Friday, February 17, 2006

Michelle's out, Emily's in (sort of)....

I've conferred with the judges, checked the rulebooks, and have qualified for a different sport -- I'm not really following all the Knitting Olympics rules but it works for me -- Clapotis! Even though I started it last spring, it really needs to be finished so I can wear it a little before the warm weather comes, it's perfect for TV watching, and I'll feel a great satisfaction when it's done. And it's fun to unravel those stitches every 12 rows.

Here's the plan -- I think I can get through the middle section and well into the decreases -- if not completely finish -- by the closing ceremonies. And I noticed that the rather pricey Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb yarn is the "Valentine" colorway so it seems perfect for a February finish.

I'm off to the SPA weekend in Portland, Maine, with my buddy Susan tomorrow -- I don't know how much Olympics I'll be watching but I hope to do a lot of knitting (on Clapotis!).

Monday, February 13, 2006

The agony of defeat....

I'm afraid I've already taken a number of tumbles. Started out during the Opening Ceremonies and got through ten rows -- and knew that my arithmetic was a little off -- despite the fact that there are actually 17 days of the Olympics I still wasn't going to make my daily quota. The yarn was too thin and the pattern was too complicated. I needed something that was a lot of straight-ahead knitting -- more like downhill skiing or speed skating instead of skating the long program.

Not being into guilt, I told myself to just persevere with the stole and whatever was done by the end of the Olympics would be good enough. I resumed with row 11 on Saturday (day 2). I followed the pattern carefully but end up with one too few stitches at the end of the row. I gave up.

On Sunday, feeling back in the flow, I started to pick apart row 11 -- well, you know lace -- I dropped a yarnover somewhere and that was it! I was tumbling down the mountain. I frogged the damn thing.

Not to be discouraged, I pulled out a simple cabled headband and did a repeat -- I was back in the groove. I measured and it seemed to be done -- so I settled down the pull the provisional cast-on stitches out so I could execute a three-needle bind-off (difficulty = 5). The cast-on stitches (which were crocheted) would not, under any circumstances, unravel. I couldn't figure it out. I decided to start carefully cutting -- big mistake. It's like when you try to cut your own bangs -- I cut some off one side, I cut some off the other side. I tried carefully to get back to a full row of stitches so I could just bind off from there -- absolutely no luck. I chucked the mess in the trash and watched Cold Case.

Is my Olympic career over? Can I make the transition to another "sport"? Dum, dum, da, dum, dum, dum......

Friday, February 10, 2006

Going for the Gold....

It's kind of last minute but I've decided to join Team Boston for the Knitting Olympics (and it seemed a good reason to resurrect the blog). I'll be competing in the Hanging Garden Lace Stole competition -- #3 needles and a very lovely laceweight Alpaca (given to me by my "no longer secret" pal Puma Momma). It's been a long time since I've knitted lace and I sure didn't train properly.

I did the math -- 600 rows divided by 16 days equals 37.5 rows a day -- this is rather daunting but not impossible -- that's 4012.5 stitches each 24 hours. Or with 13 pattern repeats over 48 rows that's -- never mind, I'm sticking with the 4012.5 stitches. At least I am not making Hardangervidda!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2005

My Secret Pal....

I'm woefully behind in showing you the wonderful packages from my secret pal.

One from August:

3 skeins of Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Iris

3 skeins of Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Sand

3 skeins of Knit Picks Gossamer in Blue Jeans

A pattern for a Faroese Peaks Shawl

AND Meg Swanson's lace knitting book

The yarn is absolutely gorgeous and I have to admit I am eyeing the Shetland Triangle pattern in Wrap Styles for one of the yarns.

And one from today, just in time for the cold weather:

3 Ann Norling patterns - mittens, hats, scarves

A big fat skein of Cascade Ecological Wool

AND a rather fabulous tape measure

(no, the cat was not included -- that's my Pip)

Thank you Secret Pal!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Monsieur Cat!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Knitting Arithmetic....






Monday, September 19, 2005

FO Sighting....

A lovely tank, reclining on the couch:

Another great pattern from Bonne Marie Burns -- the Mondo Cable -- made from a rather nice South West Trading company soy silk ribbon called Phoenix. Though they're hard to see in my photo, there are some very classy design details -- I really like how the cable splits at the neckline and continues up the sides. And the slipped stitches on the armholes make them look finished without after the fact crocheting (ugh!).

After blocking, the yarn became beautifully soft with a nice drape though it stretched a bit length-wide despite my best efforts to contain it.

I haven't worn it yet but with the perfect fall weather we're having in Boston I might just get my chance tomorrow.

It's definitely knitting book season -- I spotted both Melanie Fallick's and The Harlot's new books on the shelves at Borders today. Gotta have them!