Friday, December 21, 2007

The Ice Queen Chronicles: Chapter One

When we last left our beloved heroine (me), I'd been pretty busy crankin out simple, mindless teacher gifts - Mindless and Simple referring to the super-easy items I'd made as gifts, not the teachers, just to clarify. But anyway, because this arrived at my house

before THIS did,

I was snowed in with beautiful soft handspun yarn, beads and a hook, and all other necessary materials, and I suddenly realized that I was trapped...

with the Ice Queen.

So I put the movie that Calvin and Ripple sent for the Apes

in the DVD player to buy myself an hour or two of relative peace so I could concentrate, and I boldly introduced myself.

Hello, Ice Queen, I'm Penny. Prepare to meet your doom. Your Provisional Cast On is powerless against me. Behold my Crochet Hook of Justice!! Have at you!!!

It only took me about 40 minutes to figure out the Provisional Cast On. Here's my first attempt, where I tried to crochet the chain first and then pick up the stitches by poking the bumps in the backside (yes, I said that on purpose). The problem was that I could never tell the front from the back, so I didn't know exactly which bumps I was supposed to be picking up with the needle and it came out horrible:

LOOK at that shit. Sucks, dunnit?

And you know how you can read ten different books describing the same concept, but sometimes you just have to read something a certain way before it actually makes sense in your brain? The Provisional Cast On instructions in Charmed Knits made sense to me - even without a drawing or anything visual to go on - and I figured it out. Here's how great I was doing:

The very first instructions were CAST ON 156 STITCHES. And I had about 100 beautiful, perfectly spaced stitches on there, when suddenly my Denise needle came unlocked and a whole bunch of my stitches fell off into oblivion. CURSES!!!!

But I wasn't going to give up that easily. Oh, no. And I am proud to announce that I successfully completed the Provisional Cast On. Yay, me!!

I was pretty sure it looked right, so I changed into my jammies and continued well into the night, and after a few rounds and it looked like this:

Yer goin' doooooown, Ice Queen.

As it turned out I fell asleep, needles in hand. Sexy.

The next day there was even more snow,

so I put the snow pants on the Apes and sent them outside, put my semi-famous Idiot Bean Soup in the Crock Pot (so named because an idiot can make it. Here's the recipe: one can each of pinto, kidney, black and great northern beans, a can of chicken broth, and some cut-up ham - it's awesome and it smells so good when it's cooking), started a loaf of bread in my bread machine, put on my game face and grabbed the Queen by the balls.

Next, I fearlessly approached the bead part. Think your beads can beat me, Queenie? HA! Totally easy! I bent those weak-ass beads to my will. Check me out.

My progress continued, the colors emerged beautifully, my feather and fan looked like it was supposed to (I thought), I had the right number of stitches, markers in the right places, and I was almost starting to see the finish line on the horizon.

The Ice Queen was gonna be my bitch before this day was through.

Then, dear readers, I got overconfident. I admit it. Somewhere around row 30-something, my stitch count got seriously screwed up. There were four stitches I couldn't find and I couldn't figure out how to get them back. Huh???

Sensing imminent mortal peril, I was faced with a choice. And so, rather leave a man (or four) behind, I gathered the troops and retreated.

The Ice Queen, she is frogged. And I'm really okay with it. I'll pop a Xannie and re-tool my battle plan.

The Ice Queen is a cruel mistress.
You win this round, Your Majesty.

But I am not defeated. Oh, no, Sister. I'll be back. And I'll be stronger. And this time I'll be armed with this Ice Queen Care Package from Carmen:

There are all kinds of faboo goodies in here - needles, row counters, handmade stitch markers, tape measures, dishcloth patterns, and The Knitter's Handbook

with topics relevant to this project flagged for my convenience! This was the coolest surprise! Thank you!


But I'll probably have to put the Queen away until after my parents have gone home.

How's that for a cliffhanger? Stay tuned.


Bezzie said...

Man, I'm telling you, I am sooo glad my ghetto provisional cast on works for me. No way would I have the patience for that stuff!

Ed said...

That's the ticket.

Never give up!


sophanne said...

Beware Ice Queen. The PennyKarma Phoenix, she Rises.

and also- I firmly believe we are the sum total of all our frogs- it's the only way I can continue.

Zonda said...

Wow!! You did it! Yeah you had to frog, but I do that all the time, but the fact that you drove on and had it going is super!! Rest while family is there (ha! right) and go for it again!! :)

shiguy4076 said...

Hang in there you're doing awesomely!!! we've all frogged at some point or another. It looked beautiful.

Poops said...

You give it hell, PK! You can do anything!

Batty said...

Lace is bad that way. You're going, you're getting it, this is easy... wait. Where are those 2 stitches? Or, the alternative: where did those stitches come from?

I'm paranoid. I use loads of markers (to mark every single repeat), and on really complex patterns, I've been known to count every single row.

Have I mentioned that I'm an incredibly slow lace knitter???

turtlegirl76 said...

Yeah I'm planning on marking each and every repeat of the pattern too. Them lace stitches are wiley. I can't get over how pretty the yarn looks all knit up! Wow!

You can do it! Isn't Carmen great? I love her stitchmarkers. They're awesome.

Eryn said...

Ahhh! I'm almost in tears at your fate. And yet I know you will ultimately win this fight!

Romi said...

Let this be a lesson! You must never anger the lace gods with over-confidence. ;)

C'tina said...

Where you been? 2008 misses you, hope all's well.....did your blog move~did I miss something?