Monday, January 12, 2009

Psychedelic Yarn Barf. not a good start for 2009

We all know how yarn has a life of its own, right? I'm not the only one? Yarns behave differently depending on the gauge, drape and design picked for it. You have to be a bit of a fiber-mind-reader and detective all rolled into one. What an amazing thing it is to pick exactly the project a yarn is meant for! You can almost hear the yarn singing as you knit along. The entire process is a joyful thing and the end result is your new very favorite sweater/shawl/mittens/etc. It's a special moment that just doesn't always happen around here all that often.

Unfortunately, most of us have had an experience (or twenty-three) where we tried to force a yarn to become something it was not meant to be. It doesn't matter that the fiber, gauge, drape and all that jazz is spot on. No, that yarn has decided it is Not. Going. To. Cooperate. Forcing yarn to become something it doesn't want to be can be worse than dealing with a moody pre-teen girl. Believe me, I've got experience with BOTH. I've had yarn roll its eyes at me, sigh deeply and flat out pout while tossing its fiber/hair. I swear I've even heard it laugh in triumph when I've grown too frustrated to continue and stuffed the damned doomed project back into a bag and shoved it into the corner.

Well, my current dilemma is a bit different than the usual pouty yarn. What do I do with beautiful yarn that's decided it's quite happy becoming a project that is turning out to be, well, craptastically fugly? Wow. So much is wrong with this project. It's a gorgeous pattern Shalom, designed by Meghan McFarlane. Meghan, I promise, cross my heart, to make your lovely pattern again in a nice solid yarn that will show the gorgeous lines, the romantic feel of the pattern once I'm done with this one. Please don't judge her wonderful pattern by the funkiness that I'm creating.

I love the pattern, the drape, the squoosh factor. It's just, well, horrid. It looks like the toilet cover my grandma had in her basement bathroom in the mid-70's. The one that was filled with mismatched towels and accessories considered ugly EVEN in the time of the Uglies. Seriously? All I see when I keep knitting along is yarn barf. 70's psychedelic yarn barf.

The scary thing? I can't stop knitting it. This yarn has Decided what it wants to be. I'm pretty much powerless to resist. I should do the smart thing and frog it and knit a nice scarf and matching hat. This yarn has spoken to me during its swatching. I've also been there with this yarn from the start. Ok, not on-the-sheep start, but back in the days of its being a white fluffy combed top just waiting to see what it would become. I dyed this yarn. I predrafted this yarn. I spun this yarn. I've spent a lot of freaking time with this yarn. How can I now hold it back from its dream of becoming actual clothing instead of the usual bits & pieces most handspun turns out to be?

Maybe I'll just keep knitting and wear it to the local knitting guild meeting and that will count as wearing it in public. We'll see how it goes. I will proudly say, "Yes. I made that. Yes. It was on purpose. Yes I know I look like a VERY BRIGHT toilet cover from the 70's. It's exactly the look I was aiming for." Then you may see me wearing a fabulous orange scarf and mittens set soon afterwards, we'll just see how it goes.

Oh, and what happens in our house when mom gets grumpy and bans all tv and video games for a couple of nights? Egg Man. You can't see in the picture, but he was carrying around two empty egg cartons like they were big, heavy weights. I've been singing "I am the egg man.....I am the egg man......I am the walrus.....koo koo ka choo...." ever since. Yes, my children are total dorks. Sweet, funny but truly dorks. The apple doesn't fall far from the toilet cover wearing tree.

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