Monday, April 29, 2013

Testing 1 - 2 - 3

Testing.  Testing.  1 - 2 - 3.  Testing. 

I thought it a good idea to test this whole perpendicular edging concept before I did the real thing.  Well, after the first aborted effort, I thought it was a good idea, as the frequent readers of my blog (all three of them) may remember. 

It is nice to have a purpose for the tiny leftover balls of yarn sometimes.  Canary Yellow and Heather Rose is not a color combination I would usually favor, but it does the job as a test piece.  

After an inch, I think I got the hang of it, and was ready to try the real thing.  

My sweetie was kind enough to watch the children for me last Monday, so I could go to Knitter-vention  (actually, he came home mean as a wounded bear, yelled at everyone for no apparent reason, then yelled at me to "get the F*** out" when I was displaying reluctance to abandon my children into his care; but we won't quibble over details). 

After the greater than usual husband bashing, I was calm enough to give the edge another try.  Four rows later, I felt that I had an adequate start, and should quit while I was ahead. 

The past few days, I was able to pick it up again, and work a repeat or two.  The design elements are starting to show, and I feel reassured that I am not working the wrong side or twisting.  Two inches and 25 rows down, 190 inches and 960 rows to go. . . .(Weak groan.)  I really should learn my lesson about doing the math. 

We had a garage sale this past weekend, which is usually prime knitting time.  Every year, I spend two days sitting in the garage, happily knitting, and stopping to collect money.  Except this time, I spent half the time curled up in a chair , feeling a little queasy, semi-conscious, and being teased by my husband that I was pregnant again.  (I am not, thank you.)  The closest I got to knitting was to bring it out into the garage, sitting on the chair next to me.  Sigh.  At least we made decent money with the sale.  Next year. 

Today, it is all about the new technique. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Getting an Education

I had continuing education yesterday.  9am through 4:30 pm, listening to Social Security Disability law.  Yawn. 
I ended up knitting most of the seminar.  I offer no excuses.  It kept me awake, and more alert than I would have been without the knitting. 

While more obvious to everyone in the room, I don't see that it was any different than the person sitting next to me reading a novel on his Ipad, or the lady two seats down playing Solitare on hers. 

And the best part, my Unnamed Red sock that has been my briefcase knitting for a while now has measurable progress.  One or two rows once or twice a week while waiting for court is slow progress.  Hours of knitting is a whole different ballgame.  Only one more inch (give or take) til the heel! 

Today, it is all about the educated measuring. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Next in the Queue

I have been thinking of the next project to cast on lately.  I have been tempted by Jane Eyre Shawl (ravelry link) lately.  I like the traditionalism of the gray yarn recommended by the pattern (very British governess-esque) but I think that for a shawl in the modern age, that might come off as too old fashioned. 
So this yarn has volunteered itself.  Sage green mohair, with hints of gray and gold.  Very lovely.  Very Soft.  Very cozy. 

I actually had something else in mind for it.  A rectangular wrap with Celtic knots/chains or something.  I hadn't found a specific pattern that I liked, so I still had this vague idea of creating an original pattern. 

You know, because I already have so much experience with lace now. 

I still have that Celtic motif in my head, but somehow this yarn and the Jane shawl keep pairing themselves in my imagination. 

So as I was laying in bed the other night, I was starting to think about starting it BEFORE I finished Fuchsia Wave.  Just a little.  Cast on, maybe a few rows.  I started thinking about possible needle sizes.  6 would be too big.  Maybe 5's.  I have a plethora of Size 5 circular needles.  (Thanks to Duchess).  One is being used for the Swirl Skirt, but I couldn't for the life of me remember where the others were.  When I woke up the next morning, I saw it: 
Pretty in Pink, and all the needles in it.  Ah-ha!  There are all of my size 5 circ's.  How could I have forgotten?
Maybe I should hold off starting to new shawl.  I don't have a problem with numerous WIP's, but at some point, it starts to be overkill. 

I think I hit that point three cast on's ago. 

Today, it is all about the overkill. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Abort mission!

Mission:  Start the perpendicular border on Fuchsia Wave. 

Transcript of Mission:

Ok.  Invisible cast on, easy peasy. Knit the first pattern row.  No problem.  Mostly purl the second row.  Ok.  Join last stitch onto the body of the shawl. 

Wait, is this backward?  Which way is the wrong side?  I don't want the border to be attached backward. 

Yes, this is the correct side.  Knit the next pattern row.  Purl row four, attach the last stitch to the body. 

Wait, is this the correct direction?  I didn't think I was backward?  Is this backward? Bloody hell!  This mohair is making it hard to see the stitches clearly. Oh, is it twisted?  Which was is the wrong side again?

