Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Ice Queen, ROUND TWO.

Forgive my absence from the Knittyboards. I've had a rough week. After three hours with Margie I felt like someone had beaten me from head to toe with a wooden bat. Couple that with the fact that Tito has been sick all week, awakening every morning this week sometime between 2:30 and 3:30, demanding my attention.

Wednesday morning I woke up to the sound of coughing. It was strange, because I couldn't figure out where the sound was coming from. It wasn't in our bedroom, but it was too loud to be coming from upstairs or outside our bedroom door, which we usually keep closed. I got up and walked toward the sound. My bedroom door had apparently been opened, and when I looked in the hall, on the floor I saw Tito sleeping here:

He got in the coat closet, put my down coat on the hallway floor for a mattress and put his own coat on top of himself for a blanket. Most ingenious. So I felt sorry for him and asked him why he didn't just come climb in the bed with me and Dad. He cuddled up with us for a few hours, and I kept him home from school. He was lethargic and grouchy, and he just wanted to lay in bed next to me.

I love staying in bed for hours, believe me, but if I can't be with R (or Mr. Depp or Mr. Rickman or some other luscious pool boy), I'd rather be by myself than with a crabby five-year-old. It's not like I could sleep, as every few minutes he'd want me to get up and fetch him something. So since I was already pissed off anyway, I decided to pull the Ice Queen out of the frog pond and knit in bed next to Tito. Call me a glutton for punishment.

I'd read the message boards for the Ice Queen KAL on Ravelry (that's Kint-A-Long, where a bunch of knitters work on the same project at the same time and compare notes), and saw that someone suggested the Beaded Picot Cast-On, rather than the Provisional which was such a pain in my ass the last time around (and I didn't even get to the part where you have to rip out the waste yarn and pick up the stitches, which I suck at).

Obviously either one would require me to learn a new skill. I figured it was worth the effort to try out the Beaded Picot thing, since by doing so I wouldn't have to deal with picking up stitches and whatnot. You know how you can look at the instructions for something and see that it sounds like something you can handle, and then you wonder if it might be a typo or some other kind of mistake? It CAN'T be as easy as that. There's no way. Cuz that sounds like something I actually know how to do.

CO 5, BO 2, place a bead in the middle of the 3 stitches you've got left. That didn't sound too hard.

So I did. And it took me a couple of tries to actually feel like I was doing it right, because it really didn't look right on the needles. But I did it, and I was pretty sure it was okay.

I dug out the instructions I had thrown down in angst weeks ago and got started. I got out my #7 Denise needles and after frogging the City Shawl I started in November of 2006, which was painful but necessary -



I attached long a cord as I had available. I was pretty sure it was about 24", which is not the length called for in the pattern but Turtlegirl, among others, had said that the longer needle made the project easier, and I'll always follow the suggestions of someone who knows more than me.

I wasn't able to do a lot on it, but I did get to the point where I was able to tell that the Beaded Picot Cast-On did, in fact, look rather kickass. I was proud of myself. I set it aside for the day.

Thursday morning Tito climbed in with us and coughed and sniffled and kicked and whimpered, which was completely pitiful, and no, I'm not the most heartless mother in the world, but this was the third night in a row of this shit, and this girl needs some sleep. I let him stay in the room with us, but I clenched my teeth the entire time and went through all of Thursday with a blistering headache.

I was afraid if I touched the Ice Queen, one or the other of us would die. So I left her alone on Thursday and let Tito be Tito. Yes, that's a pair of underpants on his head. It was funny for about two seconds, then I discovered that he'd put his head through a leg hole and I had to cut them to get them off his head. And there went a perfectly good pair of underpants.

When he woke up at 3am on Friday, I was able to convince Tito to go lay on the sofa in the living room so Dad and I could sleep. And it went great for a while, but within about thirty minutes, he started wailing for me to pick up the box of Kleenex for him. I went out to find a box of Kleenex within arm's reach of where he was laying, and about fifty wadded-up Kleenex on the floor around it. Grrrr.

After he got me out of bed the third time for something stupid, I decided just to stay in the room with him, subjecting myself to whatever kids' show was on PBS Kids at that moment. It happened to be Boobah, and loves, if you've never seen Boobah, I can't even describe it other than it's a bunch of colorful, furry, uncut outer-space penises that make fart sounds whenever they move. It's the only show that makes me want to kill myself more than Caillou does.

Friday I absolutely had to clean my kitchen. I have an Enchanted Kitchen, do you? You see, only I have been entrusted with the sacred knowledge that there's a mystical, secret dishwasher in our kitchen that's visible only to me. So I really can't fault the rest of the family for never loading or emptying it, can I? Oh, and there's also a Magic Trashcan, and eventually everything thrown on the floor and forgotten WILL, in fact, find its way to the Magic Trashcan. Eventually.

