I like making gifts, and everyone is used to receiving machine embroidered objects from me--pictures of pets embroidered on pillowcases, recipes on tea towels, flowers on sweatshirts, silly sayings on T-shirts, machine-embroidered lace ornaments and scarves.
My Threadville friends have attempted to teach me knitting, and I like it, I really do, and when I saw Opal arm knitting during storytelling at her shop, Tell a Yarn, last night, I knew I had to try it, and maybe I could make a different sort of gift for friends of relatives.
Arm knitting is different. Instead of inserting pointy needles into loops of yarn and grabbing yarn to pull through those loops to make new stitches, you get to use your fingers, which are much better at grabbing than knitting needles are.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
I bought the appropriate yarn from Opal and returned home to try it myself. No one would laugh at my failures because no one would see them, right?
I managed to cast the stitches onto my right wrist, and to knit the first row to my left wrist, and was halfway through the next row, with parts of scarf hanging from both wrists and my hands basically tied together, when my two cats, Mustache and Bow-Tie, woke up.
My yarn, one of those zigzag-wrapped "balls" with yarn coming off both the outside and the inside, was on the floor between my feet.
Next thing I knew, my ankles were tied together, too.
And that's when Clay showed up at the sliding glass door of my ground floor apartment.
His knock woke up the dogs, Tally-Ho and Sally-Forth. Barking and wagging their tails in excitement, they rushed to the door. The ball of yarn, unwinding, went with them... And so did I. Shuffling.
Clay came inside. When he stopped laughing, he gave me a very nice kiss, and then he began trying to help untangle my feet, but between the dogs crowding him for attention and the cats using the yarn as a soccer ball, I merely became more and more tangled.
And that's when there was another knock at the door. "Come in!" I yelled. I was in no condition to walk, let alone open the door.
Vicki Smallwood, Threadville's Chief of Police, and a friend, came in and stopped, her mouth an O. "What am I interrupting?" she demanded. "I can come back later." She set an envelope and a cute little fruitcake in a pleated paper cup on my kitchen counter. "Merry Christmas."
"Arm knitting," I managed. "Don't go."
"Harm knitting." She shook her head. "I've threatened to cuff you for interfering in murder investigations, but really, Willow, there's no need to cuff yourself." She stared down at my ankles. "Leg shackles, too. Again."
Have you ever embarked on a holiday project that went awry? Tell us about it in the comments for a chance to win your choice of one of Janet Bolin's Threadville Mysteries.
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