Archive for April, 2009

April 21, 2009

Eureka!

I’ve picked up the Super Secret Project again. After the day where I played Baron Munchausen, I realized that the last piece of yarn I attached to finish off the last panel was not, in fact, wool. The room I was in when I was doing the hunt-and-splice bit doesn’t have the best light, and I pulled this fairly long bit of yarn out of my scraps bag, and it looked like the right color (natural), and I don’t have any other natural-colored scraps of the same weight, so I just figured it must be the right thing, right? And it seemed to felt together nicely, so it must have been wool!

The next time I took it out of the bag, it was pretty obvious I was wrong. The very last bit was actually white, not natural, and the last bit of the wool had kind of felted around the white (which must be the cheap acrylic stuff I used to make Thing One’s Hallowe’en costume a couple years ago). Ooops. So, I took that out and added on some of my WOTA. It’s a prototype. It doesn’t have to be pretty.

Now I’ve got my panels all put together, but I have some more work I need to do with something non-felting, and I’ve been agonizing over how to go about attaching it, and how to get it to work right, and I just couldn’t figure anything out. This morning, when I should have been getting ready to go to work, I pulled out the project, cut out a piece of scrap fabric and pinned it where the non-felted knitting is supposed to go, and just looked at it for a while. Then I did some measuring and hemming and hawing, until I finally just thought, “Short rows!” Seriously, with the exclamation point and everything.

I’m sure I’d considered short rows already, but discarded the idea as unworkable. Probably because however I was thinking of using them then would have been unworkable. But I think I’ve got it now. I’m doing a sample piece, not attached to the project, to make sure I’ve got the idea right, but once I have my numbers correct and it all looks good, it shouldn’t take long to do these last little bits and then throw it some hot water and see what happens.

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April 17, 2009

It’s perfect!

I am an inveterate and veteran web-surfer. I’ve been spending far too much time following links for at least fifteen (hmm, maybe fourteen) years. Ravelry does not help this. It starts out innocently enough. I look at my friends’ activity. Of course, the only person who has any activity on there is the lovely Triskellian, so that doesn’t take me long, even on days when she has a lot of activity. So then I look at her friends’ activity. And that’s when it all starts to get out of control. I start looking at patterns people I’ve never heard of have put on their queues, and finding new yarns that I just really want to get my hands on, and new on-line magazines and . . . two hours later, my queue and favorites pages well filled (in fact, I have completely emptied my queue in a fit of pique recently and need to refill it), I’ll have gotten absolutely no paying work or knitting done.

Another thing I really like about Ravelry (and yes, as much as I might complain about wasted time, I do like surfing the ‘site), that I’ve had a chance to witness a lot with all this surfing, is the comments people leave about patterns. My absolute favorites are where someone will say, “Oh, I ❤ this pattern! It’s faboo! Absolutely perfect! I’m going to make it in a different color, with a different yarn, and I’m going to make the ribbing an inch longer and turn it into a cardigan and I think I’ll add a cable detail to the neckline! It’s perfect!” Okay, so I exaggerate. But not by much. And you know it’s true.

Now, let me tell you about my new favorite pattern and how I’m going to do it differently . . .

April 4, 2009

Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I’m delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.*

You know that scene from The Adventures of Baron Munchausen where they’re coming back from the moon, and they’ve run out of rope at the bottom, so the Baron ties on a new length, and Berthold (I think it’s Berthold) asks where he got it, and the Baron explains, rather huffily, that he cut it off the top, of course? (Insert a similar scene from a Warner Brothers cartoon if you haven’t seen Munchausen, and then go rent the movie.)

I kind of feel like I’ve been doing that.

I was almost finished with the last panel on the Super Secret project, and I ran out of the Bare yarn. So . . . I fished some cut off ends out of my scrap yarn bag, and did spit splices. (My good spouse was in the shower, so he didn’t have to be witness to me “doing something gross.”) Then I ran out of yarn. I cut off the long tails left from casting on and did some more spit splices. I’m finally finished, and I have two little pieces left I could have spliced on if I’d become terribly desperate. They’re about two inches and two and a half inches long. And it was a near thing, too.

I’m going to use the Wool of the Andes I have to join the panels and do whatever else I decide I need to do with wool. It’s a prototype. It doesn’t have to look pretty. Although I think it still will look nice, just not quite how I picture the actual finished project.

I’m pretty sure that a single hank of the Bare will be enough to do the whole project. I have four gauge-type swatches that were necessary for designing, but someone doing the project by itself will probably only need one. We’ll see. I like the idea that it could be a single-ball project. Even though it won’t quite, because it’ll need a ball of non-feltable yarn, too, but it’ll be close.

*From The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.