Friday, October 21, 2005

On to the poncho!

There is such delight in finishing a project, especially when the finished item is going to a good home. Such was the case last night at 10 PM, when I cast off lots of little tiny stitches in a stretchy cast off. I was so delighted with the entire knitting universe that I decided to cast on 307 stitches for my next project right then and there. The shawl is now staked out over bath towels in Abigail's room (the book is just beyond the halfway point), and the poncho is about 5% finished.

The photo is a smidgen dark, but you can see the gal wearing 3700 yards of cashmere ($700 worth, retail) and the beginnings of my woolen version, in a very pale lavendar. I think it is going to be lovely, and snuggly to work on as the weather turns colder. If - big if - I can do a skein a day, I will have it finished before Thanksgiving.

My socks in Jig are finished, and I've got a decent start on my
next 'carry along' project, a scarf cowl in Sweat Pea laceweight from KnitPicks. It's not as handy as a sock for knitting in the dark upon, but it's not too far off. I've got 41 inches to go of straight knitting, then decreases, a seam, and it too will be finished. Sigh. Too much fun. There are just so many neat things out there to knit.

Not much other news is happening. Dan is enjoying his new part-time job, I'm enjoying Pachebel's Canon in D, the children are enjoying having the end of Greek in sight, and the rest of our studies are proceeding apace. In my goals for next week .... have 5 fewer skeins to knit up into poncho, an orderly schoolroom, and one letter ready to mail.

Monday, October 17, 2005

No worms here!

A friend of mine is having worm problems at her house. My problem is not worms, but parsing nuns. It's amazing how one's eyes play tricks with text files after a few hours of edits. Not everyone gets to parse nuns, you know.

And that reminds me of the Japanese Beetle lesson I learned this morning. Succinctly put, it goes like this: When making pancakes in the fall, do not assume that little brown specks on the griddle are overcooked pancake batter. There was no brown speck when I flipped the pancake over, so I did a dissection after it had finished cooking. Gentle palpation disclosed the area to be investigated, and there, in a fine state of stink, was a cooked Japanese beetle. I don't recommend them as a pancake topping, or interior. I'm keeping a closer eye on my chai these days as well. I do NOT like stinky lumps in my chai.

The Homer IG went to press today. Once we get it back from the printer, it will undergo a final scan and then be available. Hooray! This means that I now have time to make some minor fixes to the Homer workbook, and then start in on digesting Diogenes. I *really* want a new computer. One that opens files in less than 2 minutes, and can switch back and forth between e-mail and editor faster than I can knit a round on my socks.

Knitting goes well. I had lots of time to knit on our vacation to Des Moines, where I met some ClassEd and TAH friends, and visited with my sister and her family. I worked on the shawl for the most part, but when it got too dark to see the lace on the drive home, I switched over to a sock and continued knitting. That sock is finished now, and I've got TWO more projects on the needle. One is clandestine, at the moment, and the other is a scarf cowl I'm making up for mom. Although it's not a sock, it will replace a sock as my travelling project. How complicated can 'k 44. Repeat until scarf is 42" long' get? True, there's some shaping on the ends ... but I'm beyond that part, thanks to my poky editor. The shawl is 5 pattern repititions from completion. My goal is to finish it by Sunday. I'm timing myself to find out how long it takes to knit a repitition, and my estimate is 85 minutes -- which means that a completed scarf takes about 45 hours of solid, non-stop knitting.

Next week, I should have some shawl pictures!

Ivanhoe is a fantastic book. I'm going to keep an eye out for my own copy, and would really like to know why I haven't read it before now. Are there any other books out there I should have been enjoying the past 20+ years?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Fall has arrived, and it's time to knit

There's nothing so delightful in the early autumn as the panorama of some recently knitted socks. From left to right, there's Parade Blues, Dancing Two-Step, Jig, and Parade Plum. All are pairs, except for Jig, and Sock 2 should be popping onto my needles in the next few days.

Of course, rows of skeins waiting to be knitted into a poncho are another welcome sight. I am exercising great restraint, though, and haven't started it yet. Instead, I'm continuing to work on the shawl, and have 14 rows to go until I'm halfway done! I doubt I'll finish it by Oct 15th, since I was out of yarn for it for a while. I'll keep going, though, and see when it gets finished.

While I was waiting for more yarn, I diddled a bit with Swatch #2 for level III. I've never before had a problem with rowing out, but this swatch and I just didn't get along. The pattern is easy enough, but the rowing out was aggravating. I'll try some different needles the next time I tackle swatching. Since I've got shawl yarn, though, there's no reason to swatch for a while. I've also got poncho yarn, sock yarn, scarf yarn ... all sorts of yarn!

As fall is approaching, however, the time comes to check out what clothes my children have for the upcoming season. Tomorrow has been dedicated to a) finding my son's room, b) removing enough material from it so that he can easily clean it, and c) checking out what clothes fit whom. The next day will be a day of filling in wardrobe gaps.

School is progressing along smoothly. We've got just two more weeks of Greek to go, and then Latin will be our only foreign language of study. As life gets more settled, I am more confident we can accomplish what I've planned (math, Latin, Greek, CW-Homer, Bible) and can see room to add a few other things. The #1 thing to add at the moment is NEAT HANDWRITING. I'm not sure if I want to buckle down and figure out explicit instruction beyond "Write neatly. Like this," or get a book that sets it out for them. TOG has fallen completely by the wayside. Oh well.

Our current read-aloud is Watership Down. I've never read the book before, but it got favorable reviews from some on-line friends, so I decided to give it a try. Patrick was suspicious it was the new Redwall book -- so the book has definitely found favor with him. My other reading is Ivanhoe. And, of course, knitting catalogs. In all the spare moments of my time that I can muster, I'm working on an answer key for the Homer workbook. The hardest part is figuring out what to answer. One can't really provide an answer for an essay, can one?

Goals for this week: Complete 7 repititions of the lace pattern, read 7 chapters of Ivanhoe (as long as they're of decent length), finish up the answer key, and keep up with Bible Study. Two more weeks to go in Exodus, and then we're on to Leviticus!!