Monday, November 13, 2006

Stymied by skein joining


I must not be able to summon my knitting superpowers on Sundays. It is supposed to be a day of rest, so maybe I'm not hearing the message.

The past two Sundays the yarn has broken on me. I've dealt with it, and all has been well. Yesterday called for more skein joining, although in this case it was because I had finished the first. No problem. I've done this a few times. What could go wrong?

One thing I've noticed is that if I don't knit every day, I turn stupid when I pick up the needles again. Those first few stitches after a day or two layoff from knitting are the most dangerous ones I can face. I'm not sure why this is. It's happened too regularly for it to be mere coincidence. Maybe I think about it too much. Maybe I don't think about it enough. Whatever the reason, it means I tend to have knitting sessions that are exceedingly short or marathon length. They balance out in the end, I guess, but I would prefer to have moderate to long amounts of time spent knitting than extremely brief attempts.

The first problem was remembering how to join the skeins. Do I want the two ends together, or do I want the end of the first skein and the start of the second skein at opposite ends when I knot the strands? (I hope you understand what I mean here.) I wasn't sure. I tried one way without success and then tried the other way. I tied a double knot to join the skeins, which should have put me on course to finish my mom's scarf. Now I wonder if I was supposed to tie a slipknot instead. I told you that it's like my accumulated knowledge vanishes if I take a day off.

I knitted the first stitch and noticed a problem. I might have pulled the knot and ends through this stitch. There was a big loop hanging down that didn't look right. I attempted to trace where the yarn was going and should go. I tried to undo the stitch, but at this point I had no idea what went where. I undid something a couple times. Somehow I lost the last stitch on the row and redid it twice. It didn't look right. I debated whether I should stop or keep going. My confidence must be building because I decided that if I had to frog back to this point, so be it. Seven inches wouldn't be much to redo.

Based on Kristin's opinion, I've chosen to make the scarf five feet long. I'm not going to change my mind, but I'm still curious to hear what others think is the ideal scarf length. To join the discussion, leave a comment with the others appended to my last post.

I won't need to frog seven inches of scarf because I ran into trouble with the first stitch I knitted. Curses! My heart sank. I was looking forward to having my fourth FO and posting pictures here. (Unlike my third FO, one of the pictures would not have featured me wearing the scarf. I'll try on the furry purple scarf to judge length, but sorry, I'll need a model for any fashion photos. I would look totally absurd.) I'm sure it isn't a major thing to fix, but I was disappointed in myself and disappointed that I was not getting to knit. Better to stop now than really horse things up.

Seriously, this was not the way to end what was otherwise a very good weekend. OK, the Blue Jackets lost two games and the Bengals continue to go down the drain, but my happiness isn't predicated on the outcomes of sporting events. Not that I like to see them lose...

Saturday night Kristin and her husband Paul joined a fellow critic and me at the local film and video festival's awards ceremony. I'm a juror in one of the divisions, which means sheepishly standing up when they recognize us, and our esteemed colleague was one of the emcees.

Basically it's an excuse to dress up a little--or not at all in the case of a couple winners--and enjoy free drinks and appetizers. We watched the winner from my division. In keeping with my festival track record, it was not an entry I judged. Awards and brief speeches were given. Then it was time for all of the sponsor's beer, pinot grigio, and chardonnay you could drink.

The post-Oscars Governors Ball this isn't, although I had a good time. Mostly it was Kristin, Paul, and I sitting around and talking, which was perfectly fine, or the three of us listening to our fellow critic talk, which was okay too. I'm glad to have become friends with them and glad they were able to share in the evening's fun.

It wouldn't be an awards ceremony without one unfortunate outfit to scoff at. A woman at the entrance wore a fur headband and dress with fur trim. And gloves. I guess it was from the Davy Crockett High Society for Women label. Now I wish I had a picture.

Kristin looked elegant in her new black dress and boots and--knitting content alert--a lovely red lace shawl she dyed and knitted herself. Very impressive. I can't imagine how much time it took her to knit the shawl. My contribution to the night's style was a chocolate-colored velvet blazer. From left to right, here are Paul, Kristin, and I looking very glamorous at evening's end. (I forgot I even had that name tag on.)

That and my productive Friday knitting were the good parts of the weekend. Last night's knitastrophe was not so good.

I'm in a bind now. I can't work on this scarf until Kristin can bail me out, and I'm out of yarn. I may make my first solo trip to The Yarn Shop tonight to satisfy my jones, but we'll see how the day goes. (With the insane screening schedule this week, tonight's the only night I can knit without staying up later than I should.) Even if I don't get there this evening, I will need to stock up again, if just to have some on hand for when I attempt to knit in secret at my parents' home for Thanksgiving. be determined.


At 10:50 AM, Blogger kdk said...

Uh-oh! I'm not sure I can figure out what's gone wrong by your explanation here, but email me, and I'll see what I can do. Else, there's always tomorrow morning...

At 2:43 PM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

This one is most likely going to need an up close examination. I goofed this up in a big way.


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