Thursday, December 06, 2007
Narcissistic Yarn, Acts of Desperation, and Other Random Thoughts
Today I added a few photos to go with the ramblings on of a distracted mind. Here's my completed "Smooshy Socks" aka Socks for Veronik. The yarn lives up to it's name. soft and smooshy! I wore them yesterday and got gushing raves everywhere I went. That's pretty impressive for socks. With each pair of socks I knit, I learn something new. From the smooshy socks I learned how to knit socks that would fit around my curvy calves and still fit at the ankle. At last I can knit a sock with a longer leg, right? Not so fast.... They fit just great, they just don't want to stay there. Chalk another one up for gravity as the socks retract comfortably to just above where all my other socks sit. Some battles just weren't meant to be won. Back to knitting 4-5" cuffs.
I knew I had to go to the doctor's office yesterday and with no "current" socks OTN I needed a project to take with me. So I resumed work on Daddy's Christmas socks. I knit the heel flap over the weekend and got all the stitches picked up for the gusset. Lots of stitches since these are big socks for big feet. I was testing the limits of my favorite KnitPicks needles with all those stitches. Desperate times call for desperate acts. I knew I couldn't just pitch these socks into my purse and go without losing stitches everywhere, so I grabbed my 32" KP circular and started knitting a la Magic Loop style. My stitches are saved from drop-offs! It's pretty awkward in that you have to fight the natural curvature of the cable, even if it's a super flexible cable. Messing with the loop is fiddly and I'm not yet convinced this is superior to dpns. I am knitting in all stockinette at this point, so that's pretty simple, but working in pattern may be more tricky. Magic Looping does demand the use of stitch markers, things I never used on dpns as the spacing of stitches across the needles served to mark where you are at in the pattern. I may switch back to dpns once the gusset decreases are done, but for now it's magic loop time I guess.
My last photo is symbolic of how my day has gone today. We had terrible wind storms last night, I didn't take my usual sleep med (forgot to get it refilled) hence I didn't sleep too well. So I'm not in my best form when my four-legged friend came to see me this morning. Miss Emme, aka Her Royal Majesty of Supreme Rottenness, decided it was time to be picked up and put into my bed. Dachsies are short, my bed is tall--enough said. Emme has her favorite way of occupying my bed, and this morning's offering was not up to her expectations. It was a rough night, after all, so there weren't many blankets left on the bed. I was trying to knit on THE SOCKS (they will be done this year, Daddy, I promise!) but NO! I must move. I must fix the blankets. I get up and start to make the bed, but before I can crawl back in She took over. Rotten I tell you, rotten. Parked right on top of my heating pad. I know when I have lost. I relocated to the recliner with my knitting, sans the heating pad.
This should have been a sign portending things to come. I picked up a new shawl pattern while I was at the Yarn Haven yesterday. Oh yeah, I hit the LYS! I bought another skein of Araucania Ranco to knit socks for my sister for Christmas (or her B-day if I don't get done in time). While I was there I thumbed through Sandy's pattern collection. She's been expanding these things and I was happy to learn she is carrying FiberTrends and HeartStrings patterns. I've been looking at HeartStrings patterns for awhile, but didn't have a convenient source--until now. I loved Jackie's Scotch Thistle Stole design when she released it last summer. Others liked it too, as there was quite a rush on the pattern and dyed-to-match Schaefer yarn that was meant to go with the pattern. When I saw it at TYH, I knew it was my answer to what to knit for Mother for Christmas.
After careful deliberation and review of finances, I opted to forgo buying new yarn and use some cashmere from the stash. This is the pretty brick red yarn that I ordered hoping for a ruby red. Sweet Richard at ColourMart found some ruby red and sent me both cones. The Brick is perfect for Mom, and if used double stranded, is perfect for the Thistle Stole. No problem, right? I'll just wind off half the cone with my trusty ball winder, then knit from both for the stole. I've done this many times without a hitch, but not so today. They say yarn has personality. Different yarns say different things, like "Hey. look at me! I'm bright and sassy" or "I'm soooo soft and sweet, don't you want to pet me?" The brick cashmere has a personality all right, a narcissistic personality. It's very fond of itself. It's also quite flighty, as in flying off the spindle when I had about 40g wound off. That means the ball gets to sit on the floor next to the partially unwound cone to go through the winding process all over again. Bothersome, but not problematic, right? Wrong! I've heard folks whine about yarn barf before, you know, the big globs of yarn that spew forth from center-pull balls to crate havoc and knots while you work. Yarn Barf! I'd never had any bad barf before, but this self-absorbed stuff puked constantly and didn't want to be separated into one long line. Bad yarn! I hissed my way through rewinding and now I have yarn ready to knit. I hope it behaves better while knitting. I put some nice hand cream on while rewinding the yarn in the hopes of discouraging it's stuck-on-self ways in the future. And here I thought narcissistic people were difficult to deal with. Who knew yarn could be too!