Thursday, March 30, 2006

Lady Vols Lose, Tink-Tink-Tink

It was a rough night Tuesday. I was working on the coral lace shawl and watching the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team play North Carolina for the right to go to the NCAA final four. Pat Summitt and the Lady Vols have been to the final four a lot. When you come to TN to play for Pat, you expect to be in the final four. Women's basketball is just that good around here. They even built the National Women's Basketball Hall of Fame here in Knoxville. Yup, our downtown has two big round symbols: a big orange basketball at the WBHOF on one side and a big shiny gold ball atop a tall tower on the other side- the Sunsphere from the 1982 World's Fair.

The Lady Tar Heels lead from the beginning of the game and Pat's girls just couldn't seem to find their rhythm. I knit on my shawl all the while hoping Candace Parker & Alexis Hornbuckle would get everyone revved up. That's when I found the booboo in the shawl a couple of rows down-a centered double decrease was not centered and I had too many stitches. I tried going down to fix just the messed up spot, but it looked awful. Lesson learned: when knitting a shawl from small point upward, you will have extra yarn hanging out when you forget to psso and end up with too many stitches. On Kiri or the FBS boosboos meant that your tension might be just a tad tight in the spot, but blocking would solve the problem. Not so with this pattern.

Of course I had no lifelines in place as I hate putting them in and hate knitting around them once they are in place, so I had no simple rescue. The only safe solution was to tink back 3 rows, one stitch at a time, and fix my mistake. Blast! It's kind of like playing a bad game of Mother, May I? where you were progressing along just fine with your baby steps. Then suddenly the mother shouts "take 3 giant steps backward!" Tinking back takes at least 3 times longer to do than knitting in pattern did in the first place. By the end of the night I managed to make a net progress of zero on the shawl. And the Lady Vols never did really get into the groove of the game and ended up losing. It just wasn't a good night. Period.

I had to take a break from the shawl yesterday. The weather finally warmed up and I ended up spending the day in the yard doing a little garden stuff while supervising the nice man who came and demolished a big stump from an old maple tree in my backyard. Heavy machinery sure can do amazing things! He also got rid of the stumps of the diseased laurel bushes I had Mr. Jim (the yard guy) cut down on Monday. I am deliriously happy to be rid of those bushes! Next up is compost & topsoil, plus lime in the places that will be returned to grass. I might turn some sand into the front bed too before planting new shrubs. Right now I am thinking about a Natchez (white) crape myrtle with Nikko Blue hydrangeas on either side. That should make a perfect backdrop for my pink rose garden! Yum! (Digging in the dirt really is fun!)

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