Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ariadne's Thread

The first picture I took of my project was obviously not close enough but I'm posting it at the top to show off those two afghans. They were made about 25 years apart. The colorful granny-square on the left was made by my Mom when she was still in high-school circa 1950. The green one behind my sewing bag was one of my high-school home-ec projects in 1975. There is a story behind the one Mom made and maybe I'll get a couple of better pictures of it and tell that story in its own post someday.

The close-up pictures of my project bring up the tail of this sorry tale.

I started another crocheted bookmark today. And this time I was determined to do it all myself, which meant figuring out how long to make the beginning chain and where on that chain to insert the two sets of six double-crochet stitches that make up a single row of the twelve or so rows needed.

This was much harder than it looked when I watched my Mom start the variegated purple one for me a couple weeks ago. And just to complicate things for myself I chose to switch to a lighter weight thread and smaller hook than I used before. I think wisdom would have suggested sticking with the same size thread and hook for this second effort. Especially considering the difficulty I was having with controlling tension and counting stiches before.

But I was stubborn. I spent hours and hours today experimenting with chain length, putting in the first set of six double-crochet and sometimes the second set before pulling it all out. I would pull stitches out when I lost count, when I lost control of the tension or when I just didn't like the look of it for whatever reason.

I started working on it during Oprah--just after four. And by the time NBC Nightly News was on its last segment I'd probably made enough stitches to complete the thing twice over having pulled it all out well over twenty times. It was just before six when I had a perfect chain of fifteen loops of uniform size indicating I and control of the tension for those single crochet stitches. I was about to stick the hook through the loop I'd chosen to carry the six double-crochet when the phone rang.

I carefully set the hook and chain down inside the silver gift bag I'm using as a sewing bag and headed to the kitchen to answer the phone. I didn't get there in time to catch it before the answering machine picked up. The answering machine is at the far end of the hallway on the opposite side of the kitchen. I carried the cordless phone with me without answering it and headed for the answering machine. If I answered the phone I would have to shut off the machine to prevent it from recording and broadcasting the entire conversation anyway and if the call was about some business only my sister or Mom could deal with it was better to just let the machine take the message.

I walked across the kitchen past the dishwasher and around the breakfast bar into the hall. It was business so I returned to the kitchen to put the phone back on its base. That particular phone only lasts five or ten minutes off its base else I would keep it near me when my sister is out. Returning to the couch I reached into the silver bag for the hook and couldn't feel it. Then I noticed the thread coming out the top....

...and heading across the couch cushion ...

...and across the carpet...

...and through the dining room...

...and through the kitchen...

...and around the far side of the breakfast bar...

...where I finally fished up that perfect chain that was now about six or eight loops long.instead of the twelve or fifteen it had been.

I found the hook on the floor in front of the couch.

Apparently I had not made sure all the loose thread had made it into the bag with the chain on the hook and some of that thread was stuck to my knit slacks and I took it for a walk.


And the story doesn't end there.

I returned to the couch with the yards and yards of loose thread in my hands, I lay it carefully down and reached into the bag for the spool, thinking to start winding it back on. But as I picked up the spool a whole bunch of the loops wound around it slipped off and the spool hit the floor and rolled. More loose thread in my hand and more on the floor. I lay the handful of loops on the couch on top of the ones I brought back from the far side of the kitchen.

I started winding. Soon I realized that this was going to take awhile and I wanted to sit down. So I picked up all that thread on the couch and sat down with it in my lap.

*banging head on wall*

By picking it up in a bunch like that I had created a tangled mess that started to knot up as I started winding again. It took me close to an hour to get it untangled and wound back on the spool. And by then my sister and Mom had returned from their outting and it was time to help fix dinner and I didn't get to work on it again until after everybody else headed for bed after ten.

Intending for Thursday's post to be about this, I started the draft right after I finished loading the dishwasher but I returned to the living room and planted my butt on the couch determined to get that beginning chain plus at least one row and then take a picture of it.

It took me until twelve-thirty to reach my goal and I decided to do a second row and then a third and then a forth. Those three rows took another ten minutes. I was on a roll and it was hard to stop but by 1AM I had the pictures and was heading for my laptop.

Close and closer..

0 tell me a story:

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