Channeling Macgyver

So I have been monogamous and diligent.  Why, because of the schedule and not preparing far enough in advance.  I previously mentioned the baby blanket I have been commissioned to make.  I was given control over the design, just asked to use white, yellow, and green.  Cool beans, by picking the design it was likely I would enjoy it.  So first when looking around I saw a blanket that was Escher Fish.  I have a strong liking of fish shapes.  I like them because it makes me think of swimming.  So I asked my sister what she thought of the blanket, fully willing to commit myself to sewing together tiny little fish.  I needed her opinion to make sure I was not going to make something only a select few would like.  I also suggested a few other possibilities and then suggested she look around herself and get back to me.  She came back with a few suggestions of patterns and also suggested argyle.

Argyle, I don’t know why but it grabbed me.  So then I looked to see what was out there on knitting argyle.  Much less than I would expect.  And I had to find appropriate yarn for the project.  You know, I’m not going to use expensive dry clean only yarn for a baby blanket.  My nephew has given me the impression that clean babies only exist in photographs for children’s clothing catalogs and calenders of them dressed like flowers.  Since there was no blanket out there that matched what I wanted, apparently argyle is more a vest and sock thing (yup I have a vest and knee highs on my to-do knitting list) and I was going with a previously unused yarn, I had to guess about what I would need and ordered from knitpicks.  I forgot that knitpicks, is not equivalent to amazon.  I’m not saying they are slow with shipping, its just not out the door the minute you think about ordering it.  Remember now there is a deadline approaching.

So I get the yarn Monday (not Friday or Saturday that would have given me part of the weekend) and immediately knit a swatch with size 6 needles.  Hmm that did not come out near the gauge I was supposed to get.  Maybe they meant the metric size, or maybe my knitting is way off.  Well that is a mystery for when I have more time.  So on the way to Bond with Stacy I cast on my large number of stitches and then made the tiny balls of color.  First I foolishly, simply made balls.  The next day when I had time and admitted that was not working.  It was getting to be a long tangled mess.  So then I tried to channel Macgyver.  This was a little difficult because I had only seen one full episode in 10th grade english (the one based on Lennigan versus the Ants) and watched Richard Dean Anderson, the actor who played Macgyver, in Stargate SG-1.  So channeling with that little exposure probably explains why the plan failed to live up to the expectations.  What I did was get a piece of cardboard and cut slits for the yarn on each side and then staple plastic bags to the bottom to hold the yarn balls.  This hit problems because it was cumbersomeand the balls did not easily unwind.  So then I tried separating it into groups of 6.  Still not making life easier.

Then I found a site dealing with intarsia that discussed how to bestwork with the multiple sources of yarn.  It was genius, center pull balls.  It’s easy to get the yarn, yet the tension keeps it from unwinding further than desired.  When I was at the group on Thursday, it was funny to see everyone’s reactions to what I referred to as my sombrero.  I don’t know if they were scared I was going to lose my sanity, or thought it might already be gone.  But I have been trucking along, and think I have a great plan for finishing to hide the back as you see it. 

So I began to have the fear that I might have underbudgeted the amount of yarn I needed.  And considering the shipping time of knitpicks(not complaining, simply considering) and the deadline, I realized I needed to know sooner rather than later.  So in the middle of the third row of diamonds, I decided on a plan and balled up a set amount of yarn to use in the fourth row.  According to what I measured when I finished the fourth row, I should have a hand amount of extra yarn.  I have balled up what should be the exact amount for a diamond and will see after the end of the fifth row that, how that holds up.  Fingers crossed.  Isnt’ it beautiful so far.

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4 Responses to Channeling Macgyver

  1. paula says:

    Ashley,

    Argyle is in this year. At the Baby Gap and Old Navy they had lots of sweaters etc for kids and adults. What are you doing with all your ends, or do you always work them in as you go a long?
    I am waiting to see what you do with the back, the only thing bad about afghan knitting.

    Aunt Paula

  2. paula says:

    forgot to say I like the afghan but it must be taking you a lot of hours, are you getting paid by the hour?

    Aunt Paula

  3. karla says:

    so…i’m adding this to the list of things that i want you to knit for me…

    oh, and just in case you thought you were alone in this, courtney left a smelly diaper outside my classroom door after their visit….

    🙂

  4. courtney says:

    It was Trey’s diaper to clarify. Trey would like an argyle blanket too (shades of blue)

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