Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I blame Theresa

Within hours after the yarn-y garage sale, I was wandering around Ravelry looking for ideas. 

The Noro is not as soft as I would like (or would have thought a mohair silk blend would be), so I quickly excluded a sweater, and decided on a wrap.  Nothing too complicated a pattern that would dsitract from the pretty colors.  Nothing too large that would be too stripe-y. 

Charlotte Yarn Lace shawl immediately jumped out at me, even on the small screen of my Iphone. 

That evening, the yarn called out to me.  Before I knew it, I was casting on.  After three days, I have five to six finished inches, and am nearing the end of the first skein. 

A few days ago, I was making nice progress on both Pretty in Pink and Fuchsia Wave.  I wasn't planning on starting anything until those two projects were finished.  Maybe more.

At the garage sale, Theresa was the worst enabler.  Her parting words to me was that she expected to see the Noro at the next Knitter-vention.  This really is all her fault. 

Today, it is all about the blame-shifting.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The best kind of garage sale

My local yarn store had a garage sale today.  Customers bring in random fiber products and set the price.  Other customers buy them.  The store keeps the money, and gives the sellers a gift certificate for an equal amount. 

How cool is that?  Clean out the stash.  Buy other's stash.  Get gift certificate for new yarn. 

My mother tagged along with me.  I quickly amassed a handful of little treasures.  Random balls of sock yarn, a bamboo circ, some whispy mohair, all for only a couple dollars each. 

Then a large bag of Noro Aurora jumped up and bit into my wrist and wouldn't let go.  10 whole skeins of it, in the prettiest shades of dark greens, blues, purples.  $40.00 was far more than I had planned on spending, but I was a woman obsessed.  I kept wandering back to that table to fondle the yarn and admire the colors. 

I blame the yarn fumes.  And the enablers other knitters.  They kept whispering into my ear.  10 skeins is a lot of yarn.  I could make anything with 10 skeins.  $40 was really a bargain for that much Noro.  If you haven't knit with Noro, you haven't lived. 

   It followed me home.  Can I keep it?

Today, it is all about the bargain.   

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Half Precision

In my single gal days, I dated a rocket scientist in training.  Literally.  He was getting his Ph.D in engineering, something to do with intercepting rockets, I think.  There were times when he drove me bat-crap crazy, months spent searching for a drop of something that would resemble a human emotion, but that is a story for a different day on a different blog. 

My nonchalant relationship with math would drive HIM crazy.  My approximations and "close enough" mentality would drive him to exasperation.  "Put your hands up, and step away from the math!"

Intellectually, I understand that math needs to be precise, but usually I don't.  Worrying about the possible yarn shortage of Fuchsia Wave has me upping my math, at least my sense of precision.  I will be cutting the yarn close to the edge.  Am I halfway through the ball now, or was I a few inches of edge ago?  Do I really have a half ball left from knitting the body?  Or is it a bit more or less than half.  A few percentage points may mean the difference between a finished shawl and me sobbing at the end of the yarn with a few inches yet to go.  Every foot of mohair counts!

I am sure there is a complicated formula that would tell me now if I will have enough yarn.  Weigh the existing balls;  measure precise yarn requirements per edge repeat; calculate the remaining repeats. . . .Ugh, just typing it give me flashbacks to Sister Anna Marie and her ruler.

I guess I am just a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants knitter, even when it leads me to disaster.  17 inches completed on long edge #1.  145 inches to success (or slightly less to failure). 

Today, it is all about the edginess.   


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Full Speed Ahead

Test completed.  The edge curls in a tiny bit, but no more than the usual nature of knitting.  The corner is fine.  The designer is vindicated.

I am proceeding with confidence and determination on the edge. 

Except that now I am concerned about running out of yarn. I bought this yarn years ago in Poland.  Even with the magic of the Internet and Ravelry, finding another randon skein is next to impossible.  Running out is NOT an option. 

