the knitting ref

Monday, October 30, 2006

No Pictures

No pictures 'cause I have absolutely worth taking a picture of. The knitting mojo has abandoned me.

I finished one Halloween sock but I have to say it is the worst fair isle I have ever done in my life and it looks awful. Maybe I can get it together for next Halloween.

And it turns out I should have actually looked at the sweater pattern that I'm knitting up with the Silky Tweed (see last post) before I purchased the yarn instead of relying on the LYS because according to the pattern, I need a little over 1,000 meters to do the sweater. The LYS told me I would only need 6 skeins (which works out to 720 meters) and so that's what I bought. And now of course my LYS only has 1 more skein. So shame on me (but I'm still a little torqued at them too) since I really wanted to finish this before or on our trip. Won't happen now.

My one ray of hope is the Noro sweater. I'm finally coming out of my chemo fog, and have every confidence that I'll finish it before we leave. In fact I'm planning on wearing it on the plane. (I probably just jinxed myself, but oh well.

On top of everything else, many weeks ago, the family decided we'd do Thanksgiving early this year as the Hubster and I will be out of the country on the actual day. The day we picked is this coming Sunday. Sounded like a good idea at the time. And, not only are we doing Thanksgiving here, but it looks like, what with family and friends, there will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 people here. Guess I'd better get to some house cleaning.

Fortunately, I'm about 80% packed. You know, the easy part. Like the clothes, meds, toiletries and the like that I'm going to take. The hard part is figuring out what knitting to take. I'm definitely taking the Storyteller socks with some burgandy Cherry Tree Hill for on the plane, but I'd really like to pack an easy sweater for while we'll be in the car and the like. I guess it's time to do some serious stash diving and see what I come up with. I'm also planning on packing some self-striping or varigated sock yarn (kind and color TBD) to have in a pinch to make some plain stockinette stitch socks. I think that's all I'm taking as I'm hoping to find some treasures while we're out and about. ;-)

We're having Halloween festivities at work tomorrow, including dress-up. I'm doing what I've threatened to do for years, and I'm going in my jammies, robe and slippers. To spice things up, I'm also taking one of my wigs and putting it up in curlers and a hair net. Although I'm not drinking coffee anymore, I'll be carrying around a coffee mug to complete the ensemble. Maybe you'll get a picture, maybe not.

Well, time to do a little stash diving. (What, you thought I was going to clean house?) Pishaw.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Where did the week go?

Actually, I know the answer to the question, but I swear someone's been stealing hours out of my days. I've been back at work basically full time this week, so I've pretty much been coming home and collapsing on the sofa every evening. Add on top of that, I've started the pre-New-Zealand-trip laundry, sorting and packing--oh yeah, and house cleaning. (Only 17 more days 'til we leave!!!)
But that doesn't mean I haven't been knitting. It took a while to work up the nerve on the Noro sweater (more on that later), so until I could find the nerve to do the required surgery, I picked up another project (or 2). Now, I could have picked up something I was already working on, but the brain was not able to handle much more than stockinette stitch. None of the WIP's around here fit the bill. As a result, I found this pattern for a very simple pullover sweater. This is the Two Piece Sweater. A trip to the LYS (and 40% off) resulted in the purchase of Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Tweed (color 05). The picture (on my monitor, at least) is pretty true to color. What it doesn't show are little bits of caramel-y and white color. I really like this yarn. With 40% silk, it slides nicely through the fingers. And, if you don't have to frog or tink, the splittiness is at a minimum. If you do frog or tink, though, it gets really, really splitty. Don't ask me how I know.

