Monday, November 20, 2006

My Fifth and Sixth FOs

Believe it or not, but I have two more FOs.

I bought the yarn Friday afternoon, started the scarf that night, and finished it early Sunday afternoon. Apparently this is what happens when I don't have anything else to do. If not for another problem with knots in the middle of a skein, I might have finished it late Saturday night.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do on Saturday. As I griped about in my previous entry, Ohio State football was inescapable, although my goal was to avoid it as much as possible. Just to clear up my lapsed fandom, I don't have a problem with people liking the team. I grew up in the Dayton area and followed them, although my enthusiasm has dimmed dramatically the longer I've been here. OSU fanaticism in Columbus is practiced at a much greater intensity than it is elsewhere in the state. It's the local crypto-religion. (Sorry for the world of academia word. Google isn't turning up a good definition for something I recall from a religion class. The best I could find is "a form of ultimate concern in which the religious nature of the commitment made by the participant is not recognized as being religious".)

Fortunately, my neighbors in the apartment below must have been at a game party. They usually get noisy when the Buckeyes play, but there was nary a peep coming through the floor. I used the time to work on a scarf in a University of Michigan-like blue. That wasn't intentional but kind of gratifying in a defiant way. I did make a point of listening to Sufjan Stevens' Greetings from Michigan, in part because its good knitting music and in part because it was my own private protest of anti-Michigan sentiment. (By the way, Greetings from Michigan, which is about his home state, is his first in a proposed project to make albums about each of the fifty states.)

I knitted for a long time and then took a break to do some shopping. Going out was like passing through a ghost town. Very few cars were on the road, and few people were at Target. Want to know how few people were out on a Saturday night? When OSU played in the national championship game a few years ago, the TV ratings were astronomical. At least 90% of those people watching television in the area were tuned into the game. In TV terms, this is unheard of.

I returned home, knitted some more, and then set the scarf aside to watch the Blue Jackets game. I knitted during the intermissions and through a third quarter that had little on the line again because they were behind by a lot. By now I knew I would finish my fifth scarf during the weekend.

I kept the television on but listened more than watched. I've developed a callus on my right index fingertip, so I could knit without it getting sore like it has during other marathon sessions. The clock passed midnight, and I kept knitting. If I kept at it, I might be able to finish before going to bed.

Of course, now that I was on the other side of midnight, it meant that technically it was Sunday. And you know what happens on Sundays. That's right, time for more yarn predicaments.

One of the skeins had a big clump of yarn that the strand wouldn't pull out of easily. I tried to untangle it, but deep down I knew there were probably several knots inside it that I couldn't undo. I found the end of the skein and unraveled it to the point of this clump. If I cut the yarn, I was going to lose several feet. Rather than do something foolish, like stay up way too late, I decided it was time to stop. I wrapped the unraveled yarn around my hand--a bad choice that would catch up with me--and went to bed.

Sunday I cut my losses and cut the yarn. I joined the ends and began knitting again. But what do we have here? Oh no, it's another clump. Somehow the yarn that I haphazardly rewrapped became tangled. I pulled out as much as I could from both sides of the yarn mass and tried to undo it.

I don't have anything to wind yarn on, but I thought I might be able to improvise. I realized that I don't have a basketball, which would have been too big but would have worked. My solution: a jar of spaghetti sauce. I figured it was about the size of a skein and would get the job done. We won't know because I couldn't untangle the knots.

I measured the scarf to see how much was left to knit. Since it's for my great aunt, I knew I needed to get to five feet or so. I had pulled a decent amount of yarn out of the clump and hoped that it would be enough. It took a couple more hard tugs, but I extracted all that I needed to reach the desired length, bind off, and have some yarn remaining for a tail.

I've been happy with how my stitches have looked on the other scarves, but there's no doubt in my mind that this is the best scarf I've knitted. I wish the yarn were softer, more like scarf #3, but I'm just now understanding the differences in fabrics. The Reynolds Utopia yarn is 100% acrylic, so it's stiffer than the 50% acrylic, 50% nylon Fantasy Dark Horse yarn. I'm surprised how much it took to knit this scarf. Each skein had approximately 225 yards. I don't have as much left over as I thought I would.

My Sunday plans included watching the Bengals, but the local affiliate chose to carry the Browns-Steelers game. If the orange and black were playing up to expectations, I would have gone to a sports bar to catch the game. As it is, the season has been disappointing, and I didn't feel like dragging myself somewhere.

I needed to do some writing for Tuesday's show and to catch up on everything I saw last week. I couldn't muster the mental energy to do it, so I took a nap and knitted some more. The skinny version of my mom's purple scarf was coming along quickly on the 15s. Yes, so quickly that I had another FO. (Pardon the out of focus photo. I can't seem to get an accurate color with the flash on. With it turned off I have to hold the camera exceptionally still or else it blurs.)

It was a fun and productive weekend, which is probably why I didn't go stir crazy when you consider how much I stayed at home. I have the tan yarn for a scarf that I'll start tonight, but already I need to go back to the yarn stores and load up. Time with my family for Thanksgiving should slow down my knitting, what with them not knowing about it and having to do it secretly, but I'll be sure to restock and take some with me for the moments I can find.

Next...the secret knitter reveals himself to a friend.


At 2:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blue scarf looks fantastic! Your stitches are really even.

At 6:28 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

oh - that scarf really does look amazing! and the purple one, too...wtg!!


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