Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Itty Bitty Knitting

The experiment started. A squirt of fluid onto the testing area. A timer, set to two minutes. Twelve seconds later. . . . that is definitely a "plus" sign. It would appear that I will have itty bitty knitting in my future. And in eight months, my husband and I will be welcoming the new addition to our house. I hope the cat isn't too jealous.

What this means is that I am a little queasy ALL THE TIME. Why do they call it morning sickness if it lasts 24/7? I am also tired a lot. I am doing less than before, and yet have less time for knitting and reading. I find that I am just staring at a television screen, instead of happily knitting away. I didn't know this would be cutting into my knitting time/energy! Well, hopefully things will settle in and I will have more energy again. Hey, don't laugh. It might happen!

In the meantime, while my sweetie was hunting last weekend, I was settled under a warm aphgan, watched DVD's of West Wing, and knit lace. Three more repeats on the Branching Out scarf. I feel like I am finally mastering the pattern, and hopefully the concept of lace. I made a couple of minor errors, but was able to identify and correct them quickly. Everyone is going to make mistakes. The real trick is being able to correct the mistakes.

And for anyone who was curious, no deer were harmed in the production of this blog during hunting season. My freezer is empty, and my sweetie disappointed. Next year, darling.

Today, it is all about the positive test.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Respect the lace

Third time turned out to be the charm with Branching Out. Sunday, I successfully completed a pattern repeat. And I took note of how many stitches I should have for each pattern row to make it easier to spot an error. (Why don't lace patterns already have this helpful hint?) So, fresh with my victory, but sufficiently humbed by ending the weekend with exactly the same number of repeats as I started, I knit on it last night. One successful repeat. Yea!

I think I just did not truly resepct the complexity and precision of lace. Yes, I knew that with a chart, I was obviously doing a lot more complex knitting than normal, but apparently I was just not paying close enough attention. All I can say is thank God for lifelines.

I had my first comment yesterday. It was nice to know that someone is actually reading, though it does put more pressure on me. Must be funny. Must post more pictures. Must keep my two readers (I am being optomistic and doubling the number) glued ooey-gooey to their computer screens.

My sweetheart went hunting again last night, and came home empty handed. He was thinking about doing stuff around the house today, but instead will likely be sitting in a tree again. He is counting the number of day left in the season, what with that pesky holiday in the middle, and doesn't want to waste any possible days.

And if my talk about hunting offends anyone, I apologize. I personally would not be able to hunt, because I am squeamish. I would not be able to do the job my mother did (running the heart/lung machine during open-heart surgery) either. When we were caring for Grandma after her surgery, the nurses teased me because whenever they came in the room to check the dressing or, well, do anything, I quickly ran out of the room to fetch grandma more crushed ice or otherwise loiter in the hallway. In defense of hunting, I will only say that I don't see a difference between venison and beef, just because deer are cuter than cows. And in Indiana, they have even raised the bag limit this year because the deer population is unusually high. Obviously, the hunters aren't at risk of creating an endangered species (which would be a horse of a different color altogether.) The only legitimate condemnation of hunting I will accept is from vegetarians, in which case I hope that we can respectfully agree to disagree.

Today, it is all about the respect.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Negative knitting

It is my husband's fault that I didn't post yesterday. Not that I post every day or anything, but yesterday I felt like blogging, and it was his fault that I didn't. He took the camera. Hunting. Why he needed the camera while hunting, I have no idea, but mine is not to question why. I assume that it was in case he needed to document the hunt, which as it turned out was not needed. He spent the day watching squirrels and chipmunks, which I guess can be relaxing in itself.

I spent the day knitting, or at least attempting to knit. I decided since I was solo for the day, I would pick up neglected lace. I started Branching Out, well, a lot of months ago, and haven't touched in since. So I put on a movie, and went to work. I slid right through 8 out of 10 rows of the pattern repeat (half of which are purl entire row), and made the mistake of thinking "Ok, I am actually getting it. This isn't too bad." which should have been my first clue that something would go terribly wrong. Predictably, on row 9, I had two extra stitches at the end. I have reviewed row 9 eight times, and can find no error, so it may be that the error is in rows 1 through 7. Likely the patterned row before, since I had the correct number of stitches for that row, but I can't be exactly sure. Now, I am not working without a net here. I put in a lifeline, but you hope not to actually have to USE the lifeline. Just to make things worse, I noticed a dropped stitched a row or two before the lifeline. I was tempted just to tie a knot with a stray piece of yarn, and hide the ends in the lace, hoping that it would all magically disappear in the blocking. Now, I find that not only do I have to frog back to a lifeline, I have to frog back to the FIRST lifeline. Two whole pattern repeats. I only had three completed! I made a special point to lace knit yesterday (overcoming my odd reluctance to work on this scarf, which probably is based in numbing fear) and now not only do I have to remove everything thing I knit, but I have to undo TWICE as much as I accomplished yesterday. This is some cruel form of negative knitting! No wonder I dislike math.

