I've just been offered a chunky knitting machine! It was one of three being thrown out by a school, along with all their hand-knitting needles, crochet hooks etc. Someone rescued them and offered them on Freecycle. Freecycle is great. Go join your local group! Give and receive!
It's a Brother KH260, which is as rare as hens' teeth. So rare that the only times I've seen them for sale they've either been £2-400, or they're undervalued on ebay (still too much for me at £80) because people just don't think to look for them anymore.
The others on offer were a Brother KH836, which I already have, and an Electroknit KH940 which I could have killed for, but I didn't want to be greedy... Well, I did, but I was nice about it - it went elsewhere though. Repairs on the Electroknits can be difficult to impossible as they are, y'know, electronic - motherboards n stuff - so maybe it's as well. They are even more difficult to source than the chunky machines - I can only recall seeing one, an earlier model, going for US$950 - eep!
What I don't get is why none of the original manufacturers has spotted that these machines are all still really popular, still selling for around the original list price. Or indeed someone else with the knowhow who could supply the market with parts, and manufacture new ones. The only company still making knitting machines is Bond America, with the Incredible and Ultimate Sweater Machine (they do more than just make sweaters - I've done crochet-thread net curtains on my ISM), but being Bond AMERICA they're not well represented in the UK. Loads of people are getting into knitting now, discovering machine-knitting, and tearing their hair out trying to get into it....
Must now try to figure out how to get to Longbridge with no transport, when I'm supposed to be getting packed to go to Plymouth tomorrow morning...
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I've just been offered a chunky knitting machine! It was one of three being thrown out by a school, along with all their hand-knitting needles, crochet hooks etc. Someone rescued them and offered them on Freecycle. Freecycle is great. Go join your local group! Give and receive!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I mentioned a few posts back that I made my hubby a pair of purple fingerless gloves. He had had a pair, given to him by a friend, but they'd fallen apart. He's not really a gloves person - doesn't like having his fingers covered - but his hands do get cold, and he loved these smelly old raggedy things with a passion that struck me as inappropriate and slightly icky. I did want to knit something for him, thinking sweater, scarf, but when I asked what he wanted (because that's the kind of thoughtful, caring spouse I am), his little eyes filled with tears and in a choked and pleading voice he asked for some new purple fingerless gloves.
I momentarily considered thrashing him within an inch of his life, but he knew not whereof he spoke. I'd never knitted gloves before - not even mittens. And he wasn't to know that he'd just asked for the most complicated item in the Big Book Of Things What Am Knitted (TM). I didn't even have a set of dpns! Or, ahem, a pattern...
And so began the great Fingerless Glove Knitting (or indeed crochet) Pattern Hunt of 2006. Now we need to define our terms here. Gloves - at least to me - are hand coverings that have individual finger coverings. Mittens have a communal finger covering - socks without heels, but with a thumb covering. Describing gloves or mittens as fingerless is therefore an oxymoron - both by definition must have some kind of finger-tube. Unfortunately the English language lacks a handy (sic) adjective describing a partial finger - odd, really: people do lose parts of their fingers as well as complete digits. Oh alright you could say knuckleless gloves, fingertipless gloves, fingertip-and-middle-knuckleless gloves - distal-medial-phalangeal abruption gloves if you will, though I think they only come in latex - but these lack a certain something in the tripping off the tongue department. This linguistic paucity leads me to a rather awkward assumption that the term 'fingerless' in connection with gloves or mittens is not to be taken literally as meaning there is no accommodation for the digits. If that is the case - no finger-tubes at all - then we are talking hand-warmers, which I have since discovered are also known as wrist-warmers.... Either of which may or may not have thumb-tubes, either full or partial...
Really, peops. There are times when I wonder if I have one of these SEN problems. Often I find I have no idea what people are talking about. But I also have the same experience with printed material, and that's not my brain going wonky: people do not seem to know how to communicate anymore. Or maybe I've undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome...
