Monday, October 29, 2007

Mitten update

I think this Fair Isle mitten is the closest thing to a UFO I have ever made. It is calling for a UFO pile. If I would have had my socks yesterday (they went MIA again, for the third time in 2 weeks), I would not have worked on the mitten. Had I my complete set of needles, I would have started mom's Stash Hat. (Knitting from the stash is a virtue, isn't it?) But, saved by my own forgetfulness and generosity, the only feasible project I had was a mitten.

I really and truly thought about casting on and working corrugated rib for Mitten #2. But, since the going was tough, I decided I might as well do the thumb for Mitten #1. May as well do the Right Thing, as opposed to put the Right Thing off for even longer. And have two non-thumbs staring at me. (Mom has assured me she needs a thumb on each mitten.) So, Mitten #1 is done, except for 40 or so ends to weave in. Mitten #2 is about 1.5" from the cast on row.

And since I'm home tonight, and it's time to knit ... I go looking for other people who have made this mitten on the web. No dice. So I join Ravelry in case I can find someone there. Of course, there's a waiting list ... but I can still put off knitting by first joining, and then checking on my status.
  • You signed up on Today
  • You are #50461 on the list.
  • 13144 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 1 people are behind you in line.
  • 69% of the list has been invited so far
There are 53 people ahead of me for each end of yarn that must be woven in for my mittens. I'm glad it's not the other way around.

In my reading life, I've finished Ideas Have Consequences, and want to get my own copy. I've listened to Vandiver's lectures on The Iliad of Homer, and am starting in on the Odyssey lectures. And, if by any means possible (25 pages/day), I will *finish* reading the Iliad aloud. Maybe even if no one listens. Then we can read something a little lighter. Water Babies, perhaps?

Back to hunting for photos of the Fair Isle Mittens from Folk Mittens.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lost Hairs and Mittens

I've been a busy little bee lately, and spending too much time watching websites on the SoCal fires. We've got friends evacuated, friends whose homes are in the burn areas, and all sorts of other ties back there. Does that count as an excuse?

Our Medical Month is about to wrap up. Now we get to settle down to a baseline of 6 appointments a month, and go from there. Ten appointments, if you count PT and ST as separate appointments. Many blessings to the scheduler who managed to get them one after the other!

After almost 20 years of long hair, I decided to get it chopped. My husband has always wanted me to have short hair, so I did it for his birthday present. I'm no longer identifiable as the woman with her hair in a bun, knitting.

Knitting is proceeding apace. My MIA project has been found, but I'm having too much fun on the smoke ring. That has been bumped to the home AND travel project. One of these days I'll get back to the mittens. They have lots of ends. Eighty-eight per mitten hand, 36 per thumb. That means 248 ends to tuck in. Thanks to Denise, I have a pretty yarn needle to work them in with. Still, I don't think I'll be making multiple sets of these mittens. I like Fair Isle, but there is a point of ridiculousness-in-weaving-in-ends, and these mittens are over the edge.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This could be catching

My 'to knit' sidebar is shrinking nicely. I like that. It means I can start haunting yarn shops again with intent to buy yarn.

Twisted knitting is a fun thing. The book Two-End Knitting has many great ideas, and patterns ... except the patterns are not great. Consider a hat pattern which reads: "Yarn: 100 gms; Needles: 40 cms/16 inch circular and double pointed needles. This cap measured 21 inches when newly knitted and unwashed.... it now measures 23 inches. ... Cast on 192 stitches... work a pattern" and so forth. Gauge? Nope. Yarn weight? Nope. Needle size? Nope.

So, I started my hat from the top down. I ended up with 28 sts/4", using KnitPicks Telemark yarn. (Oh, and I used a size 3 US needle) Now, Telemark is supposed to be a sportweight, but in a solid color it makes NatureSpun sportweight look like laceweight. The heathered colors are more delicate and reminiscent of a sportweight. I knit until I could get a nice gauge, got one, calculated how many stitches I'd need for a nice head size, knit some more, and started patterning when I stopped increasing.

Twisted knitting has body. I could easily see making a felted bowl out of this. But, it was supposed to be a hat, so I kept on knitting. Every so often I'd knit half the stitches on to a 24" circular and call a child over to check out the length. Proper hats must be warm enough to keep the earsies warm in a nice Minnesota winter breeze.

One and a half rows from the end, I finished the charcoal skein. The hat uses one skein of each color, plus a few yards. My mom wants one... but first, I need to get going on her Fair Isle mittens.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Wrapped In Tradition:

Yarn used: Elann's SuperKydd - 2+ skeins.
Needle size: 7 US (because I always use a size larger than the pattern calls for)

This poncho begins with 400 rows of back-and-forth lace for the bottom edge. Stitches are then picked up along the straight edge and the poncho is worked to the neckline. Short rows are used to shape the neck (and I cannot find them whatsoever now, plus I think there may have been an error in the directions) and then it is finished with a picot crochet edging.