My knitting time wasn't a complete waste yesterday. I worked on my second Pomotomus at Sock Club yesterday afternoon. I am almost afraid to look at it now, for fear I have to frog all of that too.

I also went through my knitting basket. I bought the basket while visiting my brother in Poland to hold my current WIP's. What I find is that it holds my current neglected and forgotten WIPs. The real ones are in my purse, workbag, on the coffee table, on the ktichen table, etc. (My husband is particularly fond of this.) So, I sorted through the basket, just to remind myself of what was in there. Not that much, actually. So either I am getting better about neglected WIPs, or I am finding better ways to hide them from myself. The search continues.

And since I recently posted my least favorite socks, I thought I would give equal time to my most favorite. (Is that a legitimate phrase? "Most favorite?") Behold, my Trek the Rib socks. Made from "Trekking" in the purple/blue colorway, in a garter rib stitch. I love these socks. I love the way the three plies gradually and randomly change colors as you knit. I love the simple yet classic stitch pattern creates a non-fussy, understated yet textured look. And for once, I was able to properly fit my own foot. I love these socks. I am wearing them now.

Happy Sunday to everyone, excuse me while I go frog lace.

Today, it is all about the negativity.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Next Step

I took my next step into blog-geekdom this week. I learned how to join webrings. Well, successfuly join rings, I should say. I attempted to months ago, but I experienced techinical difficulties, meaning I couldn't figure out how to attach the information to my own blog. Yet, EUREKA, I figured it out. When I finally sat down, it took about 90 seconds. Why did I put it off for so long, anyway?

Next week, we learn links and buttons.

Excuse me, I am going to knit now.

Today, it is all about the tech.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sea of Stripes

I have been hard at work this weekend on the Seafoam Stripes wrap. See? Oh, you don't notice a difference?

No, really. I finished a couple inches. You don't see it? Look again. You can't tell the difference between 36 inches in length and 38 inches in length?

Well, I am sure that it is just not visible in the photograph.

So, instead of arguing (with myself, mostly) about whether or not the two inches in question is visible in photographs, I am going to talk about a past project. Behold, my Fiesta socks. One of the first pairs of socks I ever finished. I am wearing them now, because my feet are cold on this rainy November Sunday, but I have never liked them. First, they were done with a basic stockinette sock pattern. I obviously made the socks waaaay too big, because they have a tendency to sag and slump around my ankles. Ditto for the bottom on my foot. I am also not wild about the pattern. It only took another pair or two for me to arrive at the realization that I don't like busy patterned socks. Nothing wrong with them, just not my cup of tea. I prefer more subtle, understated variations of color on my socks. And preferably those that actually fit my foot. I made the socks, and my foot was attached to the bottom of my ankle for the whole process, so I really have no excuse for not getting the size right.

You have to love blogs. Where else can you publically display your personal failures?

Today, it is all about the failure, er, I mean learning experiences.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Cables and Punishment

I have been working on my as yet unnamed cabled fingerless mittens, and have hit a glitch. Maybe it isn't visible in the photograph, but there is a GLARING error about halfway through the motif. I don't mean that I crossed a cable the wrong way, miscounted stitches, or something like that. I mean that the entire row is wrong. It is like I mixed up my knits and purls.
I tried not to get dismayed, since this was a learning piece, never having attempted cabling before. And I learned. I was cocky. I didn't mark the chart with a postie note. I thought that it wasn't that large, I was working in relatively large blocks of time at a sitting, and I could just look at my work and know which row I was on. Perhaps not the best plan, in hindsight. Did I mention the glaring error in the middle of the motif? It is entirely possible that I did the wrong row on the chart.
So, I am left with a dilemna. I am almost finished with this mitten, but there is no way that I can wear it as is. That row would mock me on a daily basis, standing out with neon lights pointing at it, reminding me of my overconfidence. So, I have been trying to decide if I should just rip down to the start of the cables, or finish it and put it (with a mate) in the charity box.
Don't laugh, but I conducted a poll. Five out of five non-knitter couldn't even see the mistake, even when I pointed it out to them, pactically using charts and graphs. I think a knitter would instantly zero in on my glaring error, but apparently it is invisible to the muggles. This mitten is looking like it is charity bound, with the hope that it won't end up on the hands of a knitter who would notice. I can make the real pair after. I have plenty of wool. (Famous last words?)
So the real question is. . . . do I try to make the second charity mitten with the same error?
The learning has been good with this project. I am getting down the whole cabling concept, about 3/4 through the motiof, the concept behind the chart symbols tickled my brain, so I don't have to look at the instruction key with every cable. I feel that after I am finished with the second one, I will be able to say with confidence (coupled with appropriate humility) that I have successfully learned basic cabling.
Today, it is all about the learning.