I kind of settled on Kim's Sockotta Fingerless Gloves in the end. It seemed like a good basic pattern to learn from, as much as to use - I do like to get a rough mental pattern to work from for any future projects, like a chickenwire framework that I can figuratively bend and pull into the right shape. The first attempt was a disaster - I knit up the biggest size as Tiny Husband has large hands, and the glove was humungous! I used DK yarn, which might knit up to a larger gauge than Kim's Sockotta. Second time around, I made up the smallest size, and that worked pretty well. I went for the tighter 1x1 rib for the wristbands though, because hubby's wrists are quite fine, and did the finger-tubes in the same rib. The other major change was with the placement of the fingers: Hubby's little finger starts further down his hand so I branched off earlier for it, then knit another 5 rows up before starting on the rest of the fingers. I also used dpns rather than circular needles as prescribed in the patterns.
To jazz them up a bit, and because Hubby has recently become obsessed with pirates thanks to Johnny Depp et al., I added a skull and crossbones motif to the back of the gloves in reverse stocking stitch. It's not wildly look-at-me obvious - a grown man in bright purple gloves is bad enough - but there is a nice stereogram effect, like Magic Eye pictures. I got the motif chart from here.
Looking back, I might make the wristband smaller next time, because it has stretched quite a bit. Maybe fewer stitches, increasing on the first stocking stitch row, or using smaller needles for the rib. Though if I recall correctly, the dpns were pretty small anyway - 2mm, 2.5mm? I don't know if I can find any smaller. I'd also probably try a decrease just at the rows below the fingers, as the ring finger especially is very loose for him - big long hands, but dinky wrists and slim fingers.
And then again, I may try adapting the Broad Street Mitten...
Friday, July 20, 2007
My sister was invited to a rather posh wedding a while ago. She really had nothing suitable to wear - she lives in trackies and trainers and has virtually nothing else. Over the years of trackiedom she'd also lost all sense of glamour, colour, shape, etc and had a hard time finding something to wear. She hadn't even tried on clothes in the shop in about 9 years! Since her evil ex took over her life and decreed that any attempt at looking nice clearly meant she was trying to pick up other men...
In the end she found something that tbh sounded like a trackie dress - i.e., thoroughly lacking in oomph. More phmoo really. Blackish-brown, straight-fitting (which means loose on her), nothing interesting in the way of pattern, fabric, embellishment.
About a week beforehand, she was complaining on the phone to me that she was worried that it wasn't 'grand' enough for the bash, wondering if she should go out and look for something else. And I had an inspiration. I had some lovely glossy black eyelash yarn that I'd bought intending to make myself a shrug, but I hadn't got round to it. Without saying a word to her about this, I figured if I really went for it, I could make it up over the weekend, post it on Monday, and she'd have it Wednesday at the latest. I got off the phone as fast as possible, mumbling something about her not being an important member of the wedding party or anything, who was going to notice what she wore, yada yada. Whipped out the needles and yarn and cast on loosely - Long-tail Cast-On works for me.
The pattern is based loosely around one that I lost yonks ago, no idea where I got it in the first place. It is however burned into my brain for all eternity. Well, sort of. Start by casting on 34st, increase 1st on BOTH ends of every 3rd row by making 1 (M1) into the second st from either end, until there's a total of 50st. Then continue straight for the required length, and start decreasing (k2tog the 2nd and 3rd sts from either end) on every 3rd row until there are 34st left, cast off. See? easy peasy.
I do not, of course, remember the yarn weight, needle size, gauge... But shrugs are flexible! That is the beauty of the things! They do not HAVE to have wrist-length sleeves, they CAN be a bit skimpy, so even if you totally foul up the gauge, or don't have the measurements of the recipient, or any of the millions of other things that can go wrong, it doesn't matter!! A shrug in its simplest form is just a wide rectangle, long enough on its long side to go across the recipient's back - but if it isn't, just borrow a bit off each sleeve so they're shorter. It doesn't matter. I do have one handy hint though - if it's to be a surprise gift, you can get a rough idea of the right size by finding out how TALL the recipient is. The distance from fingertip to fingertip of outstretched arms is equal to height. Knock off 6-8in for the length of the (adult) hands and you have an idea how long the shrug should be from cuff to cuff.
For example, I'm 5'6", with biggish hands, roughly 7in.
5'6" = 66in, minus 2 hands at 7in each (14in) = 52" from wrist to wrist.
Anything shorter than this is fine for a shrug.
I think it was a simple lace pattern - yarn-over between stitches on one row, drop the yarn-over on the next, repeat till you're fit to be tied with boredom - but, obviously, I is not jiggy wit da boredom. As the groovy young things say. And the effect of any lace stitch is wasted with eyelash anyway, as the fluffs hide everything but the 'hole'. So I used one 10mm needle to simulate the yarn-over rows and a 4mm needle for the 'drop' rows.
