Monday, July 16, 2007

The Unusually Anticipated Chronicles of The Secret Project Race

This marks the first occasion of my writing on this strange contraption, so all of this shall serve dually as an enlightenment as to the exact nature of the Secret Race---and the victor---as well as some sort of introduction to the guy whose name gets dropped a lot here and whose visage can be seen just a few inches to your right. I'm the one near the top. And if you happen to be reading this after Elisabeth no doubts writes a rebuttal to all of what I am about to say, just scroll up a lot and you should be able to find what I'm talking about.

Alright then. The Secret Project Race of Secretive Secret Secrets. Elisabeth has not provided many details, so let me first establish quickly the exact nature of this contest. As a startling number of knitters are no doubt well-aware by now, last Wednesday marked the theatrical release of The Order of the Phoenix. Many weeks ago, Elisabeth and I decided that in preparation for this release, we would watch all of the previously released Harry Potter films in a sort of marathon. Since we only see each other on weekends, this was a rather tame marathon compared both the Ancient Greek variety, and the modern ones where a lot less people get stabbed but there is just as much running. In any case, we successfully watched Philosopher's Stone through to Goblet of Fire, and the plan was to watch Order of the Phoenix sometime on Saturday.

All was well in the world at this point, but on Monday the 9th, during an online conversation with Elisabeth, I passingly lamented my lack of a Hufflepuff scarf for the film watching we had planned for that coming Saturday. A few months earlier I had determined myself to of the Hufflepuffic persuasion, and the idea to make a house-coloured scarf had been a quiet idea in the back of my mind ever since. At this moment, Elisabeth replies to my half-hearted and wholly inconsequential remark with the enthusiastic suggestion that I could "Dash one off!" in time for Saturday. I pointed out that I had no suitable yarn, and she, SHE was the one who reminded me that there is a yarn store close to where I work, how with ease I could drop in on my way home the next day. Against all of my concerns of how little time there was for impulse scarfing she encouraged me, relentlessly encouraged me to drift dangerously close to cosplay. I am not to blame for anything that this contest resulted in. Know that.

After detailing what type of yarn I would want I was all set to pick some up the next day. I was still having some hesitancy about dressing up for a film, so I, just as innocently and demurely as I had brought up the Hufflepuff scarf, made a comment about her knitting up a Ravenclaw scarf so I wouldn't be alone. Elisabeth is a self-professed Ravenclaw, you see. Quickly we developed a contract where one would make a scarf if the other did too, and after we had both picked out our yarns---Gold and black for Hufflepuff, bronze and dark blue for Ravenclaw---we furthered our contract by not showing photos to one another of our respective progresses. This way it'd be a surprise when we'd see each other's scarves on Friday when I'd arrive. So we merrily knit away. I had opted to find out what a seed stitch scarf would look like, and Elisabeth took a more traditionalist route and I believe used 1x1 ribbing for hers. We sent messages back and forth stating where we were at in the pattern. Despite some minor aesthetic differences the dimensions of our scarves were similar enough that I, thinking it'd be a fun incentive, suggested we race.

From here things got a bit out of hand, and the tale of which I shall detail below.

With the glory of House Hufflepuff providing me motivation, I zealously threw myself into the project. For two evenings I came home and knit until I went to bed. The frenzied scramble of seed stitching was punctuated by the occasional message from or sent to Elisabeth, where we'd detail our current status for the other. On account of several re-casting-ons and pulling back, She was a fair bit ahead of me; but, she also had a for-commission hat to finish for Saturday too, which evened things out a tad.

As there was an ocean between us [Or as some would call it, a harbour with two bridges and a regular ferry service across it], the intensity of the competition did not mature to its full form until, on Friday, I arrived in Halifax after work with my scarf in hand. I already had a good chunk of it done, but the journey in my backpack did not treat the yarn well, and soon the black was becoming so tangled that even my usual tactic of flailing the scarf and clump of unyielding yarn about was not working. The untangling time was seized by Elisabeth to further her lead.


It usually does work, really

Undisuaded by this temporary obstacle I threw myself into the scarfing once again with all of the worth ethic of a true Hufflepuff. As I laboured away, Elisabeth worked on her hat beside me. Spurred on my this opportunity to quickly catch up to her, I knit furiously, and true to form vehemently. Take a look at the burning passion with these eyes---I was not going to lose.


Helga Hufflepuff would be proud

As this has gone on for quiet long enough now I shall compose the next, probably shorter, and final installment in this saga tomorrow. In the meantime, puzzle yourselves over who the victor will be, myself, or Elisabeth? The answer shall soon be revealed!

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