FOs on Parade

For the uninitiated, FO stands for “finished object.” It is the hoped-for destiny of all the UFOs lying around our houses – “Unfinished Fiber Objects.” You’ve been patiently waiting in your pictureless prison while I galavant about, finishing things and not telling you about them, so here is your due.

On Thursday, Sept. 3rd, I made a special trip out to Highland, MD to visit my lil’ sister on her seventeenth birthday.

Stairway to Heaven is finished!!!

And Leah, the poor 25-year-old trapped in the body of a 17-year-old, has received the just reward of being called “Squirt” until a few years ago, when I finally realized that even though we’re 6 years apart, through the mystery of ratios, as we get older, the distance between us grows less and less in proportion to our relative ages, until it has become inconsequential.

She looks perfectly lovely in it. And she has had it explained to her that if this jacket is ever even in the same room as paint, she will be disowned.

Next on the list: While Jared was making homemade bagels yesterday morning,

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I was churning out single crochet like nobody’s business around the edge of this Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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I finished it around 11 p.m. last night, on I-95, as we drove back from seeing “Taming of the Shrew” in DC (I crocheted through the whole thing). When I got home last night I was so completely exhausted that I even forgot to block it. It didn’t matter though; it turned out quite nicely.

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It hung out (hardeehar) on the corner of the church’s canopy at the rather enormous Catonsville Arts and Crafts festival.

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(It is rather amazing to me that even though this event is freakin’ massive, in a small town with about 8 yarn shops within an hours drive, that there was no yarn. I didn’t have time to shop, but I walked the entire length of the event [while carrying an enormous blanket] and back while looking for our stall, and I’m sure I would have noticed yarn).

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The blanket had some quality company, and tonight it is hopefully going to a good home where it will be loved. It’s final name is “Mosaic of the Heart”, named after the joint effort of all the lovely ladies who contributed to it.

The company of this fair throw brings me to FO number three:

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Poem sock number 1! Okay, this isn’t really an FO, but I’m going to put it up anyway. As the Yarn Harlot put it once, knitting socks can be problematic, because “halfway through the project, you are confused by the presence of a finished garment.” Well it’s not done, but I don’t care. It took for freakin’ ever on size 1 needles, and I had to do the toe twice.

This is also a good time for me to go on a little rant I’ve been meditating on since about halfway through the foot of this sock.

Yarn mills are great. Again quoting my dear YH, they make it so that “whenever I want to knit, I don’t have to wrassle a full-grown angry sheep to the ground with shears between my teeth.” But I have a small beef with them.

If I haul off and pay 20$ for a very nice skein of yarn, prized for its quality and careful production, coveted for its softness and treasured for its handpainted hues ….

It kind of bothers me when I find a big KNOT right in the middle of the skein. It always shows up unexpectedly, without fail in the middle of a row. The knitter is then left with the choice of tinking back to the beginning of the row, cutting off the bit with the knot in it, and wasting a bit of this precious 40-cents-a-yard stuff; picking apart or cutting out the knot and splicing it together (if its wool); or (if you’re lazy like me) just trying to knit the knot so it falls on the wrong side of the fabric and accepting the little bump. Usually I just make it work, sighing a little sigh, and moving on with my life. But not this time.

I bought this particular yarn because I saw it and immediately decided I could not live without it. The purple and grey were just heavenly together, the yarn exquisitely fine and soft, but most of all, I loved the very long color repeats that worked their way up the sock. So you will imagine how immeasureably pissed I was when, halfway through the foot of sock #1, I found a knot… that put two different colors together, screwing up the striation. I stopped cold. I may have even cursed. There was nothing I could do. I’d carefully calculated how long to make the leg so I’d use up most of the yarn in the two socks; there was no way I could waste the amount required to get to the same place in the next stripe. I was powerless. So I knit on, and scowled.

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I probably shouldn’t be so upset. after all, the milling process may be very difficult with such fine yarn, so maybe it breaks often. And they probably get the long repeats by dying the roving first, so it’s not like they spin it first and then dye it. But seriously guys. When I pay this much for a ball of yarn because of a specific quality it has, I think I should be able to expect that quality to remain consistent throughout the skein.

*sigh*. In the meantime, I will congratulate myself that it was sheer knitterly intuition (and not fear of boredom) that made me use the feather-and-fan on the sock, which makes it color change less noticeable on the top of the foot.

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Despite the coloring issues of its sibling, sock #2 of the pair has been having a grand old time. It’s crowning moment, though, was Saturday afternoon at the Clipper City Brewery, where we went with a few friends on their tour. [Google them if you’re over 21; it’s totally awesome local stuff] At the end of it, the whole tour of 60+ people was crowded into the tiny bar area, all drinking the rest of our samples. It was amazingly loud, I had a couple drinks (okay totaling maybe 1 beer but it was strong stuff), so I stumbled over the bar and asked them to clean out my souvenir cup so I wouldn’t be tempted to get more. While there, I decide to take advantage of my slight inebriation and attempt to get over my reserve, finally trying the bold move of asking a complete stranger to hold a sock for a picture. When I put this question to the bartender, he was so quick in his kindly (but scared looking) response of “No Way!” that it was rather odd. It was then that I looked over and saw –

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ANOTHER KNITTER, just putting away a sock, I suppose after trying the same number on the poor guy! Shouting over the crowd, we quickly discovered that we were both fans of the YH, although this neato lady (named Jean) knits on two circulars (I haven’t tried it yet, mostly because the thought of purchasing TWO sets of nice little circulars makes my wallet hurt just thinking about it). I’m just glad I took a picture; otherwise I’d be kind of worried that I’d hallucinated her. (it was REALLY loud.)

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