Thursday, April 12, 2007

When good intentions happen to good people

These little angora booties are from the very tasty Last Minute Knitted Gifts, a book full of absolutely beautiful items in it for the knitting. So soft and cute and soothing and wee.

How are your teeth? Hurting? Yeah. I thought they might be. Here, let me help you out with that. You don't want to go through your whole day with painful teeth.

Aaaaaaargh! My eyes! Your eyes! Ooof! It's a trade-off, the teeth for the eyes. Not sure which is worse. But, man that is unpleasant to look at.

Allow me to explain/defend/ask for your support and pity.

First of all, the yarn is not that bright in real life. Really. I'd tell you if it was. It's a perfectly reasonable shade of... that color.

Second, my local yarn store does not carry angora. They may physically push you over if you've got a good yarn combination in your hands, but they draw the line at selling you yarn made of bunny. Aren't gonna do it. They will sell you this incredibly soft and fuzzy synthetic yarn as a substitute. Perfectly ok by me. I've got no stake in knitting with angora. Fine.

Nice lady working at the yarn store: You will have to double this up, but that won't be a problem. Just use both ends of the ball of yarn at the same time, hold the two strands together, and knit them like they were one strand of yarn. Oh, also! While you're knitting, be sure to keep the ball of yarn in a very small Ziploc bag. Very small. Like snack-size. Otherwise you're gonna have a huge, tangled mess on your hands. You don't want that, and I don't want that. You'll hate me.

Me: Ok.

Gratitude for still standing upright at the end of this exchange? Enormous! Giant, flapping red flags being waved right in front of my face? Ignored!

Me (at home, later that afternoon): La la la. Let me get a little Ziploc bag. I'm gonna make some booties! (I look in the cupboard. Gallon-sized only. Too big.) Huh! Well. I'm not going to leave the house in this situation, because that would be excessive. What can I use instead? What oh what? Hey! My PIC gave me these cute zip-top nylon bags. One of them is quite small. That should do just fine!

It was a tight squeeze, but the lady did say "very small". There was a little concern at this point that the yarn might get caught in the zipper while I was knitting, but the concern was overshadowed by how cute those booties were gonna be. Cute!

So, you know what? The yarn getting caught in that zipper was so the least of my problems. I wish that had been my biggest problem.

For this pattern, it's pretty imperative that you be able to see your stitches on the needle as you're knitting. You know, like this is a stitch. Let me put my needle in there. Not, is that a stitch or is that just fuzz? Or, is that both strands of yarn or just one? Or is it just fuzz?!

I won't curse at this time. I'll allow you to imagine the most colorful string of expletives you can, and then insert them here. Because right here is where those go. I can tell you that very clearly. I am quite sure this space right here is not fuzz, so you can put your curse words here with confidence.


So, this is pretty much a disaster for the reasons I've alluded to. I now have the wrong number of stitches on my needle, and there's this crazy thing you have to do in the pattern where you can't just cheat. I would rip the whole thing out and start over -- maybe not doubling the yarn -- but the store lady made the tangling-up seem like such a nightmare, I'm afraid to try to pull it out. Waaah. Life is hard.

Hey! This seems like the perfect time for some fresh-squeezed, life-lemons lemonade! Anyone need a tiny, tiny square of fuschia-ish fuzz? It's quite soft.


kim said...

That's so funny; I just sent the link of the picture of all the hanging booties from Purls to my LYS yesterday asking if they had Bellangora. They are WAY too cute. Thanks for cleansing the palate with the purple. At least you still have the gorgeous Chevron scarf....

Jean said...

Hi there. I'm here from the comment you left at January One. I really liked what you had to say. And now I'm enjoying your blog, too! Your chevron scarf is lovely! Sorry you're having such a time with the booties. In my experience, ripping back the kind of yarn you're using probably would turn into a tangled mess. Good luck!!

Michelle said...

I've made those booties about a dozen times now, but the first pair were ugg-ly. UGLY. I must have ripped them out hundreds of times. Now that I have the hang of them though, they are really not bad at all at all. Try a test bootie with regular baby yarn just to get a hang of the pattern. Then you can tackle them again with the crazy fuzzy yarn (which really does look incredibly soft...)

Dr. B. said...

Michelle - Thanks for the tip! That's a great idea. And it's really reassuring to know that your first pair was ugg.

Jean - Thank you kindly. Really, really kindly.

Kim - Yes, yes! The Chevron Scarf. Let's just focus on that. Good one.

Nora said...


Dr. B. said...

Nora - Oh my God in a bad way? Yeah. I agree.

Kristy said...

If knitting were a religion, that yarn would be a sacrilege.

Those booties are precious. I have been contemplating making a pair but haven't found any angora that I wouldn't have to sell a kidney to afford. (What IS the going rate on kidneys these days, anyway?)

I made the ugg booties from Knitty Gritty ages ago and I was blessed to be adviced to try some plain yarn first. I am so glad I did.

Nora said...

No, not bad! Just... OMG!

I have a friend who knits scarves with feathers/eyelash - it's IMPOSSIBLE to untangle! IMPOSSIBLE!

Er, why don't you try alpaca booties?

Mue said...

You guys are all hilarious! Thanks for brightening my day.

Kim said...

Masterfully written. Thank you.

Stacey said...

I knit one thing with a yarn like that. One thing. it never got finished. I vowed never to use it again. Enough said....

Dr. B. said...

Kristy - Guess who agrees with Mue? I do. You are hilarious. And I remember those Ugg booties you made. They were cute!!

Blogless Kim - Thank you so much for those propers. Who doesn't love to hear such a thing? No one. So thanks!

Stacey - Yeah! Exasperating, right? Lessons have been learned.

Mue - You are adorable.

Nano said...

File under: Disasters
That type of yarn is near impossible to rip. And mind you, I don't have furry yarn phobia.

I have furry yarn for a throw requested by my daughter, which I've been putting off knitting for about a year now. I'm hoping she'll forget about it.

Dr. B. said...

Nano - I was just about to take you up on that idea and create a new (very useful) Disasters category. Then I got scared that every post would be in that category and that I'd have to rename my blog Blather Magather Disasters. So, I'm stepping away slowly now.

I support your shunning of the furry throw.

matthewF said...

There are starving people here in China who would kill... kill. To have a patch of fuscia fuzz.

Lorajean said...

I made a pair of those booties and it was great. The pattern was really fun and kind of scientific the way you make it inside out. I used Lorna Laces angora blend. They weren't nearly as fuzzy, but I liked being able to see the stich work. And it was pretty cheap for more yarn!

Sarah said...

Ah - very funny story. I laughed out loud in my living room. Thanks for sharing... and good luck with your next attempt! Can't wait to see the outcome.

My name's Sarah, by the way. Found you on the Friends of the Purl Bee list. Happy to be reading!

Dr. B. said...

Lorajean - Mmmm Lorna's Laces sounds good. Thanks for the tip. I'm glad to hear you've had success with this pattern! Hooray!!

Miss T said...

Very funny post! I hope the booties came out okay.