Sunday, August 7, 2016

Not at All Silent Sunday

Dictionary.com defines Tinker as:
noun
1.a mender of pots, kettles, pans, etc., usually an itinerant.
2.an unskillful or clumsy worker; bungler.
3.a person skilled in various minor kinds of mechanical work; jack-of-all-trades.
4.an act or instance of tinkering: "Let me have a tinker at that motor."
  variants: Scot., Irish, English.
  1. a gypsy.
  2. any itinerant worker.
  3. a wanderer.
  4. a beggar
     
    verb (used without object)
     
    7.to busy oneself with a thing without useful results: "Stop tinkering with that clock and take it to the repair shop."
    8.to work unskillfully or clumsily at anything.
    9.to do the work of a tinker.
     
    verb (used with object)
     
    10.to mend as a tinker.
    11.to repair in an unskillful, clumsy, or makeshift way.
     
     
    Although I certainly hope that I am not an unskillful or clumsy worker, or busying myself without any useful results, the past few days I have been something of a knitting tinker.
     
    Tinker as in, tinkering with my chart and yarn.  Changing things up, completely derailing ideas and eventually going back to the original concept I wrote down before my yarn even arrived.
     
    Tinker as in "tink* back my knitting" on several occasions. 
     
    Behold, the evidence.
     
    What you see before you is a game of "Frog, Frog, Knit"  You may have heard of the children's game Duck, duck, goose. This game was a little like that, although the rules are a touch different.
     
    For Ravellenics, Colourmart put together some fabulous sets of yarn. I got a set of the 2/30 Merino. (I have a love affair going on with the 2/30's right now.) Came up with what I thought was my design idea, waited for the yarn to come and once it was here put it aside for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. 
     
     
    The day of the games, I changed my design idea three or four times and when the clock said it was time I cast on. 
     

    I discovered a couple of hours later that I liked the pattern more in theory than in actual fabric.  The curve of the half circle shawl was going to distort the lines I had envisioned more and more with each increase row and I cut the thread (for that is really what a 2/30 feels like when you first start working with it) and cast on for another try.
     
       Going back to the original design idea, I cast on and promptly forgot how to count to two. (What should have been two rows in total turned into two right side rows, four rows total, four right side rows...and then I corrected myself but the damage was done.)
     
    I tried for several hours to convince myself that it would block out. That I wouldn't be able to tell it was messed up when all was said and done and I kept knitting for a while.
     
    When you are emailing your designing friends who are much better at knitting theory and math than you are asking "Will this block out" really you know that you have messed it up and need to frog back, you are just hoping they have another solution.
     
    I am not going to say that the third time was the charm, because there is still a lot of knitting to do and the Knitting Gods are fickle creatures who love to throw mayhem into the mix. (Not to mention a fair amount of tinking** has gone into that piece as well.)
     
    You will notice that the differences between Take Two and Take Three (other than the "this is never, ever, going to lay flat" issue" is a question of needle size and when I am making the color changes.  
     
    I just started on the second color, fifty or so rows of that and the grey you see in Take Two will appear. Fifty or so rows after that the darker grey and then fifty or so rows after that the black.
     
    In all this I essentially lost two days of knitting time and those rows are starting to get longer (at 167 stitches per row now, estimated to be about 327 stitches per row before I am close to calling it a day.)
     
    Ravellenics is all about challenging yourself.  To keep it honest, here are the ways that it is challenging me:
     
    1) I have never knit a half-pi and only knit a couple of full pi-shawls in the past, so the shaping is different than I am used to. (Probably why I am miscounting things, I can't run on auto pilot on this!)
    2)Using non-standard stitches as the main pattern motifs in the sections. (The ones you have seen so far are typically used in the center of motifs in Estonian knitting, not as the attention grabber, but more as a textured filler.)
    3) Use all five colors from the set in a way that makes "sense" given the overall theme of the piece, which would probably be more clear if I told you what it was called or where the inspiration came from, but I am going to wait to tell you that!
     
    ~M
    *tink- in knitter speak, verb to "un-knit" a section or sections of knitting by working backwards to an error. (tink is knit spelled backwards, aren't we clever?)
    ** tinking - in knitter speak, the act of un-knitting, see tink above.









     

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