 I had 5 skeins to begin with, 1250 meters in total.  The body took about 2 1/2 skeins.  Except that I have learned my lesson (though apparently not well) about yardage sucking edges.   

22 inches down the first short side.  13 inches down the first long side.  I have used up approximately half a skein of yarn.  There is remaining: another 57 inches to long side #1, 22 inches to short side #2, and 70 inches of long side #1.  I have completed 19 percent of the edge, and used 20 percent of the available yarn.  (Assuming my math is correct. . . . Always a dangerous assumption.)

This is going to be close. 

Today, it is all about dangling over the edge. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Edging the corner

Am I edging the corner, or cornering the edge?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

Regardless of what I choose to call it, I have completed one (short) edge on the shawl, and rounded one corner. 

And here is where I start second-guessing myself.  You double up on the rows as you round the corner, but I was uncertain if that made the outer edge long enough.  As I have progressed to more complicated and complex knitting, I have become more picky at the final product.  I don't want to spend months on something that looks like crap, or even has some minor imperfection that is bad enough that I don't wear it.  

I fussed over this all during Knit Night this week.  Knit a few rows.  Fret.  Knit a few rows.  Spread it out on the table and sigh in indecision.  Knit a few rows.  Fret more.  One person suggested that I take a steam iron to the corner, as a pseudo test-block.  

This morning, I took her advice.  Sort of.  I dunked the corner in a bowl of water, then pinned it out.  No pseudo-blocking for me.  I didn't want half an answer.  I wanted the full monty.  

By the time I get home from work I should have my answer.  

Today, it is all about living on the edge.   

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Inch by inch

I am at the part of projects that make for boring blogging.  Inch by uneventful inch, I knit, but it doesn't leave me much to write. 

The beginning has the excitement and selection, and occasional mishaps that I can turn into self-depreciating humor.  The end has the "ta da" moments and photos.  But really, how many times can I post a picture that realistically looks exactly like the three photos before, with an extra inch or two that you have to use a tape measure to discern?
And yet, this is where I am, so here goes. 

Pretty in Pink: another row finished.  Four to go (including cast off).  Four ENDLESS rows.  Not unexpectedly, the giant cone of yarn is only marginally smaller, and not more portable, so this poor project is still banished to home. 

Spring Haven: 18 inches down, 54 inches to go.  I think I am going to need another ball of yarn.

Fuchsia Wave: 18 inches of the edge down, approximately 166 inches to go.  (I did some actual measuring to arrive at this number, so it has a closer resemblance to reality than the estimate-size-from-memory method that I normally use.)

Fuchsia Wave has some excitement around the corner.  Literally.  In about another repeat, I have to round the corner.  I am pretty sure there are special instructions for that.  I should check on that, preferably BEFORE I start the corner. (Though a major screw up from not bothering to read the instructions would make for good blog fodder.) 

Today, it is all about the inches that DO matter. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Practice Makes (almost) Perfect

The perpendicular edging really is less difficult that it looks.  The first few rows have the potential for disaster, as you have to make sure that you have the correct side and aren't twisting, but beyond the first couple inches, it is fairly routine.  The only difference between it and normal knitting is the addition of one stitch from the body on knitted together with the edge (or, in this case, SSK) on alternating rows.  No problem. 

11 inches of edging down, and I feel like I have largely mastered the techinique.  I still have the occasional missing/extra stitch to sort out, but the last inches have been pretty uneventful.  And yet, there are scads of inches to go before I am finished.  Sigh.  There are days when I love the tiny steps of a million miles concept of knitting, and others when I wish I could just wiggle my nose and find the project finished.   

Today, it is all about the wishing. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Red Eye

Last night, after the kiddies were tucked into their beds, I got a burst of knitting energy.  I stayed up a couple hours, long past my usual bedtime, and knit.  I watched "Sex and the City" and worked on my edge. 

I paid for it in the morning, of course, as my bloodshot eyes will attest, but I also had six finished inches of the edge to show for it. 

It was worth it. 

Today, it is all about the edginess.