Monday, February 23, 2009

Third Time . . . Not So Lucky

Apparently the goddess of knitting thought I needed to be taken down a peg or two. My first two hat projects turned out soooo well. The sideways-knit Arbacia Hat is a delight – fits perfectly and I wear it often. The top-down Little Red Beret is also a great fit and ideal for blustery days.

And then there is my recently completed Snowflake Tam, knit from the bottom up. What a disaster! Looks great draped on its blocking plate, doesn't it? Nifty colors, elaborate stranded work, all that stuff. But y'know it isn't intended to be a plate cover. It's supposed to look good on my head. And therein lies the problem.

I guess the pattern is just too detailed and busy. Even from the back it's not impressive. Oh, and the ribbing is waaaay too loose. So disappointing – five pairs of socks sacrificed their leftover yarn for this hat –

Now what you are seeing here are the BETTER pictures. Even this ghastly side view is not as bad as most, although it's pretty bad. I mean, would you run around in public looking like this?

Unable to believe that this project was such an utter failure, I kept trying different positions and taking more pictures. Now this one I like. Could be a bit tricky from a vision point of view, but the hat looks good. Maybe I could snip teensy little eye holes.

Seriously – what should I do with this thing? I will never wear it. As fiber art, it's pretty, but as apparel – no way. Do I donate it somewhere? Frame it and hang it on the wall? Would anyone like to give it a try? I'd be happy to pop it into an envelope and send it your way. Really. No trouble at all.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Something Old

The first time I knit this pattern was in 1968. It's from McCall's Needlework and Crafts, and I made it in the exact same colors as the pattern picture -- gold and black. It was a gift to my sister in gratitude for helping me out during some challenging times. She later passed it along to our mother. And since neither one of them is around anymore, I don't know what became of the afghan. Hopefully it is keeping someone warm and snug.

In the ensuing 10-15 years I made two more. Don't remember which came first, the rust/brown or the light/dark blue. Each took about a year to knit; what with a full-time job, motherhood, and graduate school, time for knitting was limited. But the pattern is so wonderful that even now I'm tempted to make one more.

What's so great about it? Well, it's a doubleknit, which makes it really fun. Had I been confronted with the dreaded word DOUBLEKNIT at the beginning I probably would never have had the audacity to believe I could knit this pattern. But no mention was made. I simply followed the very easy instructions and soon perceived that somehow, magically, I was knitting two separate pieces of fabric that were linked together in just a few spots.

Watching the two pieces of fabric emerge is entertaining. As one knits a sort of honeycomb pattern on one side . . . .

A dotted pattern is created on the other side. And the squares allow one to have a sense of accomplishment. (Hah! Another row of squares completed!) It's a great winter project, because the completed part keeps your lap warm while you are adding to it.

Having hung onto this very old pattern over all the years and all the traveling, it seems a shame not to put it to some use. The pages are a little brown, but still readable. I suspect I won't actually knit another whole afghan, although I might attempt a pillow or two. That wouldn't take long.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Yarn is UNpacked

As several folks predicted, unpacking the yarn was a whole lot more fun than packing it up. Since the stash was going into a new size and shape of storage (no more under-the-bed), it needed a slow and careful review. Seems I have a lot more bits and ends of fingering-weight yarn than I had thought. I predict many future projects knit in multiple colors of fingering.

And remember this shawl? Well, there remain an extra 98 grams of the Gems fingering I used for it. Just enough for socks. And not just any socks.

Yep. Cables. This is the Rattlesnake Creek pattern. I love the way the strands wander from one cable to another. But this yarn is very smooth and urban. "Rattlesnake Socks" doesn't strike me as a madly appropriate name for the project. Struggling with alternatives, I've come up with some possible words to incorporate into the name -- 'winding', 'wandering', 'roads', 'highways', and such. Still working on it. Assistance would be welcome. Any ideas?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Spinning Space ????

Could this be just the right storage space for a spinning wheel? That's what I'm wondering. I mean one of the folding, collapsible type, of course. It's a very odd space – only 14" wide and 24" deep -- that runs from floor to ceiling in my new apartment. See, over there on the far left, just before you get to the window. I think the architects figured out what components they wanted to include along that wall, found themselves a foot or so short once they'd finished the desk/cabinet unit, and just said "oh, well."

Any folding wheel owners out there? Would one fit? Height is clearly not a problem. Depth not so much either I would think (two feet is pretty good). But 14" wide??? Could a wheel fold up that flat? I don't own a wheel at the moment, but if this strange little space would hold one, I would feel that it was Fate giving me a kick in the pants. "Go buy a wheel," says Fate, "you know you want one. And, look, it wouldn't take up any extra space."