The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Who Says the Knitting Gods Don't Have Pity?

Either that, or the evil bastards have enough pride to stop short of messing with the truly feeble-minded. Consider the evidence:
1. I decided to make an evening wrap for an important event.
2. I had a deadline of a week and a half, while working a full time job.
3. I had no pattern whatsoever, so no idea how much yarn I might need.
4. I selected a yarn from my stash that can no longer be purchased, and I only had six balls of it.
5. I used giant knitting needles that I absolutely hate, so as to assure the highest ratio of mistakes to hours knitted possible.
6. I decided exactly 8 hours before the show, with one ball of yarn left, to add fringe to the damned thing.

And yet:

See? I think the knitting gods just kind of shook their collective heads in disgust....because where's the fun in hunting if the victim stands in front of you dressed in the latest from Targets International? And you know, you absolutely KNOW, that had I been making the wrap for a not-terribly-important even that was six months out, and had I been using a tried-and-true pattern with yarn requirements clearly delineated, and had I purchased yarn just for the wrap from a new line that was certain to continue to be available--and bought two more balls than I would need, and had I knitted and washed a gauge swatch (sometimes I really crack myself up--me, a gauge swatch--giggle, snort), and had I been using a needle size that I enjoy that makes it easy to see mistakes BEFORE they're gaping holes....well. You know what would have happened. I would have ended up with a disastrous garment reaching new heights of ugly, that was four inches too short, that had a glaring mistake right in the very middle, and I would have run out of yarn just as every single yarn store in the tri-state area simultaneously ran out and decided not to ever carry it again. Or not until the week after event, anyway.

That said, it was a close thing. Mr. K felt that yesterday would be a good day to go hot tub shopping....just as I made the wildly stupid decision to cut the remaining ball of yarn into glittery, pieces and thread them in little bunches through the ends of the finished shawl.

There's a story there, too, by the way--a story involving the hot tub that came with the house and a small, non-critical leak, and a local hot tub company and its repairfolk who somehow felt that it was a good decision to cut out parts of the hot tub and then not be able to get it back together, thus leaving us with a giant, expensive, useless, empty bowl in a deck with a gaping hole and a serious grudge against the folks responsible who now, in a stunning underestimation of our level of frustration and willingness to seek legal recourse, will not return our calls. It's been a bit disappointing...if you understand "disappointing" to mean "I think they're a bunch of lying, stealing, cheating bastards and they could kiss my lily white ass except they'd probably break it and not be able to get it back together."

Life being what it is, I knew there was no way we would get home with enough time to finish the wrap AND get dressed to go and, since I didn't think it right to show up at the Teatro Zinzanni (which was where I bought tickets to take Mr. K for his birthday, by the way) wearing nothing but a pair of high heels and a glittery wrap, no matter how stunningly finished the wrap, I opted to work on the fringe in the car.

Now, I am not normally prone to motion sickness of any kind; however, "I'll just finish up this fringe in the car" apparently translates to the stomach as "what say we just kick everyone out?" because we weren't halfway there when started to feel like I was on a boat on a rolling sea, and my eye sockets started to feel sweaty. Not a good sign. It was at this point that Mr. K helpfully pointed out that it would be just like the knitting gods to let me finish the thing with mere hours to spare...and then barf on it. Given that I rather suspect it is difficult to get barf out of mohair, I'm rather relieved to say that we avoided that problem. Mostly by looking rather desperately out the window every couple of blocks, and by whimpering pathetically in the hopes of gleaning some sort of pity from the powers that be--but hey. Whatever works.

While it is true that there was a somewhat disturbing pavlovian effect for a few hours in that I felt like vomiting every time I looked at the fringed wrap, that did pass. I ended up weaving in the ends as we sat at the hot tub place and Mr. K filled out the paperwork to purchase the new one (NOT from the people who sold the last one to the previous owner of our house)and I got lots of practice with those polite answers as people milled around asking if I was crocheting and did I like it. Which, incidentally, I didn't at that particular moment.

It is a bit ironic (and perhaps the tiny joke that the knitting gods just couldn't resist) that I took up knitting because I don't love the look of most crochet (no offense if you love it--I admit that I'm a bit of a heathen on this subject) and the evening wrap that threatened to take my soul ended up looking...well...crocheted. I think it best not to speak of this.

