Sunday, July 7, 2013

He Gasped

When I was dating my husband, I brought him to my parents' house for a family dinner. As we were sitting at the table, someone said something so amusing that he laughed. With industriousness. My brother commented afterward that he had never seen anyone laugh so hard that the dishes shook in the china cabinet.

So making my husband laugh became an important goal in our relationship. Occasionally I pull it off, and, of course, I am very, very proud.

It was not until 20 or so years into our marriage (yes, it is true, I have no idea how long we've been married... the calculator is too far away for me to reach it easily), that I first heard my husband gasp.

It was Christmas-time last year, and my Mom was in the hospital. When my parents were in the hospital, I generally collected up my computer and whatever project I was working on with fiber and slept, awkwardly poised in a chair with a blanket around me. So Christmas day came, and my husband and son came to see us at the hospital, and I was very excited, because I had finished making a hat. Hat #2, we'll call it.

There were some issues.

Hat #1 was my first attempt to use circular needles and double-pointy needles. I got through the hat quite nicely. At the end, my mother said I needed to use double-pointed needles, or whatever you call them, so I worked my way as far as I could before the needles started falling all over the place. I didn't want to bother my Mom with pesky details, so I took a darning needle and darned the top of the hat. I think my friend Channyn would be appalled. It looked ok to me, though. I figured I'd learn the fine art of finishing on the next hat. Here's Hat #1:

If everyone would agree not to look too closely at the top, we'll be just fine, thank you very much

But back to Hat #2. My friend Edie had taken some yarn that I made by plying homespun orange and pink wool with some fancy brown commercial yarn and made a sample so I could see how it would look knitted up. It looked good to me, so I thought I would make it into a hat. If you look closely, you can see her sample has a strand of hot pink, a strand of orange, and then this brown commercial fancy yarn that I suppose you might call eyelash yarn:

So my husband and son showed up at the hospital on Christmas morning, and I was a bit bleary eyed from a night sleeping upright in a chair. I got all excited and said, "Oh HONEY, you have to see the hat I've just finished. So I ran into the bathroom, plopped it on my head and whirled around.

And that's when he gasped.

Something I've never heard him do before.

In something like 20 years. Maybe 25, if you count the 5 in which he claims he was dating me.

OK, so, admittedly, the hat was too big for my head, had four double pointy needles hanging off the top, and strands of orange and brown flopping out from various parts of it, because I didn't have scissors or a darning needle....

So for his punishment, here is my Sweet Sweet Patookie, wearing Hat #2, which fits him quite nicely, if you ask me. My friend Channyn picked up all the dropped stitches and finished it off, presumably to keep me from getting out the staple gun to make the top all tie together:

For what it's worth, yes, I do know it looks awful.

Too Hot to Handle?

I finished my first round of wild yarn using the fiber from the Central New York fiber fair. It seems my efforts to learn to spin thin have taken such an effect that making lumpy bumpy art yarn was more difficult than I expected. You'll recall from my blog entry Inspiration / Perspiration that I was working with some wild fiber with lots of blues and sparkly stuff in it. I made up that yarn, and thought, "well heck, this needs a little more somethin' somethin'." So I dug around in my bins and found a coordinating commercial yarn, and then found some commercial eyelash yarn (my sweet husband saw the eyelash yarn and wanted to know if I had taken to cutting up my Dad's old silk shirts, but nope, I haven't gotten that far yet). So I plied the coordinating turquoise commercial yarn with the art yarn, then tied pieces of the eyelash yarn in every 12 inches. My friend Denise says I can ply the eyelash yarn in instead of tying it, so I will look into that for another project. It might be more secure to ply it in, because it will slip around a bit tied in the way I did it.

So, I started with this:

And ended up with this:

What can you do with bulky colorful yarn like this? I say, hat, scarf, or purse. A hat would be pretty wild looking. There's only about 68 yards of the final yarn. I have leftover eyelash yarn, and then leftover commercial blue yarn. It would be interesting if you could come up with a project that would use all the yarn, including the leftover yarn. So if you've got a vision, let me know. In the meantime, it's into the apothecary jars for this!