Nana's Knitting Shop

Knitting tales of a lifelong knitter
and yarn shop owner.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Save Mr. Ben!

Meet Mr. Ben. He is a sock monkey. He is a giant sock monkey, all 21 inches of him. He is a giant, very endearing sock monkey, but unless you save him, he's going to have a tragic, life altering accident.

As you can see from this picture, Mr. Ben has a head, a body, and one leg. I'm making Mr. Ben for a class because as my friend Deloris would tell me, "Oh, have a stuffed animal class. People love that shit." I've had a stuffed animal class in the past and it was a wonderful success. If you took the Best Friend Bears class with me, you know that my Best Friend only has one arm. He has every other body part and the arm is actually done, it was just never attached.

If you know me, you know I'd never make a sock monkey for myself or anyone I love because, well, I'm just not a sock monkey kind of gal. And, this is a big sock monkey. So unless everyone who reads this blog votes yes, finish the sock monkey, Mr. Ben is going to have a horrible accident.

Mr. Ben is a very talented fellow. He's a magician and has been performing in Vegas for years. His fans adore him and he's called the David Copperfield of the simian world. He packs the house every night and has naturally made tons and tons of money; he's a millionaire in fact which is a very good thing because his off stage passion is sailing.

Don't get me wrong, he loves Vegas, his money spot, but as everyone knows, there's no good sailing in Vegas. He's an East Coast monkey at heart and has a home in Provincetown, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. (Our friend Mr. Ben loves the nightlife.) He also has a home on Martha's Vineyard and in the Hamptons. He's not a braggart, but Mr. Ben is rather proud that he can call Ina Garten, Christie Brinkley and Carly Simon neighbor.

His show runs 40 weeks a year, but he flies east every chance he gets with his showgirl girlfriend Coco to take a spin on his yacht (and dine at Ina's, of which I am totally jealous.) I'm not happy about the relationship with Coco because I think she's using him for his money, but he seems to really love her and she puts up with his antics and his endless list of tics.

Now this is where you come in, my reader friends. The following story of a gorgeous weekend in September can go one of two ways. The first is of a sock monkey and a showgirl spending a cozy weekend on a beautiful yacht visiting friends all along the eastern seaboard. End of story. The second is of two feckless drunks insulting boaters all along their route and results in a career ending tragedy. Oooh, the thought of it gives me shivers.

You must vote. Vote yes, the tragedy must be averted or vote no, screw it, Mr. Ben gets one arm, the one leg I've already knit and nothing more. No second arm and certainly no second leg. I'm committed to the butt, the muzzle, the ears, the tail, and the eyes, but second appendages are definitely up for grabs. Your vote will determine if he gets cute little button eyes or Xs for eyes like cartoon characters when they've been knocked out.

I must tell you that my vote is that Mr. Ben gets one arm and a tail but no further limbs; I have Dad's vest to knit after all and there's a beautiful shawl from this book using this Alpaca Lace that's calling my name. There's also a magnificent sweater from my friends at Twist Collective I'd like to get my hands on. I've already downloaded the pattern and I've already picked out my yarn!

STOP THE PRESSES! Oh! Looky here. Mr. Ben has a second leg and the beginnings of a butt.

It looks like his career, his relationship, and my soul have been saved! My humanity got the better of me over the weekend and I just couldn't bear the thought of that terrible accident even though he was monkeying around after far too many margaritas on a pretty fast moving yacht!

Thanks for thinking about saving Mr. Ben, but he's safe now. He will be finished, he will have all body parts (attached I might add), and he will have darling little button eyes. For those of you who were thinking of voting Mr. Ben into the drink, shame on you! He lives to perform again!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Hope, but no Faith

I just got back on Saturday from a brief sojourn at Cape Cod with Dad and Sister Kay. I knit briefly on the plane, but haven't again picked up my needles. Dad's vest is looming over me like a cloud. I love, love, love knitting it, but every single round is a color change which gets a bit tiresome. And talk about ends! I'm working them in as I go, but I know for my own peace of mind, I'll end up weaving them all in for a bit.

Because we were flying into Providence which is not our usual destination, Dad and Kay used the GPS to pick us up. Despite her many flaws, Dad believes in his Garmin girl. As we were departing the airport, she started giving directions:

"Turn left, then turn left."

There was a fair amount of construction around the airport which really got her haunches up.

"Turn left...recalculating...turn left, turn left, TURN LEFT, recalculating, turn left, turn right, TURN LEFT."

Then she had a complete meltdown and stopped talking. Kay and I, in the back seat, are calling her countless names, including liar, get the picture. Dad immediately jumped to her defense.

"It's alright sweetheart, I don't blame you for being confused."
"Dad, shut her off, she's losing her grip."

Fortunately, the road signs were pretty good so we didn't have to rely on Miss Unreliable. Once on the Cape, she managed to get us to our destination and congratulated us for doing so. "Alright!" she said.

Other than the ill fated camping vacation which involved one of those vintage campers we attached to our woodie station wagon, 6 days of unyielding rain and tears, and an unfortunate evening with baked beans, we vacationed in cottages in Dennisport, MA on the Cape. Given that I wanted to eat all the seafood I could stuff down my throat while we were there, Dad remembered a great restaurant called Thompson's Clam Bar.

He entered the name into the GPS and lo and behold, she actually came up with an address! So off we went; this time she gave us meticulous directions and we were all very excited. Dad kept congratulating her and my mouth was watering for the whole belly fried clams I was sure to order.

We pulled up to our destination and she said absolutely nothing. No "alright," nothing.

We were on the waterfront which made sense for a seafood restaurant, but rather than a restaurant full of goodies I wanted to eat, there in front of us was a condo complex. We asked a man walking down the street if he knew of Thompson's and he said he had heard of it, but that it had been closed for at least 10 years.

I screamed from the back seat, "I knew it! She didn't say "Alright," because she knew she she was taking us on a wild goose chase. She needs to go in for major maintenance."

Again, Dad defended her, saying it wasn't her fault, she did the best she could, etc., etc. And that's when we decided to give her a name. Dad had been calling her Suzie which I thought was a little too cutesy for the malicious spoilsport she was. After a number of suggestions, we all agreed that her new name would be Hope. Wouldn't it be great if her name could be Faith? Fat chance, despite what you think of her Dad.

Here's my 3 pound lobster:

Doesn't it look yummy?

Here's Dad with his spiffy car. (We should have snapped him holding his girlfriend Hope.)