May 17, 2011

For want of a little

On Saturday night I had big plans.  I was going to pack to fly to Port Ludlow on Sunday, and with my wool as my witness I was going to finish the Jacob Damask before I went.  This was my Saturday night plan because I am a party animal.  A friend actually said something like "Now that you're middle aged, do you ever look at your plans for a Saturday night and think that your 17 year old self would be ashamed of you?" - and all I could think was that my 17 year old self was likely to think that finishing a shawl was a pretty awesome Saturday night, but I decided not to tell her lest the shame and dorkiness of my youth be revealed fully.  (Truthfully, I think she'd get over the knitting. It's the AD&D I don't want her to know about.)  I sat down to knit in the afternoon, and after a few rows, I started to get a feeling.  A bad one. One you've maybe had before. A feeling of slightly impending doom. 

I was looking at my yarn, and looking at how much knitting was left, and it didn't seem good. It seemed like just a little bit of yarn... but, I reasoned, there were only a few rows left, and they were getting shorter with each right side row and maybe...

A few rows later I didn't feel any better. I tried knitting slowly (haste makes waste) to try and stretch it out... I tried knitting quickly so that I could outrun the yarn and maybe finish before it ran out... because that, my friends, that was the end of the handspun - and running out would mean going back to the raw fleece, which couldn't mean finishing that day, which would throw off my whole plan.  (I hate that.)

It was all for naught.  I ran out with eleven ever diminishing rows to go, and that my friends - I estimated to be a handspun shortage of.... and you have to brace yourselves, 

About 3 metres.**

Do you hear me? Three metres.  I lost my mind. I thought about biting the shawl.  I used unladylike language.  I phoned people.  I said something roughly like  THREE METRES DO YOU HEAR ME I WOULD BE DONE WITH THIS SHAWL EXCEPT I AM NOW SHORT THREE METRES OF HANDSPUN.  HOW COULD I HAVE UNDERESTIMATED BY THREE METRES, SON OF A BITCH I WOULD BE LESS ANGRY IF I NEEDED FIFTY METRES. DARN IT ALL TO H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS.   To which my non-knitting friend said "Can't you buy more?" and my knitting friend said "Do you need me to come over?"

I set about trying to fix my situation.  I pulled the Jacob fleece out of where I'd put it away, I dumped it out on the kitchen floor and I started sorting through the multicoloured fleece for locks I thought would match best. 

Then I washed them, then I tried to figure out what I could do to dry a dozen locks of wool in no time. There was zero chance that I had time to let it dry by themselves because I still had the spinning and knitting to do and was still determined to finish by bedtime. This proved to be the trickiest part - once I had the locks dry it only took a little more time to spin it, and a little longer to ply it, and then only about 20 minutes to knit it because it really was only eleven rows.  The drying though, that took me a while to figure out. The furnace wasn't on, so I couldn't put it on the heating vent.  (I did consider jacking up the heat even if it did turn the house into a sauna - but even I thought that was a bit far to go for a few locks of wool.)  I tried the hair dryer- because wool is just hair, right?  Turns out that works a bit better when the hair is attached to something.  It wasn't a great solution.  I could have put them in the sun, but it was cold and rainy and getting dark, and I could see that this shawl wasn't going to happen that day... when it  hit me. 

8 minutes at 250.  Worked like a charm.

**It turned out to be a rage inducing mere 2.6 metres.
Shawl is done.  Pictures tomorrow.

Posted by Stephanie at May 17, 2011 11:28 AM