Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cue the Star-Spangled Banner

Canada won the gold in hockey (well done, Canada!); I've qualified for a gold medal for the United States.

Knit. Blocked. Tasseled. And every blasted end sewn in.

Details, and I hope a picture in better light, later this week.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Briefly because I have only completed a little over a third of the afghan.

Briefly because, in order to achieve Olympic Gold I had planned to be past the half-way point by now.

Briefly because I have only 6 days until the Closing Ceremony and extinguishing of the Olympic Torch.

Briefly because I have discovered the true definition of eternity. It is not "a ham and two people."

It's knitting 984 stitches with mohair.

Friday, February 19, 2010


*Noun: A division into two mutually exclusive or contradictory parts or opinions.

I alternate between loving it and hating it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A New Event

Copperbeech Mohair/Copperbeech Skye/Copperbeech Mohair was too much brown. Or much too brown. Don't tell me I should have known. I know I should have known. It looked like a good idea when I held the skeins together; it just didn't knit up the way I thought it looked.

After much debate, (and I would like to pause here to thank heaven for artistic, patient children) we settled on the so-labeled Renaissance ("so-labeled" because it sure looks like Neptune to me) Mohair/Copperbeech Skye/Renaissance Mohair.

That took me through Monday when the Fandango in Venezia arrived. As often happens to me when dealing with Colinette yarns, my first reaction was, "Oh no. Too much." Too much color. Too much texture. With the Copperbeech overdose still fresh in my memory, I took refuge in one of my favorite knitting coping mechanisms. I knit with my metaphorical eyes closed.

This usually works.

Note the "usually."

Tuesday's knitting ended when I switched from the Fandango to Mohair in Morocco .

No amount of knitting - eyes closed or otherwise -- could change the result: too pretty. Now I have to decide whether to re-enter the Copperbeech Mohair or switch to the Tapis Mohair.

I though I was only entered for the Mohair Marathon. Now look at me. I'm competing in the Color Challenge, too.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Late-Breaking News:

Your correspondent confesses to her desire to switch out one more skein. I had substituted Tagliatelli, a merino tape, in the Madras colorway for Fandago in Cezanne.

This was due in part to my pursuit of anything-but-pink, and in part to my aversion to knitting with something that looked like eyelash yarn. I have since reconsidered the eyelash part; it's really more of a chenille. Further, my concern now is that the Tagliatelli (onthe left) is too much like the Wigwam (on the right), both in color and texture.

I've ordered Fandago in Venezia from Flying Fingers. It shipped yesterday. Except this is the weekend, and even with expedited shipping it won't get here until Monday. I have 11 rows before I have to decide if I can wait and still go for the gold.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Official Olympian

I did it. I'm in. I've just registered for the Knitting Olympics. The Yarn Harlot posted the link in this post.

After reading her comments, I went with the afghan. Something about the image of threatening those near and dear with pointy sticks because I haven't slept in 5 days struck home.

That, and I really want the medal.

Really, really.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I have other options. I need to remind myself of this as the days tick down. The Green Sweater has 4 (Count'em. Four!) steeks. That seems like a lot of steeks to someone who has never cut her knitting. It has that knit-the-neckline-in-the-round EZ un-vention known as the "kangaroo pouch neck." I still can't get my mind around that one. The yarn is . . . different. The Princess (for whom this would be made) (to replace her felted Perfect Sweater) is not enamoured of the 3/4 sleeves. I would have to face all the above and adjust the pattern.

I begin to feel more than just challenged. I'm not sure that terrified is the right mind set for Olympic endeavor. It's my first real Olympics after all; do I really want to participate in the decathlon?

I could confront a different knitting nemesis. Colorwork. This is, admittedly, a smaller project. Fine. It's a much, much smaller project. Then again, so was my first attempt at colorwork and they still languish somewhere at the bottom of a knitting basket. Though it be small it could be called challenging. Ask any sprinter how easy their event is.

Of course, nobody in this household would wear such an object. Even a4A isn't looking for hats anymore. Once knit, what would I do with it?

Which brings us to Door Number 3. I could finally knit up my Absolutely Fabulous Afghan.

I can justify this on several levels. The knitting itself, that is, the pattern, is nothing I can't handle. It's your basic feather and fan. And while I was unhappy enough with my first attempts, I've since knit Jo Sharp's Misty Garden scarf enough times (this one, and this one) to feel comfortable with the yarn-overs and P2togs. The challenge would come from:

1) The yarn itself. A dizzying array of 8 yarns in 6 different types and weights including three colors of mohair. I have studiously avoided mohair. I don't even knit with mohair blends. One might think I was phobic about mohair and one would have good cause for such suspicion.

2) The size. It's an afghan, for pete's sake. It's an afghan with endless changes in yarn and color. The weaving in of the ends alone could take me a week. It's a finishing marathon. I could arguably qualify for two different events.

3) The monogamy. With a smaller project I would have more options. Like breathing. Or sleeping. This one would take a level of commitment, single-mindedness and discipline that I rarely display on any project.

