Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Meg Swanson can sleep o’ nights

This fall I made an impulse buy of a half-dozen skeins of Italian wool and mohair bulky yarn, with the idea that I would make one of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Pi shawls out of it. Got down to the third increase, realized it was a bad yarn/pattern match, and frogged it.

I was looking at the Moebius in Zimmerman’s Knitting Around and experienced an epiphany; I was going to design a shawl/shrug combo that would be just a knitted circle with no twist. It would look like a combination of the Moebius and a Sonntag and it could be worn as a shrug with my arms through the center circle, or as a wrap, once around my waist and over the back of my neck. I would call it “Not Your Mother’s Moebius” and publish the pattern on my blog to universal acclaim. Vogue and the Taunton Press would be on the phone with offers I couldn’t refuse.

I did my first ever provisional cast-on and knit about six feet in mistake-stitch rib, one of my favorite reversible stitches. According to the directions I’d read, a gentle tug on one end of the provisional cast-on would gently unzip the cast-on stitches and I could then graft them or do a three needle cast off to join the two ends.

No such luck. I wound up having to unpick the stitches one by one (obviously I need to work on this technique). Once they were on the needle, I joined the two ends using the three-needle cast off, not noticing until I was done that lining up the ridges on ribbed fabric can be tricky. Oh heck. Take that out and redo it, but first, let’s try our new invention on!

Worn as a shrug, it was unobjectionable, although shrugs are something that women of my size build superstructure stature should, generally speaking, avoid. No matter, the wrap version would look much better.

After I fought my way into it, I checked it out in the bathroom mirror. It was supposed to drape around my waist, cross in front, and then nestle gently across my back and shoulders. Tweedledee being throttled by a fuzzy blue anaconda was not quite the look I was going for.

The damn thing’s reptilian characteristics intensified when I tried to take it off and nearly dislocated my arm. There just wasn’t enough give to it and I finally had to call for help. The spousal unit came into the bathroom, looked at me, opened his mouth, and shut it again (young persons of marriageable age, never underestimate the value of taciturnity in a life-partner).

"Design flaw," I gasped.

He was able to grab one of the shoulder loops and hold it away from my body long enough for me to escape.

It's going to be frogged one more time and then I think I'm going to put it away for about eighteen months.


rabbitIng said...

brilliant. tweedledum, anaconda - I can hardly type, I'm laughing so much. you brightened up a dull day for a woman pinned to her bed/chair by some ill-defined flu-like bug that's not a 'proper illness' but makes me to weak for anything but knitting - and even that. can we have another instalment please? or maybe a picture ?? ;)

Lydia said...

Oh, poor thing! How frustrating!

Shay said...

Rabbit, dearie, not for a million dollars would I allow anyone who was not my next of kin to see me in that atrocity. It's half-way to the frog pond now, anyway ;-)

nikki said...

you said "not for a million dollars would I allow anyone who was not my next of kin to see me in that atrocity."

well, that's ok because there is no way any thing posted could beat what i see in my mind's eye.

Shay said...

Nikki: and I left out the sound effects.