Happy New Year, everyone! It is officially 2017 and I have very high hopes of this being a fabulous knitting year. I always like to take some time to reflect, however, on knitting I've accomplished over the last year. Perhaps the greatest learning moments come from my most blundered of blunders. The biggest blunder I had in 2016 actually happened to be a weaving opposed to knitting project. To say it was a misadventure may be putting it lightly. Is sure was something, I'll tell you about it here.
For Christmas this year, I decided I wanted to up my handmade gift item count. Then I went a little crazy making hats and matching mittens for my sister. Because I was making her handmade gifts, I thought it would be nice to make something for her husband as well. I saw this neat idea of making a Morse code scarf on my rigid heddle loom. The basic idea is that you use the stripes you weave in the scarf to represent dots and dashes. In that way, you can write out a hidden message of sorts on the scarf. I was excited about this idea for a number of reasons: First, it would work up faster than a knitted scarf. Second, I could really personalize it for Mark, my sister's husband. Third, I could choose very masculine colors and the scarf would look great.
I had my plan all sorted out. The next step was to think of what to write out in Morse code. To that end, I contacted my sister to see what she thought would be good for the scarf. At this crucial juncture, my project became doomed. My sister calls her husband "Mark Bear," so she thought it would be great if it said that. Accepting the nickname, I plunged forward, planning and warping appropriate dots and dashes. A little ways in to the project, my husband checked in on me. I had casually told him about the plan previously, but with the scarf well underway, he was more interested in the details. When he asked what it said, I told him. He gave me a funny look and then laughed.
"That's the weirdest thing for you to give your brother-in-law," he commented.
And with a sinking feeling, I knew he was kind of right. The scarf wasn't from my sister, it was from me. Putting a pet name on a handmade scarf was a strange choice when the giver was Mark's sister-in-law. The only way the petname would really work was if I intended to make it for my sister to give to her husband. I was too far along, though. There was no chance of unweaving what I had done and no time to start again, so I decided to just put the weirdness out of my mind and continue forward.
Then, the next catastrophe- I had somehow gotten two of the warp threads crossed when I was threading my loom and the last letter in "MARK BEAR" was an N instead of an R when read in Morse code. I was officially making a scarf that read "MARK BEAN." What?! Okay, this was still salvageable. I would just never mention it was a scarf with a hidden Morse code message. Mark would never know and it was a pretty striped pattern.
Feeling like this scarf was a little bit of a disaster, I continued the back and forth of the weaving...until the scarf was about two and a half feet long and I ran out of yarn. I am not one to use obscenities, but I'm pretty sure one slipped out as my yarn dwindled to an end. Deep breathing, right? I have no idea how I got my calculations so wrong, but I could always buy more yarn. It was the beginning of Decemeber, but the retailer where I got the yarn earlier in the year was prompt and there was still time for me to finish.
Except the color had been discontinued.
I sat there in disbelief for a good thirty minutes just staring at the 2.5 foot swath of frabric in front of me. Then I decided to call it. This project was dead. We would buy Mark a nice bottle of whiskey instead.
And that is how this scarf came to be my froggiest of frogged projects in 2016.