This is a really great pattern if you're looking for a simple, good-looking sweater. I don't normally like 3/4-length sleeves, but longer ones don't work very well. (Don't ask about how I know about this either.) The pattern also works very well with my limited brain power. It's all stockinette and reverse stockinette stitches with a few make-1's to add a little interest to the sleeve. (Don't know if you can see them going up the middle of the sleeve.) It's knit from the sleeve edge to the middle of the torso. I've got about 2 more inches of reverse stockinette, then a few inches of stockinette, and the first piece will be done. All together, I think I've spend about 6 hours on this so far (even with the attempted mods/troubles--but I'm not going to talk about that.)

I'm hoping to finish this before we leave. If not, it'll go on the trip as easy-to-do knitting while we're in the car (where we'll be a lot!).
Speaking of close-to-impossible deadlines, I also started a pair of socks with a pumpkin heel. For Halloween. Which is 9 days away. With chemo tomorrow, I think I'm calling this awfully close, but we'll see.

I saw the pattern for the pumpkin heel on another blog--not one I normally read. I printed off the pumpking chart and promptly lost the blog it was from. I would love to give full credit to the blogger who charted this up, but despite my best efforts, I can't find the blog again. If not for the chart, I'd think I hallucinated about it. If you see this and you made up the chart, leave a comment, so I can give you the credit you deserve.

The socks themselves (or I should say itself at this point) is plain black Wildfoote sock yarn. I couldn't find--not that I looked that hard--an LYS that had the requisite orange sock weight yarn, so I took some plain white sock yarn of unknown origin (read, lost the ball band) and dyed it up with orange Easter egg dye. That's the little ball next to the sock. Turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself.

The sock itself is also plain. A little over an inch of 1X1 rib and plain stockinette. The foot will be plain too. I'm kind of wishing now I had dyed up a little more orange so I could make orange toes too, but that ship has sailed. What you see done on the sock was basically accomplished befure, during and between the Boy Child's and niece's soccer games yesterday.

Like I said, with chemo next week, I don't know if I'll finish these before Halloween or not. We'll see.
And finally, surgery on the Noro sweater has been completed. As I told the Hubster, I needed to work up some nerve, and then have plenty of bright light and total focus (read serious uninterrupted time) to take it apart. As it turns out, taking it apart was ridiculously easy. I snipped the yarn on the band where it's attached to the front, and then carefuly unknitted the band up to where I needed to take the two pieces apart. I picked up the live stitches on a straight knitting needle that's smaller than what I used to knit it originally. The reason for that is because I decided the best way to put the band back on is to kitchener the stitches. While I'm not crazy about kitchenering 70-some stitches, I think this allow me to keep the repair as unobstrusive as possible. I only hope it's as easy to put together as it was to take apart.

And, since I'm wearing rose-colored glasses on the other 2 projects, I also am hoping to finish the sweater in time to wear and/or take it to New Zealand.

Speaking of New Zealand--which is about the only thing that does get spoken about around here these days--excitement is reaching a fever pitch. The Hubster's passport arrived last week (nothing like waiting 'til the last minute), and he picked up the trip packet on Friday.

On the downside, there's no road map of NZ in the package--it will be given to us together with specific directions to our B&B's when we pick up the rental car. We were told that the reason for this is because so many people forget and leave their maps in the States. Not much chance of that here, but oh well. I've ordered a map from Amazon which should be here by Tuesday, and then, the hard core planning commences.

On the upside--speaking of the trip, of course--our time is our own. No group tours for us. I am a closet hermit afterall. Just the B&B, homestays and farmstays where we'll stay each night are set. But this also means that we are on our own when it comes to what we will and will not see. Goodness knows I've spent enough time reading guide books and looking at tons of websites, not to mention eliciting help from a few NZ knitters and other who have gone before us. I want to see it all and yet I know (even with my rose-colored glasses) that's just not possible. At this point, I'm setting up a list with must-see's, might-see's, and things to see if we're bored out of our minds. Like that's going to happen.

And, of course, the $64,000 question is: what do I take to knit?

