Friday Fails and Fixes

Madrona day 2

Remember how I told you I went to a sports ball event last week? Well, I won Blazers tickets at Christmas party for my day job.  My plan originally was to give them to Thing 2 and her S.O. for Christmas. However, Poopie thought it might be fun/interesting to go to the game.  So, last Thursday night, we went.  As you can tell, our seats were nosebleed seats (third row from the top).  Which means that Poopie and I were both terrified we would randomly fall over, and tumble to our deaths.  Neither one of us is really into any of the sports balls.  This was an experiment.20180208_185625.jpg

Wednesday, I realized that I needed to start another hat so I could knit while watching the sports ball tournament (full disclosure, I’m totally using the wrong terminology for purposes of aggravation).  I mentioned this to Poopie, and he asked me if I wouldn’t rather do a project where things change when there’s a score.  Don’t worry that this sentence didn’t make sense.  This happens in long term relationships (a friend and I have been known to have entire conversations without saying a single word). The important thing is that I knew what he was talking about.

Poopie was referring to one of the first classes (I think it was *the* first class, but don’t want to exaggerate) I took at a festival.  I don’t recall the name of the class.  But the instructor was Debbie New.  I had no idea who she was, but she had already written Unexpected Knitting.  This class was a very interesting take on patterning.  If you check out her book at the library, or purchase a copy, you will find that she is an insanely smart person.  This particular idea is a variation on the one she calls “Cellular Automaton” knitting.  It’s an idea taken from nature, where the environment dictates how the pattern develops.  (I really need to figure out what would be necessary to teach this technique) Anyhoo, I thought this sounded like a great idea for a souvenir of the sports ball event.

The idea *was* great.  The execution was not.

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pre-game

The first section here is my attempt at remembering what to do.  I separated it with a purl row.

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first quarter

Then we have the first quarter.  My plan was to do a yarn over each basket, and the direction of the decrease would be who made the basket, so right leaning would be us, and left leaning would be them.  I chose to do lace vs. a knit/purl patterning because the yarn is speckled and fuzzy.

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second quarter

What that means, though is that the “wrong” side is generally stockinette, so I can’t “record” any points during my knitting back section.  So, you can see partway through, I gave up on that, and did yarn overs regardless of right or wrong side.

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third quarter

I missed soooo many baskets though, because I was going off of crowd reaction.  I apparently dropped a bunch of stitches, because everything got smaller.

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fourth quarter

As you can see, the match went into overtime.  Poopie was less than enthusiastic about that.  Which made me unreasonably happy.

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OT hahahahaha

The featured photo is what I ended up with.  While I am perfectly happy with a random patterning, this just looked like I had no idea what I was doing.  Even if that is often true, I try not to advertise that.  It’s a secret between us, Dear Reader. So, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.  I like the idea of a keepsake of the sports ball.  But I did NOT like the scarf.  I decided to take it out and start over.  Poopie reminded me to take pictures.  So here they are!!

Why, you may ask, am I talking about sports ball from last week when I’m at Madrona?  Well, this is the scarf that I was working on on the train.  So, there’s that.  I’ve restarted it, and re-did the rules.  I may post more specifics about it, but yesterday had a story that I thought would go well with Friday Fails and Fixes.

Remember how L was working on green? It’s a pattern that Madrona put out in 2014 for the event.  Well, yesterday, while waiting for Pam, L had to frog and tink and was *very* mildly irritated with a mistake somewhere in her knitting.  Meanwhile, I was knitting away on this scarf.  Then I got super excited.  I had had a mutation!20180215_162212-e1518840096919  There was some error somewhere, and the patterning I hadn’t even realized was occurring in my “random” stitches got messed up.  It may be difficult to tell, but the eyelets below the box tend to go up towards the right.  Regardless of how random the pattern is, the eyelet is always to the right.  However, you can see in the box that the eyelets are to the left of the row below. I got off a stitch somehow.  It was super exciting for me.  L thinks I should teach her this technique so that she can be excited for mistakes as well, rather than irritated. I told her I’d think about it.

So, in this post we have a couple of methods of dealing with failure.  We can be glad we tried something, but decide that it’s really not for us (sports ball games).  We can admit that something isn’t working in the form that it’s in and try something new (first scarf). Or, we can be excited to see what new fresh hell we’ve wrought exciting things we can discover (current scarf).  Regardless, if you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying new things!

