It’s been a strange few days. After being gone from the house for several weeks to various corners of the country, one to work on a kibbutz until university starts next week and the younger to army boot camp, both my sons were home sick this past weekend. Many pots of chicken soup were cooked and consumed in a very short time. The noise level was quite remarkable. I couldn’t hear my tinnitus.
When our youngest was drafted last month we had an arm’s length list of things to buy and, as procrastination is our middle name, there were a few items that were no where to be purchased, one of which was a plain watch cap in basic black. As I have justabitofyarn laying about the house, I decided to knit one for him using The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns as inspiration.
Even though I have justabitofyarn, most of it is 100% wool, which in our house has a very tentative existence until its first washing not done by me. So while wool was the natural choice, 100% superwash wool was the best choice, i.e. sock yarn. Not being entirely crazy, I decided to double the yarn and ended up with something between sport and worsted, and no appropriate gauge to be found in the book. Opting for smaller rather than bigger turned out to be a Smart Idea, but still necessitated casting on three times. After fits and starts it was duty knitting right up to the crown. Thankfully youngest was home to try it on and so I discovered that the hat needed at least another inch and a half if it was going to cover his ears. An important feature in a watch cap. Tink, tink (that’s “knit” backwards, for the uninitated) back the crown and several hours later the cap was done!
Sorry for the lack of photos. No doubt that by the time he’ll be home again the watch cap will be a distant memory and hopefully warming someone else’s head.
Lucky I kept notes.
It’s true. This is a post about knitting. Don’t blink or it just might disappear.
Once upon a time, when I had oodles of free time, summer was my planning season for when the weather finally cooled down enough to permit knitting to commence. Unlike my former home in Minnesota, the coast of Israel is warm 10 months of the year and not having central A/C is the biggest deterrent to my knitting year-round. The weather is changing, enough so to get me thinking about picking up my 3 projects languishing in the UFO cabinet. This year I won’t be dashed on the shores by the Siren Song of NaKniSweMo. Oh, no, no, no. I’ll be content to just finish the current lot of projects. (Though I am coming to the belated realization that the Kaffe Fassett “Kill’em Cushion Cover” may eternally be a UFO, as it requires some serious solitude and quiet to work on. I haven’t seen either of those in months/years.)
With one magazine subscription and few online knitting newsletters, I’ve tampered down the constant pull of new projects to a minimum, but the temptation to start new projects instead of turning UFOs into FOs is certainly there. Who doesn’t love to start something fresh?! One-Skein Wonders, which I received recently, could be my Achilles’s heel! (Woo hoo! Now I need to knit a camera cozy!)
Speaking of newsletters, does anyone else think the noise-to-signal ratio on KnittingDaily is nearing the breaking point? When they first started out, it was pretty low. Now I’m sorely tempted to unsubscribe from the newsletter to avoid getting the at least twice to three times a week ads in my mailbox. I think Knitty is much more in tune with its subscribers.
To my delight, I discovered today that Ravelry members blogging on WordPress.COM now have their own group. Rock on!
And to spammers targeting WordPress.COM’s “knit” tag, take note of this important announcement from the fellow who does the clean up http://mark.wordpress.com/2008/01/15/knitting-a-tip/ (Sorry for the lack of linkage.) If you are knitblogging here on WordPress.com and surf the WP.com tag surfer, I can hear you chuckling from here.
This is the first project that I’ve knit in a long time that has decided to fight back.
Having worked in a yarn shop doesn’t exempt you from doing stupid things, like changing yarns at the last minute and casting on without doing a swatch. I did do some homework before casting on because I already noticed that even on the ball band, the yarn I was planning on using had a slightly different gauge than the yarn used in the pattern. The original sweater called for 129 sts for the front and back pieces knitted flat, i.e. 258 sts for both pieces, and far too many for my yarn stats. When you’re working with 40″ worth of stitches, even a difference of half a stitch per 4 inches can make a dramatic change in the width of the finished sweater!
As I was also planning on knitting Leo in the round, I checked on Ravelry to see if anyone had done so previously and posted in their blog about it. I was very happy to find Meg’s post about her experience. Her numbers were different, but she pointed out the pitfalls for anyone knitting the pattern in the round. The way my numbers worked out, with 238 sts for both front and back (119 sts per piece, with 2 K sts on each end, not three), the center point for front and back moved from the middle knit stitch in the pattern repeat to the middle purl stitch.
Joining for knitting in the round is usually not a problem for me, but this time…arrrgh! I don’t know whether the circular needle I used was just too short or whether it was particularly twisty, but after (I kid you not) three attempts at getting those blasted 238 stitches joined without them twisting over the needle, I was just about ready to divorce Leo without a second thought. Fortunately, though, we worked it out.
As for the likelihood of actually finishing my chosen sweater during the month of November, I have my doubts. For the meantime Leo greets me in the morning with a cup of coffee and sends me wearily to sleep at night. I hope I have as much determination to finish him as it seems he does me.
I’ve been pretty much in a dead panic over the last couple of days just thinking about knitting Leo in a single color. Most of the comments I’ve read so far on Ravelry or via Ravelry have pointed out that this pattern is boring, boring, boring to knit. So in a last ditch effort to save my sanity and make NaKniSweMo happen, at 08:30 this morning I was at The Gourmet Yarn Shop digging through all the new arrivals for a yarn to gel my 8 different colors of Schaffhauser “Vesuvio” into a coherent sweater. Two 100gm skeins of Vitalgo “Oxford” in a dark gray/black heather to the rescue. Thank you, Orly!Casting on with crossed fingers. Progress will be noted in the sidebar. (And if you couldn’t tell, expect non-knitting posts to be light over the next month.)