Friday, January 05, 2007

From hank to ball


I'm relieved that my attempt to convert the hank of yarn into the ball pictured above wasn't as difficult as I expected. Why the hesitancy to do something that should be simple? Because I wasn't entirely sure what I was doing. It took me two tries. I held the hank apart with my knees and took one of the ends to begin the process of putting the yarn in a usable form.

The first attempt produced a cigar-shaped mass, which obviously wasn't right. I hadn't wrapped a lot, so unraveling it wasn't a big deal. I realized where I had gone wrong and began again. Making the metaphor literal, I dropped the ball a couple times, but it didn't go far. The ball isn't picture perfect, but it should be functional, which is the only thing that matters. So I'm finally ready to return to my green scarf. I plan to knit during the hockey game on TV tonight.

This was an off day in theory but not in execution. I headed out this morning to discover that a neighbor stole my newspaper again, one of those minor injustices that have stuck in my craw more and more in recent weeks. I went to see Little Children, which I thought was a well-made film with excellent performances from the entire cast. I'm not sure if I'm in a funk or what, but most of 2006's critically championed titles, the Todd Field film included, haven't bowled me over. Good, yes. Masterpiece, I don't think so.

My mistake was stopping at the office on the way home. Well, "mistake" isn't the right word as I attended to some awards work that I would have done at home anyway, but it was easier for me to peck away at stuff that needed to be completed, just not today, than if I wasn't in the office. Before I knew it, the afternoon was nearly over. There's always Sunday.

Donna, the intrepid Arkansas knitting beginner, posted some questions in the comments to yesterday's entry. I answered to the best of my ability and gave my advice in an e-mail to her, but I would like to solicit your opinions because a) I may not know what I'm talking about and b) I'm curious what you think.

She inquires, "So what's the deal with tight vs. loose? How do you find a balance?" I told her that I knit tightly, or I think I do, because intuition tells me you want to have tight stitches, except in instances where you're making something more open. Am I steering her in the right direction? How do you find a balance?

Donna also asks, "And what's up with the last stitch on the row -- how do you keep from having a big messy loop of yarn hanging off? I can't seem to figure out how to pull that one tight." This was one of my many questions for Kristin at my second knitting lesson, so I know that the last stitch is usually looser. I gave a convoluted explanation of how I try to tighten it up, but feel free to share your expert wisdom in the comments. FO?


At 7:47 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

i think your answer about balance is a good one, and as far as the last stitch loop goes, i guess my only advice is to ignore it because it will always be there. eventually it won't annoy you so much and/or you'll figure out how to maneuver it so that it isn't so loopy. sorry i couldn't be of more help and keep up the knitting!


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