Goldi's Locks of Yarn

My place to discuss my raging obsession with yarn and crochet along with happenings in my life and the world at large

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Where've I been lately? Lost in Olympic Fever...

And the ironic thing is I've seen maybe about a total of one hour of the actual, international sporting event so far!

Oh lordy but do I feel frazzled today! Heading into the final days of this Olympic challenge, I was looking pretty good at first. After tightening my concentration levels and eliminating as many distractions as I could manage, I had finally started to make some significant progress as far as speed goes, and so I entered the week feeling a tad cocky. Big mistake!

I knew that I was not likely to be able to meet my self-imposed minimum quota yesterday, the day was just too busy for it. Illogically, I still demanded it of myself, despite having been gone all day - without my project, which I had (rightly) determined I would have no opportunities to work on while out and thus left it waiting on the couch for me (besides which, an afghan at the 2/3 mark is not exactly a portable project), languishing and looking quite fetching. It was well past 7:30 pm by the time I made it home, and not a stitch made as yet.

Adding to my sense of pressures building were the taxes still needing to be finished and filed (for myself and Phil, with anxiety to see this done felt by both of us since refunds were expected - and needed!), as well as the fact that it has been a few days since I've had the luxury of time to log into Crochetville. Since I was made a Supermoderator, I am feeling that much more like I can't stay away from the site for extended periods of time, yet I simply have not had the time or attention-span to devote to browsing and posting (and performing clean-up duties as needed). Hence, I feel torn!

As if all that weren't enough - I have also been called on over this past week to perform "supermom" duties, spending considerable chunks of time on the telephone with a distraught child in need of a sympathetic ear and sage advice in dealing with a personal crisis. This I do willingly, and if a choice were to be demanded of me between this and finishing my Olympic project by the deadline... well, it's a no-brainer really. My child always comes first. There isn't a mom in the world that wouldn't understand that! But of course, I am hoping it doesn't come down to that, and I know she doesn't want it to. I haven't mentioned this before for fear she would read this and try to suppress her own need to talk to me in an effort not to interfere with my progress - I do not want her to do that!

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is - I feel like I'm trying to pull myself in too many directions at once, something I'm famously lousy at, and this is setting off massive amounts of anxiety attacks in me. Yet I continue to try to juggle the damn balls without dropping them, especially since some have been feeling suspiciously as fragile as raw eggs.

So, last night, I thought I'd try to get my minimum 10 rows done despite having been gone all day - oh, and also despite the fact that my "tennis elbow" problem was acting up something fierce, aggravated by the intense crochet sessions of the weekend topped off by the hauling of four 5 gallon bottles of waters from my car to the back entryway of my house, which was as far as I could manage to drag the things. I would have much rather left them in the garage, but thanks to the near sub-zero weather we've been having, especially at night, I couldn't chance them freezing and bursting. But I knew it was going to be rough when I felt extreme pain on carrying just ONE of those bottles from the store to my car earlier. Luckily, the after ringing me up for the bottles, the cashier kindly carried the other three and placed them in the car for me. My back stoop is pretty tightly crowded now; by rights since they couldn't go in the garage, the extra bottles should have gone in the basement, but there was no way I could maneuver them down the steep stairs (and with nothing but space on one side as you go down the steps), I was lucky to have gotten them that far. But now I'm all set for clean, non-chemicalized water for the next couple of months. Sometimes I swear that what comes out of my tap is straight bleach, it smells so strongly of it, yecch!

Anyway, to make a short story long (which I seem to be proficient at), I started in on my day's quota at a distinct disadvantage, and it immediately proceeded to get even worse. I ripped quickly through my first two rows, but about 2/3 of the way through the 3rd row, I noticed my pattern elements were beginning to get wonky - my ldc stitches were slipping further and further under the diamond post stitches, instead of lining up on either side of the inside of them like they were supposed to. I was having to dig deeper behind the post stitches to find the proper spot to place my ldc stitch to make it line up like it should with the rows below to form the proper grid pattern on the reverse side. Something had gone wrong...

