Tuesday, February 27, 2007

V is for Victory!

Neck, sleeves, no strings attached (that you can see.) Also note the muscles developing in the forearms and the red flesh of my hands from working the needle just so. Too bad this ginormous vest won't fit so well in 3 weeks. Many thanks to the photographer. He does not cut my head off on purpose. I do that later.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Patience or lack thereof

As work continues on the vest I'd like to refer to the post about the lessons learned from the chocolate ice cream lime shebert sweater-

The size seems to be much improved on this current project. Lesson 1 and 1a learned.

I didn't wait to see if summer aran yarn needed to be blocked. Who feels like dealing with that when it's so close to being done. Sewing seams and attaching neck and arm hole ribbing still takes much longer than I had hoped for. I did have about an hour's worth more patience. I would do well to multiply that by 5 or 6. I win the patience prize if I at least decide to block it once it's assembled.

I did however sew the shoulder seams with the sides facing the correct direction. I also managed to make sure the ribbing was attached in the right direction on the neck and the first sleeve.

We'll see if I really believe the mattress stitch when I have time to put the sides together. At the rate it's going, don't count on any pictures until the end of the weekend. I would never make it as a professional knitter in South America.

Deciding between knitting and going to the gym has been a little tricky. My healthy brain is grateful that I've opted for the gym, missing only one day in the last week. My knitting brain is wondering what in the jingle bells (my new favorite 5th grade form of swearing) my body thinks it's doing.

My inclincations are to start the next project BEFORE the finishing touches on this one but reality tells me that if I do that, I will have a half completed vest hanging around for a cat bed. At least the upcoming project has less guesswork when it comes to size.

And when at a loss for patience I have this blog to distract me for 10 minutes.

knitting with others part 2

On Saturday night we were at the club-kept open for reccovering alcoholics who are looking for something to do on a Saturday night. Having just finished baking the chocolate chip cookies for the night, I sat down to knit. Bob had gathered a few for a game of spades (a jail-time favorite) and one rather hard core looking guy sat to the side. I said, "I can teach you to knit if you want." (not really expecting a positive response) He said, "THAT WOULD BE GREAT!" It was a good thing because I learned that teaching him to cast on was not easy. This morning I opened the yarn and needles for Thursday's class and cast on and knitted 2 rows for the students. Those recovering heroin addicts can come in handy although I sounded like a door to door Jehovah's witness trying to convert him to the world of knitting-trade oneobsession for another it would seem!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

knitting with others

The sun is shining- at least for today. It's shining on the hope of 4 Mother's Day dishcloths. Beginning on Thursday there is an "After-School Enrichment" program at school. I'm looking forward to teaching 4 kids (grade 3-6) to knit. I have more hope for this session than the crochet session last year. Fewer students means that they will get more time. I have a mama coming to help, and the students enrolled are a little less rambunctious than last year's crochet class.

There are more thoughts to be had on knitting with others and knitting alone. Once I know what they are, here they will appear.

There are about 35 more rows of the back of the vest until I get to decrease for the armholes. I have to believe the most difficult part of the knitting process is when you can see the end of one project and are purchasing supplies for and contemplating the next. Remembering process is the goal is difficult at these times. But isn't that always the case.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Fear Not

Fear not devoted blog readers... who've been spoiled by daily snow day entries. I am alive and knitting, as much as my sore arms will allow. There's nothing really to show for it because how interesting is straight stockinette stitch for the back of a vest?

This morning at 5:00 a.m. I was casting on some Noro (of the famed frogged elephant arm sweater) to see how this top down knitting works. After reading a couple of patterns and the books I purchased on the subject, I believe that this will be my next mission.

No snow days in the horizon but by skipping out on staff development for a 1/2 day tomorrow and with Bob working on Saturday, I'm thinking the manly vest will be finished early next week.

I think I secretly joined the gym so that I would go there for an hour and feel much less guilty about sitting sedentary for 6 more hours knitting. As to the gym- given my upper body strength (or notable lack thereof) it's amazing that I have enough strength to PICK UP knitting needles. Maybe I could invent designer weighted knitting needles for the upper body workout!

Monday, February 19, 2007

quick knit

The front is done! Not sure why this is moving along so quickly but I'm liking it.

Today I told the student teacher that I was going to observe and take note of what kids were doing every 5 minutes. She seemed to teach much better. I then asked her to do the same for me. I seemed to teach much better as well.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sticks and String

is my new favorite podcast. I've spent the last 4 hours listening to David Reidy's Australian accent talk about knitting. He has excellent music taste and a perfect sense of humor.

What a great find on a snowy Sunday afternoon.

Search iTunes podcasts for Sticks and String or click here for the website

Sticks and Strings

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Don't just sit there... part 2

I just spent 1/3 of this month's allowance at the Waynesburg Wellness Center. I wonder if I can knit on the treadmill. I suppose I can carry it at my side and work on a sock or something if I have to wait for a machine. I hope I do this.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Don't just sit there...

