Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Heather was posting the other day about her secret stash of yarn. Well, I have a secret stash, too, one that I think every knitter can relate to...the UFO corner. I have decided to expose my corner, to uncover those UFOs, to own up to the shame, so that perhaps I can have some peace and/or perspective on these things.

First stop on the Boulevard:

This is really not a stop, but a slow drive-by, because in reality, this is not a real honest to god Unfinished Object. It's finished, but it's funky, and I'm not happy with it.

The pattern is the Mudflap Girl Tank from Stitch and Bitch Nation. It was meant to be a gift for my sister in law's birthday. Which was in February. Anyway. It's made from Classic Elite Cotton, and I don't know about you all, but cotton is just not very amenable to being blocked. See the way the armholes curl out in funny ways? Same for the neckline.

I tried to give it a crochet edging, but crocheting not being my strong suit, it just looked...funky. I then thought, well, maybe if I take the crochet out and redo it, tighter around the armholes where it gapes, maybe it will look better.

This was back in....May, I think. I have two words for you as to why the corrective measures didn't happen. Can you guess? BLACK YARN. I knew that you could!

The prospect of tearing out the black yarn just stopped me in my tracks, every time I picked it up to look at it sadly, before putting it down. I couldn't possibly give it to her looking all holey and funky and home made. Then, I had the thought...you know, I don't mind wearing stuff that's funky and holey and homemade. Because I can always admit that I made it, and people will smile indulgently. But if my sister in law wore it and someone asked her if she made it, she would have to say that her sister in law made it for her, for her birthday. And it would be a Herculean effort for people not to choke out, "And this is someone who cares about you? Are you sure she doesn't have some secret beef with you?"

So, yeah. Am wearing it as I type. Sister in law! If you're reading this, I promise to make you something beautiful! Maybe even in time for your next birthday! Love you! No beef!

The next stop:

The heinous pile of granny squares. I fell in love with a little poncho for my niece, that was on the cover of one of the Lily pamphlets. So I decided to learn to crochet, just so I could make this poncho. I made squares. And more squares. And yet more squares. And soon, as the poncho trend hit a fever pitch, I realized that I was never going to make enough squares to finish it in time before the fever faded away. Why? Because I just don't like crocheting. I know that I'd get better if I kept at it, but I just don't like the feeling of pulling and yanking the yarn through the loops.

And then I saw all the loose ends. You see how each granny square has about three different colors. That makes six different loose ends to weave in, friends and neighbors. I decided then and there, that I was going to quit while I was ahead, and sew these squares together for a purse or something.

But I still love you, three year old niece! I will make you something beautiful! Maybe for your next birthday!

Finally, there's this wrap that I was going to make for myself, when I decided I wanted to try cables.

It's from The Encyclopedia of Knitting, and I think it's a Lily Chin design. I thought it would be great to have a fluffly cabled wrap to throw around my shoulders on those five brisk days in January (which is what an Austin winter consists of). I bought two cones of a mohair/acrylic yarn from Ebay, started knitting with two strands held together, and soon realized that my cables and ribs were looking like the equivalent of lawn gnomes, compared to the lovely flowing cables in the book.

Change my gauge? Maybe. I know I will pick this up again at some point, but if it doesn't work out, the yarn could possibly work for this.

Well, thanks for coming with me on my tour! Hopefully, there won't be any new additions on this boulevard for quite a while....


At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Vince said...

Hey Olga,

I've been enjoying your blog. You write about knitting like a true believer, and your attention to the details makes a non believer curious about the Church of Yarn. Funny and engaging blog. Thanks. Vince

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Hi Olga! Don't be ashamed of that pile of UFOs -- I have a BIG one. It would be even bigger, but I finally lost all my inhibitions about ripping. Can't stand to waste the yarn! And boy am I with you on the crochet...I did a blanket for one of my nieces out of squares. Never, never again will I make anything bigger than an edging by crochet.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Olga! You should see the pile of almost finished things I've got... not just the ones that I'm willing to show - but the hideous monstrosities I cannot believe I actually got all the way through!! LOL - great post! I am right there with you on this one!

At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Belinda said...


I'm loving the mud flap tunic, funky arm and neck holes and all! What's important is the design which you executed with panache! And I'm so very jealous that you've started on cables! I've been away from the needles for a variety of reasons (none of them good) but I'm looking forward to digging back in. I just moved and was amazed and surprised to see the boxes of yarn I've accumulated over the short two years I've been knitting. Some of it is starter yarn, the inexpensive stuff you use just to try things out. But my collection of nice yarn is not so small anymore.

Hey! Once I get settled into my new place, you'll have to come over for tea and knitting (or shots -- though booze might reek havoc on keeping an even gauge!)

Anyway, too much unpacking to do at the moment and getting ready to leave town in early August. But the invite remains open.



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