Friday, October 13, 2006

I'm So Annoyed

Actually, I'm much more than annoyed--at myself. Let's see why. I've been really anxious to finish this sweater. I thought I was going to finish this last night and be able to wear it to work. I was sooooo close. Until I found this:
Do you see it, huh? Do ya? Well, if you can't see it here, let me give you a close-up:
I am soooo mad. I put the lower right-side panel on backwards.

No big deal, right? Only problem is the way this sweater is constructed means I attached the lower panel to the upper panel and then knit the center edge (which goes over to the center back). To compound the problem, I didn't realize the error until after I had sewn up the center back seam and attached the lower back panel. Head slap! (Several times.)

So, the way I look at it, I have 2 options. Option 1) Un-sew the lower back panel, un-sew the center back seam, frog the center edging and then fix my error and re-do it all again. Option 2) Carefully clip the knitting on the center edge (hopefully) and tink or frog the knitting back (hopefully) to where the lower panel joins the upper, fix my boo-boo and (hopefully) re-attach the center edge to the rest of the sweater so it's not obvious.

As Option 1 will take several hours (days?) to accomplish, I am going to attempt option 2. I'm hoping it works. I have loved this sweater from the first moment I saw it in the pattern book (actually on the cover), and it is not disappointing. (My sewing skills, on the other hand, well . . .) This is going to get worn a lot. If I can ever finish it.
To finish off, I'll give you a peek at the back. (And maybe give you a better idea why I don't want to go through option 1.)

The post was going to end here, but I had to share. As if my day hasn't been sterling enough, just as I was finishing this, the Boy Child (remember he's 19; maybe I'd better find another name for him) walked in and he's pierced his lip! This is the child who, when he was small, had a health issue that required having blood drawn on a fairly regular basis for 2 years. Since then, he has been terrified of needles. He broke his thumb a couple years ago and when we took him and when we took him in to have it examined, he almost passed out. I truly never through he would attempt to be pierced or tattooed. And it's his lip. Sigh.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Monday, Monday

Knitting continues on at a glacial pace. Not because I'm necessarily feeling bad, but because my left hand just won't cooperate with holding onto the needles for very long. I realized I was holding them in a death grip, but even consciously relaxing my hand hasn't allowed me to knit for too long.

So, in lieu of an knitting content, you get a cute cat picture. At least I think it's cute. From left to right you have Inky, Nubbs, and Mac. Ordinarily they are jockeying with each other for the exact same spot on the couch (obviously it's big enough for all of them), but for some reason yesterday, they actually slept together on the couch with Inky using Nubbs for a pillow and Nubbs using Mac for a pillow. Couldn't believe they actually cooperated for so long. Maybe it was yesterday afternoon's perfect napping weather.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Got It in 1

You Belong in Fall

Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

Many thanks to all the kind birthday wishes. Despite the low-key nature of the day, I had a really, really great day. I went into work for a bit and my co-workers were wonderful. Came home and napped a bit followed by time with the family which I always (o.k., usually) enjoy.

I feel very, very blessed to have the friends and family I have.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Happy Birthday to me! Well, I made it another year. Think I'll try for another.

No big whooping it up. I'm going into to work for a bit where there have been whispers that something's up. Then back home to rest for a bit before la familia gets together for a little get-together.

Shedir is kicking my butt. I've restarted it I don't know how many times and some always screws up. The head is getting a little chilly, so I'm giving up (for now) on Shedir and starting a different one. Haven't figured out which one yet, but I will very soon.

And hey, did ya notice I've made 2 posts in 1 week?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Don't Think I'm Gonna Make It

Finishing Shedir before the hair's all gone, that is.

Fortunately I started with a pretty good head of hair, but this is about the amount I'm losing on a daily basis, so there's still a ways to go.

But I'm having a terrible time getting started on the pattern. I just can't seem to get the pattern set. I know once (if) I get the pattern set, I'll be fine, but I keep seeming to wind up with either too many stitches between the markers, or not enough. It's getting frustrating.

But I will prevail.