Wednesday, June 25, 2008

All That Ends Well...

Thursday. Two rows of Hyrna Herborgar left to finish.

4:45 am: Fix cup of coffee and sit down at kitchen table. Sip coffee. Sigh with utter contentment. Pick up Hyrna and knit two stitches.

4:46 am: Hear frantic squeaking and thumping in the dining room.

4:47 am: Separate cat from adorable little bunny rabbit. Bunny hops frantically around the living room caroming off windows, furniture, and fragile pottery. Cat hops frantically in my arms.

4:48 am: Yell for spouse, who tears down stairs in the altogether. Cat and I watch spouse chase bunny around the house with a colander and cookie sheet. (Note to self: Next time, grab camera instead of cat).

5:02 am: Spouse flops colander on top of bunny, slides cookie sheet underneath bunny, and removes squeaking animal from house.

5:04: am: Release cat, bandage arm, wipe bloodstains off cat, replace shredded nightgown. Remove bunny fur from furniture and spouse. Sweep up shattered pottery.

5:30 am: Resume position at kitchen table. Pick up Hyrna. Knit three stitches.

5:32 am: Oven timer beeps. And beeps. And beeps. Oven panel flashes an F1 error code.

5:40 am: Flip off oven circuit breaker and leave message on repairman's answering machine.

5:45 am: Resume position at kitchen table. Make fresh cup of coffee. Pick up Hyrna.

6:15 am: Finish row. Turn knitting. Knit 1 stitch.

6:16 am: Aliens land in back yard.

7:00 am: Finish printing out MapQuest directions to White House and give to aliens.

7:01 am: Pick up empty bottles of Romulan Ale tossed into the pachysandra by aliens.

7:30 am: Resume position at kitchen table. Check in on Ravelry.

9:00 am: Finish replying to numerous hysterical and/or angry postings about several tempests in a molehill. Or mountains in a teapot. Either mixed metaphor is an excellent description.

9:01 am: Pick up Hyrna and knit two stitches. Spouse wanders into kitchen and makes noise. Drop stitches.

10:00 am: Pick up stitches, perform successful stitch count, and knit three stitches.

10:01 am: House cleaner arrives and flips on the Vacuum Cleaner of Doom.

10:02 am: Pack up Hyrna and do actual, for-pay work.

2:35 pm: Spouse takes cat to vet for annual shots, House cleaner gives one final vrooom and exits.

2:36 pm: Resume position at kitchen table and pick up Hyrna. Finish row.

3:30 pm: Pick up crochet hook and begin binding off.

3:45 pm: Spouse returns with highly annoyed cat. Drop stitches.

4:00 pm: Fix dropped stitches. Delete hate mail from Ravelry mailbox.

4:20 pm: Flock of frolicking dragons land in front yard, torching hydrangeas.

4:22 pm: Chase dragons out of yard with fire extinguisher.

5:02 pm: Clean up dragon rubble. Replace smoke-damaged t-shirt. Notice alien ship teetering precariously in prize Japanese maple.

5:35 pm: Finish printing out directions to Kremlin because White House refused aliens entry (more than 3 ounces of shampoo in gift box). Give aliens several plastic trash bags and instructions for use.

6:45 pm: Finish Hyrna and pin out.

7:30 pm: Sit down to write blog post.

7:31 pm: Harry turns on karaoke machine and begins a horrific rendition of "I Like The Nightlife" (Alicia Bridges).

7:32 pm: Rip karaoke machine plug out of wall. Chase annoying spider with can of Raid. Spider tweaks pins out of Hyrna and tosses said pins into waterbed.

7:34 pm: Carefully tweeze pins out of waterbed. Patch holes.

9:00 pm. Re-pin Hyrna.

10:10 pm: Take photos.

Pattern: Hyrna Herborgar

by Sigridur Halldorsdottir from Thrihyrnur og langsjol / Three-cornered and long shawls
Needles: Size #4
Yarn: Hamanaka Parfait (55% mohair, 45% silk), 1 ball each white, black, light gray, dark gray

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Frog, Froggier, Froggiest

The past week brought a new low in my knitting adventures. I cast on a variety of designs, frogged them, cast on a few more experiments, and frogged those as well. Finally, I cast down my knitting needles and went off in search of Something Different.

As you will see, Something Different turned out to be crochet. Many years ago, my mother gave me intensive instruction. However, my crochet exercises revolved around floofy stuff like doilies, pillowcase edgings, and a few mohair shawls that were foisted onto elderly friends who were always complaining of the cold.

While I was going through my piles of lace that were ultimately donated to the Lacis Museum, I ran across a ruffled doily (shudder) that I made when I was about 12 years old. I sneaked it into the donation pile and shipped it off to San Francisco (ha, ha Mary Francis! You're stuck with it now!).

I hadn't touched a crochet hook, other than to bind off a knitted edging, until this week.

This adorable pattern was perfect for a refresher--each one took about an hour to make. You can find the superb, detailed instructions here, should you decide to follow in my tottering footsteps.

The green yarn is Noro something-or-other, and the rest of the frog was made with pink and white Cascade 220. I have to say that three minutes into working with Noro, my hands started to itch with a ferocity usually reserved for a terminal case of poison ivy. I also wasn't thrilled with the knots that appeared every 10 yards. Yes. No kidding. No wonder the yarn was relegated to the Whatsis Bin.

As I brushed away the weird vegetable matter that continually shed from the yarn, I was reminded of a little episode that took place a few years ago in
Yuzawaya (a Japanese craft store). I was poking at a small pile of Noro and I heard a voice behind me whisper "tatami," followed by a spate of giggles. After a few minutes, I deduced that the saleslady was trying to tell me that the yarn was made from old carpet remnants and discarded tatami mats!*

I admit that the colors are so lovely that they almost make up for the texture, which is why I have three skeins of the stuff in the Whatsis bin.

While I was indulging myself in utter silliness, Harry was beavering away on his Bling shawl. He flipped me the bird a picture of his progress as he pranced off to his hip-hop dance class. Much as I hate to say it, the border is coming along nicely.

*Tatami mats are a type of Japanese floor covering made from tightly woven rice straw.