Wow! Two top tips in one post!
I only did the lacy bit up to approximately the elbows, then switched to two 4mm needles for the section over the upper arms and back, then back to the 10mm and 4mm needles for the other sleeve. Suspended bind-off gives a nice loose edge for this project. Sew up the lacy section of both sleeves right up to about 1-2in of the non-lacy middle section. The type of sewing up doesn't really matter, as the fluffiness of the yarn disguises the neatiness/tidiness of the stitchwork - I've even crocheted up the sleeves on some of these shrugs and it's not noticeable. Then, to tart it up a bit, I threaded a length of 1in black ribbon through the top row of holes in the lace and tied it in a bow opposite the seam - the bow is then on the outside of the arm. Finito!
Sister was thrilled with it, and got loads of compliments at the wedding. So much so that she went all Hyacinth Bucket and told people that she had a "little woman" run it up for her! and no, she didn't really want to say who, or how much her "treasure" charged. Mainly because she had no idea how much something like that WOULD cost, although I think she was alarmed at the figures people were suggesting, to try to winkle the info out of her - "was it more than £150? that's what X charged for my twinset last year and it wasn't this nice", etc. (Sis and I are both frequently alarmed by what people will pay for clothes that aren't anything special. The tight-fisted gene is a terrible curse sometimes). She even got asked if the entire ensemble was run up by her "little woman"!
Not bad for a Primark outfit and a few balls of yarn from a poundshop...
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
All this would not be too bad if her conversation were interesting - and it could be: she is an intelligent, well-educated person with an interesting life. However, her conversation revolves around soaps which I never watch, and food. Specifically, everything that has entered her mouth and the mouths of all her acquaintances within living memory*. I have IBS and cannot eat wheat, buckwheat, sweetcorn, rye, oats, and cabbage, and since I fell pregnant I've had severe heartburn when I even think about cream, bananas, smoked fish, cheese, citrus fruit, fruit salad... Guess how much I like talking about food. She doesn't ask how I'm doing, and could not tell you one thing that I'm interested in, because I don't get to talk to her, I am talked at. I usually tune her out and just go "ah-ha, mm-hm, oh, dear", and get on with the dishes, marking, having a bath, whatever.
So she came over for a week or so in the summer. I took her shopping a couple of days, once into town which was maddening - 20mins to get to the bus stop 50 ft from the front door? We got as far as Boots before the shops shut - and once along Stirchley high street. One of the shops we got to was a cheapie shop that sells remainders from catalogues. I've got some good stuff there in the past - leather trousers for £10, a suit for £5 - though they generally have a bigger range of 18-plus size clothes. Anyway, she got a lovely swirly patterned skirt and, after a lot of persuasion, a pink suede jacket, both of which looked gorgeous on her.
A while after she'd gone home, I saw some fancy yarns on sale, so I made her 3 scarves, all in pink. The first, at the top is pink and white ostrich yarn, which I made a keyhole scarf out of - there's a hole about one-third of the way in that you can loop the other end of the scarf through, done by knitting half the stitches on the needle up to the required length of the hole, then put them on a stitch holder and breaking off the yarn, and knitting the other half of the stitches to the same length, then joining the two sides together and knitting to the end. I found this yarn very hard to work with. It seemed to lose a lot of fluff - even though it's not fluffy as such - which got into my eyes and nose and irritated them.
The yarn for the second scarf, in the second and third pics, was like bunting! A long string, with little square 'flags', in a range of pinks from palest off-white to a deep plummy purple, at roughly one-inch intervals. Although choosing the needles was tricky - the band said 8mm - it worked up quite easily on one 4mm and one 10mm, to enhance the lacy effect.
The final scarf, in pic 4, was in pink-and-white eyelash. It's just an ordinary rectangular scarf, nothing fancy. I really liked working with this: it flowed well, and produced a lovely furry effect, though counting the stitches was difficult. I've acquired a huge stash of it in a variety of colours, of which more later!
All of these were knitted when I was still working nights at the Hub, hence the model - a very scary Angel left over from the Christmas display in the church next door!
