Wednesday, October 31, 2007


People often wonder how it is that I do so many things in my life. I seem to be the only person who makes people tired after telling them what I did on the weekend. Is it because I am all too willing to accept crazy challenges (even more so, blithely impose them on myself)? Is it because I have this need, this desire to be that over-achiever my inner C grade Public Schooler wanted me to be so badly (and that I actually mustered into being by Grade 8 much to my own astonishment)? Is it because I strive to do things (seemingly impossible things) for other people just to get them to like me?


It is because I am nuts. And how has all of this become possible for me and perhaps not so much for you? Because I have become a Time Lord. (Without ever watching Doctor Who...because it scared the be-jeezus out of me when I was a little kid. I have been led to believe that it has come along way since the Darleks were disturbing tin cans and that the Doctor is a hottie, but still, this Time Lord can only bend it like Beckham for so long. Even I recognize that I have limits.)

So, I’ll bet you want to know why it was I had to bend time itself to achieve a crazy self-imposed goal. Well, it started with a little email from a friend of mine. Banjolina asked me if I could knit a cool hat for John in a week. No problem, I said. A week is a breeze. Lots of time. The hat was for his birthday on the Tuesday of that week to be presented at the next Corkery Road practice on the following Sunday.

So I went to the local yarn shop and proceeded to the wall of Paton’s Classic Merino, the most wonderful felting wool in existence. This yarn in charcoal I could not get. Nice mossy green, yes. But I wanted charcoal for the hat that was in my mind. So I turned instead to the Briggs and Little rack and picked up the required amount and thought, ‘It’s a 100% wool. It will felt.’ And went on my merry way.

I’ve made several of these Fiber Trends hats now. They are easy, fast, almost fool-proof. This yarn works really well. In a few hours you have a great gift for under $20. And the things are stylish and practically wind-proof (very good for Ottawa Valley winters). So, getting right on it, I cast on Monday night and was done the knitting by Thursday night. I was taking a leisurely pace because I had until Sunday to present the finished product.

I had Friday off, so while playing about with the children, I felted the hat. Normally this involves throwing it into a pillowcase, tying it shut (to save the washing maching from a linty death) and run it through a hot cycle once, maybe twice. After three trips in the pillow case alone in the machine, I added my towels to give it more agitation. I still hadn’t shrunk down to the size it should have been. To the size it would have been had it been Patons Classic Wool.
So I removed it from its pillowcase and let it commingle with the towels for a go or two. Then I threw it in the dryer, thinking, ‘Ha. That’ll fix you, you bastard.’

Not so. And still I did not give up. The fact that it did not shrink any more than it had already shrunk after the third try, should have made me pause. But I had the fever on me then. And not enough time to begin again. What did happen though when I let it take its trip with the towels is that it became covered, nay encrusted with towel lint.

So for all my efforts and my hot water bill, I had a furry hat that only a giant could wear. Great.

I confessed the whole affair in the car on the way out to the outer reaches of Orleans while John and I travelled to our music practice. We laughed about it. But in my mind I thought, ‘He’ll be at jam on Wednesday night’ as in tonight.

So, Monday saw me back at Yarn Forward when I once again stood in front of the Patons Classic Wool, clawing down the lovely mossy green wool and I headed off to now complete a knitting feat. I would knit and felt that sucker in 2 days. (Keep in mind I do not knit during regular work hours….lunch doesn’t count as anyone who has seen me take me knitting for a walk will attest to.) So, Monday after the girls were in bed, it was GAME ON. I cast on and worked like a fiend. A fiend with a splitting headache. I got 4.5 inches done. Things did not look good for the deadline. However, a good night’s sleep rid me of the headache and last night, I called down the moon and bent time to my will. In 3 hours, I burned through countless stitches and sewed the top stitches together, tied it up in it’s pillowcase, tossed it in the laundry on hot and went to bed.

In the morning I had this. It might still be a bit moist, but most recipients of knitted items have encountered this.

Oh, yeah, I also had my knitting mojo kicked in the arse again last week. I bought some lovely yarn at the Real Wool Shop. Wendy Fusion 50/50 wool acrylic in a wonderful varigation with sea green, deep blue, aqua, to a lime green. It looked magnificent in the ball. It looked like ass in the hat I made. The Pinwheel Hat that I had gotten from The Yarnpath blog is a beautiful hat. I don’t advise variegated yarn. Not so nice. So, it’s going to be frogged and turned into a scarf and I’ve already bought some replacement Patons D├ęcor to do another one.

I am one stubborn woman. Who has the ability to bend time. Remind me of this around Christmas time when I may need help to bend it as much as I’m going to.

For now, Happy Hallowe'en!

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