I know I've made a few errors on this pattern as I've gone along, it's going to be far from a perfect job, at least by my perfectionistic standards, but as long as everything was lining up okay, I was willing to sacrifice a little perfection in order to complete the project. But this was really stretching it! I took a deep breath, and then another, to try to quell the immediate sense of panic that threatened to overwhelm me...

and started frogging. Since everything had seemed to be okay when I'd stopped the night before, I only frogged the work I had just done, all 2 2/3 rows of it, figuring that in my haste I had maybe missed a stitch somewhere or something, shifting the pattern over just slightly enough to make it not immediately noticeable. I made some adjustments on the diamond post row and redid my rows. But the interruption in my momentum had a negative effect on both my state of mind and my ability to stitch smoothly and quickly. It took forever to get that 3 rows done, with lots of snagging, swearing, redoing of stitches, more snagging, more swearing - well, you get the picture! Through it all, I battled the tendency toward fatalistic "never gonna make it" thinking that insisted on invading my thoughts with each snagged stitch - this being the worst on the homespun rows, go figure - after all, I'm working this afghan with a K hook, which does not normally have an easy relationship with homespun! But I can tell you it gets downright hostile when you tense up and start tightening up with your stitches!

I don't know how I managed to make it past that first 3 rows, but I finally did, and the pattern seemed to have straightened out, at least enough to be acceptable again. I pushed on and got 5 more rows down before calling it a night at an hour so ridiculous, I don't even want to admit to it.

I didn't get back to the project until late in the afternoon, as I had other struggles to deal with first - taxes! After several days of preparation and research, I was ready to file the dang things. It took me most of the afternoon to get about halfway through the filing process, with one more e-filing and one paper filing to be processed before I can finally call it all done. Then Phil showed up for a visit and hung around for a couple of hours, then the phone rang, and I proceeded to spend another hour or so chatting with my daughter - which, as I told her, would be no problem if only I could crochet while we talked. But I haven't got a single phone in this house where that is possible, and it's currently not in my budget to change that. Oh well!

At any rate, I finally got back to it some time around 7 this evening, with the need to make a minimum of 12 rows weighing on my mind, not to mention the fact that I really need to log into Crochetville - soon! And my adjustments, which worked okay for the rows I applied them to, are showing signs of developing a few other unanticipated issues which I now need to adjust for. Somehow, after 100 rows of near-perfect alignment, my pattern is sliding off the edge on one side! The space between the last post stitch and the edge of the afghan has shrunk to near nonexistence! When I saw what was developing, I took the blanket and laid it out on my bed, the only area large enough for me to lay it out flat and see all sides clearly, to make sure the edges were even - which they were. So I hadn't lost any stitches. It seems that the pattern is just sliding over... Sigh...

I will, once again, attempt to make an adjustment in the placement of my stitches, probably in the reverse direction from which I'd gone previously, and hope for the best of it. I am, once again, at row 3 for today's effort...

I know I promised an update pic (I think it was) yesterday, but I'm going to hold off for one more day, or at least until I can get past this little crisis point in my work. I am working on row 106 as of now, with the hope of making it at least to 115 before bedtime tonight.

When I had it spread out on the bed, I also took the opportunity of measuring it and estimating what the final measurement with all 152 rows would be as a result - and find that I will be several inches shy of the final 56 inch mark. The only way I'll be able to get that length is by adding a full pattern repeat, which is 8 rows. This was not an unexpected revelation, but it also does not help to relieve me of the sense of pressure I am trying not to succumb to! So, I calculate that as of now (not counting my current row, or rather thinking of it as already done), I have 54 more rows to go plus two rounds in order to reach my finish line. And according to the countdown timer on the Crochet Olympics website, which originated with the
incredibly insane - er, very creative gal who dreamt up this crazy crafting venture, Yarn Harlot, I have 4 days, 15 hours, 12 minutes and ticking seconds left to go in order to pull this feat off - and the time continues to shrink (I almost typed shriek, perhaps apropos?) so let me get this posted and get back to it. I have other musings and things of interest I'd like to talk about, but am currently too consumed with this project so will have to postpone them until this is done..

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