A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. ― Douglas Adams, Mostly HarmlessI have a finished object on the blocking boards: a product of an ingenious pattern... and a bit of foolishness...
The pattern is called Icterine, from Hunter Hammersen's Curls collection. I've admired it for a while, and I was pretty excited to finally cast on for it. The result has not disappointed. Even on the blocking board, I can't help to stop and admire the cables each time I walk past:
The patterns are "curls" because of the way the fabric curls back on itself during its construction, creating a kind of built-in hook that allows you to drape the resulting shawl in a way that hangs on by itself. It's a fool-proof design, made for those of us who have trouble figuring out how to wear our handknit shawls:
Except... I have a bit of a problem. If you look at the lower left corner, you'll see a button:
I placed it there because I had about six stitches left at the end while I was binding off, and I totally completely, and utterly ran out of yarn. It was late at night, and I wanted this thing finished. "No problem," I thought to myself. "I shall place a button, and therefore I will have an extra little accessory to fasten the shawl around my shoulders."
Except, now that it's all stretched out, I think the button should be on the other end of that straight edge. I think it makes more sense to put a button there. And, since the button is placed in such a manner to hold onto all six of those dangling stitches, I'm not really sure what's going to happen if I try to remove it.
This is what happens when I try to be innovative on a late night.
I think I have a solution. While digging through my yarn stash, I came across some of my own handspun merino yarn, a yellow single spun a couple of years ago:
I'm thinking I might use a strand of that to try to bind off those last six stitches. The trick will be trying to catch them when I remove that button. I'm waiting for the shawl to dry before I do that. I might need a cup of tea and a cookie before I give it a go. Best to be prepared for all eventualities.
I only got this thing onto the blocking boards last night because it's been another long, busy week at work. I got a little bit of a respite on Thursday afternoon when I left early for a doctor's appointment. It had been a rough day, and after my appointment, I thought I'd treat myself by going to look at some pretty shoes in a nearby shoe shop (I call it "shoe visiting), and then I stopped in at a vintage shop near the parking lot where I was parked. There, I found this thing:
I have no idea what it is or what it was used for, but I stood there with it in my hands for a good ten minutes, smoothing my hands over the metal surface, admiring the etched pattern, feeling the weight of it in my hands:
"I don't know what this is, and I have no idea what I will use it for," I said to the lady behind the till, "but it is six dollars, and I've had a hard day, and I think that is reason enough to take it home."
So, I did. And I brought it to work the next day and gave it a job. Tea bag holder. New title, new use:
This weekend, I've been keeping myself busy with daydreaming about how I'm going to sort out my shawl, and a bit of spinning. I broke out a bag of roving: an alpaca-silk blend that has been hibernating in my cupboard. I brought out one of my unused spindles, and I've been happily spinning the soft, squishy goodness into a spindle-full of contentment. I'm playing around with the idea of plying it into a three-ply yarn, which I've never done before and which will take a bit of invention, since I still don't have a bobbin-holder or lazy kate to hold three spindlefuls of yarn: