Knitters & Karma & Yarn, Oh My

It seems I have developed an unofficial knitting goal for the end of 2009:  of course, it is to finish off all of the "old" UFO's.

(I am always trying to finish off all my UFO's.  Well, it seems that way to me, at least.  The day it happens, look out for some horsemen and maybe a rain of fire, or something.)

The "old" UFO's are hereby defined as, everything that has gotten past the swatching stage.  I have five left, and three of them are basically knitted, but require finishing.  I think I can, I think I can…

Two Lacy Scarves, beaded versionHere's one more long-suffering UFO that recently became an FO.  Hooray!  Yay!  On the recent trip to the East Coast, I took along this bad boy, which had been languishing for sooooooo long!

It's a beaded version of one of the scarves in my "Two Lacy Scarves" pattern, and this was the sample for the class that was held in, ahem, May '08.  (ETA:  the scarf pattern is available for download here, and is available in hardcopy at the Knitting Bee and Farmhouse Knit Shop.)

Unfortunately, I ran out of yarn about, oh, halfway through the second beaded section.  Nine lousy inches of scarf to go, and I run out of yarn.  And by the time I got that far, of course there was none of it left at the shop.

I kept my eyes peeled for a while, because this is a hand-dyed yarn — and in an ideal world, I wanted to purchase it in person so I would have some control over the color of the new skein.  But this is not an ideal world, and I didn't manage to find it anywhere — no, not even at Sock Summit.

Finally, I took a look on Ravelry, and lo and behold, I found a knitter who had this yarn in her stash, and was willing to part with a single skein.

Here's where it gets interesting.

We communicated through Ravelry, and I made a PayPal payment to her email address.  Which she did not get.  And it turned out that she had left a "9" off her email address when she typed it, and so some dork named Peter got my money instead.

I did try to contact Peter via email, and asked him very nicely if he would please consider making a refund to me.  Absolutely no reply whatsoever.  What a jerk.  (Although, for all I know, he's dead or in jail — and at the very least, he's amassing some seriously baaaad karma with respect to knitters.  If there exist any knitting deities with any power at all, I am confident that he never, NEVER in his lifetime will enjoy a pair of handknit socks.)

Well, crap.

After we figured out what had happened, I proposed splitting the loss with her.  But no — she was decidedly cool about it, saying,

I really did recently get a nice surprise from a raveller who said to just pay it forward, so I’m mailing it!

I hope it matches, I’m glad it is going somewhere it is wanted. I bought it because it was a solo skein, no matches in the bin and I felt sorry for it. I’m weird that way.

Aren't knitters just THE BEST PEOPLE??  (I don't understand the part about it being weird to feel sorry for yarn, though…)

And lo, the yarn arrived!  and I knitted, I blocked, I wove in ends.  Here you can see my 4' x 4' blocking board, made of special high-tech materials (insulation board and duct tape) on my dining room table.  The far end of the scarf is not stretched out because obviously, the board isn't big enough.  I had to block it in stages.

beaded scarf blocking

It wasn't a completely fabulous color match up close, but it isn't all that bad, either — perhaps not State Fair material, but certainly wearable.

color match up closecolor match further away

And honestly, I don't care.  A couple of years ago, I wouldn't even have had the amazing resource that is Ravelry, and my sad little scarf would have remained a UFO forever.

So thank you, thank you, Ms. J, from the bottom of my pile of UFO's.  You are uber-cool, and I am forever grateful.  And yes, I promise I will "pay it forward" when the opportunity arises!

The only remaining pisser is, I found a mistake in the scarf while I was blocking it!

Right.  There.

See how the holes on the white styrofoam form lovely diagonal lines, and then the holes next door on the duct tape — don't?

error in beaded scarf

Sigh.  Oh, well, it's smack in the middle of the scarf — so at least it will be the part wrapped around my neck, which should prevent me from pointing it out to everyone as I am wearing it, right?  Instead, I'll just publish it here on the blog, and consider everyone informed!

  6 comments for “Knitters & Karma & Yarn, Oh My

  1. Kathie
    11/05/2009 at 6:07 PM

    Where do I find the pattern for that cool scarf?   Glad you were able to find the yarn you needed.  The slight difference in color as well as the story behind the purchasing of said yarn gives your scarf a very interesting history that it wouldn't have had otherwise.  Never mind the slight mistake, that just gives the scarf more "character".

    • 11/06/2009 at 11:04 AM

      Hi Kathie, thx for the compliments! This is one of the patterns that I do not yet have on Ravelry — it is on my pattern site,, and is called “Two Lacy Scarves“. (If I were a better blogger I would have linked that in the post!)
      Not sure if you are local, but it is available in hardcopy at Knitting Bee and Farmhouse Knit Shop. There is an addendum about the beading that I wrote for the class, which I could email to you, although it won’t do you much good w/o the pattern.

  2. Sheryl
    11/06/2009 at 7:43 AM

    Your scarf is beautiful, Tess – and I am so very proud of you for accepting the knitting "mistake" and allowing it to make your scarf even more beautiful!

    • 11/06/2009 at 11:13 AM

      Well, everyone makes ’em! and I do think part of my job is to help knitters understand when mistakes matter, and when they don’t. IMHO, this one doesn’t! 🙂

  3. The Pats
    11/07/2009 at 12:54 PM

    Nice Scarf and ditto Sheryl's comments.  Although I understand how annoying it is to find a mistake.  I have a 2 row lace pattern that I can't seem to do right no matter how many times I rip it out.  Yeah, Yeah, I know about lifelines.  I think I'll just rip it out again and try something more challenging, so I'll have to think.  Oh yeah, that'll work.
    The Pats

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