Monday, November 27, 2006

It don't mean a thing if you ain't got that bling

I am cursed. It has become impossible for me to take a flight that leaves on time. Honestly. The weather gods mark my travel days in their calendar and start arranging major storms.

Because I'm cursed (seriously, there's no other explanation) I spent three hours sitting on a plane Wednesday evening (for a one-hour flight, yes indeed). At the gate I swatched for Girl From Auntie's Shedir. The yarn in question is Lang's Jawoll which was a part of my Prize! from Bridgette. Got on the plane and started ribbing away (that's right, ribbing is a verb. I rib, you rib, he/she ribs. That's right).

The thing, though, is that the pattern's a little weird. It gives a gauge commonly found in sock yarns (8.72 s/in), and yet the manufacturer gauge for Rowan's Calmer is 5 s/in. But what do I do when my spidey sense starts tingling?

BLINDLY BARREL AHEAD! That's right I do!

It seems to be going okay. Since the yarn's skinnier it's a looser fabric (it looks a bit better with the Calmer), but, you know, BLINDLY BARREL AHEAD! So I, um, hope it fits somebody. Like me. Or dad. It's not so much a man-hat, though, is it?

Before I left my apartment I looked at my stitch markers and thought, "Naw, I won't need those." I remember that exact moment. Naw, I won't need those.

I ribbed (totally a verb!) and got all keen on starting Wee Cable Action! And realized that hey! Stitch markers would be a really useful right now. Oh.


I searched my bag and found nothing mini and round. I had a broken keychain, but I couldn't quite break the links. So I asked the stewardess if she had any paperclips. Safety pins? What did I need them for? Oh, my knitting. Anything small and roundish?

She frowned thoughtfully. "Soda can tabs?" she offered. Yes!


I asked for five and she brought me two, but damned if it didn't work. Ish. Add to that the broken keychain (which, in my impatiance, I managed to at least partly dismantle) (see? This is why I never throw anything away. You never know!) and my ring and I was set.

I would have an artistic recreation but all the soda tabs would pop off and so they're, um, still up in Philadelphia.

The hat, you see, was a red herring1 for KAP (knitting around parents) and also because... well. The allure of a new project. You know. Turned out I didn't do any work on the mittens, nor did I even show them to anybody. Ah, well.

I tried cabling without a cable needle (I tried that first one) but it elongated the crossed stitches in an unattractive way, so I just used an embroidery needle as a cable needle and went about my business. Now that I know there are other options I may try them.

I went dancing on Saturday (12 hour dance, what what??) and during the half-hour breaks while the bands switched around onstage I would periodically pull out the hat. There were a ton of knitters there! It was very encouraging.

Also, I figured out how to fix a mis-crossed cable by dropping only one stitch! I am so clever. It's easiest with one-stitch crossings. If there's interest in a demo I can do a test swatch and document the whole thing.

For serious, though. Must finish mittens. Christmas is coming! (Christmas is coming! Run!)

#39. I think the internet has given me totally unrealistic expectations of how long knits should take from cast-on to cast-off.

1 "This all has nothing to do with my disappearing nuclear physicist husband or Col. Mustard's work with the new top-secret fusion bomb?"
"No. Communism is just a red herring."


Janice in GA said...

My favorite improvised stitch markers are circles cut from a straw. Of course you have to have a cutting implement, which can be tough to find on an airplane these days.

Heather said...

I am thinking of doing a shedir - the pattern didn't strike me when it was published, but since then, I've seen so many lovely versions!

Also, I have no problem with waiting for planes as long as I have made it through security with my knitting. Have you had any problems with that?

Emily said...

Heather - I haven't had any issues going through security -- even on international flights. It's recommended that you carry everything in a plastic baggie (I don't) just in case you need to ship it or transfer it really quickly into a checked bag.

And if you have the option, wooden needles are the least "threatening" looking. But even my metal needles have gone through no problem. Thank heavens!

flwrhead said...

You're so resourceful! Shedir is on my (ever growing) list to knit someday.