Tuesday, April 04, 2006

When will I learn to listen to you??

Dear Laura:

I have begun lace. Sunday afternoon I started a Feather and Fan shawl from the book "Folk Shawls." I'm using a Lopi unspun yarn. Unspun lace weight. It comes in a "cake" or "patty" shape. It has characteristics that we will explore later that make it a challenging material for lace.

Actually, I don't plan to knit this complete project. However, it the pattern that several of my students chose for the lace shawl class this week (they chose, now everyone in the class will knit this pattern!) Seemed to me that if I was going to teach this pattern, I should, you know, maybe knit up a bit of it....

Exhibit A is my initial progress before I got "off pattern." Let's see, it started with 7 stitches and added 4 stitches per row, but somehow I ended up with an even number...

THAT can't be right. And the thing that makes this yarn challenging to work with? Being unspun, I have to say that it doesn't split a lot, and it seems to hold itself together. But, although I was careful when frogging, after a couple of rows the yarn just broke. Unspun gets its strength from the fabric, and so you don't want to tug on a strand very much or it just pulls apart!

You would think at this point that I would have taken heed of your experiences, but no...I was certain that if I didn't pay attention to it (well, very much attention) the television would not be a distraction for me. Knitting patterns smite us for such arrogance.

Here is my current progress. I got to this point and was supposed to have 43 stitches...but I had 42. I tried fudging on the next row to make it come out, but after a couple more rows that were still wrong, I frogged back to 27 and fixed it. Then I very, very carefully progressed, stopping at the end of each increase row to count....I got to 39 safely. I did the eyelet row...counted 39 again...then I did the row of 4 increases. I have 44 stitches. This is not possible, I KNOW that I did the correct increases.

I've put it off to the side until it learns that I'm not going to put up with this behavior. Maybe tonight it will be ready to move on....

Last night, however, there was rebellion of another sort at my house. I boiled a chicken for supper so that I could bring the leftovers in salads for my lunches the rest of the week. After I cleaned the carcass, I poured the broth into a large container and took it to the refrigerator. Now, I knew that it was VERY full, which is why I was very careful putting the lid on. But when I got it to refrigerator, it had slopped and dripped all the way across the floor and into the fridge. And of course, all the way back to the counter.

So I decided to pour some into another container, which is when the rebellion went wild. The original container had a pouring spout! I poured slowly! Why then did several cups of broth end up all over my counter, down the side of the cabinet, even enough to be sloshing in my silverware drawer?? Can someone answer that for me!!

Last night's allotted knitting time was spent sanitizing my kitchen. I don't want to talk about it any more.

Keep knitting!!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

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