Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chaos Theory

Well, actually the blog title is a misnomer. There is nothing theoretical about the chaos that currently abounds in our snug little house. I am surrounded in my nest area with project flotsam: things waiting to be mended, things waiting to be finished, yarn ready to start. Nothing is at hand that I can just pick up and knit except the Dragon Shawl. Everywhere I look there is stuff that is complicated. (Let's not count the dishes and the laundry right now, OK?)

Ah, the Dragon Shawl! This is the shawl that I signed on to make for the Shawl Contest at Northcoast Knittery. Well, I truly bit off a choke-worthy bite there! I finally got it going, and so far I am pleased, but it is so utterly complicated that there is no way I can finish it in time. I could try to knit something else, but that would mean unpicking what I have done and finding another suitable project. I am too distracted to do the latter and I will walk off the North Jetty before I do the former. It took me too long to start. This means I am out of the race for the Shawl Contest. Oh well. Better get out my check book--got some yarn to pay for.

In the mean time, I had good news about my contest scarf I made last Spring. I entered it into the Humboldt County Fair and the scarf got a blue ribbon for it's category! Yay! I admit I was not expecting ANY prize so this was a treat and a surprise. I can only liken it to the time I picked up a Microbiology midterm in college--the one I thought I hadn't done well on--only to find that I got 100%. The TA asked me if there was anything wrong when he saw the look on my face and I could only stammer, "Uh, no, I guess not!" Am I unhappy about my ribbon? Uh, no, I guess not! Here is the lovely scarfie in situ:

The fair was fun--hubby and I looking at the art and the beasties. There was one really odd phenomenon. Some of the sheared sheep were dressed in spandex unitards--sheepitards, really. I am sure there is a reason and the more knowledgeable folks out there know why, but they looked like sheep aerobics instructors, or in this case like a Lucha Libre (Lucha Sheepre??) wrestler:

Maybe when I finally do some spinning and learn more about fleeces, sheep costumes will make more sense. Until then, it is a curiosity. Yet another thing to look into in Humboldt County!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

In Case of Emergency...Cast On!!

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Inside my knitting bag, I have an emergency project. This particular project functions much like an earthquake preparedness kit or a car emergency kit. I have needles, pattern, yarn and notions for a project that is not too taxing to start or work on. Why do I have this? Well, my knitting bag goes with me practically everywhere. This means that there is a likelihood it will be with me if I ever get stuck somewhere--trapped in an elevator, stranded on a side road in a car on a side road waiting for a tow truck, idling in an airport waiting for someone.

I broke into my project this week. I am at my wit's end, knittingwise. I have a bad case of knitpotence right now; I have a contest shawl to knit and I am having a hard time with it. I kept bringing to knitting group and was repeatedly asked "Is that all you've done, yet?" Well, yes and no. (we're talking a cast-on row and that's all). What doesn't show is that I have cast the stupid thing 5 TIMES. I get it going and find an egregious mistake, so I rip it out and start again. and again, and again...

I needed to reboot my brain something awful, so I broke out the Emergency Project--another lace smoke ring. I have made three and I practically don't need to look at the chart anymore. I can recharge my needle confidence at work with the smaller, easier project. I am feeling both low and militant and even a wee bit dire right now. I have a complicated shawl to knit and have lost half the contest time just trying to get it started. I know I can do it, but do I have the time? I am not so sure anymore.

Still, Hubby is out of town as of this morning. This means I am on my own for a few days. Despite the nice weather I am staying in with the DVD player and KNITTING. I am blogging this to "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" on DVD while I eat Hawaiian BBQ. This is my lunch break. I started the shawl with the first LOTR movie, took a break and then will continue through "Return of the King" today and then a new long series tomorrow. I have laid in food and treats. My plan is to get some inroads on the shawl and maybe the project will start to take off as these things often do.

Time will tell if this weekend will be productive or an ice-cream-filled Lost Weekend ending in knitting despair. Wish me luck!!