Thursday, January 12, 2006

I fought the tree, and the tree won

Here is a shameful picture of my doggie, taken this summer. I have no knitting to show you, so I've decided to sway you to read this entry with her puppy cuteness. Is it working?

I mean this title in more ways than one.

First: The Christmas tree
I did manage to take down all the ornaments on the dreaded tree of dooooom, and the lights (thank you very much), but there it still stands in our living room - mocking me. It laughs a little on the inside when I walk around in my slippers and grimace because I have unwittingly found ANOTHER pine needle wedged into their fake sherpa interior. It giggles at knowing that I am unable to take the damn thing outside by myself (and survive to talk about it). And when we're not home, I'm sure it cackles inanelybecause it knows that it has Boyfriend in it's hypnotic trance and that unless I beg, borrow, and steal, I'm never going to be able to get him to move the damn thing. But, tonight, come hell or highwater (or perhaps both), I'm getting that forsaken deadwood out of my house. It's personal now.

Second: The knitting
I came to work this morning, fully prepared to whine and cry about last night's endeavors, but things looked up after lunch. I had prepared myself to tell the world about the cursing and yelling, and the shameful way I conducted myself last night, but I have decided to glaze over those facts, instead.

Yesterday I went to the LYS and got me some Brittany Birch needles (which are about as sticky as I can handle) so that I might sit down and make the hat from Susan's cool pattern. This was, perhaps, my first mistake. Not because the pattern isn't fabulous, but because it breaks my rule of learning more than one new thing at a time. While I know how to increase by knitting into the front and back of the loop, I have never "made one" (that sounds so naughty, I love it! Now get your mind out of the gutter. This is not that kind of blog). I have also never knit on a dpn before, which means I have never cast on a dpn before. Simple enough, but Susan has you do Emily Ocker's cast on, which is wicked cool (once you figure it out), but also new - fabulous tutorial here. So having said that, and knowing who won last nights battle, you could surmise that I spent a lot of time practicing this cast on, over and over and over and, well, you get the point. I don't even want to discuss how many times I tried. Let's just say it's not pretty and it's not in single digits.
So, by the end of two hours of attempts, I was left with some empty dpns and some very angry Cascade 220.
The worst part is that I got the hang of it right off the bat, and then decided that I wasn't doing something right, and I ripped it out. It doesn't help that I had the running commentary brought straight to my living room by Boyfriend for the better part of that knitting. I remember something along the lines of knitting with a hedgehog, and something about taking my eye out. Also, when I attempted to do 5 needles instead of 4, the commentary only worsened. He nearly got his eye poked out by an angry dpn, but was saved by the fact that they were all busy at that exact moment. The knitting was far more important then exacting my revenge. That could wait.
But alas, instead of trusting myself, I ended up ripping back over and over again and trying to do it "right". Yeah, like I know what right is. Instead I just kept getting lost. I'm not sure how you get lost when you only have six stitches, but I managed to get turned around more than a lazy susan. It was frustrating, and pathetic. Finally, when I got too tired to take it anymore I went to bed and dreamt of sanding the needles into oblivion and sprikling their ashes across the back lawn. Those were good dreams.
But then, today, things seemed to make a little more sense. I spent the better part of the morning watching tiny videos on my computer, and reading every tip I could find about how to keep your porcupine in order. Then I went to my car on my lunch break, and sat with the windows open -can you believe that it's 60 degress + in the nations capital today??. I believe that the weather helped somehow, because I got it. As long as I don't think about it too hard, I can do it. I'm up to 12 stitches on 2 needles and 10 on the other. This way I could stop and get started again fairly easily (I hope). Thank goodness, because I don't think I could take another night of having my needles fall out and roll all over the floor again.
So, hopefully, I will be able to show some progress tomorrow. I don't plan on getting my hopes up too high, because I can't say how long it's going to take me to wrestle the evil genius in the tree stand outside. With any luck I should come out the winner of this epic battle - if not, I know where to get a good chain saw, and I'm not afraid to use it.


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