Thursday, March 11, 2010

Closing Ceremony

I meant to write this last week, or the beginning of this at the latest. Except I mistook feeling better for being well and lapsed back into whatever bug it was that made things miserable during the Olympics. Here, then, is the final post on the World's Ugliest Gold Medal Winner.

I came up with some survival techniques. First, a cheat sheet. A sample of each yarn with it's corresponding color code. It meant I didn't have to keep track of which yarn was Fandago or Wigwam or Zanziba (Colinette is not so good at the giving their yarns meaningful names). I didn't have to label the yarn or keep the ball-bands with me wherever I was working. I didn't have to keep flipping the pattern pages over to check against the yarn list. Saved me time and infinite annoyance.

Lantern Moon small taffeta bags. The three mohair yarns lived in these throughout the project, color-coded, thus saving my sanity and themselves from annihilation. Mohair is really, really sticky. It's a parasite and will latch onto anything like a lamprey - all those teeth.

Post-it notes. Worked even better for keeping my place than the highlighting thing I did for the Not-Quite-A-Blessingway Blanket. Since the repeat was 56 rows long, this kept me on the right row until I could read the pattern from the throw.

General Observations -

The pattern just isn't that hard. I could be over-committed the first week and sick the second and still finish in a timely fashion. Granted that Friday and Saturday were intense, but that's two days out of 17.

Mohair is deeply annoying to knit with, and I will probably impale myself on a set of dpn's before I knit with it again, but it's not particularly difficult.

I have knit Art and I don't want to ever again. There is such a thing as too much. Too much texture (although that's the only thing The Princess likes about it). Too much color. Too much novelty yarn.

With all this dissatisfaction, perhaps you can understand why I felt a little queasy about claiming a gold medal.

I earned it for the discipline I didn't know I had before this project. I made very sure to keep track of the pattern so I wouldn't have to rip back. I marked off the repeats with stichmarkers and I devised systems to make the knitting more coherent. If I learned nothing else, I know how to count to 17, which was the number of stitches in the pattern repeat. I counted it so faithfully and with such consistency that I never want to see the number again. The Lord Protector will have to go from 16 to 18, bypassing his 17th year entirely. So will any grandchildren I may have.

I earned it for my persistence. By the time I reached the last repeat, the only thing keeping me going was a kind of grim determination and the knowledge that I wouldn't have to knit with that particular yarn again. By the time I knit the last 12 rows, it was the knowledge that with each row completed, I would only have so many rows left to knit. By the time I reached the last 4 rows, it was a matter of counting down the stitches. By the time I reached the last bind-off stitch, the only yarn I ever wanted to knit with again was the Skye.

I earned it for what I think of myself as a knitter now, as opposed to when the Olympics started. Maybe the knitting was that simple. On the other hand, maybe I am a better knitter than I thought I was. Maybe I am even a good knitter. And maybe the next time someone, with a faintly kindly patronizing smile, tells me that that pattern, that book, that technique is probably a little too hard for me, well, maybe I just won't believe them anymore.

Pattern - Scallops from Colinette's Absolutely Fabulous Throw Kit.

Yarn - also (mostly) from Colinette's Absolutely Fabulous Throw Kit, approximately 4 years old and therefore with some discontinued yarns. One skein each of:
Color A - Mohair in Renaissance.
Color B - Skye in Copperbeech (Substituted for Velvet Bilberry).
Color C - Mohair in Copperbeech (Substituted for Mist).
Color D - Zanziba in Autumn.
Color E - Wigwam in Lichen (Should have been substituted. The yarn that killed the project. I hated knitting with it more than any of the other fibers. And that's saying a lot. And I hate the way it looks in the finished throw. Completely and utterly, color and texture.)
Color F - Fandago in Venezia.
Color G - Mohair in Tapis.
Color H - Zanziba in Jay.

Needles - Addi Turbo's, US 11/8 mm.

Finished size - 42" by 55".

1 comment:

Diane H said...

The afghan makes a very pretty picture.