I should have practiced this beforehand.  This mohair will be a bitch if I screw it up.  Ack!! It is backward!  What the . . . .?  Houston, we have a problem.  Abort!  Abort!

De-briefing Report:  Body of the wrap salvaged. 

Observations:  Trying to learn a new knitting technique in a moving car is probably not a good idea. 

New plan:  I will knit a small test piece, and attatch the border to it.  Better to make my mistakes (and let's face it -- there WILL be mistakes) on a swatch. 

Today it is all about the testing. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lively and Lovely

Every once in a while, Knit Night (second Monday of the month) and Knitter-vention (every other Monday) fall on the same night.  I usually try to hit both, leaving a half hour early for one and arriving a half hour late for the other.  This past Monday night, I was running late (ahem, read: my sweetie forgot about a meeting and was running late to watch the boys so I could leave), so I went straight to Knitter-vention, on time there at least, for a change. 

The company was lively.  Well, it always is, but livelier than usual.  An off-color comment here, a risque joke there, and a long discussion about self-defense with firearms.  (One of our crowd has a problem neighbor, one who has threatened to harm her, her husband, her infant, and everyone else in the neighborhood.  Poor lamb.  This is a "breaking news" story just waiting to happen.)   

The knitting was far less exciting.  I finished a row and started another on Fuchsia Wave.  I really should have more to show for over two hours of uninterrupted knitting time, but there it was.  Only  a couple more 640 stitch rows, and I can start the border.  17 stitches in the perpendicular border, 640 rows.  Oh, balls!  That is over 10,000 stitches.  Why do I insist on torturing myself by doing the math?

On a final plus side, the night was just a little chilly, just cold enough to throw Duchess over my shoulders.    Ditto this morning.  Lovely!

Today, it is all about the chilliness. 


Monday, April 8, 2013

Removing Temptation

To protect myself from any delusions that would lead me to talk myself into trying to have both scarves done by Mother's Day, nice a notion as that sounds, I ignored Spring Haven all weekend.  Didn't pick it up once.  Didn't even look at it.  I knew that I did another couple inches, I might not be able to avoiding trying, only to drive myself batty with an impossible deadline. 

The fact that I encountered some problems late last week, and am *almost* certain that I have straightened them out have NOTHING at all to do with that avoidance. 
Instead, I worked on Fuchsia Wave.  I only half of one long side of stitches to pick up, so I pulled it out of the the knitting bag.  Two hours later, I still had 120 stitches to go.  Apparently, merely taking it out of the bag is not good enough.   I did eventually finish the pick up row.  Then I finished the "place markers" row.  And I started the "Yarn Overs" row.  After that is the "knit" row, then the "mitered: row, then another "knit" row,  then I can finally start the border.  I think.  I don't have the pattern in front of me, so dollars to doughnuts I am forgetting something. 

Spring is finally arriving, and with it shawl weather.  I want to be able to wear both shawls soon.

Today, it is all about about being realistic. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

What a Knitter Needs

I love long-term knitting projects.  I enjoy seeing the different stages as the project progresses.  I love detail and intricacy.  I love showing off what I worked so hard to make to others.

And I especially love the milestones.  Using up the big glob of yarn that a new center pull skein pukes out that I have to wrap around the ball band.  Turning the heel.  Splitting for sleeve openings.  Starting a new chart.

But sometimes, a knitter needs a little instant gratification too.  One week on the needles, and Spring Haven is already 15 inches long.  It would have been an inch or two longer, but there was an, um, incident yesterday.  Nothing critical.  The pattern smacked me around a little, but I held my own. 

That started me re-thinking about Mother's Day as a goal for both scarves.  37 days (starting the count last Thursday), 12 feet of scarf (estimated), that requires four inches a day.  On a scarf that is totally doable!  Oh, wait, that means that I am already a foot behind schedule. 

(Small voice)  Never mind. 

Today, it is all about the need for speed. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Then I started thinking. . .

Spring Haven is screaming right along at record pace.  A foot finished already, and that is in less than a week.  At this rate, I will be finished by Mother's Day. 

My Mother-in-Law requested that I knit her a yellow and pink scarf, which prompted Spring Haven.  She asked if I could be finished by Christmas, which I thought was a very realistic goal.

Then I started thinking that I might even have it finished by Mother's Day. 

Then I started thinking that while I was at it, I should make my mother the same scarf in the pretty blues Cascade that I saw at the LYS. 

Then I started thinking that Mother's Day is less than six weeks away, and I have now thought myself into a very stiff deadline. 

Then I started thinking that I don't do well with knitting deadlines. 

Then I started thinking that I could go back to the original Christmas deadline. 

Then I started thinking how much I am loving the pattern. 

Today, it is all about the thinking.