Another Hobby Blog

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Price of...

Lack of Planning?
All of the above.

Can you spot at least two things wrong in this picture?

I'll give you a minute to think about it while I tell you the story.

Y'see, I'd just finished the shawl, and was riding the bubble of my Knitting Olympic Gold Medal Success... (success)
and I really hate going out somewhere with no knitting to keep my hands busy. (fidgettiness)

We'd made plans to meet up with a friend for lunch and maybe do something like see a movie, so I grabbed for a bag of knitting to take with me, but discovered that my various projects on needles were all at stages of development that made them unsuitable for knitting in public during conversation.
The Mystery Shawl requires following a chart.
The alpaca feather-fan laceweight needs to be ripped back a bit to repair a problem.
The driving mitts need their cast-off edges ripped back and re-done.
The Sockapaloooza pattern swatch requires graph paper, good lighting, and some uninterupted time.
The tea cozy is still embryonic.
Fishes require shaping.
Most of the quick 'make anything with it' yarn are in skeins and require ball winding first.
The Stripey Scarf got blocked and declared finished.
The Pop-Up Paws need finger shaping and constant fittings.
The random-color sock #1 just turned the heel and will need fittings, pattern writing (to ensure the success of random-color sock #2) and toe shaping soon and probably won't keep me busy all afternoon.
The yarn for random-sock #2, whose cuff could be knit in a simple 2x2 rib for many inches without worry has been misplaced. I'd need to find a spare #2 circular, and I'd need to cast on.
(lack of planning + disorganization)

Realizing that we're already running late for our agreed meeting time, I grab the two closest things at hand. (impatience)

I end up with the embryonic tea cozy and the random-color sock.

(side 1)

(side 2)

Maybe I should have cast on stitches for the tea cozy at the lunch table. .. but the restaurant was pretty crowded, so I worked a few rows on the random-color sock instead.

We did see a movie after lunch: The Three Burials of Malchiades Estrada. It did not, in fact, have Antonio Banderas in it. Nor was it about hit-men. I think the movie reviews got confused somewhere along the way.

When we got to our seats, the houselights were already off, the previews were rolling, and there were actually quite a few patrons in the audience. Casting on stitches for the tea cozy was no longer an option. Should have done it at lunch. (lack of planning)

So I pulled out the random-color sock. (fidgetiness)

After all, it's just a 2x1 rib pattern in the round for the next few rows. It's on a circular needle, so I won't have to worry about stitches falling off the points of the fallow dp's. And it's fingering weight--I'll be able to feel the stitches under my fingertips. I should be able to knit it just fine in the dark. (hubris)

True, I'll have to stop when it's long enough that I should start the toe-shaping, but with fingering weight, that's quite a few stitches, and I still have a couple of inches to go... (first hint of trouble: rationalization)

I manage a few rounds with no problem. (success)

...and then I feel a tension problem with one of the stitches. I don't want to pull out my key-chain light because of all the other people sitting nearby. I figure it's probably a stitch that on the previous row got knitted into the row below. I'll knit it as if it were normal, and then when the movie's over, I'll just drop down that column and fix the problem. (second hint of trouble: denial)

Of course, I wouldn't get the chance to see this problem until after the houselights came back on. Since I knew where it was by feel, though, I took one of those handy plastic clip markers and slipped it into the problem stitch so it would be easy to find after the movie.

I kept knitting. (fidgettiness)

Do you know the sinking feeling you get when you realize that the needle you just pulled suddenly has no more friction on it? none at all? as if what you did just then was not pulling the needle forward through the stitches so that the stitches slid onto the cord, but rather pulling on the wrong needle so that the stitches all fell freely into space?

It's an even more profound feeling in the dark.

I'd had two stitch markers on that needle.. one was a plastic clip kind, the other was handmade and beaded. I hadn't heard the beaded marker hit the floor...

I checked my lap. I checked my seat. I risked the dropped popcorn and spilled drink spooge to check the floor for as far as I could feel. No stitch marker. Vanished.

I resisted the urge to pull out my handy key-chain light. (It was a gift from the boyfriend last year at Christmastime. I bet he didn't realize how appreciated it would be!) I figured I could look for it again when the houselights came back on.

With a heavy sigh I oh-so-carefully gathered up the random-color sock and the ball of yarn to tuck them back into my knitting bag.

In doing so, I found the missing stitchmarker. .. did you?

...that's not the proper way to use a closed-ring stitch marker!

I enjoyed the movie, btw. Thank goodness, because it would have been torture to sit through a movie I hated with no knitting for solace!


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