January 29, 2006

Evidence Against Me

I realize that this will probably count against me on so many levels with the White Coat guys, but the important thing (to me) is that in the end I feel, perhaps unjustly, that I present here proof that I have triumphed over the Mutant Caterpillar.

This wasn't as easy as it should have been. I won't even speak of the frogging, primarily due to my insisting on knitting while I was watching movies in the dark (both in the theater and on DVD at home). One too many slipped stitches, and your pattern goes way off... and it's a little difficult to know this in the dark until you are a couple rows up. Don't Try This At Home (or anywhere else, unless - well, you know, you really *want* to meet the White Coat guys).

No, what made the process difficult was the last few days, when I was wandering vaguely around the house wailing "Where's my Chibi? I NEED my Chibi... has anybody seen my Chibi?"

The boys would have cheerfully gagged me and locked me in the basemen
t, if it wasn't for the fact that I had hidden the tickets to last night's performance of Les Mis. For a person as distractable and unfocussed as I am, I sometimes have amazing foresight. I'm cunning that way.

On Thursday I had given up on the Chibi. No, I did not go out to buy a new one; I knew that my current Chibi would show up the moment I finished sewing up the Mutant Caterpillar. So I Made Do, as any cunning yarn-crazed knitter would do. And obviously I WAS crazed, because:

I used my crochet hook.

I did not let myself become deterred by the fact that I have not a clue how to crochet, or that my last attempt to do so (a mere 30 years ago) was met by hoots of derision by classmates and teacher alike. I didn't even look for some sort of elementary instruction in one of my many knitting tomes.

I just made it up as I went along.

Which, if I may say so myself, worked out just fine. I even wove in my ends
(on the backsides of the fabric, which is doubled over so that the scarf is patterned on both sides) with the hook. I was really proud... except that I couldn't figure out how to weave in that last crochet-line of yarn neatly, once the entire scarf was seamed up.

Not to worry. This morning I FOUND MY CHIBI. It was, of course, right where it should have been. Under my DVD-Watching Chair.

Now I can't find my favorite basic knitting reference book, and I want to knit a pair of socks in an unfamiliar guage and size. Gah!

In any case, here is proof that I have tamed the Mutant Caterpillar, and I am deluding myself by thinking that it doesn't need blocking.

The Pirate wants me to make him the same scarf, in a different set of colors.

Do you think a college student would be caught dead in it?


Blogger mrspao said...

It's great! Well done - your caterpillar has blossomed into a beautiful and lovely butterfly :+)

Nice photo. I've been playing with iPhoto and see what you mean by red-eye reduction not working properly.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

It's great! Some college student is going to love that. Heh - you kep saying mutant caterpillar, and I was picturing something in the woolly bear line.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Lady Blue said...

Mutant Caterpillar? I see no mutant caterpillar, just an incredible scarf that I am sure any college student would love.

1:17 PM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...


I dunno what blocking is and I certainly have no clue what a Chibi is, but I think it looks fantastic. I'd wear it WITH PRIDE.

Oh, pixie. I have failed you. Let me try again.

6:06 PM  
Blogger mE said...

Thanks, everybody!

Mrs. Pao, LB & Chris - before the clever crocheted edging, the scarf rolled up lengthwise into a stripey tube with regular lumps going back and forth;even with the edging you can see that the horizontal lines tend to make that edge bow out just slightly, so that the 'lump' would be on one side for one repeat and then the other side for the alternate repeat. It is a sort of chenille/terry style of yarn, so it's a bit fuzzy... all in all, it looked remarkably caterpillarish before the finishing worked its magic!

8:44 PM  
Blogger mE said...

Katherine~ You'll hear knitters whining about their Chibi's now and then. It's a little plastic blue-and-cream tube with various darning-style needles inside - the kinds that have eyes big enough to handle yarn, and some that have a somewhat hooked/bent end that supposedly make it easier to get them in and out of fabric (I don't care for that kind, perhaps because of my own inadequacies and ignorance, so mine are all straight needles). Since you usually have to 'finish' your knit product with the same yarn with which you made it, you need to have those darning needles available. And if (like me) you *hate* finishing, you really want to have them *immediately* available, so that you can get the finishing done while you are still in the 'I finally finished this bugger' rush of enthusiasm, before you lose steam and interest...

To 'finish' means to seam, weave in ends of yarn, sew on buttons, embellish with fringe or embroidery or whatever, wash, steam, block... whatever you need to do in order to make the knitted item wearable in public. Many of us are 'process' knitters (we enjoy the knitting process more than we are interested in obtaining the item itself), and we 'process' knitters generally are not real big on the whole finishing thing. Others of us are just really bad at it (or think we are), and the finishing thing makes us feel incompetent.

I obviously belong to both types.

8:44 PM  
Blogger mE said...

Katherine again - Oops, I forgot to define 'blocking'. Most knit items come off the needles a bit mis-shapen in some way or other... especially lace, which often comes off the needles looking like a pile of randomly tangled yarn/thread. So you have to steam it and/or wet it down and get it to dry in the shape that you want it to 'set'. Sometimes, esp. with sweaters, you can just lay it on a flat surface, pull it out until it's straight and flat and just let it dry there. For lace and some other items, you need to pin it down in order to keep it in the desired shape while drying, or thread a thin stiff wire through the edges in order to 'set' the edges in straight lines.

You'll notice, if you look closely, that there is a slight tendency in my scarf to bow out a little at wherever the horizontal lines hit... blocking could fix that problem. But I don't have the time or patience to do that, and the scarf seems 'good enough' without, although certainly not perfect.

Did that make sense?

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nifty, looks like a basket!

2:22 PM  

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