Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Forty Days.

This may seem contrived, but here it goes: I will not waste time on the Internet for the next forty days. No Ravelry, no Facebook (I am hardly ever there), no NK, no genealogy. I will use the time to knit things for my family, to spend time with them, and to write. E-mail at work only and for work purposes. No surfing.

The irony is that I got this idea from Ravelry - somebody joked (or not) that she was going to give up buying yarn and another person with more spritual approach suggested not giving up knitting, but rather to give up Ravelry/Internet and spend that time on other things like knitting for charity. And seeing how many FOs you end up with at the end of the forty days.

Well, this is what I will do. I have the yarn, I have the patterns, now I will have the time - so knitting will go on. I will log in what I knit just to record the dates, but no stories, no photos.

And I will write - I will work on the stories I have been carrying around in my head and heart.

I am looking forward to this!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Wonderful Day.

Yesterday morning the four balls of RY Cashsoft form Sheila in Illinois arrived in the mail. This lovely lady had the exact dye lot of the shade I needed to finish the Twenty-now-Twenty-One-Year Vest and she send it to me even before I was able to pay her! I will finally be able to finish it, although I have to redo the frogged back.

Then I went to the library to pick up some books (Glamour Knits, if you need to know; even though I had the pattern for the shrug from the CanadianLiving website I wanted to see the real thing again) and I got:

1. the IK issue I have been hunting for for the last two months, the one with the Oriel Blouse and the Ogee Skirt in it; finally somebody returned it;
2. CSI: The Seventh Season 5 CD set (I was waiting for it for over 6 months); and
3. another IK issue that turned out to be the newest, Spring 2009, brand spanking new issue that I have not even seen in the bookstores yet! I could not believe my luck! What a feast!
Then I went home and, after two failed attempts at casting off the collar for the Noro shrug, I realized that somehow, in the wee hours of the morning I set the collar off by about an inch and one sleeve is longer than the other. Darn!

But I love it. I am wearing it now even with the uneven sleeves (of course I will frog the whole day worth of knitting in the collar to reset it just right, why do you ask?). The colours are glorious, and with some creative splicing I got the sleeves to almost match. I used the newly acquired skill of K1P1 knit cast-on (it gives a great finished edge) and I cast the second ribbing from the end and then grafted it onto the end of the sleeve so that it would match just right. I did it! I grafted K1P1 ribbing to each other! So it is only the matter of that one inch. It would have been a perfect day...

Now I am off to the Twenty One Year Vest.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Third Noro Scarf.

I just finished the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf. It was going to be just diagonal, but I could not keep it straight and as I started to think "it will block itself out" I realized that it will not, frogged it and did the actual MDS.
It took forever. Almost five feet of 55 stitches across (diagonally) in garter stitch on 3mm needles - enough to make you suicidal. But: no thinking required, just pure brute force of perseverence, so I persevered. And I noticed something else entirely - I could not stop before I finished the whole skein. Just could not. Halfway through I decided that I will give it to my friend Jacek, so it could have been a lot shorter (guys prefer shorter scarves), but no!, the Noro effect would just not let me stop. I had to see what color will come up next, how the plys will mix and match, how the colors will bring each other out as different combinations come together on the diagonals. It was surreal, I was in its clutches and could not free myself. And now I cannot wait to start another project with a Noro yarn. [It will either be a Evelyn Clark's swallowtail lace shawl in Noro Silk Sock in rainbow or Erica Knight's ribbed shrug in Silk Garden Chunky in red-orange-limey green.] And I love coming across the thicker and the thinner sections, the fluffy parts almost not fitting in the previous row's stitches. Nothing boring about Noro.

I used the alternative ending for the scarf and in the end I had exactly 2 inches of yarn left. Because it is a bit scratchy, I soaked it in Eucalan (never used it before) and now it is blocking and drying. Photos will have to wait until tomorrow, because the colors just do not come out nice in fluorescent/flash light.

And I need to develop my colour imagination. Striped and self-striping yarns just look COMPLETELY different when knitted from how they look in the skein. This yarn did not show any of the boring drab olives, marroons and blahy browns that make up about half of the knitted scarf. All I saw when I bought it was the fire-engine red, emerald green and some purples. Selective vision, maybe?

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Have My First Follower!!!

Thank you, Cathy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The n OR o Waiting Scarf.

