Friday, February 01, 2008

Lace: The new endurance sport

Fortified by accidentally oversleeping to the point of almost not getting the kids to school on time a good night’s sleep, I have boldly leapt forth this morning, full of Joy! And also Happiness! Because I am going on vacation! Wheeeeeeeeeee!

Naturally, the first order of business is to get my projects for the trip.

Yes. Projects, plural. There has to be one I can do while in line for rides (what? Hey, I’ll have you know that I finished from cuff to heel of a man’s sock in the line for Finding Nemo last summer…) and in the car and like that.

And then, there really ought to be the One I Can Only Work On In The Absence of Children.

Because seriously – should I waste four whole nights with nobody jumping on me every eleven seconds?

So. Some time ago I picked up a skein of Claudia Silk Lace 20/2 in ‘Purple Earth’. When I looked at it, I thought of rainbows. And rainbows always make me think of my Gran. So does silk, because she and I both do this thing where we will walk into a department store, wander casually up to a rack, and immediately gravitate toward the $150 pure silk blouse.

Seriously. We could do that in Sears.

It is some kind of talent. And also proof that we take the slogan “Champagne taste, Beer budget” and really make it our own, because we actually went to the store for the 75%-off polyester.

So naturally, it was like, you know…A Sign. “You must buy this (relatively) expensive skein of 100% silk and make something rainbow-y for your grandmother…” (Although, may I just point out that if I were to buy this shawl in 100% silk of this quality from a store, it would probably be over $200? And I only paid $42 for the skein? So really, it’s like…well, it’s 75% off!) (and, uh, ‘some assembly required’) (I know. Shut up.).

I’ve settled on the The Pacific Northwest shawl.

Yes. I know that I have a “certain history” when it comes to lacy-lace. And also that it will take considerably more than four nights of knitting to make this thing, ergo I will be trying to do it while Denizens are bouncing me.

What you fail to realize is, if you look up “incurable optimist” in the dictionary? There is a picture of me. My picture is also next to the word “unteachable” and “dense”. I am also frequently used as a cautionary tale beneath the quote, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Never mind!

I’m making this shawl, and that’s final.

And that’s not actually what I wanted to tell you about this morning.

You know what laceweight yarn is? It’s an endurance sport.

SEE, I’m used to sport-weight-and-up wool. You’ve got yourself a skein of that, it’s no more than, oh, 300 yards, max. So when you make yourself a center pull ball of it, it’s all like, “Whirrrrrrrrrrr, done!”

This little tiny, wee, delicate, weightless skein of laceweight yarn packs a humungous 1,100 yards (approximately) of distance.

Do you have any idea how long you have to crank a ball winder to get 1,100 yards of laceweight from skein to center-pull-ball form? Do you?

My personal trainer (yes, I do actually have one – would you believe an entire month of twice weekly individualized personal training costs less than one (1) physical therapy session?! Yes. Way.) would be so proud of my workout this morning. I am sweating, and my right bicep is yelping at me.

He’d be even prouder if I put up a second ball using my left arm, but, uh, well. He’ll just have to maintain a 50% pride level in me, because no way am I doing that again this morning. I have other things to do. I choose life, people!

“Knitting is for grannies”, PAH! I vote that the next person who says that be made to wind up a few ounces of laceweight, and THEN s/he can tell us how “granny” our sport is...

1 comment:

Yarnhog said...

The first time I wound laceweight took me two hours, one glass of wine, and one lie-down on the dining room table, just to sort of regroup after the third time I broke the yarn.

Come to think of it, I've only done the one lace project.