That being said, here’s a picture of the latest project (that I promised myself not to get too obsessed about) from my knitting “studio.” It’s scheduled to be six inches wider than the last one and in a more personally pleasing hue. (What was I thinking? Was I trying to make myself LIKE brown?)

The penguin is not full-scale.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Strong enough for a man...

..but made for a woman.

Snow Day #5

Once we get past the point of being able to make the days up- bring 'em on!

Arctic temperatures are the reason for this snow day. It looks like there will be more of it tomorrow I've started a man's vest in a silk/cotton rowan blend- they call it a "summer tweed." No sleeves to attach and it looks like it might be good over a turtleneck or a t-shirt. A late winter/spring thing.

What to do today I wonder. Maybe even plan for when we eventually DO have school. There's a thought.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It could have been worse

And at least it's warm

Lessons learned from choc/shebert

With about 10 rows of the collar to complete, I find it necessary to document the lessons I have learned with the chocolate/lime shebert sweater.

1. I am not a size 44 in knitting terms

1a. When I wear a size 44 in knitting terms, my belly protrudes as if pregnant

2. Blocking takes as much as, if not more of the patience that I thought I was teaching myself while knitting.

2a. Sewing seams together does too.

3. Do not seam knit pieces with right sides together

3a. Read and then trust the simple directions for the mattress stitch in "The Knitting Answer Book" before seaming anything.

Those three lessons learned (at least introduced) after a nights work I have some acceptable if not so perfect seams on a sweater that looks like it will be just a little small in a color that I really can't stand anymore. Perhaps a photo to follow- it's only fair.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

snow day #4

Today assembly of chocolate and lime shebert will begin.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Forecast? Finished sweater

Why I knit-

Baby Alpaca just doesn't feel as good when you walk around with skeins of it wrapped around your tootsies.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

In circles

My LYS- overpriced, 25 miles away but with a clerk who is not a fashionista and laughs at the stories I relate from other blogs regarding stash. A former DARE officer with a barrel build, there is no pretense and only a shared love of yarn. It is only in this region that one can hear of an "outbuilding" that houses the yarn stash. We shared thoughts on Freecycle as a way to get rid of the yarn and then I just point blank asked her where she lived that I might accidentally retrieve a bin that she wouldn't miss.

This is certainly much more fun than the NSLYS 60 miles away that insults you as you wait or the nearer one 40 miles away that gives away "free patterns" that don't really work and tries to sell the clear clogs for sock wearers every chance she gets.

Todays purchase included 2 sets of #7 circular needles for the anticipated top down sweaters to come. And so the treasure trove grows.

One-armed bandit

All that is left is the stump of an sleeve. That should be finished by the end of the week and then it's time to investigate the various ways of blocking. So far I am relatively unimpressed with the steam of the iron floating above the pinned piece. Not so effective the way I've been doing it. I may go for the roll it in a towel from the washing machine option though that will no doubt extend the amount of time it takes to block it well.

I purchased these two patterns from Wendy at Knit and Tonic and will go venturing to the LYS to find the necessary needles. The yarn, of course is already in my possession. Maybe even the silk for some striped "Flair" (the not red one) Although there is the springy green that would be great for that one. hmmm.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Snow day

It's a cold day "snow day" and after a trip to the post office, grocery store, and drug store, my stash awaits me. What will you be oh lovely stash resting quietly in the cold? Why couldn't you be that now so that I would have something fashionably warm to wear to the post office?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

annabelle poses for the blog

ode to the straight stitch

As the temperature drops below zero, I now have the perfect place to knit. Bob is content to tend the fire, there is food in the house and all other obligations are complete.

As a result, progress has been made on the chocolate ice cream lime sherbet sweater. Right front is done up to the sleeve, though the felines are unimpressed and mostly wondering if I’m eating anything that they might have to clean up.

For whatever reason (maybe it’s not having to change colors on the ribbing), I am undaunted regarding the sleeves. Sleeves? I can whip them out in no time.

My efforts at blocking were a minimal success at best. Florists wire from Michael’s will be a part of the next attempt. The socks can’t get done fast enough. It’s FREEZING here. I want that baby alpaca on my feet.

Every knitted item has a story- particularly if you take it on the road. The first sock of this set will always be known as the sock that saved me when I was too tired to cable the cashmere. The second sock will be the one that had much of it’s work done while sitting next to a struggling 17-year old kid in search of an AA meeting.

If indeed the sweater actually happens, I will remember it as the New York yarn and a lesson to myself in how I would much rather purchase all florist’s wire on-line rather than go to Michael’s on a sub-zero Saturday afternoon. While the straight stitch has become occasionally boring, all I have to do is ask myself “would you rather be doing something complicated and tinking all evening?” Ah… the straight stitch, how I love thee today