Thursday, February 25, 2010

Maybe 2014??

Olympic knitting is not for whimps (yes, I know there is an "h" in there: from what word do you think it comes??) The last several days have been Educational but not much towards achieving Olympic Gold in the form of my completed project. If, however, I change my event (that guy did it in Chariots of Fire), I might yet be able to claim success.

Here's what I've learned:

1.) No matter what I thought, knitting the pattern sideways without putting in the actual pattern stitch and without massive re-working of the numbers is Not Possible.
1. a.) No matter that I thought this yarn would look best and make me look taller knit sideways, I Was Wrong (my children are grabbing their smelling salts) and It Looked Like Cr*p.
2.) Deciding to knit "normally" makes the yarn Look Good.
3.) Knitting a cardigan with a 6mm circ and two balls of yarn is, in theory, Possible.
3.a.) In practice, A Pattern Is Required.
3.b.) Also, a 6mm circ Longer Than The One I Own.
4.) Libraries are Wonderful Resources.
5.) Gauge Swatches Lie.
5.a.) A Lot.
5.b.) Or maybe I was Using a 6.5mm Straight to See If I Could Get Gauge.
6.) Not All Yarn Stores Are Open 24/7.
7.) Some yarn store employees have More Patience than others.
7.a.) Also: More Experience, Better Senses of Humour (at least I provide entertainment), and Tape Measures.
8.) I can now do a Long Tail Cast-on.
8.a.) If I change my Olympic event to Learning To Do the LTC-o, I will get a Gold for amount of practice time invested.
9.) Successful (i.e., accurately tensioned) knitting during the Ice Dancing is Not An Optional Element.

At present, I sit with about 9 cm of the 25 - 30 needed before starting the arm scye (told you I was not tall). I figure if I do nothing but knit, I might get to "vest" stage which, considering all the other things I've learned over the past 14 days, I will call Gold.

And I really Need a vest as I have managed to give away/lose every one I owned (well, The Sr Boy owned but I got the use of them due to circumstances beyond our control) over the past year. Yes, A Vest = Gold for me.

Stay tuned and pass the anti-inflammatories.

Still breathing

Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympics: 1; Knitting: 0

In honour of Day 1 of the Winter Olympics and because of this woman, I am making an Olympic effort on a project for which I have had the resources (but not the will) for some time. The resources are: 2 skeins of lovely Fleece Artist Scotian Silk, 1 pair Brittany 6mm needles and a sideways knit cardigan pattern.

I am usually a knitter of socks on 2.25mm needles upon which (even though they are pretty teeny-tiny) I have cranked out a fair number of pairs over the past five years. In fact, sock knitting kept me from going through the phone lines to the hapless minions on the far end who had to deal with me and The Sr Boy's estate issues (Remember The Eviction? The Socially Challenged B-I-L??) and sock knitting kept me from complete decompensation at last May's mediation hearing. Plain knitting in self-striping yarn is my preferred drug of choice and I'm reasonably good at it.

But it can be a bit of a rut. Where is the Citius, Altius, Fortius in doing what I can (almost) do with my eyes closed??

So, I decided to knit a pattern that looks somewhat as I want it to look in the end except for the fact that they knit it on a circular and I am going to use straights and still alternate yarns (one has to do that with handpainted as it can get weird between skeins - trust me!) AND except for I did knit a swatch of the pattern's pattern and I don't like it so I am knitting it plain. Sort of like Freestyle Skiing: I have similar gear to other participants and I will get down the course, just not necessarily in the same way as everyone else (this is why I knit not during the Summer Olympics: I am not too set up for Synchro Swimming and Running in Lanes).

The idea was to cast on as the Olympics opened. A really good idea and I figured I would have at least half the back worked by the end of the opening ceremonies. I mean: I usually use 2.25mm needles and was going to use 6.0mm needles - even I could figure out that things should move fairly briskly. It would have been totally possible, too, if I hadn't enjoyed wearing(fondling) the yarn skeins so much over the past several months.

Day One Knitting Olympics Wrap-Up: One skein wound up. One skein still looking like a plate of cooked spaghetti. Actual knitting: None.

Maybe this Olympic Knitting is going to be more of a challenge than I expected.

Citius, Altius, Fortius. Evolvius.

Still breathing

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Warm feet

Blog silence (I'll get to the feet part, hold yer horses!!) usually goes with not much going on except last week there was too much going on as I was in the Land of the Lotos aka The Island. Spring was spranging all over: trees were blooming, daffodils were blooming, aconites were blooming, snowdrops were.... well you get the picture. I had dinner at La Piola with dear friends before going home to their place and snuggling down with a hot drink for a lot of late-night conversation. (Friends who have known one for a very long time have a special kind of wisdom.) The next night was another dinner out with Poppa's friends and then there was further eatage and drinkage on Friday at Giovanni's for lunch and Atlas Cafe for dinner as I was taking Poppa to The Ballet and visiting with family just happened to fit in. Somehow, we had to cook for ourselves the last two days but there was another lunch out tucked in there along with further family time.

It rained, of course, and I had to buy new gumboots. As I have a bag of wellies here at home, I was not amused but I cheered up when all I could find in my size were these (sort of) at the local Buckerfields for Buckerfields prices. Yah and Hoo!! They are now resident at Poppa's in 'opes of future rainy visits. They were very handy (?footy?) when we went to the cabin to consider Roofing Options. Apparently, we will first have to consider Access Options as the blackberry vines on the road side are almost as thick as my wrist and the otters have been using the beach side as their personal toiletting facility. Next trip will require serious pruners as well as shovel and rake. The blue tarp is still doing what blue tarps do very well which was a relief.

And now, I'm home and sorting papers and taking bags of Useful But Not To Me stuff to places where such stuff can be used.

The house is quiet again as The Jr Boy has found his own digs and gone there. He has a cozy basement with cold floors so his felt clogs are getting a workout. I thought about taking my new felt ballet flats down there (for when I am invited to visit not for him to wear and also so I wouldn't have to look at my dumarsedness) but they have been turned into bed shoes as the ars-to-Gowry soles make the toes turn up in a most unflattering fashion (as in, too unflattering to consider leaving at TJB's where he would have to look at them!). Bed shoes are what people like me who can get chilblains in the summer wear instead of bed socks. (Actually, I didn't know about bed shoes until I made this pair!!!) To my credit, there is a bit of uncertainty in one part of the pattern but the sole issue was all my own + a bit of this lady's problem (read almost the whole of 29 Jan post). Ah well, at least my feet are warm in bed! And I have enough yarn to make a proper pair for leaving anywhere I please!

Still breathing

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

St Brigid's Day

In honour of the patron saint of poets, a bit of me poetry:


Let scent of violets rise to breath
as cottonwood silk drifts down

Let osprey unfold to wind
as coots and mallards huddle

Let swings be swung, hard-pumped to sky
as new grass stains bared knees and feet

As from all time
as from all time.

Let match's sulphur hang in air
as candles light faces gathered

Let gravel grind glass-sharp edges
as new silence settles in

Let tears rinse ancient ache to softer shadows
as hollowness is named

As from all time
as from all time.