Thursday, December 04, 2008

And Quietly Gets Swallowed By a Wave

I mentioned knitting on the trip home, but I neglected to specify what I was knitting: Eunny Jang's Print o' the Wave stole.

I wanted something portable, complex enough to be diverting, simple enough to be worked in company, and long enough to fill up the whole voyage. Plus, the idea of knitting waves while surrounded by them appealed to my sense of poetry.

The stole answered on all counts. I cast on at O'Hare and worked about three repeats before landing at Heathrow. Then it sat untouched until we got on the bus to Southampton. By the time we disembarked in Brooklyn, I was up to the tenth repeat or so.

That's when I noticed that in the fifth repeat, I had neatly eliminated one of the three rows of faggot stitch in the "trellis" that separates the the leftmost motif from the others. It was a beautiful move, truly–practically invisible. You never saw the like. There were three rows in the trellis, and then–poof!–there were two. Magical.

I looked at it for quite some time in wonderment, before getting up and going to the window and yelling quite a selection of vile, hateful things about the shawl to people passing by on the street. I think I suggested that the shawl was descended in the maternal line from a lady dog. I distinctly recall accusing it of having done something unspeakable to its own mother.

Happily, as I live on the fifteenth floor and had the window shut, nobody heard any of this except possibly my next door neighbors, and they don't bother to call the police any more.

So I ripped back and re-knit. I'm not sure how I managed it, since I hadn't put in lifelines, but I did. Maybe the shawl cooperated because it was afraid I'd start yelling again. (I'm small and quiet, but when roused I can achieve ear-splitting decibel levels.)

I'm exactly halfway up the center now at 17 repeats. It looks good, but I'm encountering pattern fatigue. Some knitters, I know, embrace large stretches of Same. They find it relaxing. I wish I did, but I don't. Too much Same makes me think another hobby might suit me better. Something with more rapid changes of scene, like Bungee jumping.

Mind you, I'm not giving up. I know if I keep on going my mood will shift and I'll fall trulymadlydeeply for the project again. It's a sweet, clever piece I plan to use as an inspirational sample for my lace knitting classes. Still–right now...at this precise moment...

Will it Never End?

Let's just say it's a good thing I can't find the Bungee Cords.

53 comments:

Terri said...

I don't know how you have managed it, but you and the lace both look angry in that photo...

Anonymous said...

WOW - if I were the lace, I'd be very afraid...
Margie in Maryland

Phro5gg said...

Good Lord! That looks like the cover photo for "Knitting In Hell". Knowing you though, maybe that's "Knitting in Heck".

Mary said...

The sweater I'm working on suddenly developed a float where there shouldn't be one. I thought GREAT! I'll bring it in and show my beginning knitting class how to fix it!

Except it disappeared when I went to fix it at the knitting class.

Fortunately one of my students had some in her sweater so I got to show everyone how to drop stitches to fix problems after all.

Ricky said...

My heartfelt sympathies. I too have known the heartache of a simple "missed" leading to lots of "same". Actually one of my current projects is exactly that - hint: it's cables.

Yvonne said...

What a glare - I'm shaking in my shoes over here in the UK!

Hope the experience hasn't spoilt the rest of the trip's memories.

Diana said...

EEK! Hon-dear, that picture looks like "Presented by Tim Burton -'Franklin, Demon Knitter of Chicago!'"

quinn said...

I recommend base jumping. More of a ride. Much.

Geek Knitter said...

Gotta watch out for those small quiet people. My husband is a small quiet person, right up to the point when he begins yelling vile and hateful things. Since we do not live on the 15th floor, the neighbor children are getting quite the vocabulary education!

Patti said...

I'd love to see a better photo of you and the lace, right now it looks like you are BOTH very mad at each other. I know it will pass... btw, I'm terribly easily entertained, I love long simple pattern repeats that allow my simple mind to wander.. maybe I should try that stole...

Anonymous said...

I couldn't help but look at this photo - - - and picture you with your eyebrows dyed in three shades of fuchsia...

kmkat said...