4) It's the knitted object I lusted after enough to lurk in the first Knitting Olympics and produce my first piece of non-trapezoidal knitting, the kit I rewarded myself with when I was too intimidated to claim a medal. It's the undisputed sentimental favorite.

That and I unearthed the pattern during today's "Adventures in Stuff Removal."

Saturday, February 06, 2010


So. What are you going to knit?

I don't know either, but we've got a week and I've already let my brain start dancing around the edges of this.

Elizabeth Zimmermann's recently discovered/recovered Green Sweater (see full article here, pattern and supplies here, commentary by Meg Swansen here).

I just can't decide if it's a challenge or if I'm out of my mind.

Friday, February 05, 2010

What To Do, What To Do?

Would you like to know the real reason I'm knitting scarves right now? It's His Sweater. I can't figure out how I want the cables to start. It would be easier if Their Father liked the 2 by 2 ribbing, but he didn't. Now I need to figure out an aesthetically pleasing way to get 4 stitch cables to rise out of 1 by 1 rib. I didn't take pictures of the first pass, sorry. All I did was knit the foundation stitches for the cable stacked right on top of the ribbing, purled back, then twisted the cable on the next right side row. It made the the ribbing pucker. Not a good thing.

I'm mulling on take-two right now. I didn't frog the whole piece, just the 2 or 3 inches of body stitches. When I thought about knitting all that K1P1 ribbing I got sort of dizzy and weak in the knees, so I caved and dropped the stitches for the cables all the way down to the cast on, then changed the ribbing to match the cable pattern, effectively starting the cables at the bottom of the sweater. I'm sot so sure about this one either. I"m trying to envision this as the center of the cardigan. My imagination is stuttering.

I begin to feel uneasy. I have something niggling at the back of my mind. An itch to try Take-three and/or Take-four. Take-three is easy. Start twisting the cables sooner rather than leaving those long legs.

I'm having a harder time with Take-four. I can't seem to plot it out in my head, so I may be spending the weekend with graph paper as, in between building bookcases, I try to figure out how many rows it would take to rearrange 1 by 1 ribbing into 2 by 2 ribbing and then move those ribs into the two 4-stitch cable patterns I need.

It's going to be a busy weekend.

(NB: I know most of you are comment-phobic, but this is one of those cases where I'll take all the advice I can wring out of you people.)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Not the Worst of Times

A word of warning. If your anti-virus company decides to stop supporting your product four months before your subscription expires, and if you then decide to switch services, twice, don't rely on your add/remove programs function, believing it is sufficient to the job at hand. It isn't. Go to the website, download their removal utility, and use it. Very Bad Things happen when different anti-virus programs meet up in the back alleys of your computer.

On the other hand, being locked out of your computer can bring benefits. I have offloaded 6 shopping bags and 1 IKEA blue bag of yarn to a local charity. Boxed up six boxes of the 25 years of stuff we've accumulated, freeing up room for the remaining stash. Conned Inspired The Princess into creating a database of our video/DVD collection. De-fragmented my hard drive. Several times. Built bookcases (did I tell you I'm building bookcases again?). Spent way too much time with tech support but gotten some dandy free anti-malware software out of it. All right, not so free when you consider my computer is no longer under warranty and I had to spend 60.00 and wade through heavily accented English while already stressed out about not being to get into my computer when The Lord Protector had a major research project due for Latin. I will never, ever, ever, again forget how to start my computer in Safe Mode, though.

Knitting? Not so much. I think I have a residue of all the Christmas knitting sticking to me, coating my hands. It's been a scarves/neckwear-all-the-time time here. It's February in Chicago; still cold but not a winter scarf in sight. The Department Stores are all tarted up for Resort Season and Easter (can you tell I spent some formative time in retail?). Little do they know that I, subversive knitter that I am, know how to confound them.

You've already seen mine (9 leaves to go out of 30), so let me show you the Pirate's.

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Cranberry and Cookie A's Dark Secret. Pattern is a variation on the infamous Noro Striped Scarf. It is, sadly, due for a frogging. I like the colors and the proportions of the stripes (4 navy to 2 red). Not so pleased with carrying the yarn up the side. I was trying to avoid having to weave in all those ends. I'm reminded, forcibly, of the aphorism, "What , you don't have time to do it right but you have time to do it over?" It would appear that my answer, once again, is, "Yes."

Then there is Their Father's.

Don't tell anyone I popped for this. It's Jade Sapphire's Scarf for Him in Blue Chip. Just say, "Oo-ooh!" and leave it at that. Then I won't feel compelled to tell you just how annoyed I am to find that my suspicions about cashmere were correct. Give me Blue-faced Leicester any day.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Blogging Fly-Over

I promise I'll be back with a real post, probably tomorrow. At the very least I need to vent my frustration over maladaptive anti-virus software that protects one's computer even from one's own self. Not sure how I'll turn it into a knitting story, but I'm sure I'll think of something. Endlessly inventive, that's me.

In the meantime, though, here is something pretty.

That's better, much, much better than before, don't you think? (The link is just to save you from having to scroll down to the bottom of the previous post. So thoughtful of me.)