Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Festive Fish Part 3

Last Thursday, one of my new knit night pals asked me, "How are the fish?  We haven't heard from them lately."

I assured her that I have been dutifully knitting them all along.  I have gotten to be a pretty fast fish knitter, too.

Here they are, practicing their schooling on the dining room table.




All those yarn ends are supposed to be for sewing them together later.  Hmm.  We shall see about that.  Crocheting might be in order.




Naturally, this project is not turning out quite as I had planned.  Naturally, I don't have enough of certain colors, and I never had any of certain other colors that would create a rainbow effect, which was my initial vision.

I am just myopic enough to have managed to block from my brain the information that I didn't really have all the colors I wanted.  I just started knitting fish willy-nilly, trusting it would somehow all work out in the end.

When I started laying the fish out to see how they would look, I was not well pleased.

Did I go buy more yarn?  For once, NO!  (Shocking, I know.)  Idena Juvel is a discontinued yarn, and I'm resisting the lure of Ravelry stashes around the world that might have more.

Because I have also reached a point where, quite frankly, Scarlett, I am sick of knitting fish!  (Festive Fish: good.  Sport weight fish: bad.)

My years of charity knitting and crocheting with donated yarn come in handy at times like this.  I like the challenge of using leftovers of various colors and kinds of yarn, even colors you usually might not put together, and turning them into something beautiful.  (At times like this, I often hear Dolly Parton's song, "Coat of Many Colors," in my head, spurring me on to ever greater feats of color combinations.)




So I says to myself, I says, "If I don't have all the colors, and if I have way more of the golden fish than the pale yellow fish, for example, or way more dark fish than light, well, I'm going to make it work anyway."

But I also started out with the silly idea that all the fish smiles should be right side up, or smile side down, depending on how you think of it.  That's how they are in the pattern picture, after all:  the happy fish are swimming about in their school, with their little fishy bellies facing the bottom of the sea, and the tops of their little fish heads bobbing up toward the surface of said sea.

But my fish, as you know if you've been keeping up with my soggy fish saga, are mischievous little critters, and it turns out some of them are just going to be swimming against the crowd, against the current, swimming to the beat of a different drummer, or whale song, as it were.  (Oh, metaphors, how I love to mix thee!)

In short, some of them will be swimming upside down.

But is this not a commentary on life?  Sometimes it is the upside-down fish that create the perfect pattern.  So saith the Zen Master.

Anyway, here are the fish--
--no, wait, these aren't my fish.

They snuck in from the Monterey Aquarium.  Note how they won't look me in the eye, the sneaky devils.





Here are MY fish practicing their schooling on my desk.

We have the rainbow effect (blurry due to my obstinate refusal to use the flash on a cloudy day because the flash sucks all the color out of the photo.)



Ready, set, sew!
And we have the checkerboard effect, which I actually chose.  Temporarily.

I thought, it could be like sunlight rippling through ocean waves.  (Apparently, these are saltwater fish.)









I even lined them up on the couch in order, and I STARTED SEWING THEM TOGETHER!!

There was joy in Mudville.

But it turns out, it's too soon to declare a national holiday in celebration.

I got two fish joined, and they looked so lopsided, it was embarrassing.  For me and the fish.  They were not well pleased.

And honey, you don't want to upset the fish.  They are tricky enough as it is.

You don't want one fish's tail whacking another fish in the eye, after all.

I took the seam out and decided, these fish need blocking big-time.

Here they are at the "spa," getting acupuncture, resting quietly, having been sprayed with a nice misting of water to help their fibers relax.

In looking at the schooling photos above, I do like the rainbow effect more.  I am going to send all the fish to the spa, perhaps even sign them up for a yoga class or some Tai Chi, and when they are all aligned, centered and balanced within themselves, then they can go to school again on my desk and swim around in various configurations until everybody's happy.









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