Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Yes, I finshed in Time

Here's the Knitting Olympics project, completed on the night of Thursday the 16th and blocked by Friday morning, but the weekend was very busy and I neglected to post about it. What's that you say? "A likely story!" No, I really did! I just didn't have time to post before now. I have earned the gold medal. Isn't it cute?

This has been quite a learning experience for me. The first few days were so rocky, with constant mistakes and frogging, that I would probably have quit (or, as I would have preferred to say, "set it aside for now") if I hadn't committed to keep trying for the two week period. Even after I was well into it, there would be a day of good progress when I would think, "I've got the hang of it now", followed by a day when nothing went right. There was no time when I felt really in control. At first I had a hard time following the pattern, simple as it was, but then after it was memorized, it was still necessary stay constantly alert. In other words, this never settled down into a comfortable knit, and I was never certain of finishing at all, let alone before the deadline. Yet, at the end of all that struggling, I finished early, and lo there is lace!

Before blocking, it looked just like a textured rib, and I feared that it would stay that way, but once wet it spread out beautifully and really looks like lace. I give credit to the Filatura di Crosa, which I considered very pricey, but it's proven to be a truly superior yarn. No thick or thin spots, soft yet strong, it never threatened to break when the wet threads were stretched, and not a hint of dye came out in the wash. I would definitely buy it again for a special project.

There was a dispute with a cat as to property rights on the scarf while it was blocking. My first idea was to use my daughter's bed for this job, since there's a door I can close to keep the cats out, but the scarf was too long for the bed, so I had to take a chance on the dining room table with extensions added. I'm pleased to say I defended my handiwork against all comers, with the help of a spray-bottle of water. At least until I went to bed. Then the feline claim was reasserted, but only a few of the pins in the center came out, so not much harm was done.

Remember how I agonized over length and width? I kept asking my husband, "Is it too narrow? What do you think? Is it long enough? Maybe too long?" and he would just stare at me like Norman Bates's mother. Well, it really is too narrow for my original idea, but my daughter likes it the way it is, so it will not be reknit. It's eight feet long and works well in one of those pashmina-type knots, where you first fold the scarf in half, put it over your neck, and slip the ends through the loop. It could also pass as a stole as long as you don't expect it to actually cover anything. Oh, and it only took two balls of yarn. For future reference, I think four would be more than enough to make the wider stole.

How did everybody else do? I'd love to hear.

The cool wine colour of the yarn doesn't quite match the warmer wine of the dress, but in candlelight after a couple of drinks, will anyone care? I'm just going to sit and admire my gold medal.


Ashley said...

You mean there's an actual name for the "fold the scarf in half and loop it through" thing! I never knew that. I learned something new today. I finished, but barely. Being out of town and killing my hand last Wednesday really didn't help matters.

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

It's gorgeous! what a pretty pattern and I love the color.

I finished my shawl on time too, but it's a much simpler pattern and I never actually entered the competition, just knit along for fun.

Ashley said...

Wow... you so read my mind. haha. Actually I was going to get it to put on my blog, but sometimes it takes me awhile and I don't like to be rushed by members of my family who always seem to want on when I'm doing important "blog stuff". I have it up now though, the funny thing is that right after I put it up I read your comment.