Tuesday, February 07, 2006

And Now For Something a Little Different...

Today I:
  • had a cup of soy yogurt for breakfast
  • drank two cups of black coffee
  • am having leftover pasta for lunch with coffee

Do you ever have one of those days at work where all you can think about is knitting? Surreptitiously, you eyeball knitting blogs, searching for more projects to add to an already endless list like a drowning person grasping for a life line, and whenever you are given a task, you think about how much knitting you could get done instead, if only you could knit at work? Or - even better - if they just let you go home to knit?

That day is today for me, yesindeedy. We had a deadline Friday, so there is literally no work. Usually, this annoys me to no end, but after filing and organizing everything I could think of, I called it a day rather than sit at the computer all afternoon, pretending to work. I got permission, but I didn't think there was much risk of being turned down: everyone else was engaged in the important task of eating ice cream.


I offered to help Lissy from the North End S'nB rediscover her crocheting skills a couple weeks ago, and it has since turned into me helping the entire group along. Everyone has prior experience, albeit dormant, so I'm not stressed. The plan is to make flowers from The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches. No big deal, except...

I can't read crocheting instructions. I always just looked at pictures, or made something up. So I borrowed the book and did my homework last night.

Clockwise from the top left: "Little Flower", "Little Rose", "5-Ring Rose", and my half completed "5-Ring Rose"

I was using some leftover Sockotta yarn to work these up, so I got to remember why mercerized cotton is the usual medium of choice with this kind of crocheting. It's difficult to see what you're doing if the yarn is variegated, and if it's inclined to split, it's difficult to aim properly - which pretty much sums up the physical experience I was having, aside from my hand cramp. I need to pick a better yarn for the actual "lesson." (Let this be a warning to you all!)

The other aspect of my crocheting experience was anger. Who wrote these instructions? What were they thinking? After spending a half hour on the "Little Flower" instructions (decoding the abbreviations, and the abbreviations within the abbreviations) I finally realized my initial take on the flower was correct: It's a damn chain loop with double stitch petals, spaced evenly all around. They just have a inner ring of single stitches so that the petals aren't increases. And they said it in the most obtuse language I have come across lately, and that's saying something, since in a little while I have to start studying for my Chinese class.

But all is not in vain. I have unraveled the secrets of the three flowers into English, and I actually think they make a good progression from basic to complex. We could probably get through at least the "Little Rose" before the meeting is over, maybe even work 2 rings of the "5-Ring Rose" if we're all feeling particularly clever. You never know. We do have coffee.

Last night, I:

  • had fish and chips with a ton of coleslaw for dinner
  • washed it down with a Heiffeweizen
  • cursed The Ultimate Sourcebook (Don't worry; my curses barely rank a hex.)


bitterknitter said...

I'm glad you made mention of this or I would have showed up tomorrow with knitting only! The knitting is still coming along, I just have to remember to throw a hook in with it when I get home (I'll forget again if I wait until tomorrow).

I've been filing this afternoon, it actually created work for me to do tomorrow, that will be nice.

Anna said...

I do have those days. Unfortunately, I'm in law school and need to be thinking about Legal Methods, or Civil Procedure or.....etc. Thinking about knitting is way more fun. Sadly, I couldn't getr away w/ knitting in class.

Lissy said...

I'm so sorry I missed our lesson tonight, Christine, and after reading about the effort you put into this, I feel even worse. The agoraphobia meanies decided to keep me indoors today. I hope we can have our lessons on another day, perhaps one-on-one. Your flowers look lovely. Sorry also that the book I got is fakakta (yiddish for f*cked up).