Wednesday, January 29, 2014

To the Rescue!

A knitting friend invited me to lunch today, with an ulterior motive.  She has this little problem.  She had knit half a row in the wrong direction.  In the middle of her stockinette was a long strip of garter.

She didn't notice until two rows later.  Long enough she didn't want to frog, short enough to repair, if someone knew how.

I had a sneaking suspicion that she didn't want to be taught to do the fix so much as . . . .she wanted me to do it for her.

(Indulgent smile).  No problem, Sue.

I finished one third of the fix during lunch, and brought it home to finish.  I feel rather honored that she sees me as such an experienced knitter, she knew that I would be able to fix the problem.  I may even be able to finish the fix tonight.

This blog is so often a catalog of my screw-ups, it is nice when I can make things right.

Today, it is all about making knits out of purls.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Mother Nature has been taking out her brutal streak on the US recently.  For most of the month of January, we have battled sub-zero temperatures.  I have lived in Indiana for nearly 20 years, and I can't remember such a winter with such mind-numbing, energy-sucking, limbs freezing, frigid cold.  Must be that global warming thing.

It reached a high of 12 degrees today.  That was an improvement over the negative 6 that it was when I left this morning.

This weather sucks all the energy and cheerfulness out of a girl.  This weather makes me want to hide at home, under a thick blanket, and drink red wine and eat chocolate.   It is almost too cold to knit!

Almost.  I did brave the frozen tundra  and cross the river to Knitter-vention last night.  I spent the evening complaining about my sweetie (who is not exactly in my good graces these days) and nupp-ing.  I still dread each time I approach another purl seven together, but I do think that I am getting the hang of it.  Each one only took a few times, and there was considerably less swearing.  I have realized that lots of tension is the key, when you are pulling the wrap through the small tunnel of stitches.  I have two more rows of the lace pattern, then start the stockinette shaping to finish the shawlette, hopefully to finish in time for spring.

Spring feels a very long way away.  This isn't right.  Someone wake me when winter ends.

Today, it is all about the winter pessimism.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Finishing the Finishing

 My sweetie took the boys to a children's event at Gander Mountain (which turned out to be rather a flop, but did serve to permit me two hours alone).

So I watched Sherlock again  (Ok, this makes the third time) and did the finishing work on Fuchsia Wave.

As you can see in the picture, there is a slight color difference in the rescue yarn.  It is a tiny bit redder, not as berry as my yarn.  I didn't even notice it when I was knitting, but you can see it in the finished product, if you know where to look.

When you look at the whole thing, you don't notice it.  At least, in my opinion.  I will take a vote at Knittervention, and see if reconstructive work is necessary.

In the meantime, I Kitchnered the edge, wove in the ends, and blocked it.  (I am pretty confident that no one will consider the subtle color variation a design flaw.)  Now I just have to keep two small boys away from it while it dries.  That may be the hardest part of all.

This thing is far larger than I had in mind when I started.  The edge adds considerably more bulk than I anticipated.  I think I could wrap two people in this.
This is how much yarn I have left.  17 feet in total.

The lesson that I learned: even when you think you will have plenty of yarn, you probably won't.  Buy one more skein.

Today, it is all about the brutally cold weather that just won't go away.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Worn to a Nupp

It was quite the exciting evening of British TV Sunday night. Downton Abbey first, which is very conducive to knitting. I finally finished Row 7 on Purple Annis. As Highclare castle faded into the background, I completed the last few YO's and K2tog's.

Next was the long-awaited Sherlock. I thought I might be able to work on the simpler purl row.  I was wrong. So wrong. So, so wrong. I must have forgotten how knitting is impossible with the first viewing of Sherlock. In two hours, I purled 14 stitches. The last 6 of which we're wrong. (I had forgotten about the nupp.).   So I tinked back (OK, technically lruped), then purled 7 together. Whose bright idea was it to purl 7 together? I understand that back in the day, a nupp was a telltale sign that lace knitting in Estonia was hand-knit and not machine-made. Because no self-respecting machine would even try to purl 7 bloody stitches together.