 

Friday Fails and Fixes

In which she drops the f bomb (once)

OK,  I said yesterday I’m expanding, and so I am (that’s not a fat joke).  I *wanted* Friday to be Friday Fuck-ups.  But, I was reminded I’m supposed to be PG-13.  Apparently, you can only have one f-bomb in the movie to keep it PG-13.  I hope to be doing more Friday posts, so….I had to rethink.  Thinking in the first place can be rough.  Re-thinking…torture ;).

I wanted it to be in that same vein, though.  And here’s why: we see on social media (blogs included) the best facet of people’s lives.  When we meet someone in person, we meet their Facebook persona.  Life is *not* like that though.  As an example, I have an affinity for crafts, and naturally catch on. So, in classes, I soar ahead of the other students.  HOWEVER, I still have epic fails. They don’t see that in classes, and may think it always comes easy… which it doesn’t.

Comparing ourselves to the online versions of people is an awful thing to do to yourself.  I have had it described to me as comparing our rough draft lives to someone’s final draft.  “Oh look, she has this perfect family, her husband bought her flowers.” Meanwhile, I’m over here giving mine the silent treatment and he doesn’t even notice it’s been three days since I spoke to him.  What she’s not saying is that he bought her flowers because he was out all night, and came home smelling of booze and cheap perfume.

Dear Reader, I hope by now you’ve grocked to the fact that my stories about crafting are VERY thinly veiled stories about life.  They are all true, mind you, but the lessons have more to do with life than the actual craft. For example, I’m not going to be telling you about the time my husband farted in my face on my 30th birthday because he thought it would be hilarious. That would be rude and uncalled for…kind of like farting in someone’s face ON THEIR BIRTHDAY.

Instead, I’ll tell you about the above shawl, and you can infer what you want from that.

This summer, my LYS had an event wherein each month, you made something that fulfilled the requirements they put forth at the beginning of the month.  August’s project needed to have a pattern who’s name included Sun, or Solar, or Eclipse (I think).  So, I bought yarn, and a pattern.  This is a big deal for me.  I rarely buy yarn anymore *cough* yarn wall *cough*.  Same with patterns–there’s so much out there for free!  And I almost never buy both for a project.  Even more shocking, I ended up purchasing (on accident) the yarn called for.

I set about knitting this thing.  And I hated almost every moment of it.  The lace pattern was not intuitive at all, the pattern was confusing.  I had been spoiled by shawl patterns by Sivia Harding*. I really liked the yarn and color-way, but was slogging through the shawl.  Fellow crafters were in love with the shawl.  Pam even bought the pattern and some yarn to do one herself (over my strong objections).  I just couldn’t have the same enthusiasm…until I finished.  Huzzah! I was done!!!!

Sivia had finally convinced me of the joys of blocking (we will get there someday, Dear Reader), so I went to block this shawl….and that’s what I saw….A giant freaking hole (already dropped an f-bomb in the post can’t do another.  Believe me, in real life, this was a hard R moment).

I was about ready to cry.  The only thing that saved me from tears was my absurdist sense of humor.  Of course the shawl I hated would be a fail.  Of course I spent a solid month working on something there was no salvaging.  While I’ve taken classes and become fairly adept at fixing lacework…this lace has no repeat.  It’s a mess to do it in the first place, much less to figure out what dropped where.

No.  the only fix was to take a picture to share my shame with my crafting friends, and rip the sucker out.  The pattern has been shredded, and the yarn, as you can see is back on the yarn wall where it can think about what it did.

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Yarn in its naughty spot

So that’s the fail.  In this case, the fix is to delete, delete, delete.  In life, we don’t always have that option.  He can’t unfart in my face, and is that really a break-up-able offense if you aren’t Elaine?  I know, I had to think hard about it too…  Unlike life, crafting ALWAYS has that option.

When I first taught DeAnna to knit, we were knitting squares for Warm up America.  She went off to knit, and came back with…something. It wasn’t square, or even a rhombus, we don’t know what it was.  She was almost in tears, she was so frustrated.  She had no idea what she did wrong (neither did I frankly, to this day I don’t know).  I told her not to worry, we’d fix it.  I pulled out the needles, and undid the whole thing.

Just like life, my crafting advice can be a bit…dubious.  I mean, a better teacher would probably have figured out what she did, and actually fixed it, instead of just tearing it out and having her do it over again.  But, I know DeAnna.  What she needed that day was a do-over.  Some days are like that…even in Australia.

So, if you have need of dubious advice, let me know! I’m more than happy to oblige!

*no sponsorship, I just love her classes and designs!