Another Update

I’d forgotten how very much fun it is to design a colored yoke sweater yoke on the fly. That may have read like sarcasm, but I assure you that it was most sincere. It really is fun, and makes you feel dangerous, like you’re the rouge knitter, which is also a fun concept. I would show you a picture of it, but we’re getting so close to the end that I think it would make for a nice surprise. I’ll show it to you in a few days,  when it should be finished, so you should be prepared to be amazed.

I wish there were more sock patterns in KW. That would be nice, to knit  a few pairs of socks. I’m really wanting to knit socks, and it would help the hot sticky breath of Christmas, which is breathing down my neck, even now in the warm time. (The humidity might have something to do with the hot stick breath.) I’ll be doing a lot of swatch caps I think.

I need to get spinning. I want to knit a few things in THE BOOK out of handspun. I have many pounds of Alpaca and Alpaca blend that I need to get the move on, because I hope to use them soon. It just seems so hard to get to the wheel these days, mostly because I’ve been so busy for the past few days that I haven’t been able to get to the wheel, and most of my knitting is coming in bits and bobs and stolen minutes. (I need to point out here that I would be getting a lot more knitting done if I had little, portable projects, like socks.)

After I finish the Yoke Sweater, expect a bevy of garter stitch because I want to knock a couple of those things off the list. (Though many of them are small, like the BSJ and the ribwarmer, and the heart hat.)

If you divide the book into sections, Yoke shapings, Garter stitch, Shawls, and Fancy (Arans, Ganseys, and Fair Isles), there are about seven in each. About, I’m rounding. So, I work each section till there are the same number in all of them, and then just do one from each till I’m done. Great Idea! It’s so nice to have a plan, and makes me feel like I’m doing this a little less haphazardly. (I made a list. Doesn’t that count for something?)

I’m also working on gathering up my yarns for this project. I’ve got two more sweaters to take out. One will be enough for about a sweater, and the other will be enough for about seven hundred sweaters, or a house cosy to put over this draft box in the winter. (It may be seven million degrees now, but it will get cold. Or maybe it won’t if we keep using the AC like this.)

So, that’s the current state of the knitting (aside from the shawl, which I’m averaging about two rows a day on. I loathe the edging.) I have to work tomorrow, which means no NPR orgy, and therefore, no hours of guilt free knitting. (I am convinced that the only reason I am a smart and reasonably intelligent person who thinks about the state of the world, though not to much because it is depressing, is because of NPR. Never mind that I listen to the news mocking and the voice of Garrison Keilor — We’ll ignore that.)

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The state of the Shawl, without pictures

A few nights ago, I would say it was a dark and stormy night, but nobody would believe that, considering we haven’t had any decent rain for about two weeks. Anyway, a few nights ago, I was able to say that I was more or less done with the body on the Traditional Lace shawl. For those of you who don’t know, this shawl is made by starting with the lower edging, then knitting the border, then working the body, and then you work all the other pieces (starting with the edging, and moving to the border) and graft the whole mess together. So, what I’ve got left to do at this point are three borders and three edgings. Which isn’t very good progress as I’ve been working on this thing for a month.

Last night, I started the edging for what I shall call piece B. This is mostly because it’s how EZ refers to it. I might call it, a pain in the ass, but people don’t really care for that kind of language. I started with the edging, and suddenly, my knitting mind said to me, “Haven’t I done this before?Didn’t you think it was too much work.”

Then my real mind, the rational one, explained to the other part why it was done this way, yada, yada, yada.

To which my knitting brain said, “But haven’t I done this before?”

I explained again, but still, “Haven’t I done this before?”

How can you argue with that.

I’m debating on setting this one aside till my mojo for it returns, or doing the powering it through method. I’m hoping for the latter, because I need to get this thing done and off the needles. Well, I guess that I don’t need to, it would just be a nice idea, and one that probably wouldn’t start to made the universe start to crumble around the edges.