But, I digress. 14 stitches were completed, 7 of them together, and that was all. As I said, Sherlock is not knit-friendly. There is too much going on the screen.  In fact, I am not even sure that a person could blink without missing something.

I didn't miss the knitting. I was so looking forward to the episode, I was afraid it couldn't possibly live up to my expectations. I was wrong. So wrong. 90 minutes of deductive brilliance. I laughed, I smiled, I slapped myself on the forehead of the obvious simplicity of how Sherlock survived (I had 90% of it figured out! only missed two details). I loved every minute of it.

Today, it is all about the Benedict Cumberbatch fantasies that are even better than knitting. (Shhhh, don't tell my sweetie.)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Proud Mama

Bugaboo brought home a very nice report card this week.  It said that he was a "good role model" for other students.  What a nice way of saying that he is a bit of a know-it-all.

Doodlebug turns 4 today.  He spent the last night with Grandma and Grandpa, and will be coming home in time for his little party.

So Mommy and Daddy got the real gift today: 16 hours without children.  Oh, if only we werent so occupied with the party prep and general exhaustion.

You know you are over 40 when you are excited about sleeping the night uninterrupted when you are surprised with child-free time.

Today, it is all about the pride.

P.S.  I left my little shawlette at the office.  Why is it that you always want to knit the one thing you can't?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The New Rule

There was a new rule at Knittervention last night.  Every time you used a swear word, you had to take a drink.  I don't recall this rule when I first started attending.  I was working on lace.  With nubbs.  Out of laceweight for alpaca.  The more I screwed up, the worse the language, the more I had to drink, the more I screwed up.  It was a vicious circle.

I worked on Row 7, which I had started earlier that day.  By the time it was time to leave, I was on . . . Row 7.

More than a bit discouraging.  And I haven't even gotten to the purl 7 together part of the nubb.

Today, it is all about the rule I should have broken.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

All Snuggled In

There is only a chain link fencce between Indiana and Canada, and the past two days, someone left it open.  It has been beyond cold.  Wicked cold.  Close your doors and windows, bundle in sweats, and pray to Good to have mercy on your soul kind of cold.

The past two days, it has been a high of -14.  That is actual teperatures.  The wind chill factor has been -40.  For two days, we have been locked in the house.  My sweetie has gone out a few times to start our vehicles, but otherwise, none of us has braved the frigid cold.

If I were a single girl, this would have been a prime nesting weekend.  Snuggle under a quilt, knit, and watch chick flicks all weekend.  If I were a newlywed/non-mommy married, there would have been a different sort of snuggling.  As it was, I was trying to keeep two small children and one husband entertained, fed, and cabin-fever prevention.

As  it was, I was able to squeeze in a few lines on my sweet little slice of alpaca heaven.  The Annis shawl.  I would attach a picture and insert the Ravelry link, but I am posting from the new IPad mini that Santa brought, and I have not learned how to do either.

Next time.  As for now, it is a balmy 9 degrees outside, and  everyone will be going back to work in the morning.

Today, it is all about the new technology.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Emergency Flotation Device

I discovered the way to get applause at Knittervention:  Show off my lifejacket yarn.  A tiny little packet of fuchsia mohair.  An alarmingly little packet.

I had about 9 inches of edge, and was determined to finish that night.  Fast forward one pint of cider and two hours.  In spite of my focus and concentration, I finished about half that amount.

Apparently, I overestimated my knitting speed.   On them plus side, I am reasonably confident that I will have enough yarn.

In other news, in celebration of the New Year, I have started something new.  Something lace, something purple, something alpaca.  After the endless cast on of 363 stitches, (we won't mention how many re-counts this required), I successfully completed the first pattern row, and the second purl row.  I started row 3, and that is where the wheels fell off the wagon.

I was short one stitch at the end.  I knew I should have placed markers surrounding each pattern repeat.  It is just there are 29 repeats, and that is a lot of markers, and it isn't that difficult of a repeat, and. .  . I knew I should have placed markers.

I managed to locate WHERE my mistake took place.  I have not yet identified WHAT my mistake was.   I have marked the spot with a safety pin.  Any hope to interpret the "what" is probably best done with sober sunlight.

Tonight, it is all about the new.  Happy 2014!