Monday, September 11, 2006

It's All My Fault

I am delighted to announce that Dallas Schulze is joining Romancing The Yarn. Dallas is a writer and a yarnaholic and although I can't take credit for the former I am proud to take full responsibility for the latter.

Three years ago the Knitting Obsession took over my life. Suddenly I ate, breathed, and slept yarn. I dreamed about long rows of stockinette. It was the era of the novelty yarn scarf and I indulged every glitzy over-the-top 21st century DYNASTY-meets-Vogue Knitting fantasy I ever had. Carry-along sequins? Bring 'em on. Fluffy pom pom carry-alongs? Why not. Eyelash yarn in every color of the rainbow? Hey, since when does good taste have anything to do with it.

I went from no stash to serious stash in the blink of an eye but the one thing I didn't have was somebody to talk to about this fiber addiction.
Okay. I'm lying. I didn't just want to talk fiber addiction, I wanted somebody to share it.

So what are best friends for? I decided to lure Dallas Schulze back to the Dark Side. Dallas was a former knitter who had abandoned sticks and strings for the Lure of the Quilt but I was positive that once she entered the modern era of knitting nirvana she would forsake Baltimore Albums forever.

And I have the email proof, circa October 2003.

From Barbara to Dallas:

I mean, it isn't like I don't have enough to do. It isn't like I'm such a wonderful knitter that I can veer off the straight needle path and start experimenting.

But when did logic or good sense ever stop me? I tried knitting with four dp needles. I needed scissors to undo the mess. (I could try for sympathy and tell you it was my lack of manual dexterity, that maybe some day in the future I'll have the flexibility again to manage those tiny little toothpicks, but I'd be lying. I just plain stunk at it. Needles were rolling under the sofa. I sat on one. I stepped on another. It was a disaster.)

So there I was, poking around on the web and what do I find but a devious website clearly designed in hell. What's worse than using 4 dp needles to try to make a sock? Using TWO FREAKING CIRCS to make a sock . . . or, even more diabolical, ONE FREAKING 40" CIRC!!!!

Oh God. It was pathetic. I understand it in theory. The Magic Loop makes sense. So do the two circs. But just try it. Go on. I dare you. Try to hold everything in place without developing the most hideous gigantic yawning gap where nice neat stitches should be.

From Dallas to Barbara:

I checked out your sock knitting sites. It does look interesting. Having never tried any real knitting in the round - I've used circular needles but only to knit back and forth - I don't know how hard it would be avoid having a gap but I know I sometimes get a loose stitch at the end of a row of straight knitting so I can't imagine I'd avoid the gap here. I'd love to try it though. I have a bundle of dp needles that belonged to Art's mom. Maybe I'll give this a try sometime next year.

From Barbara to Dallas:

Can you =believe= that yarn? I swear you have to knit it with toothpicks! I've joined a few knitting lists to see what people are talking about and almost died when a group of them admitted to knitting with size 000 needles. Can you believe triple zeroes?? I'm very intimidated by that fine yarn and then when you compound it with the puzzle/torture of juggling four needles at the same time--well, it's too much for me right now.

There's another package on its way to you. I found out I had doubles on The Magic Loop booklet. I think you'll love it. There's even a sock pattern in it, a couple actually. The yarn is self-striping so all you have to do is cast on and start knitting. (Which is always easier said than done.)

I had one of those YIKES moments when I realized all the thought and effort that goes into making socks and then you stick them on feet, for God's sake, and then stuff those feet into shoes and then wash the poor socks in a -- gasp! -- washing machine! If I ever manage to make a pair, I swear I'm gonna frame 'em.

I'm hoping to make a scarf and sweater for Roy for Christmas. I have the yarn. I have the needles. I know I can finish the scarf but I'm not sure I'll be able to get the sweater finished in time. It's from a Berroco
pattern leaflet, very modern looking which isn't always his choice. Unfinished, rolled neckline--I'm really not sure what he'll think about that.

From Dallas to Barbara:

The yarn got here a couple of days ago. It looks really neat. Thank you! It's so tiny. What do you knit this with - eyelashes? I don't think I've ever done any knitting with yarn this fine. It should be interesting. Are
there instructions for these striped socks on line? I haven't looked yet as I figure I won't be tackling this project until some time after the first of the year.

And that was three years ago, before we really went around the woolly bend. We can literally spend hours talking yarn on the phone. We can spend megabytes discussing it in email. Just say the words "Emily Ocker's circular cast-on" and see what happens.

The photos you see are just a tiny, tiny (poorly photographed by yours truly) glimpse at Dallas's wonderful needlework. I can show you things that would make you weep, they're so beautiful.

But better than that, I hope she'll show you herself in her first post.

(Psst, Dallas: if you don't tell anyone how much I've spent at Elann, I won't tell anyone how much you've spent. Deal?)



Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

So, Barbara, did you really frame the first pair of socks you knitted? :-)

11:02 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Nancy, I'm trying to figure out which pair actually qualifies as the official first. The straight needle Seaburys? The felted Seaburys? The first pair on double points? The first pair on Magic Loops? I think the first pair on double points is the actually winner but they're so ugly I try to pretend I'm not responsible. The knitting itself was fine but oh my God what awful yarn. I was following a terrific slouch sock pattern from Jil Eaton that was geared toward worsted weight (I was still afraid of teeny tiny yarn) so I grabbed what I had on hand: truly ugly squeaky ombre acrylic with very short pattern repeats. The socks ended up looking like a TV test pattern.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

"Emily Ocker's circular cast-on."

*waits patiently* =)

1:29 PM  

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