Franklin Habit, suspected Chicago serial killer, displays a blood-stained lace shawl, souvenir from his latest *escapade*. Police still have no clues as to Mr Mr. Habit's whereabouts, but informed sources report recent unconfirmed sightings in the UK.

no-blog-rachel said...

I was going to say something about bloodstained lace too. Has anyone seen Dolores lately?

Anonymous, too said...

Dolores has been in enough roadhouses that she ought to be able to take care of herself.

Harry should be very, very worried though. After all, don't sock yarn and bungee cord kinda look the same?

Beware of small male knitters dropping out of 15th-floor windows with sock yarn tied around their ankles.

Randi said...

There, there, it'll be ok... (soft pat on back)...just let that anger out now...

chellebelle said...

Having felt this way myself.. often, I had to laugh. Actually, I went past the laughing stage straight on into the silently shaking with mirth and glee stage. Luckily, no one was here to witness my hideous hunched expression. Oh how I treasure you!

SJ said...

For a minute, I thought that was Hannibal Lecter with your lace ...

Rebecca said...

Yes, such is a knitter's life - the frogging aspect that is. It is so maddening but we all experience it. And, now I extend my sympathies to you and whisper quietly to your stole that it better beware!

melissaknits said...

Same here causes the famed Startitis, which results in a basket on either side of me, each containing 5 or 6 objects in varying stages of Same. A word we might use to describe their current status would be "languishing". Then suddenly I get bitten by the Same bug, and it becomes comforting to knit Same for a while. Sometimes I reach Finished.

cedar said...

that's one scary look head...lol

laura gayle said...

I recommend watching the film "Wool 100%" one of the characters says "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggh. I have to knit it again!!!"

We can all relate to that.

CatBookMom said...

Perhaps it's something in the air. I spent most of this week knitting a third of a sweater and frogging it
back and doing it again. Twice.

I am determined to get this sweater done for DH by Christmas, and I am now nearly to halfway. My jaw is getting a bit tired from the determination, but I am still knitting.

Mel said...

Isn't the same part of it supposed to be like a Zen exercise? You know - chop wood, knit lace?

Katy said...

Everytime I knit lace, I screw it up, so I'm just in awe of your ability to knit lace.

Perhaps the lace just needed to know who was boss? Can you come talk to the snowman I'm trying to knit? She's being less than cooperative.

Lee said...

oh boy, a decemberists reference!

Uvon said...

Pattern fatigue is the reason why I'm impressed any time I actually complete a scarf. It's also why there are about 5 unfinished scarves in my WIP bin.

AliP said...

"Sameness" is why I love intarsia/stranded/fair isle/whatever the correct term is knitting. Alway a change and patterns take shape before your eyes. Poor you and the lace of no return. :o( You should knit some gloves, pet.

Jasmin said...

Ah, that was my first "real" lace project, which is all your fault. :)

Just an FYI, there's an errata on the edging.

meezermeowmy said...

To quote Elmer Fudd: "Be afwaid, be Vewy afwaid!"

basak said...

poop happens :-)
however, a photo like that does not happen very often. it is well and truly a gallery piece, i tell you! take it out of this blog's context, and i can imagine the unsuspecting audience staring at it for a good couple of minutes trying to get over it.

junior_goddess said...

You need a drink. I don't care if it IS 7:14 local time, you need one.

Concerning your gloves-Cabela's. Or Bass Pro Shops. Now I realize that you won't be hunting anything more than ciabatta in the wilds of the west side, but they have plain, insulated like crazy, kids black gloves. In Children's XL.

Which is one size too big for me.

Knit Purl Gurl said...

Hell hath no fury like a knitter scorned!

Valerie said...

I knitted that pattern back in early '07. It is one of my favorite stoles. However, there is an error in the directions for the edging.

In case you haven't found that yet, the corrections are here

00queue said...

I'm just finishing the edging on one to give a good friend - it is a lot of slogging, but you'll love how it looks!

