Chinese Finger Puzzle Time!

Remember when you were a kid, of about 15 or so, and someone handed you one of those evil Chinese Finger Puzzles? You thought you were smart and too cool to be fooled but in reality it was just like when you were five and the dang thing vexed you endlessly. Finally you broke the thing in half and said, “See? Puzzle solved.”

Last night I decided it was time to play with the nine colored yarns that make up the yoke of the Equinox Yoke Sweater by Michelle Rose Orne from Interweave.
For over a year I carried around balls of yarn, slowly acquiring the right colors and amounts needed to compliment the dark brown llama that I had for the body. Since I’m not knitting with the yarn that the pattern listed I thought it’d be a good idea to knit them in several swatches. The first one is a big honker that just alternates the main color (MC) with each of the nine for the fair isle on the sleeves and yoke. Everything looks good – all colors blend nicely – nothing glaring or crazy.

So next I decided to try my hand at a swatch of the 8 stitch yoke colorwork repeat. Uh huh. This is where it gets vexing. I cast on 16 stitches in the round, did a few rows of the MC and began the chart. I had a teeny tiny tube! I knew the general rule is that you float a yarn for no more than 4 stitches. But if you only have sixteen stitches total that means that float can reach right across the middle of your teeny tiny tube! At some point Chris came downstairs and I was using the back end of a fat blue Sharpie to shove the excess ends into the tube so I wouldn’t catch them in my pattern….It wasn’t pretty….

I think the man was quite impressed with me though. Surely it was my tenacity to safely swatch that made him sit down for a few minutes to chat. He brought up a really good question, which when I have some free time I’ll spend goodly hours pondering. “Why can’t we just swatch at everything in life?” You know, give them a small trial run and see if it works before we commit. Maybe I shouldn’t ponder this after all.

But said swatch is done and everything is a go. I numbered nine ziploc baggies and inserted each assigned yarn into it’s new home. Then…I put them back in the project bag.

Because for now, I’m committed. Committed to the Happy Trails Scarf for my daughter Hillarey. A friend is getting married next month and my girl needs a pretty lace shawl to wear. She picked out a nice llama yarn from our friends llama Pascal and I started stitching like a woman posessed. In just over a week I got five repeats (out of eleven) finished. Tonight I began the sixth repeat. Hopefully that means if I work on nothing else I’ll finish this project in plenty of time to be blocked and wearable by the wedding in September. Hillarey has chosen some really nice pearls to accent the ends and she’s in charge of reaming the holes so I can thread them on the yarn as I near completion.

Three Gables update….
The ground is broken! Now that doesn’t sound right… The guys have removed trees, trenched a hole for the lower level office, and poured the cement for the footing. They’ll probably work on back filling next week. Which I’m told means they’ll bring gravel from the creek and add it to the cinder blocks which will then have the tubes for radiant heat placed on them, then more cement.

Basically it’s a big hole right now. The dogs don’t know what to make of it. We tried luring them into the hole but apparently they’re smarter than we thought because the simply wouldn’t go for it. Can’t blame them. Instead they sniffed around then to my surprise the posted up like sentries, Martha on the north side facing the pasture, Stormy on the south side facing the creek.

I should feel safe, but these dogs don’t inspire a sense of security.



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