Monday, February 11, 2008

Hat Attack

Hat Attack. An international game of knitting Assassin.

The yarn was purchased over a week ago. I swatched, I got gauge. I cast on 100 stitches to give myself a little head start.

The night before the unveiling of the pattern, I laid out my tools and plotted my strategy.

I also said the single dumbest thing a person could say, should they not wish to go down in a flaming rocket of hubris: "Fffft. I've never knitted a hat that took me more than two or three hours. So even if it's really complicated, that's... what? Four hours? Five? It's going in the mail tomorrow."§

Let's examine my Saturday, shall we?

Time Line of an Assassination:

7:42 am - Wake up. Realise pattern was to be released "some time between 9:00 am and 10:00 am, EST." It is now 9:42 EST. Pound madly to basement, yanking footie pajamas on on the way down the stairs.

7:43 am - Congratulate self on not killing self yanking footie pajamas on on the way down the stairs.

7:44 am - HOW FUCKING SLOW IS THIS COMPUTER?! Finally get to the website with the pattern. Click "print." Receive error message from printer, but not the standard error message. Standard error message says, "Black ink tank is running low. Continue? Cancel?" Shiny new message says, "You may continue to attempt to print this page, but you could damage your printer. Cancel?" *blink* *blink* Hmmm... I can always buy a new printer...

8:46 am - Return from Wal-Mart.# Replace ink cartridge. Print pattern.

8:48 am - Read pattern.

8:49 am - Re-read pattern in disbelief.

8:50 am - Mad scramble to locate Size 6 needles for the "you will also need needles 1mm/2 sizes smaller than that used to obtain gauge" portion of the pattern.

9:01 am - Say "fuck it" to re-casting on and transfer stitches to smaller needle and start knitting.

9:12 am - Realise *should* be knitting k2p2 rib, even though it is written p1, k2, p1, k2, p1.†† Frog. Have to re-cast on smaller needles anyway.

9:25 am - Realise it's NOT a k2p2 rib and I did it right the first time. Frog. Cast on a THIRD time.

9:27 am to 5:30 pm - Knit. Knit like the wind. Knit smoothly and easily with no questions or glitches and STILL take eight hours to knit one stupid hat.

5:31 pm - Rush to downtown post office. Stand in line to ask if Priority Mail is very, very likely to get there the same time as Express Mail.

5:32 pm - Hear postal clerk tell lady in front of me Express is guaranteed, Priority is just likely. I knew that. Have sudden, painful memory of sending boyfriend's birthday card via Priority Mail and having it take two weeks to get to western slope of Colorado,‡‡ missing his birthday by a full 12 days.

5:34 pm - Leave line to fill out Express mail form.

5:36 pm - Run to car and race home to get address, last seen on a sticky note stuck to computer.§§

6:01 pm - In line at post office, form filled out, hat in hand.¶¶

6:04 pm - Postal clerk delivers sweet, sweet words: "Guaranteed delivery Monday morning." Poor guy seems nervous. You'd think he'd be used to weird last-minute people doing weird last-minute things.

6:06 pm - Glance in rearview mirror in preparation for pulling away from curb. Realise I've never once looked in a mirror all day, and I'm basically sporting that "just rolled out of bed" look, which on me most closely resembles Nick Nolte in lockup. No wonder postal clerk was nervous.

6:30 pm - Dinner.


Sunday, 4:47 pm - Dad and I are baking a pie for family dinner and while in the baking phase, we're enjoying a beer on the deck, revelling in the nice weather.## When Dad, in recounting his Friday night beer-tasting adventure reveals, "I got a parking ticket last night. Somewhere along the line, I thought I knew you didn't have to pay for metres downtown on weekends," I realise I never fed the metre in front of the downtown post office.

The gods still love me a little. I didn't get a ticket.

Full Frontal Hat Attack

Face right... face left...

Note the very nice end-weaving

FOOTNOTE (crossed): See "Gotcha" for historical reference.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Knit Picks Andean Silk in Moss, gorgeousgorgeousgorgeous Size 8 Colonial rosewood needles. I just got these and they are viciously, terribly wonderful. They cost $40 a pop. Why can't I ever get addicted to the cheap version of anything? Wait! Burritos! I have a gross and unnatural love for Little Juan cheapo burritos. And I'm gonna have to eat a lot of them to save enough money to afford my new knitting needle love.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): My father is still laughing at me. Even he knew better than to anger the woolly gods.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Seriously, my mental schedule went something like this: 7 to 11 - knit. 11:30 - post office. 12:00 - lunch. Afternoon/evening - housecleaning, gloating on Ravelry, work, dinner and drinks, maybe a movie...

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): I know, I know. Office Depot wasn't open yet.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I know, I know. You can see it, big as life. I was in panicked adrenaline mode and talked myself over to the dark side, absolutely convince it was k2p2, absolutely blind to that extra little "p1" in the middle.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Yep. In the same state. A trip that usually took standard mail two days.

§§FOOTNOTE (symbolising the two circular needles on which I knit my hat): A funny sticky note, captioned, "Too busy mopping up floor to turn off faucet." The irony does not escape me.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (symbolising... um... the two ends of each needle): In more ways than one.

##FOOTNOTE (pounding like a cabled hat migraine): Of which we had a total of three days. Of which I spent one knitting the stupid hat.

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