Okay, once again Robin asked a good question and I'd like to hear EVERYBODY'S answer, so I'm going to put it to the rest of you. Then I'm going to tell you why the Lady In Red is either A. Laughing her ass off at me or B. Quietly resolving never to go anywhere with me ever ever again.
As for Robin's question--how long did it take before you got anything you were proud of?
Me? I'm a narcissist--I'm proud of everything. I made shit 9 years ago (whereupon the dream and the following madness occurred) that I wouldn't admit to knowing today--but at the time, the entire freaking world was going to know that I was a #$%%ing fiber genius. So, the very first thing I made was a misshapen swatch--it took me 3 hours of a precious Saturday afternoon, and when I was done I apologized to Mate and the 2 children for our delayed trip to the park, and in order to make it up to Chicken (who was the Cave Troll's age at the time) I gave her the swatch and called it a doll blanket. She still has it. Until last year, I never knew when I'd come into the living room and find a stuffed animal with that damned acryllic yarn nightmare pulled up to it's chin, stretched out on the couch. Since then I've made sweaters, scarves, shawls, socks, hats, stuffed animals, mittens, purses and full-sized and baby-sized afghans--who wants to place bets on what's going to get handed down to the grandchildren?
I just finished the cardigan for Arwyn--the rose is sort of subtle and these shots were taken with flash, but I'm very pleased. I'm sure the purists can spot the flawed cable and the fact that I finished it 2 rows too soon... the vote's still out on whether or not I can ignore that (for those of you who've read my books, you know that ignoring small details is practically a specialty of mine) or whether it's going to haunt me forever. I'm never sure when my inner perfectionist is going to kick out the beer drinking slob who usually rules my brain. Anyway, it's not blocked, I can find three places I f$%^ed up, and it's the most beautiful, complex thing I've ever made. So, to answer your question, Robin? Nine years--and I'm still waiting to decide if I've made something I'm not embarrassed about. But I'm still proud--isn't life weird?
Anyway, I probably won't be able to post for a bit (read, 3 days) so I'm going to jump in about the reason LIR is probably vowing never to be seen in public with me again...
It seemed like such a good idea at the time. We had the day off, the little'uns and I, and why not go to the railroad museum--we could, once again, see the trains. ('Trains, mama...go see trains!') At the last possible moment I think I may call up LIR, since she might want to get out of the house (she's on uterus party leave at the moment) and her preternaturally wise little man, Mr. Mature we shall call him, would also get a tickle out of the trains. So, I'm on my way, she calls up and says she can be there in an hour or so, and I'm thinking, "Great! 2 hours was not enough for the cave troll last time--I'll take him walking along Old Sac, get him some milk and a lollipop, and he'll be on his second wind when they get here." I had not counted on two things. One, he's the Cave Troll. I am his Troll Mama--he does not share his Troll Mama with anyone but his other Trolls, and that, very unwillingly. Mr. Mature got there, I was enjoying talking to him, and the Cave Troll was very unhappy that Troll Mama would want to talk to (as he saw it) another Cave Troll. The other thing that happened was nap time. Now, I may have mentioned before that I am a slave to my physical person. When I'm tired, everybody else and the world at large sucks and should get out of my way to please me. When I am hungry, I will eat my children's clothing in order to satisfy my voracious appetites. Oddly enough, I weigh X Hundred pounds and don't spend a lot of time on my hair in order to sleep extra time in the mornings--go figure. I seem to have passed these unadmirable traits to my Cave Troll. The upshot was, LIR got to the RR museum (and the new baby? damned cute. very tranquil. slept a lot. two thumbs way up--accidental penis and all!) and the Cave Troll had a naptime/my mama meltdown that could have pwoered one of the super-engines on display. It was...seizmic in proportion. Now, me, being me, turned around, said, "We're going over here. If you don't follow us, I'll see you maybe." (For those of you freaking out, believe me, I could have tracked that Cave Troll Howl from four blocks away.) And it worked--he was screaming, but he was following us, and, really, that's a start because eventually the meltdown will wear itself out and he'll either A. fall asleep on me or B. get distracted, and all will be well.
Except, there was this poor little old lady who hated to see the little tyke suffer, and she tried to pick him up, and I had to go back and get him, and, that was it. He had me by the shorthairs--mama was not going to take off and leave him and that's the end. I had to chase the little Troll down through the railroad museum, throw his protesting body over my shoulder (we're both big people) and haul him out of the museum that way while pushing the stroller (with the perfectly behaved adorable infant about whom nothing can be written because all she did was kick back and observe) in front of me.
Ditching LIR and her non-melting down children at the RR museum after a scant 15 minutes of co-visiting time.
Sorry, LIR--that wasn't what I had in mind at all. And as for the Cave Troll? I'm going to go get him ready for bed right now. It's about an hour before his usual time. He slept in the car--they both did actually. In fact, they slept long enough for me to park the car in front of my Local Yarn Store (directly in front) and hurtle through the store to buy a skein of yarn I'd been dreaming of since my big 'I'm stressing about school' yarn buy on Saturday, when I regretted not getting it then.
Anyway, Robin, that's the real benefit of knitting. It's not the finished product, it's the fact that it can still your heartrate after a Cave Troll meltdown, and transform his little ugly-troll visage to the sleeping angel you'd thought you'd brought with you in the first place.