Also, last night, I found a provisional cast on that I like. This is a pretty dodgy subject with me. I love the purpose and idea of this cast on, it’s just the actual act of it that I hate. I can’t ever get it either. I always end of doing something wrong. Like the last time that I had to do this on this shawl. I used Eunny’s method, because she generally knows what she’s talking about, and I did learn how to do a crocheted steek on her blog, which remains my favorite to this day. Well, I had to cast on eight stitches. By the end of it though, I had seven. Do not ask me how this happened, I can’t stand it when people ask me questions that I don’t know the answer to.

But I tried Mary Thomas’s provisional cast on. While she isn’t exactly what I would call descriptive, after a few minutes I got the hang of it pretty well. All that you really do is just wrap your working yarn around your waste yarn and your needles, skipping the waste yarn every other round. You’ll understand what I mean if you ever do it. I highly recommend it. And it made me feel so smart to. I love learning new things, and again, this wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  Most things are going to be easier than I thought that they would be.

Is it the dyed-in-the-wool midwestern -er in me that makes me think that this line of thinking is going to prove itself to be disastrous on down the road?

POP!

Hello everybody, did you have a good weekend? I did, it was filled with all sorts of yarn-y goodness. It’s rare that I take a whole day to just check out and knit, which wasn’t Saturday, but I was able to work in a lot more knitting time than I usually would. I spent the morning working on my lace, and then working on my yoke sweater because I’m really excited about the yoke. I’m starting to do some color patterns for it, just some plain stripes at the moment, but I’ve been drawing up some Fair Isle charts to use. I’m about three or four rows till I’m ready for them.

I’m working short rows across the back, which is necessary for this type of sweater. I know she says they’re “optional.” Don’t think they’re optional. I know she’s just trying to cement the “it’s your knitting” philosophy, but please, just do the short rows.

I’m also going to be doing Meg’s revised version of the yoke decreases, i.e. four decrease rows, instead of three. She says that it is good on a large circumference sweater to do so. Okay, I’ll try anything I guess. This is supposed to be a learning experience, and how am I supposed to learn if I don’t try new things. The pattern in Knitting Without Tears, which was the pattern I followed when I first made this sweater, just had the plain jane, 1/3, 1/3,1/3 decrease rounds, yet it still didn’t pucker at all. But that was a wool yarn, and this is a cotton. Cotton is a lot less of a forgiving yarn when it comes to puckering and other structural problems. I’m counting on the weight of this thing to help it sag, which should help the fit, if not it’ll be a little small.

The yoke on this one should be a lot more exciting on this sweater than the last. On that one, I used the body color as the background color, so it was a little washed out, you know, not to sound to fashion-y,  but the yoke on that one just didn’t “Pop.” It made sort of a feeble fizzle.

POP!

Everything!

That’s what I’m in the mood to tell you, everything. I just want to yak and yak, till I just have nothing else to say anymore. Lucky you.

The sad part is, I don’t really have that much to tell. I posted what, yesterday? That wasn’t that long ago, and believe me, not that much has happened that really was noteworthy since then. I worked for a couple of hours at a bookshop, (Where, after working there for about eight months, I got to meet my real boss. She was impressed.) I worked for a couple of hours at a clothing shop. (I do keep busy, clothed, and well read.) Then I got home around eight-thirty, watched three episodes of Buffy (I’m restarting from the beginning.) while I ate dinner, did all sorts of yarn-y things, and had some ice cream. Ah, the life, because there is nothing better than coming home after working hard, and being able to do whatever you feel like doing. It’s such a great feeling, it makes me feel, well, I guess I would say free, but that’s not terribly descriptive.

Then this morning, I get up and see that there are like a million (I may be exaggerating slightly) blog posts for me to read, which is great, because you guys all can’t write enough funny and witty things for me to read, I can’t get enough.) Then a planned berrying expedition was canceled, so I came home, and did some work, cleaned, and now here I am, typing away on my lil’ old blog. I love coming here, and just generally saying what I want to. (Because I’ve got a small audience, I have a lot lower risk of offending people. Not to mention all of you know how to take a joke, and if you don’t, leave now.) I hash things out here, and dither my way out of knitting problems, and take the great advice of my readers.