Yarn: Elann's SuperKydd, about 3 skeins in Pomegranate, just like the last two shawl's I've made with this yarn. But no - I'm not picking the color. Three separate people picked the self-same color. Without consultation.
Needles: 7, 10, 10.5 (US) and quite a few crochet hooks. A joinery bindoff on 616 stitches with metal needles is a Pain. It took quite a bit of experimenting before I admitted Way One was the best.

This poncho has no crochet in it. And. in fact, it's not a poncho. It just looks like one in all the photos. It's worked flat, with oodles of boring stockinette. First, the boring part is worked neck-down, with increases and decreases for shaping. Then the bottom lacy portion is worked bottom up. Then the two parts are joined. The pattern was not difficult, but I am not sure which side of the ruffle is the right side. The fabric has a bias, and I may have attached it wrong side out. But if I'm not sure, it's doubtful anyone except for the designer is sure, and even she may be hard-pressed to identify it as 'wrong' while it's being worn.

I laid the wrap out flat so you could see what it looks like. And my blanket-magnet appeared. Still, you can get the idea.

Borrowing from Wendy, I took a picture of my latest sock in progress. Next to it is the Fleece Artist that is going to turn into a smoke ring.

And lastly, a picture of the blanket-loving dog, curled up on a yoga mat underneath Filia, doing her exercises (anything is better than having titanium rods implanted in your back, right?). The exercise she is doing is entitled, much too appropriately, "Dog".

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Finishing Things

The theme of the week seems to be Finishing Things. Last night, I finished my Gull Cable Socks. Two nights ago, I finished the first half of Guinevere. (The second half is only 5 inches or so, of k2tog yo, over 304 stitches. I’m not thrilled, but it’s doable) Three days or so ago, I finished The Greek Way. I really like this book. I will have to read it again, after I’ve grown up a bit.

All the pressing editing projects are also finished. There’s one 300+ page book to convert and reformat, and several books to update .. but those can wait.

Has anyone noticed I seem to be a project-driven person? I think I am. I just like doing things. One of my lists has been talking about the contemplative lifestyle. I’m not sure if being project oriented bars me from that classification, or not. So much of it probably depends on heart attitude. I don’t like to sit around doing nothing ... but contemplative isn’t the same as being in a vegetative state. Still, I’d rather gather information than actually think about it ... so that’s a definite strike against me. But if I was in the right atmosphere ... who knows what I’d grow into?

School was tough last week. It’s not quite a personal insult, but children who are satisfied with F plusses and D minuses are a definite affront to a parent who was uncomfortable with a low A. The principal and I had a discussion about the situation. The initial conclusion was that they’ll do better when they get to subjects they’re interested in. When the depth of the disinterest was revealed however, more immediate steps were taken to inspire their interest. Steps involving computer time and extracurricular activities. These steps promise to promote wise choices. They can be coarsely summed up as “You no study, you no play.”

I’m hoping to finish Clement’s Instructor, Book I, before setting that aside and diving into Ideas Have Consequences. Clement had quite a few ideas, and I would love to know more of what his contemporaries thought about him. For example: Clement says that Christians should only wear white garments. He notes that the “picture fades in course of time, and the washing and steeping in the medicated juices of the dye wear away the wool, and render the fabrics of the garments weak; and this is not favourable to the economy.” He earlier notes “Dyeing of clothes is also to be rejected. For it is remote both from necessity and truth ... The use of colours is not beneficial, for they are of no service against cold; nor has it anything for covering more than other clothing.” It delights my heart that there are parts left in Latin, so that the commoners among us who don’t read Latin well (which would be me) may not get their untrained minds confused with whatever subject is under discussion. Given the content of the English portion around the Latin, I think that the Latin saves the book from being X-rated.

We’ve recently had a blur of medical ‘things’. In the 31-day period we’re in the midst of , I have attended/will be attending two speech therapy evaluations, a physical therapy evaluation, a walker evaluation, a wheelchair evaluation, three wound care appointments, one orthopedic appointment, one orthodontic appointment, one mammogram, two PT appointments, and two ST appointments. (Whoops ... I forgot two. A blood draw for an endocrinology appointment, and the endocrinology appointment itself.)

Can someone remind me what the ‘home’ in ‘homeschool’ means, again? And if I promise to homeschool, does that mean I get to stay home? Pretty please? With a skein of sock yarn on top?

That reminds me ... I’m off to provide respite care in 2 hours, and I don’t have any socks on my needles. Buttermilk Risata and something from Favorite Socks, here I come!