Monday, August 30, 2010

My Life in Munitions Engineering

Christmas my freshman year in college, my father gave me a book called "Discover What You're Best At." It consisted of a number of sections, each with an SAT/IQ-style test to evaluate the test-taker's proficiency at a career skill like logic, clerical, business acumen.

When I got back to my dorm room in January, I dutifully waited for my roommate to go out catting about so I could have the two hours' required uninterrupted peace to get through the tests. I tested. Carefully, I tallied my scores.

I was off the charts in all categories%... except one.

You know those spatial relations tests? The ones where they show you a bunch of cubes stacked together in a configuration, then ask you to choose which one is the same, but from a different angle? That one, not so much.

Checking my scores against the career possibilities listed in the back of the book, it said I could be anything I set my pointy little head to§ except a mechanical engineer or munitions expert.

It said nothing about modular knitting. Maybe it should have.

As I may have mentioned, I'm knitting two Tamarix Quilt baby blankets for my two favourite# cousins.

Now, you†† can knit the thing in 100 individual squares and sew them all together. Or you can knit it together as you go along and *not* sew 100 individual squares together.

I hear you.

Heather, the designer, is very graciously shepherding@ a KAL on Ravelry. Damned good thing for some of us who are destined never to field strip an AK-47.

There's a tutorial in the magazine, part of the pattern practically, that shows how to knit the whole thing together as you‡‡ go. Problem is, my spatial retardation doesn't allow me to go there without a fight.

First, she gives instructions on how to join a square on the left or on the right. It took me ten minutes to figure out whether it was the new knitting or the old square on the left... but I got that one on my own.

Then I cast on the requisite 39 stitches for a new square, picking them up along the edge of the existing square. Only I didn't think far enough ahead to realise that 39 stitches is two sides of a square, so I should only have picked up 19 or 20 stitches, then cast on the rest. I was halfway through the new square before I realised something was horribly wrong.

THEN, since I was knitting from left to right, it never occurred to me to think right AND left. I assumed if *I* was going from left to right, the only way anything could be done was to join the old knitting on the left end of the new knitting.

NOW I've finished the first row of squares. I told Heather I was planning on knitting ten strips of squares and sewing them together, and she pointed out§§ that I¶¶ could knit the whole thing together as I went along.

*blink blink blink*

I am paralysed. How should I proceed? Should I 1) dive in and try to knit, sometimes joining on two sides, 2) stick with my original ten-strips-and-sew plan, or 3) try building a bridge in my living room for mechanical aptitude practice?^

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Possibly as a reaction to me telling him I was a theatre major.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): I believe it was 2.2 seconds, a statistic to make Porsche jealous. My first roommate was... social.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Which, by the way, did nothing to help me discover what I was *best* at.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): "Free to Be... You and Me" is earworming me like a mother right now - those Target commercials don't help

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): From the latest Interweave Knits.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): ...and most fertile.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): And by "you," I mean "I."

@FOOTNOTE (atted): Ha! Sheep joke!

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): I

§§FOOTNOTE (I am incapable of straight thinking): Very optimistically, given my proven inability to turn right when the situation called for it.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (beat the drum slowly): And by "I," I mean "Heather or some other munitions expert."

^FOOTNOTE (careted): Or - and I just thought of this one - I could knit in a spiral, forcing me to knit the last square together with FOUR other squares. To gain saint points, of course.


Sarah said...

uhhhhhhm.... that yarn is pretty.

(Sorry - no brain power left tonight.)

Anonymous said...

I can't even see how you got those strips the way they are.

If the world comes down to a spatial relation question, and we're the only contestants left, the world is screwed.

~Donna~ said...

I took a test once that said I should be an elevator or escalator repairman.


Anonymous said...

was your first roomate here at western state my now wife???

Marin (AntiM) said...

Sarah, thank you and go have a cup of tea and a nice nap.

But we can talk the world out of its fabulous prize package, Kim. I'm confident.

Well, Donna, every career path has its ups and downs...

No, Brian, your wife was my last roommate, and the only person I ever lived with more than once. My first roommate was the prettiest girl on campus, was bulimic and selfish and couldn't hold a candle to your wife.

Anonymous said...

Or... you could KNIT a bridge in your living room. Or you could knit an escalator, 'cause then Donna could help you if it got you down.


Marin (AntiM) said...

Lessee... two? three? THREE punchlines in one sentence! MWAHAHAHAHA *lightninglightning* bats **fluttersqueaksqueaksqueak**