Saturday, April 25, 2009

Post 100

So, it's been a while.

Oh, not much, how 'bout you? Yeah? Same rash as before? Wow.

Maybe you should see someone about that.

Oh, hi! Sorry. Wrong conversation.

So you may have noticed that I haven't been around much. About that....

Each week in absentia had an excuse. One year since my dad died. That was a big one. Visited his grave. Or should I say, "their" grave, as he shares it with mom, who passed in '85. Weird. Orphan is weird.

Then, work intervened. Shareholder meeting. Earnings release, blah, blah, blah. For that matter, we're in Napa next weekend for hubsy's birthday. Yes we are! This even is quickly followed by a visite by my stepdaughter (known by us as the little pomme frite) and her mom all the way from France. Yeah, the day after we get back from Napa. So today was cleaning day.

So all this babble might cause you to think that I haven't been hooking or knitting or cooking, right? It's okay, you can admit it. But you'd be so wrong, it hurts.

Exhibit A:
So, remember my yakking about "forest & frill?" Well, it's done and already worn to a swanky event. Here's the rub: I followed the pattern and used a double strand of whatever this yarn is, and I just think it's too damn heavy and thick. But I did get some complements on this puppy, so I can't bitch too much, right? Right?

Exhibit B:
This silver tube is the beginning of the Felicity Hat, featured on ravelry. It's done now, but I've not taken any shots yet. Soon, I promise!

Exhibit C:
Now, I'm sure each and every one of you has been keeping track of my forays into domestic bliss, so I'm equally sure that you'll enjoy my attempt at making yogurt! For the technicians and bookies among you, I used a plain Dannon as the starter with an organic whole milk. And I gotta say, I was less than thralled with the results. It tasted great, don't get me wrong, sort of light and fresh and creamy, but the texture was uneven (my fault, for sure). I'll have to give this another go.

Exhibit D:

Now this little baby is the Shipwreck Shawl from the recent edition of Knitty. And yes, that's right, I've screwed it up beyond all recognition. Sometimes I make myself so damned proud. But I'm taking this mother with me on the plane to Napa, six hours of uninterrupted frustration. Sounds like fun in a baggie, kids!

Anyway, it's late and I'm losing steam, so I'll leave you now to ponder my productivity. Not sure if I'll post this weekend (swimming as I'll be in the Vintner's Gift), but stranger things have happened....

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Yarn Shrink: Overcoming the Crap

Do you have a million UFOs in your abode? Well, do you? I do. Okay, maybe more than a million.

Why does a UFO become one? Is it boredom of the same stitch over and over? Is is the thrill and excitement of the new and sexy project glittering in the distance? Is it the smell of new yarn and its seductive powers holding sway over your widening wallet? Yeah, I'm there.

It's also the project somehow not quite holding up to its promise, isn't it? You're following the directions, whether they are in your head, on the screen, in a book, or a crumpley piece of paper. The beautiful lines are not quite what you'd hoped. The color is boring. Too many mistakes too far back to fix.

I usually fall somewhere at either end - falling for the come-hither project in the periphery or seeing the project falling short of its promise. In either case, I'm screwed.

So given that we are trying not to squander our dough on every yarny-come-lately, I've taken a mini-oath to revisit my dormant dears and see what I can do to fix them, or revive my interest in them.

Case in point: Forest & Frills. I love this adorable little shrug. I love the colorway of the yarn I"m using. But it didn't seem to look like what I thought it would. Somehow, it looked heavy, like a blanket, though I carefully followed the directions and the gauge seems to be fine. So I dropped it in favor of something else - I don't even know what.

So today I'm pissing away time that I should have been spending putting summer bulbs in the window boxes on a perfectly spectacular Spring day (I did plant a bunch in the garden proper, but the window boxes need love, too) poking around ravelry, and I came across a bunch of people's versions of F&F and lo! they looked just like mine! I mean halle-freakin-lujah! So I wasn't off the mark, after all!

So I am winding down my work on this gorgeous shawl (again, another UFO, but it looks like I might be short on yarn, dammit), and will commence on forest & frills right away.

So for all of you who, like me, act like magpies with the lure and promise of shiny new projects, take a look at what others are doing. If you are dropping them because of frustration or boredom, taking a closer look at the finished project in the various forms created by your fellow hookers/knitters might give you the kick in the panties you were looking for to pick it up again.

Hey, it's worth a shot, right?