I used my favorite needles - 11' 5.5 mm ones, nicely fat and short, perfect for scarves - to pass away the time of waiting to find out if my son's surgery will go on. He was scheduled for 9am, but a transformer blew at the university and the hospital, and we did not know until 1:20pm if he was going to go in. In fact, the hospital was on Code Gray (evacuation) standby. The power came back on at 9:55, but there were ventiallation and sedative scavenging system failures in the OR block that took all this time to fix. It was a 25 min hernia repair, but we waited for six hours. Mark (the surgeon and a friend) did not cancel Lukie's surgery, because he was the first on the list and we were hoping that the thing will get fixed before 3pm, when Mark's OR slots were finished. We gambled and got lucky.

Lukie was a real trooper, even though he was hungry as all get go. I brought my knitting bag and planned to work on the Twenty Year vest. But when I found out about the delay I could not concentrate on the vest, especially as it started to look that the diamond panel was too narrow and that frogging was in order. Fortunately, as I was going out the door in the morning I grabbed the new Noro Silk Garden and my shortie needles. Don't ask why - the Knitting Gods were looking out for me. A scarf was the only thing that I could do while we waited, between iPod and the DVD player watching Bug's Life, Bob the Builder and Finding Nemo. Then I had to carry Lukie around a bit, because he took to yelling out loud that he was hungry. But overall he was great and brave.

I cast it on at about 8:45 and cast off just before he woke up in the recovery room. Love the colors, but next one I will try lengthwise because I think the colors will look even better that way. I need to get long circulars for that.

The Twenty Years vest got frogged and started again in the Post Op Room. Lukie recovered great, has not asked for any pain meds and was boucing up and down on the bed right after he woke up. Mark Walton is a great surgeon!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Big Disappointment.

So the Jaywalkers are finished and I do not like them. I am not even proud of them. I worked on them for a month. Tried four different yarns: the first, a lovely red crimson handpainted yarn, did not show the pattern well enough, the next was too Eastery for what I had in mind, the third had the problem with colors coming together cancelling each other out so that there was no orange or lilac to be seen. It also puddled into stripes of purple and washed out lime. Finally the last one - a Hobby Print - jaywalked well. However, the second sock developed a severe case of the puddles as I had finished the gussets and was on the home stretch on the instep. Had to frog it. And it continued to puddle and puddle. I finally took to skipping short lengths of yarn to avoid it and ended up with a whole bunch of knots on the inside.

And I do not like the way the ribbing ruffles at the corners of the jaywalks - I noticed it on the original photos in the pattern and in other people's socks as well. Mine just seems more pronounced.

And the yarn is already fuzzing and I have only worn them for three hours!!!

And to add insult to injury, even though I counted rows all along the second sock ended up shorter.

What a waste of time. Wow.

But I had made up my mind and ripped out the back of the Twenty Year vest and restarted it narrower by 30 stitches. Now I worry that it will be too narrow, because my tension seems to be tighter. Oh well...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tiered Procrastination

I am a little bummed out this weekend. The long awaited Twenty Years vest will not be finished anytime soon. I run out of yarn and even though I am willing to try a different dye lot for the front inset and the neck and armhole ribs there is none of the DK Cashsoft to be had. I considered frogging the whole thing because I thought it would be way too wide, but Jimm likes it loose. It can also be considered to be too long - it is a very 80s design. So we have two possibilities (the third - forgetting the whole thing for another two or twenty years is not an option): 1. frogging both front and back down to the ribs and staring all over again amking it both narrower and shorter; or 2. frogging only the front (or the back) and narrowing only it to salvage enough yarn for the ribs and inset; keeping the length the same. Jimm's birthday is on the 17th and I still have time to do either option if I knit like a maniac. But I got into the avoidance mode and:

1. bought three differnt skeins of Noro Sock Yarn just to see the colors and what the whole Noro hoopla is all about;

2. bought two matching skeins of Noro Garden Lite for the same reason;

3. bought a skein of Classy Dream Yarn for a hat for Jimm (in crazy red-orange, wonder if he will ever wear it);

4. bough two skeins of Lorna's Laces sock yarn for blue socks for Luke;

5. cast on one of the Noro Sock yarn for a diagonal scarf; and

6. continued to knit the second Jaywalker.

I promised myself that when I finish the second Jaywalker I will make a decision about the vest. But as you can see, I am procrastinating on that too. This is called tiered procrastination.
Now my second Jaywalker developed a severe case of the puddles!!! Darn it, drat!!!
A bad weekend all around.