Yarn Pooling and Other Pools

The saying that getting old is not for sissies seems more true every day I age. OK, right now I have no problems and I’m not complaining. I spent last week with my in-laws in the Bay Area. Both had serious falls with debilitating consequences and needed help. I imagine if that would have happened to them at a younger age they would have walked away from it or been fine within days, but this is taking a toll on their quality of life.

I had along the spinning wheel, a basket of wool, and a basket of yarn and projects. Did I need it? Nooooooo, it serves as a security blanket only. Without, I would have yearned for all the knitting I could have gotten done, ha. I did spin every day, but knitting was more of a problem. On the drive down I made a dishcloth in the car. Once there I only managed to knit on a sock, disliking the pattern and frogging the whole thing. Started anew with another pattern but this is on hold too. A facecloth is almost done in a nice organic cotton yarn. Will I learn from that? Again, nooooooo, because how can I anticipate knitting conditions or moods. I might pack lighter with clothing. All I needed was underwear, a pair of pants and a couple of t-shirts. Not 4 pair of pants and t-shirts for the whole summer. They do have a washing machine after all.

Swimming was my treat in the evenings. The pool is open until 10 pm and I used the last hour to indulge myself, alone. A whole pool and hot tub just for me. I’m glad we saw the bobcat wandering around on our last day there or I would have been more nervous walking to the pool and being there by myself. But what is a bobcat going to do to me, right? Whatever happened to my youthful invincibility? Did it all get used up?

But I have a much bigger problem now that I’m back home and into my knitting rhythm. While gone, two of my yarn orders arrived. One is a skein of Wollmeise Pure from a Ravelry user, the other 2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces Sportmate in the color Zombie BBQ. The latter is for Liana and because she really does not need anything and I got the last 2 skeins, I’m making a scarf. But let me introduce the color first:


The photo does not do the colors justice. I have never loved colors that much and a name so matching.

Then the yarn decided to gift me. A gift I would have embraced with any other yarn but Zombie BBQ. Can you say Christmas, traditional. Let me show you my dilemma.


This is so not me, or my daughter, at least I don’t think it’s her. It might be a case of me trying to be cool and hip and again ending up being the dork with the Christmas scarf. The obvious choice would be to frog and start over. But that’s like throwing a gift away, how can I do that? I have posted on a knitting site for opinions and so far every single reply came in as keep it.

There is another way to look at this. Skull and XXXs, can you see it? Especially the zigzaggy thing happening in the X.

I’m OCD about the whole affair now and can’t just move on to another project. I have looked at other yarns by the same manufacturer in the same color. Am I crazy? While looking I found colors I might like even more. But, for now I’m stuck. The obvious did occur to me and I have a call out to Liana to see what she thinks since it is for her. Duh!

You Win Some and You Tink Some

The win: the afternoon tea shawl has the ends woven in and has been blocked. It is gorgeous and would be perfect if it was a little bigger. But there are people smaller than me on this planet and it will look stunning on them. But first: I’m not bragging about my knitting this shawl, but about the pattern and the designer Helen Stuart. OK, now that we got this straight, on to the pictures:

close up
close up


Did I promise too much? It was the fabulous knitting part of my weekend.

The sorrow came with the mystery KAL shawl I’m working on. When clue number 5 came in I was 2 weeks behind. Immediately I finished clue 3 without major trauma if I remember correctly. But clue 4 brought tears and tinking and frogging. It was not difficult but for whatever reason, I lost the ability to count, follow directions, concentrate, etc.

I kept on thinking that I know how to knit, I know how to count to high numbers, but what about my ability to follow directions? Apparently I’m a bit challenged in that department. My first attempt was fudging it. I could force the right number of stitches (now in the 200s) by decreasing or increasing in inconspicuous places. That backfired, looked shitty, and instead of stopping before the point of no return, I kept on knitting. Really Marianna, you think this will fix itself?

I was facing the music 2 rows short of finishing up the week. Now the problem was tinking or frogging. Stephen, my numbers guy, could not resist telling me that I’m looking at tinking 11,500 stitches. Thanks for that information Steve.

Apparently I don’t believe in putting in lifelines, still have not learned that lesson. So what was I to do? No way was I going to undo stitch by stitch. I saw a few rows of plain vanilla knitting and decided frog back to those rows. With fast beating heart I reached the point and was about to pick up the stitches when friends arrived. They are not knitters and most likely did not understand the situation I was in. 250 plus stitches on the lose! There was no way this could wait and they sat patiently chatting watching me herd the stitches back on the needle.

I wish I could report that with heightened awareness I managed to get caught up without problems and: the end. Not so. I would knit 6 rows be off in the count, tink 2 rows, notice I had not made a mistake after all but was reading the wrong row in the directions, huff and puff and knit on. So went my Sunday. Very late at night I found myself with one row left and one extra stitch. No, no way. I put it all down for today when I will knit 2 together and problem solved. Go on to clue 5 and be caught up.

If I have this much problems with a pattern I put it down for a couple of days, or weeks, or years. But with this I can’t. I told myself I would keep up with everyone else knitting this shawl. And I’m sticking to it. Don’t know what life lesson is in there or if I even need any life lessons as I’m heading to the end of my life, OK, the last couple of decades.

The issue is I want to start another pattern. As so often happens coincidences collide in a major way and I can’t resist.

I was reading grumperina’s blog and found the following scarf: melon scarf. Go ahead, take a look at the scarf. I happen to have one skein of said yarn that she made the scarf with. Told you, life can be coincidental. I had no project in mind, just wanted to try out some seacell. The pattern, well, guess what, the library carries the book with the pattern: Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby. (This link is to Ravelry, you might have to be a member to see it. It’s free to sign up and definitely worth it if you’re a knitter, if you are not, then look around and ask the knitter in your life to make you something. Remember though, you have to be real good to this person so they will put hours and days of their lives into a project for you.)

See? Picture, yarn, pattern. What am I to do, ignore it?

I have a couple of books to recommend.

1. The Intentional Spinner by Judith MacKenzie McCuin
Being a spinner called for a spinning book in my library. It is a very informative read with lots of history and wonderful writing.

2. Sheepish by Catherine Friend
At first I thought she was trying too hard to be funny, but the book is growing on me. A light read to get out of the library.

I’m not doing major reviews here, go to amazon where others have done the work for me. But remember to get your books from your library or local book stores if possible.

What I like doing lately is getting the samples from iBooks to help me make decisions.

I also would like to include some rants today. No, let me just recommend some movies I streamed from Netflix this weekend. Wish I could say go to your local video stores. But they are gone now.

1. Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream. This link might get you to a free watching.

2. Hot coffee. here is a link to the web site. Streams on Netflix. We’ve all heard about the woman who spilled hot coffee on herself and sued MacDonalds. Now see the pictures and hear the real story without a corporation’s spin.

Better get to knitting, see you soon.