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Archive for the ‘Impish’ Category


Posted by Janis on November 6, 2007

All right, my friends, here’s my question for you: WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? tweedmixup.jpg

If your answer is, “Those are two completely different shades of yarn!”, then you are correct! If your answer goes on to say, “Gosh, I hope she’s knitting a two-toned sweater…,” then I’m afraid you’re wrong.

I have just suffered a rather serious stash smackdown. My beloved stash — carefully stored in plastic bins and painstakingly recorded in Excel spreadsheets — sold me out last night. I had just knit up the first ball of the Yorkshire Tweed Aran for my Dad’s Christmas sweater – 175 yards of glory, minus the part I swatched. I knew that, despite the fact I had purchased this yarn well over a year ago, that I had 11 balls in the stash. I knew this because it was written on the spread sheet. See?


There it is — #115: Yorkshire Tweed Aran – blue – 11 balls. (Plus one of cream and one of plum, because I was going to design this fancy little Fair Isle portion across the chest, but I chickened out.)

So last night when I went downstairs to the stash (with a song in my heart and a spring in my step) to get Ball #2, I opened the full bag of blue yarn and gasped — (and worse, but I leave that to your imaginations): Even in the dim light of the basement, I could see that what was in that bag was NOT the same as what was on my needles at that very moment. And not to put too fine a point on it, but I had 6 inches x 41 inches of cardigan there — that’s 246 square inches of knitting — and about 8 hours of my life I’d never get back.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I raced to the computer and looked to see if Jannette’s on eBay had any more bags of the color I’d (OK, OK — mistakenly) cast-on — no dice. A quick Google offered me a few choices from $13.95 a ball to $15. Could I afford to blow a hundred bucks plus shipping to avoid frogging and starting over? I considered it. I even pondered it for at least five minutes before heaving a great sigh, getting out the ballwinder, and kissing the beginning of my Charcoal Ribbed Cardigan good-bye.

It wasn’t quite as painful as I expected, but it did register somewhere between the time I wiped out on my Rollerblades and took all the skin off one thigh and the time I missed out on a Kidsilk Haze sale.

Apparently, the rogue ball of teal-ish blue was part of that original Fair Isle plan. The bag of blue I bought was plenty for a man’s cardigan, and I must have ordered 3 balls of contrasting colors, not 2. When I was faithfully entering all of this into the spreadsheet in January, I had already forgotten this and didn’t look closely at the yarn to see the difference. (Try opening the bag next time, Doofus.)

I didn’t listen to my inner knitter when I thought the yarn seemed to have much more green in it than I remembered and wondered why I’d chosen something with so many yellow flecks in it. No, I just knit on, blithely ignoring those flashing red lights in the periphery. Thank God it was just wool and not a train.

Hey – anybody want a ball of Yorkshire Tweed Aran? The shade is #415 – Maze – missing about 25 yards, frogged, and rewound. Maybe this happened for a reason. Maybe this humble *&^%$! ball of yarn will save another knitter’s a$@. Or maybe it was just another visit from the Imp of the Perverse.


Posted in Impish, In the Stash, On the Needles | 6 Comments »

The Imp of the Perverse

Posted by Janis on February 25, 2007

I am in one of my ruts. So much to do, so little will to actually do it. For example: Friday was a beautiful sunny day.gargoylearc1.jpg I had a couple of meetings earlier in the day, then the whole afternoon free. Free! I could take the dogs for a long walk, I could sit outside and read, I could clean my grubby house, I could do our taxes so we could get our big fat refund, I could grade papers for my Monday night university students so they know if they’re passing or not, I could work on Somerset’s socks so they’d be in the mail on time.

I took a nap. The nap took place in a delightful sunbeam coming in my window just so, it’s true, but still… I took a nap. Of course, I didn’t sleep all night. I got up and started knitting. But the beautiful afternoon was gone and I’d squandered it on sleep. It must be said right here and now that I am not one of the poor souls who does not sleep well at night, suffers from insomnia, or simply cannot get to bed at a reasonable hour. Oh no, not me. I have my 8-9 hours every night, like clockwork. So it must be something else that compels me to fritter away my time this way. It must be what Edgar Allan Poe called “the imp of the perverse.” Bear with me for a rather long passage of that famous tale and see if it sounds familiar at all:

“We have a task before us which must be speedily performed. We know that it will be ruinous to make delay. The most important crisis of our life calls, trumpet-tongued, for immediate energy and action. We glow, we are consumed with eagerness to commence the work, with the anticipation of whose glorious result our whole souls are on fire. It must, it shall be undertaken to-day, and yet we put it off until to-morrow; and why? There is no answer, except that we feel perverse, using the word with no comprehension of the principle. To-morrow arrives, and with it a more impatient anxiety to do our duty, but with this very increase of anxiety arrives, also, a nameless, a positively fearful, because unfathomable, craving for delay. This craving gathers strength as the moments fly. The last hour for action is at hand. We tremble with the violence of the conflict within us, – of the definite with the indefinite – of the substance with the shadow. But, if the contest has proceeded thus far, it is the shadow which prevails, – we struggle in vain. The clock strikes, and is the knell of our welfare. At the same time, it is the chanticleer-note to the ghost that has so long over-awed us. It flies – it disappears – we are free. The old energy returns. We will labour now. Alas, it is too late! …

Examine these and similar actions as we will, we shall find them resulting solely from the spirit of the Perverse. We perpetrate them merely because we feel that we should not. Beyond or behind this, there is no intelligible principle. And we might, indeed, deem this perverseness a direct instigation of the Arch-Fiend, were it not occasionally known to operate in furtherance of good.

I have said thus much, that in some measure I may answer your question, that I may explain to you why I am here, that I may assign to you something that shall have at least the faint aspect of a cause for my wearing these fetters, and for my tenanting this cell of the condemned. Had I not been thus prolix, you might either have misunderstood me altogether; or with the rabble, you might have fancied me mad. As it is, you will easily perceive that I am one of the many uncounted victims of the Imp of the Perverse.” – Edgar Allan Poe

Alas, if only Edgar Allan had instructed us how to get rid of the little bastard.

* Holy imp of the perverse, Batman! I just stumbled on how to make the text wrap around the image! I guess the imp is good for something, after all…

Posted in Impish | 2 Comments »