Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm so Freakin' Far Over My Head it's Ridiculous

Okay, I wanted a scarf and hat, matching set out of this 2nd spin. I don't know why. I hate "sets." And I hate "matching." Let's just say now that I'm an old lady, I get to wear purple AND I get to have matching. Sets. Matching Sets. (This kills me, it's just one of those things.)

So I only have 184 yards out of my 8 oz. Northern Lights Field Berries roving. That's it! I spun it pretty thick, although way more even than I thought. I wanted a scarf though that wouldn't take much yarn. I happened across one on Ravelry that she called a "drop stitch" scarf. I followed her link, and there was this really neat video from the DIY network's "Nitty Gritty" where this gorgeous Asian lady shows you how to do both a Drop Stitch and a Twisted Drop Stitch. I liked the twisted. (This is absolutely consistent with me.)

Okay, I started it with the 9 stitches. Decided I didn't want her fringe, so called upon the pattern of the only other scarf I've ever knit... "my first spin." I used ONE row of full decreases, I just wanted a flare, not a ruffle. (This ain't a ruffly yarn.) I did about 5 rows in garter and actually, got pretty far along. Decided it was too narrow. The scarf seemed to want to be wider because it really knits up FAT! Frogged the whole thing. Started over with 10 stitches. Again I got pretty far along, but something wasn't the same. I didn't like it at all. Oh, I know what it was, I thought I'd get cute and add in occasional rows of garter stitching. I did that on both starts. Well, there was a reason. I have so many splits in the yarn, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to weave that many in with this loosey-lacy drop stitch pattern. Well, I decided I didn't like that either. Frogged the whole thing a 2nd time. (All this is after knitting a significant swatch).

TIME OUT, TIME OUT! There was another drama that happened, very worthy of note. I wish I'd taken a picture. But I wound a big fat ball on my horse's hoof dressing brush's handle (looks like a nostepinne). And very optimistically started using it as a center pull ball. Well, it barfed out a disgusting tangle of yarn out of its center that was hopeless. Okay? Just this abortion of yarn tangle. So I had to cut the yarn. No choice.

Back to the scarf. I now have the ball lying on the disgusting mass of yarn ball barf in a Farberware metal mixing bowl. (Couldn't separate them, I didn't want yet ANOTHER freaking split.)

Okay, now back to the 9 stitches. Now one stitch doesn't sound like much, but it is 1/2 inch with the scarf relaxed, and a lot more with it pulled tighter (makes no sense but trust me, two different scarves. One stitch. Besides, it was dawning on me that this pattern is SUPPOSED to conserve on yarn. Oh yeah? I figured it out. Almost a yard per row!!! With only 9 stitches per row!

Okay, so here's the 9-stitch scarf so far.

And a lengthwise view.

And the freaking thing twists clockwise if I hang it, so I hung it to show how much it twists. Here's the twisted scarf. (Please cock your head to the left until I get the picture turned, I must have not saved it after I rotated it.)

... The scarf with the twisted drop stitches. (Duh, I wonder if that's why the whole scarf is twisting, all its stitches twist. Not sure if there could be any relationship, but I'm suspecting so. Anyway, it'll be lying against my chest or back, so I'm just playing "GET OVER IT."

Well, shit! It dawned on me... as much yarn as this scarf is eating up, I better figure out what I'm going to do for a hat before I knit much more scarf. I mean, this may need to be a short scarf. Maybe the first person to ever create a scarf had the same problem, and she said to her equally ancient husband-master, "Shit, this thing is scarfing up all my yarn!" And so she named it "Scarf."

Okay, so it's now back to Rav for patterns. This may sound bizarre, but I didn't find a hat I liked. I mean there are hundreds of pages of hats under Patterns--Search-->Hat. Basically I don't like hats because they screw up my hair. Jenny can go around with her hair flattened by a hat, and she looks fine. I look like a wet seal.

So I didn't want a tight hat, in fact I wasn't sure what kind of hat I would even find half-assed acceptable, but whatever I was going to knit with this precious HOMESPUN YARN!!! I wanted at least SOME chance that I'd wear it.

So this may sound even weirder because as a knitter I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I really don't. But I ran across a hat that had the description along the lines, "Lifestyle - Knit From the Top Down... you can knit any hat, any size, any shape, and try it on as you go and make changes as you go." There was a link. So I went there, and it looked really confusing, I mean there were two pretty complicated looking things I'd have to learn from this website (which actually is NOT written for a beginning knitter, it makes some very broad assumptions of knowledge... like "WHERE" to increase. And "DO YOU KNIT A FIRST ROW AFTER THIS WEIRD CAST ON BEFORE YOU START INCREASING?" And a lot of things like that.