Rosi G. said...

oy. been there. i knit that shawl in a beautiful, summery schaefer trenna - it's in my rav projects. (did you check errata, btw?)

that freakin edging took me forever + a day!

Alwen said...

I'd be scared if I was that lace!

Verification word is "pyine", someone's pronunciation of "pain"?

Jan E said...

and remember: this is really hard stuff to do. others look at us and shake their heads. on the one hand, we say, it's easy. and it is, basically. but we intentionally complicate it because we revere creating beauty.

and we do it because we like to succeed at challenges and we're in the process of teaching ourselves to perservere in spite of setbacks. the ego side of us wants it to be perfect, the first time. "oh yea...i just dashed this off while i was on vacation." but excellence is another story, ya? keep after it.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Rough Week.

Seanna Lea said...

I have a sweater that just needs some more work on the sleeves that is in exactly the same boat, because I got tired of doing the same lace pattern. Sometimes I feel like that is the real reason for the Aran patterns. Always something new.

Little Knittin' Kitten said...

I completely sympathise! I cast on a sweater (the February Lady's Sweater based on EZ's pattern) just after my wedding in October to be knit while travelling around Japan on my honeymoon. I knit and knit and knit on the 14 hour flight and all the hours of train travel for almost 2 weeks. Then, 2 days before the end of our trip when it was finally long enough to try on (it's a top-down sweater) I discovered that it was too small. Way too small. So there I was, on a train back to Tokyo, ripping my whole sweater apart. Right down to the cast on. I had to start from scratch and it took another week and a half to get back to where I was.

Now I, too, am getting a bit of pattern fatigue, but I'm hanging in there. I'm determined to get this thing done as close to our honeymoon as poosible!

Evelyn said...

Really scary picture!

ellen said...

Yeah - that's the exact expression I get during lace projects. There's nothing as pretty as the finished product, though.

dragon knitter said...

dude, did you bruise your forehead pounding it on the wall in frustration?

that's a very demonic looking pic.

i'm afraid

knithound brooklyn said...

I know the feeling. Alas, waaaayy too often!

chellebelle said...

Oh! I have to tell you! I was searching my library internet server for knitting books (great place for pre-buy look-sees, and out of print gems)and your book is there! I will also add that there were 5 people in line for the 7 books that were already checked out. I, of course, purchased mine ages ago.. Washington county, Oregon (right next to Portland)
loves Franklin!

Rabbitch said...

Darling, it will be perfect. Eunny doesn't deserve to have outrages visited upon her inspirations.

Although I have to tell you, if I found you wrapped in that lace and brandishing a kitchen knife I'd give up the family jewels in an instant -- you're quite terrifying.

This decision would be made easier by the simple fact that the family jewels are attached to the person snoring in the front bedroom, and not to me.

Nelly Olsen said...

You managed to get both "faggot" and "poof" into the same paragraph. Funny guy.

holli said...

Go Franklin, Go. You can do it. It'll be gorgeous.

Ann (yet another) said...

Happy Bodhi Day!

You can meditate upon the lace and contemplate the quiet enlightenment that will come from completing it.

Beverly said...

Oh, how I love that stole! I knit one to wear on my wedding, and I promised to only think happy, joyful things while knitting. It was a wee bit of a challenge at times, but I removed myself when needed in order to not abuse the lace!

Melissa said...

Yikes! Is that a Decemberists song lyric reference I detect in the title? Very appropriate cruise music.

Gail said...

That isn't the red Skacel merino reborn from your first pass at Sharon Miller's Wedding Ring Shawl, is it? Maybe third time will be the charm. (or maybe it's jinxed.) It certainly is a wonderful shade of red.

shihtzuma said...

I am a new reader of your blog, and this is my first comment, so allow me first to say your blog is in my top three. I'm still workinging out the chronology. I have a copy of your new book too and love it.

I just searched on BarnesandNoble.com to see if you have written any novels. You should be! In my humble opinion (I'm no professional in the publishing business), your writing styling is very unique. I would buy your novels in a second.

Just my two cents...and your lace is gorgeous too.