Monday, May 19, 2008

And On It Goes

I consider myself a decent knitter. I've got yarn; I've got needles. I even have many, many completed projects that look good and fit correctly. But recent evidence indicates that maybe I need to reconsider how I think of my knitting skills.

I've been through a whole string of knitting disasters lately: gauge issues, fit problems, seaming goofs, running out of yarn (that's been a big one). Last night I discovered a whole new way to screw up.

I finished the knitting for Death By Cables! Yes, despite 100 degree temperatures, I've been plugging dutifully along on a chunky weight cabled wool pullover. And--who'd have thought?--all that knitting led to a finished sweater. Or, um, at least a finished something.

What's wrong with this picture?

If you guessed, "Hey, someone sewed those raglan sleeves to each other!" you're right. Just for the record, I don't have two right arms. I do, however, have a sweater with two right sleeves. You should have seen me trying to make it fit. I have spatial orientation issues, so it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out that no amount of pulling and adjusting was going to get the left sleeve onto the left side of my body when it was sewn to the right sleeve.

Fortunately, I have other projects to share with you.

We have a pool in our backyard, and, like most pools, it is in full sun. This is lovely when one is floating in cool water, but not so lovely when one is steaming in the hot tub. For years, I've wished our hot tub was located in the shade, but there didn't seem to be any way to arrange this, since the hot tub is integrated into the pool. And then I saw a picture of an offset umbrella and a lightbulb went on.

We faced a small dilemma. The very large weighted base required to support the cantilevered umbrella would not fit on the narrow strip of concrete that edges the hot tub.

So my brilliant former-engineer husband came up with an alternate solution. He bought a pre-formed concrete footing and bolted the bottom section of the umbrella pole to the top of the footing.

Then he dug a big ol' hole in the raised bed behind the hot tub. He dug down far enough to sink the entire concrete footing below the level of the patio.

Then he reinstalled the landscape blocks and backfilled the hole. We put the umbrella into the base, and voila!

Instant shade (almost)! We've been delighted to find that the hot tub remains in full shade until about 3:30 in the afternoon. After that, the late afternoon sun slowly creeps under the western edge of the umbrella and lights the hot tub. But during the hottest part of the day, the hot tub is in lovely, cool, refreshing shade, while the pool remains in full sun. No frogging required!


Olga said...

No way you messed up! say it ain't so joe!
oh well, go soak for awhile and then begin resewing.

Tammy said...

LOL! I have major spatial orientation issues as well and can sadly relate to your seaming dilemna. It is, however, a gift that my non-academic son has. Different parts of the brain I suppose.

I love the umbrella... and your backyard is gorgeous!!

Anonymous said...

The sweater...well, I'm sorry. I feel your pain. I think Olga has it right, though - go soak for a while! That pool is lovely. If you ever decide to try house-swapping, sign me up.

Lydee said...

Yarnhog, I think it's time for a yarn sabbatical :-p

What a lovely pool! I envy a beautiful pool. Love the umbrella solution. Enjoy your shade!

sophanne said...


I will NEVER make Death By Cables- so long as I live. It is the demon and the cause of so much distress.

I'm with you on the spatial issues. (sometimes I like to pretend they're "special" and you just say "spatial" in that goofy accent.) You might recall that I'm the gal who took 4 days to realize that when knitting in the round the beginning and the end are at the same point.

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Oh that shade is so tempting and luscious looking, it's enough to make yuo forget all about your two-right arm issue, right? RIGHT???

Melissa Morgan-Oakes said...

is it bad if I am laughing at you?

Unknown said...

Did you sew it together the same night J was sick? It looks like the work of a worried Mom to me. The umbrella is a great idea. Now while you soak you won't get fried.

TheBlackSheep said...

While I am terribly sorry for your sleeve problem and do indeed commiserate, thank God I'm not the only one!

There are reasons why one should not knit in 100° weather. The sleeve is one of them.

The hundred degree weather is also why I don't live in Ca. anymore. Yuck!

Kim said...

The sleeves! The sleeves! OMG! Chuck death by cables into the hot tub! Hooray for clever former engineer husbands! If I were a genie, I'd blink myself over to your back yard for a swim and a visit with Mr. Turtle.

Anonymous said...

You are not the first person to sew sweater pieces together in a way that is not compatible with [most] human anatomies. Not that I have done it. Yet. But I have seen equally silly-looking photos of semi-assembled sweaters on other blogs. Happily, it is easier to frog some seaming than, say, fully cured concrete.

Yay for handy husbands!

Angelika said...

I think after that one you can say you have all the disasters covered? I love your pool and hope you'll get lots of use out of it to cool your brain to keep you from any new mistakes.

Jackie said...

Your sweater dilemma made my laugh out loud. I apologize, but the image of someone trying to make that fit just gave me the giggles!

That shade looks positively yummy. The whole setup does. You have a spa in your yard and I'm insanely jealous.