* - Really. The menu from the wedding of the stepdaughter of a cousin of her next door neighbour but one, which was not attended by my mother or her neighbour, was the object of one of our recent telephone conversations.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I thought I'd mention what got me back into a crafty mode, after what is uncomfortably close to 20 years.
In 2003, my last academic research contract came to an end. Having been in the game for 10 years, I decided to focus my job-seeking on the lecturing market. I got lucky on one of my first applications, a junior lectureship at a former FE college turned uni. I started the induction process, which had to be done before an official offer of employment was made (yes, I know it's daft, but the college had been run by the council, council rules apply).
Then, everything went quiet - no response to my emails or phonecalls. Three months later, I was still waiting for the official offer. By which time I was on the dole, and Tiny Husband had been forced to propose marriage. Finally, I threw a hissy fit over the phone, demanding to talk to the Head of Personnel. Complained loud and long until she promised to look into it.
And two weeks later - after another few phone calls - I got a standard letter of rejection in the post. The type of letter sent to applicants who aren't even getting an interview, not to someone who's gone through almost nine months' worth of interviews, shortlisting, visits AND an induction process, to work in a department that's already badly short-staffed. No explanations, no apologies.
And a wedding to pay for in less than 2 months*.
Now, I should have chased it up, but I didn't. 9 months - more, if we go back to the application closing date. Paying for travel to the 2 interviews, tour of facilities and 2 or was it 3 induction meetings. A substantial phone bill from ringing and emailing (I was still on dial-up back then). ARRANGING MY WEDDING IN P**SING APRIL TO SUIT THEM!!!! It had all been too much and I was sick of it. **A pox on all their courses**. So I decided to forget it. They never re-advertised, so I assume the uni refused to release funds to cover my first year's salary - it happens. The experience did coalesce my feelings about research as a career - less secure than acting, less pay than a binman... So now I'm in school-teaching. Better pay, better prospects, better pension, more security, better hols. Or should I say holidays, full stop - never took any as an academic.
So... paying for a wedding. I looked at my finances and reckoned I could squeeze another £2,000 out of the equity on the house without crippling us. I'd already - foolishly - ordered the wedding dress (that's it in the side bar pic), at a head-spinning cost of £650. Though for a one-off designer made-to-measure, that's not too bad. My sis offered to cater and pay for the food, a friend offered to make the cake, another did the photography, I cashed in my Airmiles for the honeymoon - the total cost to us of the wedding, including honeymoon and a new digital camcorder for the ceremony, was around £1,300. And I could have done it for £6-800 less, if I'd gone for a cheap dress and borrowed a camcorder.
A major saving was on invitations. I didn't see any I liked, and they were all ridiculously expensive, so I thought I'd try making them. I got gold-coloured cards and envelopes, printed off the inserts, and made bows for the front. They didn't look 'special' enough, so I got some gold wire and gold and red beads, and crocheted daisy-like flowers to stick on the front. Fooled everyone - no one believed they were home-made!
Having a few left over after the invitations were sent out, I hit on the idea of making my own jewellery. I made a necklace and earrings using the daisies, with 'springs' and hand-wound metal beads - they're just visible in the userpic on the side. I also made some hairpins which aren't visible in the userpic, using spring-bound beads to attach the daisies to bamboo chopsticks - red and gold for me, plum and gold for my bridesmaids. Tip for bridesmaids - give them the material and let them make up an outfit that they know they'll wear again. One of mine, who's Asian, made up hers as a traditional embroidered salwar kameez; the uber-goth bridesmaid did a goth thang with hers; and my sis made a loose jacket and skirt, which she's worn to work dos and weddings since. Unlike most BMs, they all looked fantastic, because they'd all chosen designs that suited them, rather than me forcing them into something I wanted - luckily the colour worked for all of them!
So there you have it - how I got back into crafting. I'm currently making wire crochet flowers for a friend to put on a bag she's felting - they're silver, and more chrysanth-y than these. Wish I could do more jewellery but Ickle Baby Cthulhu is too interested in all the sharp little tools... He barely leaves my knitting alone as it is!
* - Yes, the bride's father is supposed to pay for the wedding. However, while my father was possessed of many fine qualities, they did not include fiscal generosity.
