10 April 2006

Finishing Frenzy

First, thanks for all your well-wishes about my travel fiasco. Believe it or not, the trip went downhill from the time I posted. If you've ever attempted to get somewhere using United Express, I just have to say... Washington Dulles Terminal G, otherwise known as the fifth circle of hell. I assumed this little gem of a structure was temporary while a nifty new terminal was being constructed. I assumed wrong. There are architects and engineers who should be fired. Really. 26 gates in one tiny little building with one poor excuse for a food shop/newsstand/bar and 340 chairs for 5673 people. But I would've been happier in the terminal.

3 hours on the tarmac while we were being told that we couldn't return to the terminal of hell since there was a tornado warning and all the workers had gone home. Excuse me? The workers inside the building weren't safe, so we are sitting in a tin can on the tarmac? During our three hour tour of nowhere, our wonder flight attendant sent a child around the plane with the pretzels. She managed to get up once and pass out half glasses of lukewarm water. Once in flight, she was asked if she'd be coming around with beverages. "No, I already did that and I'm only required to provide service once for this flight." So, tired, hungry and frustrated, we start to get excited when the B-lo airport comes into view. But, just kidding. It took our terrific co-pilot three tries to make the runway. No, I'm not kidding. He came over the intercom with this: "Sorry, folks, thought I'd make our trip just a little longer. [chuckle, chuckle] Just going a little fast there, let's try it again." Meanwhile, the little paper bags are filling up and the plane is really starting to stink. Once we did finally touch down, pilot of the century was still going too fast so everyone had to brace themselves with outstretched arms against the seat in front of them. Needless to say, seatbelts were whipped off before the stupid little light went out and our flight attendant tried to make a funny: "No no no. I see seatbelts off before they were supposed to be. I'm going to keep you on this plane for one minute for every person who got up before they were allowed to."

Luckily a sane man was sitting in the front row interceded on our behalf. "Lady, you've got a plane full of tired, angry, sick people who need to get out of here. I suggest you save your jokes for another crowd."

There were no little pleasantries exchanged as we darted past our crew.

I think I'll just stay home for awhile now.

But on a positive note, there has been knitting. This past weekend I managed to finish two projects.

Pattern: Openwork Lace Scarf Version 2.0
Yarn: Fleece Meadows Alpacas Laceweight, 2 skeins
Needles: Crystal Palace bamboos, Sz. 6
Dates: 23 March - 8 April 2006
Recipient: Me
Notes: I made a white version of this scarf over the holidays for my International Scarf Exchange pal. (See archives for Jan '06.) Out of the blue I received an email from the owner of the alpaca farm that produced this yarn. She had been knitting with their laceweight yarn and found some problems so she wanted me to have two replacement skeins. She was going to switch mills but wanted to see how this yarn was. My initial impression was that this was produced at a different mill, but I found some of the same problems. First, let me say, this is gorgeous yarn. It's silky and very shiny for black yarn. However, it does seem to be inconsistent. It goes from very, very thin to rather thick. I didn't have as many problems with the plies separating with the black, but the twist didn't seem consistent. I really don't find this to be a problem though. It's not perfect yarn, but that only makes it seem less like a mass-produced commercial product. I like the final product and would order this again even if she does use the same mill.
My only reservation about the yarn though is that it isn't as soft as it seems in the skein. I don't think of myself as having particularly sensitive skin, but in trying it on for short periods of time, it is a little itchy against my neck. I've been working on another black alpaca scarf and have been fighting the shedding like nobody's business. So far, this seems to leave less of a reminder halo behind, but I'm having mixed feelings about this one. It's still chilly enough in the mornings here to do a test wear this week.

Terrific Teal Tee
Pattern: Based on Glampyre's Top-Down Raglan
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, ?? skeins
Needles: Assorted circs
Dates: Summer '05 - 8 April 2006
Notes: Well, ugh. This is why I'm not a sweater designer. Last summer I wanted a simple, in-the-round project and thought a basic cotton sweater would fit the bill. I cast on 112 stitches and went to town, using YOs to make a nifty little pattern at the raglan joins. I thought some basic 2x2 ribbing would make this just a tad above the ordinary without requiring much thought or planning. And that's the thing... it looks like I didn't put much thought or planning into this one. The ribbing is fine, but it starts in just the wrong spot. Seriously, I couldn't have planned for this fugliness.

I tried to wear this to a birthday party Saturday night, but no amount of tugging, stretching, or accessorizing (thus, the cute little flower pin) could make it wearable. The neckline is fine, the length is fine, but the ribbing... not fine. It could possibly be the body beneath the sweater that needs the work, but for now, this one is going on the shelf to marinate while I decide to rip out the bottom or find a friend who needs a (potentially fugly) sweater. (Yes, I'm such a sweet friend.)

Coming tomorrow: a finished sweater that actually did make it into the wearable column and a cheerier outlook, promise!


krisknits2 said...

All in all the trip sounds like HELL!

As for the sweater, if the ribbing on the arms was a bit shorter, it might help. Are you intending for the ribbing on the body to start right under the bust? I think it is cute, but needs more length. (But I am 5'9" so I like stuff long.)

Lone Knitter said...

I think the sweater is aborable! And I like what you did with the little holes around the arms. So sorry to hear about your terrible plane ride! I too had a terrible terrible airline experience (coming and going) when I was parading around as an academic trying to get a job...I didn't have my knitting with me, but I graded all my composition papers.

Anonymous said...

Had the folks on the airplane just finished Mile High Pie? Sounds like you need to travel as a 6 pack in a loaded-to-the-the-top minivan (with a cartop carrier) and forget flying! HA!