I’m starting to develop some great muscles in my legs from working out in the garden. That’s nice, or it might be from walking tons, or maybe both. I love having leg muscles again. I know that was an odd thing to say, let me give you a cliff notes version. Year before last, I had major leg operations,  (long time readers might remember a few mentions of this) At this time last year, I was just starting to work my way off of crutches. (After having been on them for months and in a wheel chair before that, ask me if you want rants on how we, as a people, need to be more handicapped assesable.) I could go short distances without them, but I still needed at least one to go far. But now, a year later, I’ve got leg muscles. Yay!

Speaking of the garden, I still need to get my lettuce and onions planted, as well as finishing my newspaper and straw-ing. And I also need to start staking up the tomatoes, and do something with the cucumbers. Any of you have some tried-and-true tips for it, and gardening in general? I’m open to all suggestions, including getting myself to the nearest farmer’s market or health food store. Though I don’t think that suggestion would do any good, I did after all, just suggest it.

Have a very knitty weekend.

The Great Unite

Last night, at knit night, I reached THAT POINT.

You may have a few questions about what point in particular I am referring too. We knitters are a willy and warm bunch, but we aren’t much for the organizational thing. (It takes too much time away from the knitting.) Because of this we have yet to get to decide what point in particular that the phrase “THAT POINT” refers too. Here are a few of the things that it mean.

1. The point at which you are done with a project emotionally, before you’re done with it physically. This is probably the most common meaning of “THAT POINT.” This can come at any point in a project, be it after the first pattern repeat, or right before the bind off. It’s not a fun place.

2. The point at which you discover a huge, honking, and disastrous mistake on the second row. The only way to fix it is to rip back to the cast on, and start over. This moment too, is not fun, though it can be reflective, tearful, and/or joyous, if you’re one of those annoying optimistic types who remember to say things like, ” Yay, more of my favorite hobbie.” I generally fall into the first set, with a brief moment at the last one, where I say things like the favorite hobbie thing, and also mutter things about “bang for buck.”

3. The big moment at a project where you start to see, that while you still have a good amount of knitting left, you are starting to head down the home stretch. This is a good place. You’ve got whole body parts done, and are just working on joining them together, and then putting on the finishing touches.

Guess which one I’m at. Hell, I’m being so chipper that you probably already know.(The title of this entry also might have clued you in.)  I’m at number three. Good ole’ number three.

I’ve united the body and sleeves for the yoke, and have worked about three rows. That’s one of the few downsides to this method of making sweaters, you have a long stretch of knitting where the stitches are well more than three hundred. Sigh. But it really is down the home stretch from here, and once I get past the first decrease row, it will go TONS quicker. More on this later, plus a picture. I’ll tell you some mod’s I’ll be making, and what I’m planning to do for the yoke. (It’ll shock you.)

Though, last night I did notice, for the first time in any of my knitting, that it smelled like ciggerette smoke. Yuk, I’m tempted to wash it, even though it’s still on the needles.

In other news, I’m having quite a busy summer this year, and I’m more or less, loving every minute of it. I’m keeping myself pretty busy this year, with the garden, berrying season, writing more words in a day than I speak, working at the bookshop, and the clothing store, knitting my fingers to the bone, doing the housework, and just in generally trying to stay upbeat, which is easy to do when I keep busy. Not to mention enjoying blogging about everything under the sun, which is always fun, and I’m sure you’re enjoying it. (And a reader I know in real life, actually mentioned, or complained, depending on how you look at it, that my entries are too frequent and too long. Well, I’ve just got a lot to say, and here I can be as snarky as I like, which isn’t too much because I’m just generally nice, and not a bit conceded.)

Though, it is hard to stay upbeat, if only for one reason. Yesterday, in what was one of the best and worst moments of the year, I did something big. Words cannot convey the huge-ness of the situation.  Be prepared to be scared.

