Sunday, May 21, 2006

Amazing Lace Challenge #1

The first challenge of The Amazing Lace was to give a profile and official team photo. Here goes! Check out their site for more info.

Unusual pairing for summer contest draws disbelief


In an unprecedented move that has stunned arboreal and lace communities around the world, a local three-toed sloth has teamed up with a Shetland-style lace shawl for a summer-long competition.

"I'd been knitting secretly for a few years," said the sloth. "Back at home it's not really encouraged--the folks always tell me I should nap in my free time. But when I heard about The Amazing Lace, I thought it would be the perfect chance to show everyone what a great hobby this could be for tridactyls everywhere."

There was only one problem: the sloth needed a teammate.

"I've tried a few shawls. My first one was something in mohair on really big needles that I'd rather not talk about. Then I did a shawl with a sheep motif. I used alpaca yarn, so maybe an alpaca motif would have been more appropriate, but I was having enough trouble getting the sheep right, never mind mucking with the pattern. Then I came across something called the Peacock Feathers Shawl. That was great! I had a bit of trouble with the repeats but by the time I was done I could fix sections of the shawl without having to frog--you know, undo?--entire rows. So at that point I was feeling a bit bold. I wanted to try something a bit grander, you know? Then I found out about the Tina Shawl."

Designed by Dorothy Siemens of Fiddlesticks Knitting, the Tina Shawl consists of a center panel, a border picked up from the panel's edges, and outside edging. When asked how "grand" the shawl was, the sloth shuddered delicately.

"I tried to figure out how many stitches there are in the shawl. The center panel has about 150 rows, with 113 stitches in each row. Then you pick up 120 stitches along each edge of the panel, and you increase by about 8 stitches every two rows...the border has about 68 rows...then you do the edging...And there's something different going on each row, lace-wise. I get a headache thinking about the whole thing, so now I just follow the pattern and don't ask any questions."

The Tina Shawl lounged nearby during this interview, looking more like a jumble of white Jaggerspun Zephyr than an actual shawl.

"I've been compared to rice noodles," the shawl admitted. "But it's only because I'm still on the needles. You just wait until I'm done...the fans will come knocking on my door!"

When asked about the competition, the shawl said, "You know, usually this isn't my kind of thing. But then the sloth mentioned blog hits and spectators and publicity, and all those other magic phrases...I had changed my mind even before precision choreography came up."

It hastily added, "And yes, I think it's a perfect chance to show the world that sloths and lace shawls can work together. Everyone thinks that mixing claws and openwork is just a bad idea, and they are so wrong."

The sloth and the Tina Shawl haven't agreed yet on a winning strategy but both members had strong opinions on what that should be.

The sloth: "Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork, and naps."

The shawl: "And maybe an know, for talk shows to buff our image."

The announcement of the pairing was met with mild skepticism from both arboreal mammals and lace projects.

"What are they going to do, have the shawl carry the sloth around while the sloth naps? I've seen the competitors, and those two will have to come up with a better strategy if they plan to win this thing," said a member of the Ocean State Sloth Leisure Association, on condition of anonymity.

When asked for its reaction, a feather-and-fan scarf shook its ends. "Those Tina Shawls...they think they're hot stuff, but poke them with a needle and they run home whimpering. I give that team two weeks."

The sloth and the Tina Shawl dismissed the remarks. "It's all fear and closed-mindedness," said the sloth. "This is a step none of them have dared to take, so of course they say we'll fail. Give them a few weeks and they'll all be behind us."

sloth-knits team photo
Official Team Photo


silverarrowknits said...

That is an adorable team photo!

Nana Sadie said...

Great shot, and Tina is just going to be gorgeous! You go, Sloth!

Theresa said...

This is hilarious. I think blogging is a great fit for you - keep it up!

Francesca said...

That's hysterical. How's the sloth doing? It's made a serious inroad on that lace.

Anonymous said...

What a great entry! The sloth gets points just for being cute (and able to knit!)

HoJo said...

I support multi-species equality. Let the sloth knit and tink like the rest of us! Good luck.

knitabulous said...

Well well well, a knitting sloth. BTW, can I get the number of your agent?

Anonymous said...

The adventure story continues. Waiting for the book...