Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Sample of the Ingenuity of Complete Fools

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. ― Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless
I 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:

After my last innovation-debacle, I'm not sure I can be trusted with any inventive ideas. At least I have about 150 grams of roving to ponder through. Stay tuned... this could get interesting...


Cath said...

Wind the singles around the center roll from paper towels or toilet paper roll center. Just be careful not to change the twist

Cath said...

Wind the singles around the center roll from paper towels or toilet paper roll center. Just be careful not to change the twist