Anyway, I decided to give it a shot.

First weirdness: You cast on with a crochet hook, in this really strange way, then transfer your stitches to your knitting needle. But what that claims to let you do is pull on a loop which, in turn, closes the hole you're creating at the top of your hat, BECAUSE...

You are kitting from the top down, on TWO circular needles. It's really weird, you switch from knitting on one circular needle to knitting on the 2nd circular needle. Jenny showed me magic loop on socks, which was weird enough, but this is way weirder.

So anyway, I've frogged this thing no less than SIX times, all for different reasons. I didn't know where to put the increases (the pattern just says "mark your increases" and it just says "increase 8 sts every other row," but it doesn't say where.

Oh! I forgot. There IS no "pattern." It's just a method. Supposed to be for people to design their own hats. She gives generalities for a beanie, a pillbox and a beret, but no row by row detail. "They'll figure it out, it's so obvious."

So here's what I have so far. The center circle. I DID have two sets of circular needles, in fact I have them in two sizes. 10-1/2 and 11. Well, this is fat yarn, so I'm using the 11. And let me tell you, the 2nd set is NOT bamboo. It's some sort of a Turbo Needle that sounds sexy, but it's like they made it out of mercury from a thermometer. I can't possibly find the words to describe how slippery those needles are. And with this method, you have to keep stitches on one circular needle while you're INCREASING a bunch on the other circular needle, and watch so they don't fall off the one you're not knitting with, because they will. With the Turbo needles, you really learn how to contort your fingers in ways that would get you committed into medical research texts.

Here it is. I'm actually pretty pleased with it.

Ya think I have ANY CLUE what I'm going to do with this? NADA!!! I have literally zero idea. I did draw a hat I'd really like to have. I don't think it would crush my hair that much and it would really work great as a rain hat because it has a brim. It's in my head. It's a combination between the 1930s and Huckleberry Fin's lover if he had been old enough, with just a touch of Israeli thrown in. But I don't know if you have to felt brims. So I don't think I can make that hat with this yarn.

So I guess I'm going to just figure it out as I go. I think once I get enough circle going, I'm going to start doing a ribbed hat, and hope I pick the right place to start that so the thing fits loosely enough not to crush my hair, but tightly enough to stay on.

In any event, at least IF this top of the hat works out, at least it won't have a pointed top so I look like some sort of pixie or elf wannabee.

So anyway, the hat is being knit a whole lot tighter stitched than I wanted, but I guess that's the breaks. I only have two sets of the same size circular needles, and the size 11 is the biggest. So we'll see what comes of it.


Jenny said...

Oh, my god I love your blog. I love that there's now a place where you can write your hilarious thoughts like "Maybe the first person to ever create a scarf had the same problem, and she said to her equally ancient husband-master, 'Shit, this thing is scarfing up all my yarn!' And so she named it 'Scarf'" and I can go read them. Love (1)

Anyway, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the scarf, the yarn is knitting up beautifully. And I'm sure the hat would too... except that I will honestly be really surprised if you manage to squeak out enough yarn for a hat and scarf with that yarn. I'm serious. In my experience knitting hats (which is admittedly negligible), you'll have enough to make one or the other.

My room IS TOTALLY CLEAR OF FOREIGN OBJECTS. "Foreign" meaning "that which would not normally belong in a bedroom." I actually UNPACKED our LAST TWO BOXES from the move today. They've been sitting there next to our dresser since October '07 and now they are all put away.

I'm having a soda and a little spin, then I'll do a little blogging (pshyeah maybe) then attack the bathroom or kitchen. GO ME!

Jenny said...

PS Do you mean you are "over your head" because you are knitting hats, which technically go OVER the HEAD?

Just wondering.

Carol said...

Yah! Great one. That's not what I meant, but it fits. (The title, not the hat).

Me thinks the hat is going to look like a Yamakuh with a terrorist's hood coming off it. It may get frogged, and I may just make two scarves and wear one myself and put the other one on Cloud so when we canter, we can both have matching scarves trailing in the wind, "Hi-yo Silvah!!"

I'm impressed with what you got done. Two boxes doesn't sound like much, but if you've been staring at them for well over a year, they become bigger by the month. You go!