Saturday, May 24, 2008

Some Bad Words Were Said

A few days ago I discovered in my stash one hank of Suri Alpaca laceweight yarn (Cherry Tree Hill , Foxy Lady colorway) that had been given to me as a gift. Since I’m knitting to challenge myself, and since I’ve been intimidated at the very thought of knitting lace, I decided that now is the time.

I searched the web for a wide scarf pattern or a stole that could be made with one hank of this gorgeous yarn, 440 yards. Found just the thing, a small stole in Interweave Knits Fall, 2006, called the Swallowtail Shawl. Using my new swift and ball winder, I wound the hank into one promising-looking ball o’ yarn.

I spent the rest of the evening with another (practice) yarn and size five needles, figuring out how to read the pattern and how it worked. I ended up with a swatch big enough to see the lace pattern and correct enough to convince me that I was ready for The Real Thing. I just had to get some decent lace needles; the ones I was practicing with are plastic and snub-tipped; I knew that they would be impossible with that incredibly tiny, fuzzy yarn.

Meanwhile, just to see what it would be like to work with, I knit up a bit of a very simple pattern recommended for laceweight, called Eye of Partridge Laceweight Shawl. (I found it on someone’s blog and didn’t keep the address – I’m sorry for this egregious breach of knitterblog etiquette.) I knit just enough of it to realize that my initial instinct had been correct, and I should use the Suri Alpaca for the Swallowtail Shawl. Just have to get me some nice Knitpicks pointy lace-knitting needles.

And then the impossible happened. [Drumroll…] My puppy got into the little project, which I had left on my knitting chair, and very quietly turned that one ball of laceweight into an inferno of tangles and chaos that stretched into two rooms and out into the upstairs hall. And she did it while I was right in the room with her, looking at my computer instead of at her.

Some very bad words were said. Words that no minister should know. They were said a lot, and quite loudly. Then I mentally said a sad goodbye to my yarn (can you imagine untangling such a mess?) and then thought “Wait! This is blogworthy!” So I gathered up the mess and put it on my chair, took a few in memoriam photos and here we are.

I think I will just set this mess aside for a few days in case someone can give me a tip about how to restore this eyesore to a ball of yarn. I do have an end – a place to start. But oh my goodness, is it even possible?