Friday, July 04, 2008

Your Best Friends WILL Tell You

Yup, thank God for friends who will tell me the truth. At least about my knitting.

Just to review, things you want your friends to tell you:

  • Wow! Have you lost weight? You look great!
  • OMG, your hair looks fabulous--great cut and color. Nope, I don't see any roots at all.
  • No, it's not you. It really IS hot in here.
  • I'm sure you're going to get a great job, very soon.
  • Your husband didn't really mean it when he said you have too much yarn.
  • Yes, when you leave him [so you can be alone with your stash], we'll still be here for you.

Things your friends should never say:

  • What were you thinking? You already have a lot of yarn.
  • I just ran into your husband leaving the Motel 6 with his assistant. Wow! She's really young, isn't she?
  • Your dog is so ugly it's almost cute.
  • That color [of the garment you just spent a month making] makes you look greenish, and not in a good way.
  • Have you thought about wearing a foundation garment to fix that?

Things you'd rather not hear but need to:

  • Your gauge is off. That lace thingie is going to be WAY too small. You need to tear it out and start over.

And at least one of my friends did just that. Thanks, Ellen. (As for Pat and Debra, I appreciate your kindness and concern for my delicate self-esteem.)

Now, for the record, I'm out of the lace knitting business temporarily. I'm too stressed and anxious and crazed for lace, which requires at least a modicum of attention and a lot of concentration, not to mention time. I'm deeply envious of the lace my friends are making but I decided I wouldn't put myself in the position of starting a new piece of lace and then not being able to finish it.

BUT ... Bad Cat Summer Sampler. Hmmmm ... not too complex, not too big, several patterns to keep my ADHD mind attentive, clues are somewhat repetitive but pretty. Okay, I can do that one.

First, I broke my own rule and knit a gauge swatch. (Is that the sound of the world coming to an end?) So, sue me, I knit a swatch. Andrea (designer) calls for needle size 1-4, yarn is Lacey Lamb. First, Lacey Lamb is, let's just call a spade a spade, thread. Beautiful soft thread, but definitely thread. Cobweb. But the color--sort of a Jade? Perfect.

So, I'm a little concerned because the swatch is about 3 inches, call it 3.5 stretched, and the designer says the sampler will be 3.4 times the size of the swatch. So, 3.5 X 3.4 = 11.9 inches. I guess I can live with that. It'll be more scarf than shawl but okay. The swatch is on 3s, because I knit tight. Looks fine--okay, try the sampler on 3s. Sampler looks like a big, ugly, mess of loose stitches. Definitely ugly with a capital UG. What will it look like once it's blocked? Poot! Frog.

Cast on again, this time with 1s. By the way, why does this Susan Bates 1 look like a sewing needle compared to my Addi Turbo 1? Whatever happened to consistent needle sizes? But, anyway, it looks okay--great stitch definition. But, unstretched it's 8 inches. And it's so tight I can't imagine how much more it's going to stretch. Pull it to its farthest reaches, and it's about 9.5 inches. Now it's going to be a shawl for an American Girl doll.

Take it to Noble Knitters. Compare it to Ellen's, made of Malabrigo lace. Why am I not using Malabrigo Lace? Am I an idiot? Hers is gorgeous, with beautiful stitch definition, and beautiful on 4s.

Compare it to Pat's, Lacey Lamb on 1s. Normal sized. Beautiful stitch definition, stretches to a normal size. I am an idiot.

Poot! Frog. (Wait, don't frog, it's way too pretty to frog. Save in case I ever want to just fondle it.)

Cast on again, this time on 2s. (Addi this time--those Susan Bates sewing needles are on my list!) All right. Now, we're talking. Somewhat less stitch definition, but stretchable, blockable, you know what I mean. Unstretched it's about 11 inches. I think it can be blocked to about 14 or 15. With a border, it might be wearable. But still more scarf than shawl, especially for a woman of my, er, Juno-esque proportions.

So, thanks for your honesty. But ... this explains why I took a vacation from lace. A lace-cation as it were.


Anonymous said...

You are priceless! Vintage DB!! I hear your voice with every word! While you - supposedly - are on a lace-ation, I am working on my lace shawl. With 350 stitches per row, it is slow going, but watching Wimbledon helped. Yes, you have lost weight and your hair looks great!

Friend J.

E said...

um well your hair does look great and the size 1's were too small ... and I refuse to be tagged as the reason you are not knitting lace -- after all it's your fault I *am* knitting lace. I have given up comparing my stuff to Pat's; it just depresses me when I do that :-)

So that means lace knitting is like a disease that you pass on but recover from? Does this mean you are passing your lace stash on to me? If so, please make sure all skeins get wound up first.

BTW your socks look fabulous!

Phyl said...

kLOL at your "Things your friends should never say" list.
It reminds me of a comment made at the office some years ago. One co-workers said to another, "You look like you need a little more makeup today", to which the other replied, " I don't wear makeup." The 1st one then said, "Well, you NEED to wear makeup."
Anything to keep peace in the office.