In the end, all was well. You can see that I look a tad bit, well, strained:

but Mr. K looked absolutely wonderful:

He did mention something about getting a close-up shot of the wrap for my which I replied "Are you KIDDING? These are knitters. Real knitters. You can only show them close-up photos of knitted things if you didn't screw them up six ways from Sunday. I mean, muggles, sure. But not KNITTERS." Which brings me to a tip for you on this fine, Sunday morning: Book on tape + important lace project with a deadline seems like a really good idea but actually equals a very large assortment of numbers of stitches at the ends of the rows and some major potty language. Just a word to the wise.

The moral of the story is this: if you're going to tempt the knitting gods, go all the way. One less stupid decision in this project and I'm pretty sure I'd have ended up going in a three foot semi-wrap with the rest of the yarn duct taped to my shoulders. I'm sure no one would have noticed.

p.s. We did have a really great time. And not just because I was done with the damned wrap.


  • At 7:42 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    Wrap looks great, I would like to see close-ups, and we would never pick holes, you know those mistakes are there, we may not spot them, glad you had a good time, you look fabulous!

  • At 8:31 AM, Blogger Terri said…

    Thank goodness I finished my coffee before I read this! It would have been all over the keyboard. Remember, they are NEVER mistakes, they're design elements. The shawl looks great, you looked beautiful and just remember one thing. No knitting near the jets on the new hot tub.

  • At 8:35 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Stunning Sweetheart, absolutely stunning! I too would love to see a close up...not to search for mistakes (give me a break) but to really see those gorgeous colours!

    What a beautiful couple of gussied up humanbeans! Seriously.
    So glad you had such a lovely evening and that you got the wrap completed! on time.....

    A very Happy Birthday to you, Mr.K, and sending you all sorts of fabulous birthday wishes to do with as you will...wishing you many many more as well! XOX

  • At 9:17 AM, Blogger ambermoggie said…

    absolutely gorgeous, told you you could do it:) Hope you had a wonderful evening and happy birthday Mr K

  • At 10:52 AM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Jo "pick holes" very good ! Anyhow it looks lovely .Happy birthday to mr. K too b.t.w. I often find the um-planned things turn out best .I get so nervous planning and carefully following patterns I am bound to mes up. Barf and mohair are a terrible combo so glad you made it !

  • At 11:47 AM, Blogger Lynn said…

    You both look terrific. And if you decide that you don't want to lawyer up on those bozos, just call in the Spafather to make them an offer they can't refuse.

  • At 12:13 PM, Blogger J. Denae said…

    I agree with Terri: no mistakes, just improvised design improvements. You do look great!

  • At 12:36 PM, Blogger Dianne said…

    Very beautiful Ms.K..both you and the wrap!!

  • At 12:49 PM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    Very classy wrap! And such a cute couple out on a hot birthday date!

    Plus, I am so happy to see you back in the comment world! :o)

  • At 2:52 PM, Blogger Kit said…

    Though I don't agree with the whole 'design element' idea, at least it's done and you look fabulous (do I spy a glimpse of triumph as well in your strained smile?) and you have learned a little more. ;)

  • At 10:45 AM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Oh heck, you look gorgeous too, sweetie. (Although I agree on Mr. K looking wonderful. Reminds me of Sam Elliot. *sigh* I hope he likes Sam Elliot. [g]) But seriously, you're looking great - if a tad strained - and yes, we do want to see the wrap closely anyway (do you realize you have Mr. K, bless him, trained re knitting blog pix, btw?), and the toot ensemble of the whole is darned snazzy! Hope you had fun at the actual event, hot tubs or no hot tubs. Happy belated birthday, Mr. K!

  • At 12:36 PM, Anonymous marti said…

    I think that after all the trials and tribulations that you have had this year, you deserved a break from the knitting gods!

  • At 2:19 PM, Blogger nic the phleb said…

    You look maaaavalous!! And, happy belated birthday to you both! Bet you didn't know I spy on your little soap opera....but I gotta get my laughs when I can around here!

  • At 8:25 PM, Blogger Faren said…

    I forgot to comment on this post!
    The wrap looks wonderful, and so do you guys! It is so nice to get gussied up once in a while.


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