I have survived. I spent yesterday very quietly, trying to spread goodwill and peace while not attracting any sort of planetary attention. I suspect that all of this is the fault of dissing February. You can’t expect to come out hard hating on a whole month and expect that it won’t exact a little balance. I beg Februarys forgiveness, display my wounded finger as penance and respectfully point out to the planet that if the sun shone maybe just one freaking day in this forsaken wasteland of a month that maybe people (read: me) wouldn’t be so biased. But I digress.
I discovered yesterday that I cannot spin with a squashed finger. It’s the pointer finger on my left hand that I so moronically crippled in the door, and that’s my fibre/drafting hand. Normally I hold back the twist with my right hand, and draft in sort of a modified long draw with my left, using my pointer, middle finger and thumb to form the drafting triangle. I can neither hold the fibre with my mutilated finger, nor use it to pinch back the twist (which I also tried.)
Since I carry one colour in each hand for two colour knitting, one strategically draped over my throbbing, pulverized left pointer finger, that was right out. (My apologies to the MSF mittaines, who only need a half a thumb.)
Round about now I was starting to feel a little bit sorry for myself, though I kept it quiet. There’s only so much sympathy you can expect for injuring yourself in a moment of less emotional grace than we would really hope for in a grown woman. I gave the flower basket shawl a go.
I have good news and then bad news and then good news again, so don’t let the sad part in the middle get to you, because things pick up again right after. It turns out that I can knit single colour straight needle stuff. (Who knew you could knit for 30 years without discovering that your left hand pointer finger does SQUAT? The same cannot be said of DPN’s or circulars where I apparently use that finger in a critical way.) I discover this while I was knitting The Flower basket shawl. That’s the first good news, since I don’t know what I was going to take up if I couldn’t knit for two days in a row. Maybe smack.
The bad news is that I knit on the shawl for a while then made the decision to rip back and go up a needle size and ripped out the whole thing. All of it. Every single stitch. This, oddly…was a really good feeling. I got to thinking that there really aren’t many times in your life when you can completely undo a mistake.
Times when there are no consequences, no record, no history, no talk. Nothing. You make a mistake and you can completely erase it and try again. Very comforting really, and not at all like losing your temper and slamming your finger in a door, where the error of your ways just sits there throbbing at you.
I went up to a 5.5mm needle (noted here so that when I make the next one there is a snowflakes chance in H-E double hockey sticks that I will be able to get it right.) The good news is that I finished the thing anyway.
The flower basket shawl is seen here looking like mountainous crap awaiting a decent blocking, which I am certain will be completely transformative. I believe, though it may really be too soon to tell that I am obsessed with this pattern. Obsessed. The idea that I can knit a seriously funky scarf (with is really closer to the truth than “shawl”) out of less than 200m of yarn should be extremely exciting to all the spinners out there. Admit it, how many unique 200m skeins do you have? Plus, I love blocking. A lot. I think it’s the pins.
Tune in here Monday when the spectacular, very clever and heartbreakingly blogless Laurie (yes, that Laurie) will walk us through how, exactly, she dyes the roving to make the yarn to make these.
From fleece to yarn, Laurie’s secret dying system revealed. Episode one, in which Laurie tells you about the things you will need and the way you get started begins here on Monday, with rising drama in the dye pot (and rumours of squirt bottles) on Wednesday, and the stunning conclusion on Friday. Don’t miss it.