Stockinetta and Garterina, twin goddesses of knitting mischief and mayhem , are officially on Summer Vacay. Here's how I know: I went to my LYS on Mission: Implausible. The nice Lady there sensed a disturbance in the Force: "You look like you know exactly what you're after; just let me know if I can help at all...". I held up the shawl. "I'm five rows from the end, and I'm out of handspun. I know that at this point there are only degrees of failure." The color actually drained from her face. "Don't cry for me," I said. "I knew this was a one-way trip, but I just had to try."
And that's when I spied it: THE EXACT perfect color. I zeroed in for the kill. Brand: Fibre Company. Color : Rose Hip. Fiber Blend: 50% Baby Alpaca and 30% Merino, 20% Bamboo Not too weird (Bamboo notwithstanding), and with a halo reminiscent of the one on my handspun. Sure, the piles were 3, rather than 2, but beggars, at this point, dare not be choosers. What really matters is the COLOR. No mere Mortal deserves a match this precise. I may have done a dance of triumph. The LYS lady, already unnerved by my dramatic and downtrodden entrance, was stunned out of her ability to make words. "I know," I said. "This does not happen under ANY predictable circumstances." Clearly the Knitting God(esse)s were not paying attention. Or else, they were in the Caymans. LYS lady rung me up with a solemnity usually reserved for religious services.
I went tearing home, determined to complete all the other jobs on the day's list: Write sizing for new patterns; CHECK. Drop off samples at Post Office; CHECK. Give haircuts to overheating (and somewhat smelly) Scottie Dogs; CHECK. Some of their dust ruffles might be a little crooked, but I was on a mission. I was a To-Do List Machine, maniacally plowing ahead until I could finally work those last STINKING five rows and the bind off (yes, picots; I hear you and obey).
And MAN is a picot bindoff at the end of a top-down shawl tedious. Yeah, I said it. I love picots more than any human should, and if I'M bored with them, there is something wrong with the universe. I bound off, eventually, but I was totally in a fugue state by the end of it.
And by the way, How (brace for tirade) can any knitting patten in its right mind actually direct us to add a bead to the first picot of the bindoff, the last picot of the bindoff, and NONE Of the other 172 picots in between? That way lay insanity, my friends. That's like saying to a ravenous hyena, "Here's the keys to the Butcher Shop. Just stop whenever you think you're finished". Puh-Leeeze.
Of course, when it was time to block, I naturally had to pin out each and every single one of those 174 beaded picot edges. OCD much? I know. Totally Worth It:
Can you spot where the yarn changes? Neither can I, and I know. Butter Side Up.
So what have we learned, Dorothy?
1. It's okay to look to the stars for a solution once you have arsed up. Only a complete embrace of defeat can properly clear your head though, leaving you open to a solution.
2. I still am not a grownup, with regard to pacing myself through a project. If the thing I'm knitting doesn't get faster as I go (you know, the OPPOSITE of like, every shawl in the world), I'm likely to loose patience/interest. If I hadn't been desperate to see what would happen to the edge of the shawl after finding the perfect replacement yarn, I might have let the thing lie around for another two years and twenty minutes.
3. Crescent-shaped shawls are our friends, but they need bendy blocking wires, so if all you have are straight ones, better be ready to pin. A Lot.
I still don't understand shawls. Or lace. And certainly not beads. But I think this experience has delivered me one step closer to those who do.