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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Slate Grey is the new Silver Sage...

...or so the latest Restoration Hardware catalogue tells me.
Given my iconoclastic tendencies, the combination of a "x is the new y" statement with a business which is hawking "I want everyone to think I am stylish, and a unique individual, so I will buy these quirky/luxurious accessories that are so nicely laid out for me because I couldn't pick out home furnishings with character on my own if I tripped over them" type overpriced items led to much eye rolling on my part. That and a brief moment of amusement when I imagined hordes of lemmings their customers tossing out their Fine Egyptian Cotton Silver Sage towels, and their subsequent horror when they realize that the Slate Grey linens line won't be out until the next issue.

But enough about people who have more money than sense/style/guts etc.

How about some knitting?

This is the first of my 2 Olympic projects - Cable Baby Cardi the First:

Baby jacket 1 feb 15

We were in Ottawa last weekend, so I had the chance to meet up with some of the local knitters there for some knitting over brunch and a bit of a yarn crawl, as well as several solid hours of car knitting. I also went skating on the Rideau Canal and learned a valuable lesson - if you have not skated for more than 20 years, when skating on a canal, you should really turn around before the 5.4 km point; my ankles are still recovering.
Monday was Family Day, which I observed by hanging out with The Gambler, the cats, and the couch. By Monday evening I had finished the first sleeve and was a few rows into the second sleeve. Then I started work Tuesday morning, and it is only tonight that I am able to pick it back up again. It is currently a race to see if my pager will go off before I get to the end of the sleeve.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Picking up Poppy volume 583

Once I finished the Gambler Striped Scarf, I picked up my Yummy Fable Gloves (which would come in handy given that several rodents did or did not see their shadow today which apparently means that we will have 6 more weeks of winter - I have a news flash for you people; it's February, and this is Canada - no sh!t that it's going to be cold for the next month and a half)

Greedo in repose
If I see my shadow, it usually means 6 more hours of nap time.

But sadly, I ran into a problem:
Fable problem
No, that's not a stray DPN...
Broken needle closeup
That is the tip of a 3mm bamboo Addi - snapped right off. At least it happened right near the end of a row (and just as I was thinking of calling it a night at the SnB).

My needle-less hiatus from the gloves was followed shortly thereafter by a stint in the ICU which barely allowed time to sleep, let alone do any knitting.

This past weekend I finally had time and enough of an installment payment on my sleep debt to pick up the needles again. I decided that I should pick up the second Tweedmanaire sock (that had been sitting on a shelf since before Xmas). I had taken the sock off the needles right in the middle of knitting the heel. Since I use a cheat sheet to knit toe-up flap heels, I made the assumption that the numbers written on the piece of paper attached to the cheat sheet were actually representative of the Tweedmanaire sock. So I knit 4 more short rows, knit around, picked up the stitches, and then started the decreases. But there were extra stitches on the needle. Maybe I had done too many gusset increases. I started to rip back the sock, then tried holding it up against the first sock. The number of gusset increases seemed correct...

Perhaps this wasn't a 68-stitch sock after all. And looking at the actual sock, I did some high level math (I used to teach calculus labs, you know) to determine that a sock that had 5 repeats of an 8 stitch pattern across the top of the sock was in fact an 80 stitch sock. Luckily I had only ripped back about 4 or 5 rows prior to the last gusset increase, so after about 2 more hours of working on it (which included 30 minutes to thread the slightly splitty yarn back onto the needles) I was able to catch up to EXACTLY WHERE THE SOCK WAS BEFORE I PICKED IT UP TO KNIT IT AGAIN!!! Apparently I had stopped right at the end of the short rows. Because that is such a sensible place to stop, and I would OBVIOUSLY remember (or check the Ravelry Project Page) that I just had to knit across and pick up the wraps.

Sock 2 tweedmanaire
Despite my utter stupidity sieve like memory miscalculation, I was able to get almost to the end of the heel on the sock. So the project has again achieved purse knitting status - the short row part of the toe up flap heel is a part of the sock that is intimidating enough / hard enough to remember that I have to do it with my cheat sheet for reference.

But since I am off work for a few days, it's a good time to work on that second sleeve of Poppy:
Sweater Feb 2
This evening I officially completed the black hole part of the sleeve - for the first time I make measureable progress with each row.

There are benefits to being tall, but sleeve length is not one of them:
First Poppy sleeve
25 inches from the shoulder. Not surprisingly, I didn't go with the bell sleeves that the pattern calls for.

Somerset profile with yarn
Gratuitous cat shot

I am hiding
Call the newspapers - I found my shadow!

On an unrelated note, it was only today that it occured to me that the whole Knitting Olympics bit would be starting up again. I could be virtuous and attack my large pile of WIPs during that time period, but I instead will try to knit not one but TWO sweaters.

Baby sweaters that is - both our dietitian and our pharmacist announced to me last week that they are both pregnant and due some time in the summer. As tempting as it was to go out and buy some new yarn, I decided that I would use some ecru Butterfly Cotton that was originally intended to be a boxy sweater that I gave up on.
I found the Cabled Raglan Baby Sweater on Ravelry; it seems to fit the bill nicely. I am debating replacing the garter stitch hem on the sleeves and bottom with ribbing to minimize rolling. I will probably also change the cables so that they are mirrored.

At least if I am overoptimistic of how much I can get done during the olympics, I'll have several months to let them sit on a shelf leisurely complete them.

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