Monday, July 16, 2007
I learned Aran knitting at primary school from the redoubtable Mrs Anderson (just retired last year, and replaced by my cousin's daughter, Miss Anderson, no relation!). It was a bag, satin lined, quite nice as I remember. No idea what happened to it, probably a victim of fashion's tide, Aran being considered a bit naff, what with the island itself being just off the coast. Oh the cruelty and folly of youth! When I think of the dosh I could have made, as a 'native Donegal craftswoman working in the traditional oeuvre' I could weep. I haven't gone near Aran knitting since, until I realised how gorgeous it would look on a certain little fat blonde princeling...
Knitted up over Christmas, using for the first time a pair of bamboo needles from a set purchased from China via eBay, and some lovely Aran-weight undyed Blue-faced Leicester wool. I cannot for the life of me remember where the pattern is from - probably one I downloaded via Knitting Pattern Central - but the skills learnt in St Anne's all those years ago came flooding back. Before the first repeat, I was able to abandon the paper pattern and continue from memory and feel - okay it isn't the most demanding pattern, but even so. I was chuffed to find something I could do really well. I'm a good knitter, better crocheter, but this was so... automatic, instinctive.
Sadly, this is the only pic I have of His Nibs in the cardi (Note to self: do not send colourblind husband to buy buttons). Not only had he outgrown it, but foolish Tiny Husband put it in a cottons wash (Note to self: stern laundry lecture to Tiny Husband). It hasn't shrunk too badly, but has felted a bit - not that this is a disaster in traditional all-weather fishermen's wear, of course. I should dig it out and palm it off on my niece, I think. Nephew's mum would not be impressed at being given an oul secondhand shrunk thing!
As mentioned in the last post, I also have a new niece, born at Easter. I was in Ireland at the time, and made sure to be the first person to see her apart from her parents, even though this meant getting involved an undignified race with my 65-year-old mother. Remarkable turn of speed for her age - I was impressed by the way she skipped over the bin and vaulted the pill-trolley I threw in her way. I foiled her at the end, thanks to her Luddism - the hi-tech security door to the maternity unit posed no difficulties for me. But it was worth it - living in Birmingham, I never get to see these babes till they're acne-riddled strop-monsters.
There was a certain bittersweetness to the occasion too. My reason for being 'home' at all was that my father died suddenly a week earlier, at the incredibly young age of 69. He was a huge, powerful man, apparently glowingly healthy all his life. In his later years, he developed diabetes which did not respond to treatment, and had heart problems of a fairly non-specific nature. Through it all, though, he had never let up. My mother and brother could not convince him that he could not still do the work of a 20-year-old. At every opportunity he would be out on the farm, checking 'his' cattle, making sure my 35-year-old brother knew what was what and generally driving everyone scatty. Not that he wasn't useful - when my brother had an accident that almost lost him a leg last year, my father stepped into the breach (with a little insignificant assistance from other brother) and kept things going - but he did not need to push himself anymore.
Ultimately, it was that attitude that killed him. Some cattle got into difficulties due to methane escaping from a slurry tank in one of the cattle houses and my brother called for help to move them. Dad basically got too worked up, trying to move these 2-ton brutes practically by hand, and collapsed. He was dead before he hit the ground. Mum, my brother and other brother's wife did CPR until the ambulance arrived, but there was never the slightest indication of life.
The last day had been a good one. All his grandchildren - except my little boy - had been down on the farm with him, and they'd spent the morning following him round like little ducklings after a mother duck. Then after lunch they all tumbled into my parents' big bed for a nap together. All of them adored their big Ganda, and he was daft about them. He was so looking forward to seeing his two new grandchildren, unable to decide if he wanted girls or boys. It's one of my big regrets that my son will never get to know his Ganda. He is the most like Dad of all the grandchildren. We thought we had plenty of time to move back, but there's never any time.
So I made this little matinee outfit for my niece. I'd brought needles (of course) but no yarn, and despite the importance of the sheep industry on our door step, there's darn few woolshops about. So I settled for 100% acrylic Robin Bonny Babe Aran in pink and white. The pattern, which I stuck to quite religiously - go me! - was one from an unknown magazine, which I'd bought on eBay: two outfits, the coat and bonnet I made up, and a sweater and Inca-style hat which I thought I'd make up for my soon-to-be nephew as and when, though I've changed my mind about it, as that sister-in-law is a bit odd and probably would not see the cuteness, so he's getting the teddy from the last post and a rather ordinary Norwegian jumper instead. And maybe a hat, I haven't decided.
