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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

If at first you don't succeed...

Well, a week on call for the ICU got the better of me - I didn't manage to finish my Olympic Knitting Project. I was on pace to finish up until then, but being at the hospital until midnight or later several nights wasn't conducive to making much progress.

I still have about 35% of the yarn left at this point:

August 26

(cat shown for scale)

This is one row before the end of the 13th repeat. I might just be able to squeeze out 15 pattern repeats. Turns out that my fears of having a wee little scarf were unfounded - this is going to be pretty big post blocking.

So I'll just have to try to finish it in the next week or so. I should be able to get some quality knitting time in; on Thursday, The Gambler and I head to Italy for a 2 week holiday. Complete with 7 days in Tuscany.



Friday, August 15, 2008

Art break

For almost 5 years, The Gambler and I lived close to The Royal Botanical Gardens. Today we decided to take a trip there.There are a few art exhibits on right now scattered amongst the gardens. This cube made of all of the wood (down to the branches) harvested from a tree is nestled beside its trunk. It's quite the contrast with the amount of empty space in the forest that was previously taken up by the tree.

There was quite the downpour while we were wandering around - even the sculptures looked uncomfortable.
The Gambler unzips a lawn.
Blue nettle - apparently it can be made into yarn.

Speaking of yarn...

August 15a
Somerset thinks that I have knit up a bit less than half of the yarn I started with. This might end up being more of a triangular scarf than a shawl per se.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I have seen the future, and it is blurry...

The Gambler and I went to have our eyes checked last week; part of the exam involved me having my pupils dilated. Afterwards, I had 2 choices - if I had my glasses on, everything close was blurry, and everything far was clear, and if I took my glasses off, everything far was blurry and everything close was clear. This is what I have to look forward to as I get older.

Sigh - one of the joys of being nearsighted - you are guaranteed to need bifocals at some point.

But I did order some funky new frames, and at least I can revel in the fact that I still have a half decent focal point (although I have gotten into the habit of looking underneath my glasses to see my knitting...)

Things are going swimmingly with my Games That Shall Not Be Named Knitting Project:

August 8th
This is after the second pattern repeat. As of last night, I was part way through the 6th pattern repeat. I'm very happy with how the 2 colourways are working together - the above (flash) photo kind of washes the colour out.

This is a better representation(complete with cat hair):
colour blend closeup
I used to know enough calculus to be able to calculate the net number of stitches after each pattern repeat, but that was back in the late 1980's. All those credit hours - gone. So I am weighing the yarn and project to come up with an estimation of the %age of the shawl I have knit thus far. At the last weighing, I had used up about 17% of the yarn. I still have alot of knitting ahead! At least I've memorized the stitch pattern and don't need to refer to the book anymore.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Start Spreading the News...

I had an insanely busy week on call last week (My favourite part was at 6:35 AM this morning, when the nurse called me to tell me that someone's blood sugar was in the normal range. She then told me that I had written an order instructing the nurses to do so - at which time I said "Really? Could you read that order back to me?". She started to read it and then said "Oh. I'm really sorry"...), but I did find the time to book a flight to New York on Rhinebeck weekend. I'm flying into Newark on Thursday October 16th, and returning to Toronto on Tuesday October 21st. The Gambler won't be accompanying me because he will be at a big fencing tournament in Kingston that weekend.

So I will totally be up for meeting up with anyone while I am there; I'm planning to go to Rhinebeck on Saturday, possibly Sunday as well. Friday and Monday are fully up for grabs.

When I finally got up this morning, I decided that I should swatch for my "Knitting Project That Just So Happens to Coincide With The Olympics, But Should Not In Any Way Be Construed As A Knitting Olympics Project, Because Who Knows What Wrath Might Fall Upon Me Then" project.

Of course, a key part of any project that I knit is coming up with a name (because it's all about entertaining the audience here at Purl This.) I finally decided on Tri Tri Again Toscana, since it is being knit out of 2 different colourways of Tri - the name given to Ancient Threads Farms' sock yarn.

The first swatch was with 3.75 mm (US 5) Addi Lace needles. Can't say I was feeling the love for these needles with this yarn - the yarn isn't as smooth as some of the more squishy sock yarns, and the needles gripped it a bit more than I liked.
US 5 swatch plus yarn cake
The fabric looked OK right off the needles, but I think it would be a bit too loose for my liking post blocking. I have realized that I prefer lace that consists of openwork patterns surrounded by more solid bits, rather than "more air than yarn" type lace.
US 5 swatch

I then swatched using some 3.25mm (US 3) Knitpicks metal needles.
US 3 swatch plus yarn cake
The slick metal worked much better with the nonsmooth yarn, and the fabric passed my very scientific "stretch the knitting out to see what it will look like when blocked" test.
US 3 swatch

Theoretically, for the sake of completeness, I should also be swatching with 3.5mm (US 4) mm needles,
2 swatches
but a) I don't have any non-interchangeable needles in that size, and I didn't want to have to deal with needle/cable interfaces that might loosen (because that would make me cry), and b) I wanted to get on with my life.
duelling swatches
I mean really, it's a shawl. I knit until I run out of yarn/get sick of knitting it/reach the size I am happy with. If anything, I should probably be more concerned about how well the red and orange are going to work together (I have decided that if red wine and marinara sauce work well for dinner, they will work well in a shawl -you have your little delusions, I'll have mine)

Speaking of shawls, I am deeming this pattern a Stroke Of Brilliance. I have 2 different yet similar colourways of Koigu KPPPPPPPM (Am I the only one who loses track of exactly how many P's match up with each yarn weight?) that might be destined for it.

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