Thursday, November 09, 2006

Yo, I'm back in the game!

At last I've got sense! You may remember (any of you with particularly long and healthy recollection patterns) that AGES ago, right at the start of the KAL, I announced my intention of tackling a rather demanding Alice Starmore design - her Eriskay sweater - in an exceptionally fine red cashmere (I used it double, but it still felt like sewing thread).

I worked away diligently, and got a whole four rows done (about 1 millionth of a micron in length) and then mistakenly left it unattended while Muffy was about. You don't want to be reminded of the result. Your gentle minds can take only so much horror.

I revived my flagging interest, wound up another ball and started again. I took it with me on trains, on buses, worked day and night. After a fortnight I had got to a couple of centimetres on the ribbing (should have announced a public holiday for that, shouldn't they?). Then I noticed something.

It may not be immediately evident in this picture, but down there to the right of the loose loop there is a gap. A gap which goes right back to the cast on edge. A stitch had been dropped and gone all the way down. Now to pick this up would take a very fine crochet hook indeed, bright daylight (it was past midnight when I noticed it) and a great deal of patience.

What would you have done?

I got one of those blinding moments of revelation. What was I wasting life, in all its beauty, all its diversity, on this for? Just so I could face up to Alice Starmore if I happened to meet her on some Hebridean laneway? (She'd probably run me down in her four-wheel-drive). Get sense, girl. So I did. I took the poor little thing down to the frogpond, gently coaxed it back to its origins, and rewound the ball. The fine needles I tucked in the bottom of my needle box.

Then I remembered crocheting a small vest in the same red cashmere a couple of years ago, using the thread not doubled, not trebled, but quintupled. I went in search of it (it had never really looked good, so had been stashed away). Another trip to the frogpond. Then a session with the niddy-noddy.

I have to say the vest looks a lot better here than it did in real life. If I'd seen this picture I'd probably have fallen for it all over again and this chapter would end right now! But it didn't, so I didn't. Skeined it up, gave it a gentle wash to get rid of the kinks, and it's now hanging to dry.

In the meantime, brought the doubled yarn up to five-strength and cast on for a NEW RED SWEATER PROJECT.

It's going to be a blend of this, from Best of Knitter's Celtics and Arans...

and this split-front from Moda Dea for which I don't have the pattern so for which I will be flying by instinct. No, I know it isn't traditional. I feel like making something different for a change. I'm sick of regular sweaters. I want something that's FUN. And already I'm almost done on the ribbing (which isn't ribbing but moss stitch). With 6mm needles, YAY! Gosh it feels good to be back in normality land. NOW I can catch up. (I know, I know, Anne and Laura, it isn't a competition, but there is such a thing as being rather too far behind. Heck, I was so far back some of you were coming round for the second time and passing me out!)

I might go back to that Starmore Eriskay sometime. It really is beautiful. Perhaps if I'm bedbound for a month or two, or put inside for a stretch for murdering someone (Starmore?) If you do see me featured in a homicide on TV, will you make sure to drop in the circular needles and the yarn? Thanks.



prairiegirl said...

Thank you, thank you Jo for giggle in a rather dreary day! I know, I shouldn't chuckle at your misadventures, but your cheery optimism was lovely. I hate frogging things more than anything so my usual way of dealing with a disaster is to tuck it away deep down in a box and hide it from my view. You are an inspiration!

Chris said...

You go girl! I'm soooo impressed with your wonderful post! It gives me hope and it made me smile! yay!

Laura said...

You were so unhappy with that Starmore that I'm glad you ripped it out and started something else with the yarn. You go, girl! And no, it's *not* a race. Silly thing. ;-)