May 27, 2008

Scheduling issues

The good news is that the afghan knitting has begun and (despite one large frogging incident) is progressing nicely. That's 'nicely' and not 'at a pace rarely achieved outside of highly skilled areas of the Faeroe islands'. It will be done in time for the wedding of the brother. The second project for said wedding, which up until this weekend I thought still stood a chance, is off.

I don't know what I'm thinking sometimes. I hoped to knit a little sweater for myself to wear to said wedding but it just isn't going to happen. I could, in theory and if I did nothing else probably finish the afghan and a small sweater in the month I have, but I know I wouldn't enjoy it. Knitting on the afghan for more than a couple of hours at a time wears me out, since the pattern requires full attention at all time. Better to take the money I would have spent on the yarn and buy myself a nice top and (as an added bonus) maintain sanity.

Of course the french vanilla cardi and the stripey socks are still lingering as well, waiting to be finished up. I work on each one a bit each day but the afghan has taken over at the moment.

I'm still not sure how much of it I will reveal on the blog before it's gifted, so that's it for photos for now. Plus macro photography of tweedy knits makes me feel like Jared (except less talented, alas).

The afghan did get a bit of a break this past weekend as we were in Lyon doing a little sightseeing and visiting friends. I got quite a lot of sock knitting done on the way there and back though, train travel is so well suited to knitting. I also got to see the new Indiana Jones in an actual theater in actual English (luxury!). As a result of this I feel I can confidently predict the majour motifs of at least the next two Indiana Jones films, but it was a fun show and a good time.

There was a little time for shopping as well.

What's in the bag (and why is this knitter smiling)? Answers next time.

May 25, 2008

Don't Panic!

It's International Towel Day!

Do you know where your towel is?

Douglas Adams 1952-2001

May 19, 2008

Progress, finally

My much anticipated extra needles finally made it here last Thursday and a wet, slow weekend meant lots of knitting time.

The bottom ribbing and one sleeve are done. The sleeves are 3/4 length and the knitting went quickly. All it needs now is the other sleeve, the front and neck bands and a little finishing work. Although the thing is getting a bit big and floppy work on the seaming avoidance which knitting in one piece enables is worth it. There will be a good number of ends to work in, however.

So the cardigan will be done in the near future, but I won't be working on it exclusively. Though it goes completely against my usual knitting philosophy I have another large project started already. This arrived the day after the needles (it was a good mail week).

The yarn for deadline project number one, all the way from Canada. I have not yet decided how much of this project I'm going to blog. It's a wedding gift for my brother and his bride and they've been known to read here from time to time. I'm not giving away any secrets by telling you that it's an afghan and that the knitting is going to be a marathon. I know it will get done, the question is whether deadline project two will even be begun.

Once I've worked a few rows of the pattern I'll have a better idea of the time-scale involved, so far its all edging. At least today was cool - there is a good possibility that I am going to regret the decision to work and enormous wooly thing in the heat of summer.

We're still waiting for a few things here, but at least I'll have no trouble keeping busy.

May 15, 2008

Merci bien

Careful readers will note that there has been a lot of fruitless waiting around here lately. Which made this little bit of mail an even more welcome surprise:

A care package from our friends John and Melissa back in Canada. I'll be teaching Melissa to knit this summer (see Mel, it's on the internet, it must be true) and clearly her taste in books is already excellent. I've been coveting this one for a while. And certainly young L. is showing a prodigal mastery of both the watercolour and pen and ink forms.

Thank you guys, so much. We miss you.

May 13, 2008

Same again

Inside out (and not quite finished).

It's a pretty good description for how I've been feeling lately. Still waiting for all the things I was waiting for last week and the stress is starting to leak out. I put my back out yesterday doing nothing more acrobatic than hanging up a towel and have been moving slowly and confined to quarters ever since. Fortunately this has not effected knitting and I'm feeling much better this evening.

I have reached the point on the vanilla cardi where I can go no further until the needles arrive and I'm beginning to worry about where they are. This thing is taking forever, and if I can't complete it very quickly it's going to get shelved by some deadline knitting. I hate to even consider this - we'll see what gets here first, I guess.

On the up side the socks are seeing a lot of action. I'm doing a bit of experimenting with these. The pattern is pretty much my usual way of knitting boy socks, with a 72 st cast on. The difference is that I've decided to go up a needle size after the gusset decreases are complete. I've mentioned before that himself has rather wide feet, and they're widest in the couple of inches before the toes. Of course I could also just decrease fewer stitches at the gusset....maybe I'll try that next.

I worked most of the sock on 2.25mm dpns and then went up to 2.5mm. Only a difference of a quarter millimeter, yet the difference in gauge is immediately apparent. The fabric on the larger needles is a little floppier than I like for socks and I'll be interested to see how it wears.

The yarn is Lang Color Aktion and appears to be a limited edition colourway. I picked it up some time ago in Canada intending it to be a pair of Jaywalkers (pattern now found here) for myself. I made the mistake of leaving in plain view, however, and Adam adopted it. Like a lot of the Lang sock yarns it came with a cute little spool of reinforcing yarn tucked in the center. Great idea but matching up a self-striping pattern on the yarn and the thread is totally beyond my mental energy level at present and I'm not really fond of the way striping yarns look on flap heels. So the heels and toes are in some solid brown stash yarn and I'm actually very happy with the way it looks. They were in danger of being too stripey.

After a miserable wet April, May has brought summery sunshine and much higher temperatures. After what seemed like a long winter it's a welcome relief. I have to wait, a warm breeze helps me think that good things are on the way.

May 5, 2008

Hurry up and...


It seems like waiting is going to be the theme of the week. Waiting for news, waiting for needles, waiting for yarn. In knitting, as in life, needing something additional before I can move forward. I've got a plan, but the fates might have plans too.

What do we do while we wait? We knit, of course (it helps keep the panic down).

I can still count to four. I can still make a sock. There is some peace in that.

May 2, 2008

Queue up

Despite my continued efforts to trim it, my Ravelry queue seems to be settled at around 30 projects. I've tried to be ruthless and deleted projects that were unlikely or too similar to others (how many cabled, hooded cardigans am I really likely to knit?) but I've just added others. I'm not sure why this troubles me.

There are ten sock patterns in my queue - my hope is that sock patterns, like sock yarn, don't really count. More curiously there are three vest patterns. I cannot recall the last time I wore a vest and am not even sure I'm a vest person. Apparently I aspire to be. There are four cardigans, but I already know that I'm a cardigan person. And though there has been a dearth of serious lace knitting lately there are still quite a few such projects on the list.

So much knitting, so little time. Is this what Jenny and Nicole mean when they talk about the knitting fantasy life? At least the queue also contains some accessory (read small) projects that may find their way onto the needles in the coming months.

The real bad news? My next two large projects, the ones that must both be done for the beginning of July....I never bothered to queue the pattern for either of them.