Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Sucking it Up and Taking It Like a Non-A-Type Knitter

Well, I’ve decided to just suck it up and finish the stole as is. I’ve showed pictures of the mistake to people and one knitter has seen it live and couldn’t spot it. So, I’ll just have to live with knowing it’s there. I keep reminding myself of the whole oriental rug concept where they always include one mistake on purpose to humble themselves in front of God and show that they, unlike him, are not perfect. I’m going to be humble. It’s good for me. I’m sure it is. Being humble 30 times in the same project might just save my sanity. Wonder if it puts me in the Humble Plus category. I’m envisaging a kind of get out of jail free card, only for being humble. I was humble 30 times during one project, so now I can be arrogant 29 times free? No? Rather thought not. *sigh*

The other reason I have for just continuing as is, I stumbled upon last night whilst knitting a sock. I made a mistake, I tinked, I made more mistakes whilst rekniiting. What if I frog the whole thing, reknit it and then discover mistakes in the knitting? That would upset me even more than just having made them the first time, so I’ve decided not to go there. Much better for what’s left of my sanity.

Reason number three, Grandma will not mind. I’ll tell her the humbling story and she will love that. She’ll be wearing it to church (more of an educated guess than an assumption) and she can tell people that story if any one mentions it. She might even mention it if no one notices. She’ll be thrilled with that story. I’ll just have to try and make it sound like I’m seriously serious.

In the meantime, I’ve finished one pair of phone socks and another pair of Dad’s Easy Cabled Socks (same as the TGBA socks). I should have finished more, but I was having a knitting crises and nothing was going right. I had a heck of a time with the gauge for the Sedrun yarn. To tight and it was scratchy, too loose and it didn’t look good. I finally got there in the end, but I really knit those socks about four times, or at least the first one anyway. I think I tried about three different patterns along the way as well. What fun. Once again, I realize that even though it’s “wasted knitting time” it really isn’t because I learned something. I can’t tell you what exactly, but I did. Has to do with that particular yarn, yarn in that thickness, socks with a design and gauge. Just take my word for it, I know more than I did before.

Right now I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to the knitting time I’m going to have next week or dreading being forced to sit still for a week. Yes, being able to knit quite literally all day long without interruption will be nice, and indeed sounds like heaven most of the time, but for an entire week? With no dogs around? I dunno. I may go crazier. If I begin posting truly demented things in the next two weeks or so, you will know why. Anyway, I’ll just be glad to have it all behind me. I hope I will anyway.

DVD rental by mail places are your friend. This brought to you randomly by someone who will be stuck in the house for a week.

Which brings me to Miss Marple. I’m currently watching the BBC series with Joan Hickson (which I now own on DVD because I totally am not good with money and splurged because I found the collection for half price (before the battery died) and now own them all MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (didn’t I say something about being demented?)) (I do believe I have just won the most creative use of parentheses award) I LOVE the fact that she knits all the time. Not only does she sit there with needles, but she really is knitting! Really, truly. You can see her throwing (and dude is she fast for a tosser!) and once in a while she stops to check the pattern! AND, she’s working on a different project in each film. Makes me love the films even more. Joan Hickson was, in my humble (oh the humbility of it all today) opinion, the perfect Miss Marple. Just as I always pictured her. OMG!! I just read that Joan Hickson apparently also narrated some of the Marple books in the audio versions! I need an MP3 player. *sigh* /Maple ramblings

Biscuit tried to kill me the other day. I was lying on the floor petting T when she walked up and tried to lick me on the nose. This is a bit of a problem when your face nearly falls off every time you look down. She managed to block all of my airways by smothering me with her lips. I suddenly had an idea of what water-boarding is like. Not fun (all political implications aside).

Monday, 18 February 2008

On Me Being a Moron

I transferred the stole chart to excel so that I could change it a bit to reflect the stitch count changes I made for the stole and also to change some of the symbols to make them clearer for myself. When I did this, I left out a YO and k2tog. It is an obvious mistake and I am heartily ashamed of myself for not having noticed immediately. Apparently because I have the IQ of a rotting guava, I waited until I finished 6 repeats to find it

To frog or not to frog, that is the question. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at it again if I just finish as is, but can’t seem to face frogging over 300 rows.

I think I’m going to do a sock tonight.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

On Lace

Just because I really should keep this in the annuls of my knitting as well as the bad times, the Stole has been coming along swimmingly in the last day or two. I'm just over half done now and haven't had too many problems within the last repeat or two. This might have something to do with me actually learning that it's good to count your stitches after every RS row worked instead of waiting to see how it turned out. It's much easier to fix a mistake when you've just made it than when you discover it several rows down the line. See? I can learn...on occasion.

I'd like to add that I'm not really to be taken too seriously when I complain. It just helps me get the frustration out and helps me laugh at myself. I am a firm believer that the bad times, as bad as they can be sometimes, always help us appreciate the good when it comes along again. That's part of the reason I never understand the people who want perpetual sun. How can you appreciate a really nice, sunny day if that's all you ever have? I don't believe you can, or not to the full extent anyway. The sun always looks a lot better the day after it rains than after a month of sunny days. The last couple of days knitting have been a lot better for having been frustrated before. Now my only problem is to stop myself from getting over confident. Must. Count. Stitches. Always.

