Saturday, February 13, 2010

That Darn Cat!

Oh, dear! Kitty is in the napkin basket again!

Good thing daddy is at work! He doesn't like to see Kitty on the dining room table!

Please view a Sweet Little Nothing that was dragged around the house by the innocent looking cat in the basket! It's supposed to be a shrug for my oldest daughter and was progressing nicely. It's a very easy top down raglan. I made it more challenging to knit by buying a $15 ball of Metallic FX by Berrocco to add a little bling. What you can't see is the tangled knotted useless mess the Metallic FX is right now. It's too depressing to show you. Sigh. The one day I leave the door of my yarn room open, the kitty cat seizes the opportunity to grab the daintily threaded sequin ball and drag it 50 feet out into the living room! Needless to say I have no hope of restoring this project or ever finishing it.

When I told my friends at work about the kitty sequin yarn disaster they suggested I just buy another $15 ball of sequin yarn and keep going. Don't they know about dye lots! Much less the psychological trauma of being foiled by a cat!

" Mmmmm....I love eating yarn." That Darn Cat!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I am a poor purler and a cheater

I admit it: I am a poor purler! Here is my rendition of the superb pattern by Jackie of JL Yarnworks: Hermione's Cable & Eyelet Hat. It took me over a year to screw up the courage to try this hat. Why? Because I was a poor purler. Yes, you read it right: poor purler. Why so poor a purler? Well, let's go back about 35 years to 4-H, where I learned to knit. I had a lovely teacher who was an accomplished knitter. I do not blame her for my weird purling habit. First of all, I never gained the dexterity needed to hold both needles up at the same time. Well, what do you do with the other needle? You stick it between your thighs! Weird, huh? Yep, I let my thighs hold the left hand needle while I knit or purled the stitches off holding the right needle. So, a year ago when I decided to start knitting again, I knew it was time to grow up and hold the needles correctly. It took several garter stitch projects to get the hang of it, but I did it! Then I made some projects requiring purling. Although my stitches looked ok, I could feel that I wasn't purling effectively and quickly. So I looked up purling on You Tube. I am a continental style knitter, German style, if you will. I love it. It's efficient and fast. So, the Hermione Hat is my first knitting project where I knit and purled correctly the whole project. It turned out better than I expected.

Now, I also confess that I am a cheater! I have a lot of knitting hangups to get over and using double pointed needles is one of them. So....when this project decreased to the point of needing dpns I used a 9" circular! Bet you didn't know they even make these little babies! Well, unfortunately for me, 9" is still too big to go all the way down to 5 little stitches. So I cheated. I ended early. There it is. I feel so much better for telling you! I ran the yarn around and back twice when there were still 10 stitches left! You can't even tell, can you?

So, this project was a real milestone for me. Here's my list of brave deeds for this project: purling correctly; yarnovers; and cables. I guess making this project made me braver for whatever is to come next. I'm not afraid of endless stockinette stitch now and maybe instead of calling it cheating, I'll call my compromising efforts innovative coping strategies.