March 7, 2007

Catch Up

It's been a whole week since I last posted. I was out of town visiting family for most of that week. I chose to hang with the fam. instead of hijack my Mom's computer for blogging.

While away, I gave the dragon scarf to my nephew. I think he liked it? He instantly knew it was a scarf and he called it a "dragon snake". He wouldn't wear it, but he did play with it. And he enjoyed watching adults wear it. Everybody else made all the appropriate "ooh's" and "aah's".

Because I had finished the dragon scarf right before leaving and because I've been (oddly) reluctant to start new projects with Sock Madness approaching, I found myself without a current project to pack as my travel knitting. However, a lack of current projects does NOT mean a lack of projects. So I dug into my UFO pile and found a perfect travel candidate: the Ruffle Scarf.

I started this scarf back in October (September?). I breezed through the initial 55" of 1 x 1 ribbing with surprising speed. Back then, I had it on short, straight needles and it was my port-o-project. Between a few road trips, a lecture, and a flat-tire incident, it grew faster than I would have anticipated for 1 x 1 rib.

At the end of the long ribbing, I picked up stitches on one, short edge and knit the cute, lacy ruffle. I had fun with that first, lacy ruffle so I got going on the ruffle for the second short end. But now I was becoming acutely aware that when you're knitting a ruffle from the bottom out, each row is longer than the last. What starts with 30ish stitches per row at the base, grows to over 100 stitches at the end. It was the beginning of project-fatigue. Nonetheless, I finished that second ruffle and picked up stitches for the ruffle on the first, long edge. But, ack, I had to pick up nearly 200 stitches - evenly, of course - along 55" of scarf. My stitch picking-up skillz are marginal. Picking up that many stitches, evenly(!), was both tedious and challenging (bad combo). However, I soldiered on. For, maybe, 4 rows before completely losing all motivation on this project.

Think of second sock syndrome. Now imagine instead of two socks, it's four. And the second two socks are 6 times bigger than the first two. It's really not surprising it wound up in the UFO pile.

I'd like to add here that I rarely use the term "UFO" (unfinished object). I much prefer "WIP" (work in progress). WIP suggest that even if you haven't touched the thing in months, you still fully intend on finishing it...someday. UFO, on the other hand, is admitting defeat. I'd rather not admit defeat. Still, there comes a point where you've really just got to call it like it is. And this scarf had become a UFO.

So there I am, about to get on a 5-6 hour flight with nothing to knit. The horror! So I grab this infamous ruffle scarf and only this ruffle scarf. With no other knitting options, I'll be delighted to work on this project, I figured. Thank heaven, I was right! I have, perhaps unfairly, maligned this ruffle scarf. It was perfect travel knitting. Perfect! Those long ruffles are on circular needles (no poking the person sitting next to you) and the lacy pattern is interesting and fun as well as intuitive (no need to constantly refer to the pattern). And suddenly those looooong rows are a blessing. They really help the time pass because it's just one row but it takes half an hour. With this scarf and my iPod, those flights flew (ahem) by.

So did I finish the scarf?

Well, no.

But, man, I am so close! I have just two more rows of plain knitting (no more increases) and then I bind off the last ruffle. There will be some finishing, hrm... BUT, then I'll be done! And I really am looking forward to having this scarf.