Friday, February 19, 2010

I have thumbs!

So I'm making this... from That Logan Chick's blog... because I liked her chart and the bottom-edge-up triangular scarf design and ESPECIALLY that it didn't have a great seam down the back as so many triangular lace scarves do. And I'm making it out of gorgeous blue/green/gold mohair blend yarn -- one laceweight strand of deep royal-ish blue, one laceweight strand of kelly green, and one laceweight braid of very soft metallic gold, all in one yarn. And I'm beading it with peacock-colored and gold foil-lined beads, as one does. Or that's the intention.

And I am trying to use the crochet hook method of hooking beads as you go, because I cannot be arsed to string them all in advance of knitting and manage them as I go. Besides, the finicky mohair really doesn't want that kind of roughing-up as I slide them to and fro. But I have problems.

1) The beads do not want to fit on even the teeny-tiny crochet hook I bought for the project. Bastards.

2) Even those beads that DO fit on the teeny-tiny crochet hook will not then fit over the crochet hook plus two thicknesses of yarn, as they would have to do.

3) It is late and I do not want to go to the craft store, 15 miles away, even if it is open, in the rain, for another crochet hook that also may not work and additionally may not be capable of hooking all three plies of my yarn.

So I am aggravated. But I am thinking to myself, "self, you are a higher mammal. You are, in fact, a great ape. A darn great ape. You have thumbs and a pretty good brain. Figure something out."

And I grabbed a little piece of copper wire and bent it into a small V. (I'd have photographed it, but it seems my ape-ly awesomeness has somehow stopped shy of me remembering how to use my macro function to take pictures of little things, dammit. It's an inch-long V of small-gauge copper wire. What can I say? Visualize it with all your might.) And I grabbed the loop with one arm of the "V" and then closed the arms together and threaded the bead onto it, slid it onto the loop, and slipped the loop onto my knitting needle again. And after I purled the stitch, I thought, "wow, that even helped me keep the front of my loop forward. That is a better tool than a crochet hook for the task, if I do say so myself."

Deja vu. Suddenly I was recalled back to our apartment in Peru, where I turned a fragile, somewhat longer copper V over in my fingers. "But how is this a sewing needle?" I asked my archaeologist husband. "It doesn't have an eye. The other needles have eyes. And it's too long."

"Well, the team thinks it may be a cloak pin."

"It can't support the weight of a cloak!"

He shrugged. "Maybe the eye broke off. But maybe not. It's flattened wire from end to end -- the other needles are pointed."

This humble artifact was found amid spun cotton, animal wool, human hair, and beads. Hunh. And, just like that, I was back in 2010, on my couch, thinking, "wow, I know what that thing was for. It was for fishing stitches out of weaving or knitting, either so beads could be strung on, or for other reasons."

So, I have thumbs, AND opinions. Woohoo!

In related news, golly, this shawl is going to be pretty. Dark! But pretty. This is a segment roughly 6" from bottom edge (the point) to the needles (connected by that weird looking cable). The finished shawl will be about five times that length and roughly 60" wingspan.


Pathy said...

"self, you are a higher mammal. You are, in fact, a great ape. A darn great ape. You have thumbs and a pretty good brain. Figure something out."

(Still laughing.)

Much lub from Nebraska.

Pathy said...

In fact, this needs to be a tattoo. Or at least what your car says to you when you get in and crank the ignition in the morning.

Ducks said...

Hee hee! What's very funny about it is that it has (separately) become a battlecry of sorts for myself and my good old high school buddy April, who is also currently enthralled by textiles. We spend Thursday nights showing each other what we've learned over the course of the week -- a kind of accelerated learning program for us self-taught creatures. When we do something ingenious, we howl, "I have thumbs!" I like to think it's shorthand for the rest.

Much lub from California, too.