Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Amazing Lace Challenge 1: Part Two -- The Diagnostic Exam

At first, Peacock seemed reluctant to cooperate, as if she doubted my sincerity. (She knows me pretty well!) But she’s a real trouper. Once I told her about The Amazing Lace, she was ready to do whatever it took to get back in the game.

(Well, I did have to dangle the promise of a good blocking at the end of the project – it’s always been Peacock’s dream to be blocked o she will lose those wrinkles forever.)

While Peacock had never been a particularly good team player, we both hoped that this time, it would be different. Team Top Frog is counting on her.

We started our preparations last night with a good overall diagnostic. Peacock’s out-of-order instructions can be reassembled for navigation purposes fairly easily. Her pattern enlargements seem well marked, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to locate our starting point. Her yarn ravels weren’t as bad as I feared, and can soon be wound back on the cone in an orderly manner. Her lifelines are uneven and pulled at odd angles, but intact. The stitch markers tangled in the YOs do need a bit of coaxing, but there does not appear to be any lasting damage. Considering all the years of neglect and poor self esteem, Peacock is in pretty good shape overall. Her attitude could still use some positive adjustment, but that’s to be expected.

Our project support equipment is another story. Over the years, Peacock’s dedicated toolkit has been disassembled and scattered amongst other projects: The marking pen can be easily replaced, but the large magnetic pattern board is in use by a younger project, and the extra color-coded stitch markers have been disassembled and re-crafted into newer styles. Before we can proceed, we will have to reassemble and replace these tools. The project tote bag, on the other hand, is still serviceable and ready to go.

But the greatest challenge is mine alone: I definitely have to spend more time in training, becoming re-acquainted with Peacock’s methodologies, meditating on the peculiarities of her pattern, and remembering the sequence of her mirror-image stitch reversals. While Peacock seems excited about The Amazing Lace, I don’t think she is motivated to change herself very much, so I am just going to have to learn to deal with her personality quirks and reluctance to perform.

I need some time to prepare myself for the long journey ahead.

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