Saturday, September 30, 2006

SOCK HOP Choice & 10 More Things

I hit a couple of speed bumps in my plan to spin the yarn for my Sock Hop project. If all went well, I could have spun up a good 500 yards of fingerling and been ready to cast on tomorrow morning. Really, though, what was I thinking? One must expect the unexpected.

First, I gouged a fingertip with the orifice hook, which is a handy little tool for threading the yarn through to the spindle on the spinning wheel. Who knew that little hook on the end had such a sharp tip? Who knew that finger was such an essential tool in the spinning process? It hurt, and apparently it was my week to be a little whiney baby. With a key finger not functioning properly, I couldn't concentrate. My spinning technique sucked. I created a tangled mess of yarn any cat would be proud to claim.

Then that big strapping bull in the neighbor's pasture started flirting with my Jersey milk cow, bellowing sweet nothings across the fields. She got so hot and bothered she wiped out a 200-foot section of two-strand electric fencing in a successful attempt to break into the next closest pasture to that muscled hunk of beef. That took a while to repair, what with my finger still throbbing and all. Lottie Le Cow has been banished to the far end of the farm until the bull's scheduled sleepover later in October. After that, it was one stupid thing after another -- you know what I mean. We've all had weeks like this.

With the countdown to the October 1 ticking loudly in my mind, I turned to my stash for a Sock Hop project yarn. And really, whatever is a stash for if not to save us from a crisis like this? Surprisingly, it didn't take long to make a choice. In fact, I think it was fate. The right yarn lay in the first bin I opened, a tweedy brown fingerling Socka in 100 percent superwash that I've been hoarding for years, just waiting for the right project. I looked at it and just knew. Its time had come. (And yes, it would wear better with nylon in the blend, but if I think about that too much I'll waffle, get confused, and never get around to casting on.) The tweedy bits are clear blue, green, red, orange, green and yellow, which created a lovely speckled pattern in the gauge swatch I made last night. I'd share pictures, but first I need to borrow a neighbor's child to retrieve the charging cradle for the camera battery from behind my desk. It's a mission that requires contortions no middle-aged woman should attempt. (Like I said, one of those weeks).

And because Barbara's and Dallas' lists started me thinking along those lines, I thought I'd add the following.

10 Things I May Or May Not Have Mentioned Yet

1. My #1 rule about it knitting is pleasure – life’s too short to waste on hobbies I’m not enjoying.

2. Fiber sales are too tempting. Throw in free shipping, and I’m a goner.

3. I’ve learned and forgotten lots of techniques and tricks. My brain simply won’t go to the trouble of storing what’s easily looked up, so I always have to look up the instructions for double decreases, PSSO, kitchener’s stitch, etc.

4. I don’t work well from charts. Like Barbara, I don’t mind pages of instructions and can follow along happily. I can even look at the chart to help me visualize how the various elements of a lace or cabled pattern come together. Just don’t ask me to knit by the chart alone. It never works out well.

5. I knit to unwind. I find the rhythmic motion soothing.

6. Mistakes only count if they interfere with function or are so glaringly obvious as to be embarrassing. I’ll stop and think about HOW embarrassing before I decide whether to rip out and repair.

7. My hands ache if I haven’t knitted for several days. They ache if I spend too much time on the needles, too. Balance – that concept has always been a struggle for me.

8. I have needles in every size I’m likely to need, just in case.

9. I’m lazy about gauge and avoid doing a swatch whenever I dare. Usually, I’m on gauge with standard needles. My stitches tend to be tight on DPNs and loose on circs, which is why I didn't dare start the socks without first checking my gauge.

10. The only rooms in my house that currently contain no yarn, fleece, roving, knitting tools, or works-in-progress are the bathrooms, my husband’s office, and the pantry. The only room with no books is the pantry. (Is this normal?)


Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Cow's eyes are made for flirting, aren't they? Big and melting brown. I'm assuming, of course, that she flirted back with the bull. Love the idea of a "sleepover" later this month.

I've had weeks like yours recently too, Laura (although without the cows). Sometimes the only thing you can do is hide under the bed until it all goes away.

9:49 AM  
Blogger LauraP said...

Sigh. A large portion of my stash resides under my bed. No room for me to hide there. ;> It wasn't the worst week I've had, just bedeviling in terms of mishap quantity. But hey, it's a new week month, new quarter, and there's the new sock project to enjoy. Life is good.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Your Jersey cow story reminded me of a similar incident on a friend's farm. Except that it was the BULL who decided he needed to get to the cow and he went through five fences to join his lady love. It looked like a very small tornado had touched down in one field and ripped through to the fifth field.

Now THAT'S passion!

Hope your finger's feeling better! It must be tough to type too.

9:01 PM  

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