It's not magic, it's Mommy. Story of my life.

After cleaning out the sink, wiping down the counters and scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees, I got dinner started (Idiot Soup - four cans of beans in a Crock Pot) and decided to reward myself with a little knitting.

I had taken Tito to school Friday morning, willing to take the chance that they might call me to pick his phlegmy ass up at any moment because I was SO. SICK. OF. THAT. KID. But I had him home with me in the afternoon, so I got him the DVD of Beethoven and sat down to confidently do battle with Her Majesty once again.

This time I got all the way to row 20. I had all the beads right, and while I had made a couple of errors along the way, I didn't think either was major, plus this part of the piece is actually at the bottom and I doubted anyone would really notice. Here's where I got:

And then, the moment of truth. After 20 rounds, you should have 108 stitches. I had 107. I found the errant repeat and figured out a way to fudge it. Who cares.

Somehow, kids, despite casting on with the needle size called for in Version A and completing the first two knit rows as called for in Version A, I discovered that I had painstakingly completed the last twenty rows... from the VERSION B CHART.


(You were waiting for me to say it, weren't you?)

I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried. I'm actually surprised I didn't vomit.

Knitties, please talk me down from the ledge. Tell me this is no big deal.

I've kinda already decided it's not a big deal to ME. I'm absolutely NOT going to rip the shit out and start over. If I frog the queen again, I won't try again and I'll return Turtlegirl's lovely yarn (which I absolutely love, by the way) to her so that she can pass it on to a more worthy knitter.

I'm going to carry on with Version B like I did it on purpose. To me, the only thing that will be different is that there will be more beads on it that in Version A. The stitch pattern is only slightly different, otherwise, right?

It does explain why I'm having so much trouble scootching the stitches around a needle that's a size smaller than I'd have if only I'd started out following the directions for Version B when I cast on.

Oh, it's a damn good thing we're stocked up.


Kevin said...

I had no idea that the Ice Queen would be such a frigid bitch. The knitting was supposed to be a reward, and it's sounding like more of a punishment. Well done in deciding to just accept it as it is and move forward to make the best of it.

Dame Wendy said...

I've been indecisive about putting Ice Queen in my queue. I think I have my answer now.

I have a feeling when I have babies my whole house will become enchanted. ;)

Batty said...

Oh no. After that week, you deserve one of each from this picture. And then have another round. That should get you good and sleeping even if Tito is coughing right next to you. But don't knit lace in that state... I did, both exhausted and not entirely sober, and I regretted it both times.

SiressYorkie said...

Hey, we have the same kitchen chairs!

Oh wait, that wasn't the point of the post.

Okay, look at it this way:


Do you think that when you wear The Queen, someone's going to yank it off your head, hold it up to a spotlight, and say, "SHENANIGANS! CROSS CHARTING! SHENAAAAANIGANS!!"??

And even if they did, it only means you get to plant your fist squarely in their face. So really, it's all good, and either way, you win.

Y'know, the Amish sew a mismatched piece of fabric into every quilt they make because of their philosophy that only God is perfect. Are you trying to be God again with your perfect knitting? Because if you are, I have a few issues with you...

It's only yarn, PK. It's fiber with dye on it. YOU tell IT what to do, not the other way round.

Ed said...

Pants on the head!
That lad's a comedic genius, a genius I tell you.

You're right, just get pissed and forget the world for a bit but only a bit mind.

I'll be sooooo very happy when your Rickman porn falls off the bottom of the page, the music comes blasting out of whatever computer I happen to be using, when I come by your blog to see what you're up to. Basically it's getting up my nose.

Stickyfingers said...

So the wrong chart was followed, so what? Are YOU happy with it? Keep truckin!

turtlegirl76 said...

There's a difference in the chart other than the bead placement? Really? I used the chart for the garter stitch version but knit it in stockinette. If you want less beads, you're at the perfect point to decide that. When you get into your 4 row repeat, that's when you can decide how many beads you want to be placing. I thought the only difference between the charts was garter versus stockinette and the # of beads. I didn't think the overall stitch pattern was any different. I think you're just fine.

Carina said...

I say to hell with the pattern. Do what feels right at this point, and follow whatever chart you're on. It looks like a decent circumference anyway, and blocking will take care of some of that.

My daughter came down ill last night. Ugh. I'm hiding in my comfy chair and have resorted to movies. The boy's fine and getting clingy because he's so bored and his sister won't play with him. I hear ya on the sickies craziness! Bah, I say, bah!

Beverly said...

I say keep going with chart B. No one's going to notice anyway. If it's the difference between finishing the project and nixing it altogether, then go for the option to finish. It would be a shame to send the yarn back.

Or, is there a lacy scarf you could make instead?