 2yo, k2tog, yo, k3, ssk...it repeats, and repeats. I arrive at the end of row successful. WS all purl row...also checks out.

Fast forward 10 minutes and I'm back to where this story started, only this time...no missing stitch. So...where did it go, or, rather, where did it come from. Obviously, the logical and rational explanation lies in my own handiwork and my working of the stitches. But I think the mystery of the situation is more fun to contemplate, so I chalk it up to an intellectual exercise and secretly thank whatever gods may be listening that I didn't completely frak up the super secret project.

And I'm still not going to use lifelines. You only live once...make it count.