Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I have discovered banging your head into a wall is actually therapeutic.......

I was supposed to be here days ago but as the Universe seems to be bowling right through my carefully laid plans - I, as you know, was not. Fasten your seat belts, my pretties, because this Mercury retrograde thingie coming up at the end of the month promises NON-STOP ADVENTURE! Supposedly, it will be the biggest of the year. This would be great if it was a time of endless pleasure, non? Or, maybe even a time of maximum efficiency - so that you have that brave sense of accomplishment when done with it? Uh-oh - but this is the one where chaos rules the day, arse-backwards happenings will be happening, and the general sense that banging your head into the wall MIGHT actually bring relief! Lucky me, I got a 'pre-taste' of it yesterday.

I was really going to come here to say a big ole teary-eyed 'thank you' to the Sheriff of Knittingham for giving me the 'I love your blog' award. Thanks, Lorraine! In addition to being a stellar knitter after my own heart, and the designer of Guinevere, my greatest winter knitting passion (it will be mine this year!), Lorraine is just one of my treasured knitterly people to know. It helps that she has a most fabulous sense of humor as I regularly stick my foot in my mouth (just to taste it, sometimes!) and she never seems phased by it....gotta love a friend like that! I'm not good at picking people and blogs so I'll just say that the award goes right back at ya cuz, let's face it, you're always on the list when I have to cite a blog I lurve! Oh, and hope you are feeling better, soon! Cruddy ole flu, I wish it would go away and leave you to knit in peace!

treasure chest So, I was also going to show you this. a curve shawl picI know, I know, I was supposed to be knitting the 'curved shawl' from VLT with the handspun treasure chest yarn. We will walk through that process in a bit. I was going to show you this yesterday but I woke to the sound of one of my kiddles asking Dad if he was 'okay' in that worried tone. I scuttled into the room to find him bleeding - apparently he was cutting a bagel and stabbed the palm of his hand. The man needed pressure and a towel and it was not the 'right' time for me to study with perplexed thoughts how the dog spit he could have made such a deep cut with a bread knife. Only, both of the bread knives were STILL IN THE DRAWER! Hmmm. I thought about it later and would have asked more on the subject except he was so helpful to offer to cut the base for me and the Things 'exhibit' for the fair so I dropped it....until I heard the sound of 'oh crap, that hurts' coming from the studio. Scuttled again and found that he was so busy cutting through the base that he failed to notice his finger was actually the thing that was making the cutting hard. Fortunately, the base is covered in fabric so no one will notice the blood all over the naked material. Towel, pressure, silently shaking head and biting tongue VERY HARD, I let it go. Later that evening, when he was taking a pot of hot water off the stove and spilled it on his foot (near boiling it was), I scuttled even FASTER to the horrible sound someone makes when they are burned. You know, that AAAAHHHH! squeal that makes your insides churn as you hurl yourself toward such unpleasantness? He's okay, though I may not be saying that for long. After securing the promise that he 1) will not ever cut anything again as long as he lives and 2) will stay away from every conceivable danger and 3) that he's really okay - I offered to put a pillow over his head and relieve him from this obviously slow and wretched process of self-destruction. The short story (right!) is that the bread knife seemed all too practical so he forewent that option and opted instead for a sharp steak knife. When he got to the 'crusty' tough part, he just wrenched it real hard to cut on through....which, it did! Urgh - Bread Knife - it's for bread - who knew? she's banging her head again!

I was working on the shawl when the last mishap happened and, because I jumped and ran with no thought for the knitting at all, there were some injured stitches, hence, I am a bitter woman. I left the pattern in question after many head-banging-into-walls sessions that basically consisted of this:

1)I like the shape of the shawl, not the stitch. And the shape, as you all know, is not very complicated. The stitch? My gosh - when do I have time to sit down and knit lace that has no cheating 'purl all' stitch side? I wanted something I could carry around and knit when I'd otherwise be biting my tongue and hissing 'bread knife' at everyone!

Solution: Designing a simple shawl in the half-circle shaping that I like and ditching the maddening holey stitch pattern.

2) The stitch pattern is holey. And, no, we're not speaking in a spiritual sense here. It has lots of holes. Lots of holes for a Mainer means I could wear it maybe one month a year. Sometime after black fly season leading up the the 'no one told me summers in Maine would be this stifling and hot' season that others casually call 'summer'. Holes, as you know, let air through - which is in direct contradiction to the supremely cold air that I'd be wearing the shawl for protection from. I poo-pooed this excuse, at first, and chastised myself for being too lazy to knit the hard stitch. Until, I went and looked at the shawls I have so far. Aside from the black poncho I made years ago and have since worn to a state of frizzed out lint-collecting that it really is for 'around the house' or I'd probably need a dust bunny permit to wear it in public, and my 'barn shawl' that I crocheted years ago and wear during lambing season (so, it's in pretty rough condition as it has been used once or twice to wrap a cold and failing lamb in to rush them inside for CPR by the wood stove), all of my shawls are excessively holey. Not that a shawl can't have some lace and some holes, understand. I mean to say that my natural inclination is to pick a stitch that is very 'open'. And that is wholly (gawd I love a pun) inappropriate for Maine weather. Hmmm. Let's recap - the two shawls that are not holey are near worn out - implying they are used regularly. The 3-100 holey shawls that are collecting dust in the closet are in prime, nigh brand new condition. Really freakin' demanding stitch for another holey shawl????

Solution: Designing a simple shawl in the half-circle shaping that I like and ditching the maddening holey stitch pattern.

And, finally 3) After denying the inner wisdom that propelled me through this thought process, (I mean, I'm surrounded by such vast intelligence that it is obvious to everyone how I might feel overwhelmed and incapable of meeting such competence - Bread Knife!) I cast on and kept on stitching anyway. Stitching, drinking coffee, ripping, cursing a little. Okay, by the third time, the coffee was cold so I was cursing ALOT. Still, I got about 5 rows in, stretched it out to block the stitch pattern, and felt that the way the color shifts in the boldly adult rainbow yarn was going was, well, kinda boring.

Solution: Designing a simple shawl in the half-circle shaping that I like and ditching the maddening holey stitch pattern.

Are we seeing a pattern, here? Guess what I did? No, really, guess? I ripped it - again. Then, I put it down and went on with the day's work. I'm a glutton for punishment because I managed to convince myself, again, that I lack the discipline to knit a good shawl and that I might also lack the talent to devise my own pattern. So, I cast on - again! And, this time, I knit 10 rows before I realized I hated how the yarn looked knit this way. Bread Knife!

I ripped, I laughed, I threatened to stab myself through each fingertip with a sharp, aluminum sock needle if I tried to cast on this shawl in this stitch pattern again.....and I'm working on a simple half-circle shawl that will have a dazzling border chock full of holes - so that it keeps my neck, back, shoulders, and chest warm. With the holes that low, only my butt will be frozen and maybe if that happens - some of it will fall off. Bread Knife!

Great giveaway winner will be announced next time, promise!