the knitting ref

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?


At 9:03 PM, Blogger Pat K said...

It sounds as if you will be having a fantabulous trip. The pumpkin socks look darling, I will be anxious to see how they turn out. D'you think I need a pair??

At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Kelly said...

I'm glad the surgery on the sweater went well. I love the sweater your working on now. Also the pumpkins socks are very cute!
The trip sounds wonderful!


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