Monday, December 21, 2009

hemp yarn tangle of doom

While making an attempt at breaking the speed crochet record (or, in other words, trying to finish the last 2 pairs of slippers for my grand-nieces and nephews in time to mail them to their grandma before Christmas) I had a little set-back.
I'm down to the remains of a couple of balls of hemp (had to wind these balls myself from hanks, to begin with - which should have taught me the dangers of hemp tangles) and the looser coils of hemp are starting to get friendly with each other. Finally, I stop my work to untangle and rewind the remaining hemp into smaller balls, in hopes they can get along better (somewhat like dealing with small children when you're trying to get something else done). At this point, I should have placed each ball in a separate bag to discourage friendly behavior, because I'm using 3 strands at the same time. After a few rounds on the second sole, the smallest ball comes to an end, and I'm forced to use both ends of one of the other two balls of hemp, thus increasing the tangle factor. But, no, that wasn't the part that gave me trouble. It was the loose end of the second ball. Apparently not knowing what to do with itself, it decided to try to climb up the other strands and see what I was doing, and then maybe meander back down for a rest before climbing up again. I would crochet a couple stitches, force the tangle away from my work, and crochet a few more. Slowed me down a bit. Enough that by the time I had both soles completed (and about 1 yd of hemp left, from roughly 660 yds...that's a lot of hemp. If it had to get friendly, I wish it had been friendly enough to produce more hemp. I was hoping for enough leftovers to make my own pair of slippers), it was sort of late. But, I kept working. (I hoped to mail these today, to be sure they got there in time.) Alas, midnight arrived before I had finished the top of one slipper. I surrendered to sleep, knowing I may be causing Christmas morning disappointment, but not able to wield my hook any longer. My battle with what we will forever refer to as "the hemp yarn tangle of doom" just wore me out.
(Note to self for future hemp projects: confine each ball of hemp (after winding said balls myself, carefully, with hank placed over back of chair or hands of friendly helper/child) to it's own bag or container, even if I'm not using 3 strands at once.)
Anyone wondering why I mentioned 2 pairs at the beginning, and then proceeded to ignore the other pair? Um, yeah. The hemp portion of the soles are done for that tiny pair, but as it happens, I am down to only a few yards of the espresso Vanna I'm using for the inner soles and trim of all the slippers (that's 3 skeins of that one, pretty much gone), and felt the need to finish the larger pair first, in case I completely ran out. I am picking up a new skein of Vanna on my way home tonight, provided they have some in stock, after which I can settle in confidently to polish off this project.
What are my kids getting for Christmas? Let's not discuss those projects yet. I haven't even started, so it will just depress me to think about it. I have the store-bought items. Some are even wrapped. But the hand-made? They have a birthday in March. That works, right?

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