Saturday, June 28, 2014

Contingency Plan

I am very concerned about the yarn for the tank top. I have four balls of  Grass.  I received those balls in a yarn exchange, so there is no hope of finding more.  I mean, really, the emergency yarn from Poland was a once in a lifetime fluke.

So I have started knitting the Shapely Tank, but even as I cast on, I don't think that I will have enough yarn. At least, I won't have to knit all of it, only to come up short with only a few inches to go. Again. Four balls, two sides. If I haven't completed the front with two balls, all hope is lost.

I am so pessimistic, I already have a contingency plan. 2 and 1/2 inches, and I have a back-up plan. Still a tank top, just a little skimpier. And knit the bra portion first, then the body top down, in the round. I can knit until I run out of yarn.

Today, it is all about Plan B.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

One Problem Created, One Problem Solved

So I am about ten rows into Celtic Sage.  A decent start, except that the lace just doesn't look right.  I mean, it looks fine, but the decreases jsut aren't where I would expect them to me.  My assumption is that the probelm was user error.  I got one row off where I should be, and was continuing the problem.  So i knit the border in some scrap worsted, and it ended up the same way. 

Ok, so now I have the choice of knitting as written, assuming that the real problem is user expectation, and that there is nothing inherently wrong with the pattern.  Or I could do some work, and adjust the pattern so the decreases are where I think they should be.  Later, just thinking about that makes my head hurt.
Meanwhile, I solved the issue I was having with my mittens.  I wasn't sure what to do with the thumb.  Stiches held on waste yarn to be knit into thumb later.  Problem solved, and continuing on. 

The colorwork isn't difficult, but does take a high level of concentration.  Two purple, two white, one purple, and so on, all the way around the row.  I think I will like the end product, but I have a feeling these mittens will be a long time in progress. 

 The pattern is starting to take shape, which is encouraging.  Hopefully, enough to keep me interested. 

Meanwhile, I have been tempted to start something else.  I uncovered four cotton linen balls, and started picture a cute, clingy tank.  An unfortunately skimpy tank, since I only have the four balls, and no hope of finding more.  (They were received as part of the Christmas Yankee Yarn Swap.)  

I am barely passed the experimentation stage, so there isn't much to see yet.  I have cast on, but since I didn't have the yarn to spare on a swatch, I may be ripping and re-starting.  

And I just realized that I am working on a cotton tank in the same week as wool mittens.  

Today, it is all about the contradictions.   

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Delusions and Design

I have started the knitting on my frankenstein-designed Celtic Lace Shawl. At some point, I had to stop working and re-working the math, and cast on.

That was scary enough, so much so that I found myself in a strange delusional state. I knit a few rows, then found myself wondering what was taking so long to find out if my design worked. Apparently, in my zeal for my first pseudo-design, I forgot how long knitting takes.

Sometimes, I am amazed at how dense I can be about knitting. I have been knitting for almost twenty years. I really have no excuse.

I am going to this loud and clear, so everyone in the cheap seats can hear, even those as apparently dense as I.


I will learn one of these days, I swear.

Today, it is all about the learning curve.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Back to the Math

I should apologize to my faithful readers.  Both of them.  I have been a very neglectful blogger.  Busy, work, kids, blah, blah, blah.

But my needles and knitting juices have not been idle.  Quite the contrary.  I found myself all alone at Knittervention.  I had arranged a sitter, and was determined to enjoy myself.  I ended up finished and binding off my Mother's scarf.  A Christmas present finally finished in June.  Now there is something to be proud of, right?

 My Annis Shawlette is blocked, and I have learned to charmingly drape it around my neck.  Just in time for the 80 degree weather.  May was more like July in Indiana, certainly not shawl weather, not even a small one.  I stubbornly wore it a couple times, then carefully folded it away until autumn.  Or a freak cold snap in July right after I finish a cotton/linen tank top.  Such is my luck.

    I have been knitting quite a bit on the place-mat.  The pattern is nice.  Easy, but just enough to keep me interested.  I am looking forward to having these place-mats in my kitchen.  Then I realize that I currently have eight place-mats.  There are only four diners in my family, but two of them are still dodgy about their fork abilities, so the place-mats are constantly in the laundry rotation.

That is a lot of place-mats to knit.  What have I gotten myself into?

Lastly, since realizing that the Jane Eyre Shawl won't work with my pretty sage mohair, I have returned to my original concept: a wrap with Celtic-inspired design.  Of course, I searched Ravelry endlessly, and couldn't find EXACTLY what I was thinking anywhere.  Making up my own pattern seemed incredibly ambitious.  I mean, I am not an inexperienced knitter, but following a lace pattern with minimal screw ups is a far cry from creating one.  

This weekend, I started cutting and pasting, almost literally.  I took the central motif from one pattern, the border from another, then started cutting out the portions, leaving something close to what I had in mind.

Then started the math.  How many stitches wide?  How many rows tall?  I had to balance the border repeat  with the central motif and desired overall size.  Each time I thought I had the math cornered, I reviewed it one last time, and found one more thing I had missed.  Over and over, until I started coming up with the same numbers, repeatedly.  The planning was infuriating, but every time I caught another omission, I reminded myself that it was far better to catch it now, rather than with my tears staining the mohair.

I just hope that I haven't forgotten anything.

Today, it is all about planning the math.