The reason I was so rigid about the pattern this time is that I really really wanted to figure out the mechanics of making the beret. The coat is no biggie, bored the tits off me tbh, but having got a copy of Alice Starmore's Celtic Collection, I was keen to try some Aran-y stitchery on a beret for my son*, and I thought I could see how to adapt her designs. But this depended on getting the pinwheel technique into my head first, so I could do it in my sleep like my balaclava pattern*.
It's quite straightforward though, starting with the rib for the brim, increasing to a multiple of 8 stitches for the under-band, then in a reverse of the Pinwheel Sweater pattern, decrease every one-eighth of the total stitches on odd rows, working a plain-knit row on even rows - i.e., if you have 120 stitches total, decrease 1st every 15 stitches on Row1, plain knit Row 2, decrease 1st every 14sts on row 3, etc.
So here's the finished product, modelled by my vintage Ideal Giggles (who still wriggles AND giggles, in original orange-and-pink hotpants and shoes, for those who are interested in such-like)
* - to appear later!
Having become an auntie again twice, I've been knitting like crazy. My big baby brother and his bride presented me with a dark-haired niece at Easter, and my baby-baby brother and his had a (second) son 10 days ago, also dark-haired - I mention hair as we're all blondes who've married dark-haired people, but the first 4 babes are all blonde, and number 5's initially-black hair has faded to dark blonde at age 2. What happens with #6 and #7 is anyone's guess right now.
The most recent CP is a teddy for my nephew. It started out as Lion Brand's free Scott the Bear, but, urm. Due to a combination of a printer out of ink, a 21-month old who likes pressing buttons (especially off-buttons on computers), and deciding I wanted some things to be different anyway, Sprot the Beer is not entirely as indicated. Who needs a stinkin pattern anyway?!
He is made with a TINY amount of multi-coloured yarn of unknown composition for the head and body. I think it is self-patterning sock yarn, though I have no idea how it came to be in my stash, it just was, being offensive and vile*. The black yarn is almost certainly wool, of a strange, ply-less, slubby nature, which I bought unbanded to make a sweater for Tiny Husband, as he has had nothing since his lovely purple pirate fingerless gloves (which reminds me, I really ought to get another pair on the needles for winter, possibly with a mittenly 'hood' for his fingers), and the white is some acrylic left over from my new niece's matinee outfit (of which cuteness, later).
The idea for the stripes is that newborns can only see light and shade - a lot of newborn toys are only black and white as a result. But as colour vision develops randomly, through accidental firing of the retinal photoreceptors which eventually - and amazingly quickly - tune in to specific colours, I always think it's best to combine colour and stripes to a) help the process along and b) prolong the interestingness of the toy.
I don't think he's suitable for munching on, but as a slappy toy he'll be fine. The head and body more or less follow the pattern, but I made the legs and arms longer so they would flop about more as nephew bats it. There's no tail, but I chain-stitched a length to tie him to an arch. Also finished off with my new craft labels from GB Nametapes, very reasonable and a quick turnaround. They read "hand made by Subh Milis" in olive green on a cream background, with a teddy symbol to one side.
Subh Milis (sue milish) is the title of a poem by Séamus Ó Néill, an Irish (not Gaelic, please!) writer from (now) Northern Ireland. At 8 lines, it's practically a haiku in Irish literary terms. I learned it in primary school and it's stayed with me since. Even as a child myself, I recognised the evanescence of youth expressed so sparsely in the poem - I suppose it's why I've spent so much time refusing to grow up... Here it is in full - the translation just doesn't do justice...
Bhí subh milis
Ar bhas-crann an dorais
Ach mhúch mé an chorraí
Mar smaoinigh mé ar an lá
A bheas an bhas-crann glan,
Agus an lámh bheag
On the doorhandle
But I smothered the vexation
That rose up in me,
Because I thought of the day
That the doorhandle would be clean
And the little hand
* - I don't even like flecked/tweed yarn. If I want colourful, I'll do Fair Isle, intarsia, etc. Liking sploodgey colours on the same yarn evidences an advanced dementia at best, or hopeless sociopathy in the case of hand-dyeing afficionados. The stuff looks like a migraine made string-like.