I . . .

I. . .

I watched  . . . the very last episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!!!!!!!

Mock me at will. Though let me say that I’ve been working on this since October. My, life was so much simpler than. There was no baby on the way, I worked and slept in different rooms, the working one was a little too close to the kitchen. I had a ride to knitting every week, and I could walk around bundled up in sweaters without dying of heat. Oh well, I didn’t have a spinning wheel then.

It’s a little bittersweet for me, to be done with Buffy, mostly because life has been one hell of a wild and crazy roller coaster since then. I won’t go into details, because that isn’t fair to other people, who were, and are, being effected in a much more real way than I am. But, through all the middle of this, I had, what seemed at the time, to be a never-ending supply of dorky TV just sitting there and waiting for me. Oh, the late nights, the stolen afternoons, the cliff hangers, and the painful task of growing up while saving the world.

I think I’m going to go and watch it all again. Give me some time. Send flowers. And yarn.

(And just so you know, I could yammer on and on, much, much more about Buffy, but I’m still working on NOT sounding like a freak who doesn’t have a life. It’s not going so well, and this isn’t helping.)

Tuesday

(What a creative title)

Hello!

I really can’t think of anything else that would follow that. Maybe “How are you doing,” but lets be honest, when we ask a person that, it isn’t often that we really mean it. We’re more so being polite than anything else.

I’m not really even sure why I’m posting this today. I don’t really have much to say. I’ve worked about three more rows on the lace shawl. I’ve done about half a sleeve since Sunday. (Yes, oddly enough, the moment that I finished my post Sunday, I went down stairs and cast it on.) I’m moving right along with this, and hope to have them all on the same needle by the weekend.

Then I’m paralyzed as far as the yoke is concerned. What do I want to do for it. I don’t have a clue. I think that I’m just going to grab some balls of yarn that I’m considering for it, chuck them in a bag, and see where it takes me. Does that sound like a good plan. Maybe I’ll take a few Fair Isle charts too, but this is in cotton, and Fair Isle and cotton, they don’t mix so well. The phrase “oil and water” comes to mind. But I’ll see where it goes, and hopefully things will all work out. That’s really just my philosophy on life, “See where it goes and hopefully it’ll all work out.” That and, “It’s the little things.”

Little things like a garden that doesn’t need any work, berries that don’t need to be picked, and dishes that don’t need washed, along with finished novels, and finished sleeves.

Excuse me.

Moving right along

Well, on the knitting front, things have been going at such a rate that I think that I’m qualified for the title of “Moving right along”. I really am too. Not so much on the lace, I’ve done maybe three or four rows since the last post, but I’ve had a few other things going on.

You all know that I love me a fun filled weekend right? Well, so far at least, this one had been such, as well as including two four hour car trips, each going over the same part of Ohio. (Actually, it was four, two-hour car trips that covered the same part of Ohio.) And these were also preformed at night, so it was pretty tiring, and I only went on the second one so the driver wouldn’t fall asleep and die, because, had I not gone, I would have felt pretty bad about that.

Anyway, this afforded me some primo knitting time. I knit about half of a very large ball of yarn in two days. It was on the body of the Seemless Yoke Sweater, which is just knitting around and around, till you feel like your hands will fall off, and maybe you’re okay with that. (It is worth noting that there are seven sweaters that are based off of this pattern in Knitting Workshop, all of which are identical up to the armhole.)

Some of you might balk at the idea of knitting in a dark car, but I really had no problems with it. I can knit while I read can’t I? I could do it with my eyes closed, why not in a moving car? I even did a short row. And there was a point where some, like seven or eight, stitches fell off the needle, and I was able to fix that. One of them even dropped down a row. Fear me.

So, I advise you all to work on your ability to knit in the dark, you’ll thank yourself later.

Now, having said that, let me now announce that I have got one sleeve to go before uniting them all for the yoke. I love that moment, you’re finally down the home stretch, and getting closer and closer to being done. It is so close you can taste it.

Till I do that one sleeve.