Round Peg In a Square Hole-crafts

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Supporting Our Troops

O.K., I left a few provocative comments here and there in recent posts, and promised to tell the tale, so here it is:

Once upon a time on Ravelry, a knitter, who is married to a Marine stationed in Iraq, told the story of the beanie she knitted for her husband. One of his buddies ribbed him mercilessly about said beanie, and eventually confessed that he was jealous, and wanted a beanie, too. So, she agreed to make him one BUT since he had been mean to her hubby, she made it in pink. With little piggy ears. He was not fazed by this; I believe he is quoted as saying, "I'd f*ing rock a pink beanie!" when he was told. And so, to prove this, they sent a picture of the husband and the friend in their beanies, which the knitter posted to a thread on Ravelry.

And here we come to a point that many men don't know: when women are in a predominantly female environment (and yes, I know there are lots of men on Ravelry, but the overwhelming majority of the beta testers are female) they act differently than when the numbers are more equal. Not all, but some. And so, we got to talking, like you do, and admiring, like you do, and someone said she'd happily knit a beanie for any one of those guys IF she could knit a matching man-thong and get a picture of him wearing them--and nothing else.

I imagine there was much coffee and tea spit on computer screens that day. However, the idea began to take hold, particularly when we were assured by the original poster that the individual in question had no shame and would probably gladly model such. And all this time, she is forwarding the choicest comments to hubby, who is sharing them with his friends. And that is how we ended up with an order for FOUR man-thongs, along with the measurements needed to make sure they fit.

The response was immediate; I imagine they could hear the squeeing all the way from here to Iraq. So, several of us signed up to knit for soldiers (I had been meaning to do socks or balaclavas, but how could I resist?), me partly because I knew I already had a skein of the cotton and elastic yarn that was needed for the pattern and because we were assured that we would not have to work on them until after Christmas.

Come Christmas and the Great Christmas Flu, and man-thongs went right out of my head. Fortunately, the original poster, who was organizing this, emailed everyone early in January, to remind us. I then proceeded to tear the house apart looking for the yarn. And not finding it. Now it is really getting late, and I need to get started on this thing to get it to her by the deadline. So, I'm frantically searching the internet for a local yarn store that stocks it, since I know I can't get it in the mail in time. The Hubster asks and I foolishly tell him all about it--and he stuns me by saying he wants one, too. After a pause for blinking and rearranging my internal world to incorporate this new data, I suggest that maybe I could make the one for the Marine first, and then work on Hubster's, and he agrees.

I finally find a store that is "local" by the Los Angeles definition of the word, but know I won't get a chance to get down there before the weekend. This is when Hubster stuns me again, saying that he's willing to drive to the store and pick up the yarn; that way he can pick out his at the same time. He does and I get started and rapidly finish the man-thong, entertaining the WeHoS&B enormously in the process, then pop it in the mail.

Ha, ha! But then, one of the other ladies had a serious attack of life, and was unable to finish hers. I found this out on the day we were supposed to have them to the organizer, and I waited to see if anyone else would volunteer. Crickets chirping. Sigh. I know I have the second skein that Hubster bought, so I say that if she can wait until the following week, so I have the weekend to work on it, I'll step in. So, for a second week, I'm knitting a man-thong at WeHoS&B, and those who weren't there the previous week get to join in the merriment. So, I finish this one and boil it in coffee (it was stark white and I thought ecru would be more attractive) and send it along, with notes to the recipients of both, to sort of personalize it. (As a friend said, "Yeah, 'cause a hand-knitted man-thong is such an impersonal, generic gift....")

Oh, and did I mention the photos? We, of course, all wanted to show off our work, but also wanted to avoid controversy. The first woman who finished photographed hers on a stuffed unicorn. I was fortunate enough to have a LARGE bear (he is seated, and is still about 20" tall) on whom to photograph these items (though, of course, since the bear was anatomically incorrect, stuffing was required).

And so, I give you Thong 1:
And Thong 2:
Bear Thong II

So, there you have it. The story of how I came to support our troops.