Friday, January 28, 2011

Gang Aft Agley

So, I had this lovely plan. Tulips in January. I'll be seeing the person the scarf is intended for at the end of the month, and that's plenty of time. Right?

Um. Not so much. This is where I woke up somewhere around Tuesday and suddenly realized that this week is the end of the month. And I will indeed see the scarf's recipient. And the scarf is currently only six inches past the halfway point. And in order to gift it this weekend, I would have to finish and block it tonight. And... that so isn't going to happen.

So, as I so often do when one of my clever plans goes awry, I tried to mentally retrace my steps. Where did it go off the rails? So I came up with a list of hypotheses.

1. House concert. This did take some time...making up flyers, doing publicity, taking reservations, cleaning, baking, setting up...I lost several evenings and a whole Saturday this way.

2. Dealing with snow. We hired the handy Local Guy with Snowblower to deal with the really big storms, so I can't complain so much about shoveling, but holy Hannah, there have been some long, slow commutes. And some shoveling, and salting driveways, and a lot of putting on and taking off winter outerwear that adds up to just about everything outside the house taking longer.

3. I spent some knitting time reading. This has some truth to it as well. After the marathon Christmas knitting, I was feeling book withdrawal over New Year's. So far for 2011, I've read 9 books. Which isn't a huge amount but is certainly not knitting time.

4. I spent way too much time knitting the addictive mitred square blanket. Yep. That's certainly true. I've got 57 squares knitted and no finished scarf, so it's pretty hard to argue otherwise.

5. I grossly underestimated the length of the time it would take to knit this project. This is actually pretty likely, too. I have a history of thinking I knit faster than I do. I certainly thought that taking out the provisional cast one would be easy and quick. (It wasn't...I wound up dropping stitches and rearranging things and after slipping things back and forth about six times trying to pick up what I thought were the right loops of yarn, I found that the first row of opposite facing tulips were a stitch offset from one another. So I ripped back to the center line, tried again, repeated this a couple more times, and finally wound up with a two rows of symmetrical tulips I didn't hate with a violent passion. If I do this again, I'll have to try casting on a row of eyelet or something on before starting the pattern- I think it would have been easier to get even when I took out the waste yarn. And let's remember to check that the chosen waste yarn is actually not going to stick to itself instead of assuming and finding out I was wrong. After pulling little shreds of it out of the scarf end with my fingernails, I think I can definitively state that it does stick to itself. A lot.) Also, this is fine yarn knit in a lace pattern on number 3 needles. Expecting it to take longer than a garter stitch scarf in bulky weight yarn is completely reasonable.

So, after duly considering all these ideas, I have concluded that the problem was...all of the above. And I still have two and a half more feet of scarf to knit. Note to self. Make the next scarf out of heavier yarn on larger needles.
Further note to self. Re-read this post next time you think you have a clever plan....

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