Friday, 15 February 2008


Wow, I didn’t realize it had been so long since I updated this. I guess it’s part not having anything interesting to report and part having been restricted in comp time. This past week has not been the best. It has been the week from, well, not hell, but maybe the week from limbo? The first ring of hell as opposed to the inner circles? The week from the place where dropped stitches go when they just disappear on you? Anyway, not good, but not that bad either.

Beginning chronologically means that it starts out pretty well. I had a work colleague over for dinner on Sat. so I spent Friday and Sat. cleaning, or trying to. Try keeping the house clean with 2 Great Danes in it. I swear those dogs carry bags of dirt around with them so they can let them drop (or leak out slowly) at will, like wilfully after I’ve already vacuumed, twice. Sat. she came over and we started in on the knitting. She used to knit, but no longer does. The reason scares me. She says she’s too tired after work to knit anymore. She’s only 10 years older than I am, but then, I’m going to stay this age forever, right? No worries then. So, we got to discussing it and she started looking at all of my knitting paraphernalia and was in awe. She is of the old school where many of these things did not exist. She, for example, did not know what a stitch marker was, not even the plastic ones. She also didn’t know that cable needles or interchangeable circulars existed and my chart holder (which I love and adore and want to take to bed with me at night) was a complete surprise to her. Low tech knitting. Who could imagine it once existed? :0) Anyway, my knitting, especially the stole was properly admired and commented on as only a knitter, albeit low tech knitter, could and even the rest of the conversation (and the raclette) was good. Surprise, surprise, surprise, there is conversation outside of knitting!

Things went downhill on Sun. Long story short, the car battery died and I got stuck. The AAA guy came, jump started me and told me not to stop. He was right. Despite all of my efforts with the battery charger, it still wouldn’t start the next day, so I had to take the morning off of work to get a new battery (show up later than 8:30 am and they take half a day, so if they’re taking, so am I). The “morning” turned into the whole day because this is Switzerland and they actually had to order the battery and couldn’t replace it until 3:30pm. They don’t keep them on stock. *sigh*. Fortunately it’s Feb and I sell ACs. This means I didn’t miss much at work.

The good news was that since I couldn’t go anywhere in the meantime, I could get a lot of knitting done. The bad news is that I nearly lost it with the stole and it almost wound up in pieces. Lots of pieces. Susan once said that the Knitting Gods were trying to lure me into knitting lace. Susan, if this is true, they need to take a new tack. Honestly they do because the one they’re on just isn’t going to work. Three hours. Count them. Three. I spent three hours knitting exactly 4 rows of lace. And these rows aren’t 5000 stitches wide either, so don’t go there. It should not take 3 hours to knit 500 stitches. But it did. The Knitting Gods hid not only one, but two mistakes in there just so they could laugh at me trying to figure out where they were and how to fix them. If I hadn’t stood in line twice for stubbornness, I would have given up knitting lace forever on Mon. But I did stand in line twice (or maybe even thrice) and I persevered and now not only is the stole still in one piece (barely), but I have almost 5 whole star repeats done.

Now, someone please tell me that it will look good when blocked. I need to hear that because it just looks wonky and wrinkled now and the sides all curl. It must improve upon blocking or I will give up lace. Forever. Do you hear that Knitting Gods? Give. Up. Lace. That is not a threat, it’s a promise! Are you listening? Somehow I doubt they are. They’re too busy laughing at some other poor sod who’s still trying to figure out where they made a mistake.

Let me just pause to say that I really do admire Lace Knitters. You posses a nearly divine patience and drive that I was not gifted with. That goes for the Fair Islers / colour knitters too.

Got battery replaced, car ran again, life was good. All the way until Tues morning when my back decided that it didn’t want me to open the barn door to let the dogs out and seized up. Several loads of pain killers and two days later I can walk again. The good news is that it really was just muscular and only needed a bit of time to relax. It has for the most part and life goes on. The lace knitting, however, has gotten better since. I guess the Knitting Gods already had enough to laugh at :P

Topping it off, I’ve got my usual tonsil problems (tonsils need to come out) and have been running a low grade fever for the last month. I suddenly realized that this is not a good thing since I have to have another operation in just under two weeks (the one that gives me one whole week of free, uninterrupted knitting time. Yay for overly careful Siwss doctors! (whom the dogs hate because they have to be kennelled for that week)) and they won’t do it if I’ve got a low grade fever. This sent me off to the docs again and despite the negative CRP results, I’m on anti-biotics in a desperate bid to get rid of that temp long enough to have the op. I hope it works.

This weekend will be filled with much knitting and sleeping and not much else. I’m quite looking forward to it.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Of Lace, Stitch Markers and Other Things

Because I’m really not fond of knitting lace, the knitting gods are punishing me. I keep finding these lace projects that I really like and want to do for someone. Must. Remember. To. Stop. Angering. Knitting. Gods. Alternatively, I could try and learn to like knitting lace, but I’m afraid I wasn’t in line when God was handing out patience and care. I must have been off getting my double portion of stubbornness and orneriness.

Next one up is The Cat’s Paws Scarf from Cynthia, which is just too cute and is begging to be done for my “cousin” who really isn’t my cousin, but I like having them as a part of my family, so they get called cousins. Lisa is a really girly girl and loves animals so she’ll love this. I don’t know yet if I want to do it as a scarf or stole, but as she’s small it won’t make much of a difference in size. I think a stole would look better since you’d see the pattern better and she could wear that to church. In the end, it will probably depend on what yarn I find to do it in. I don’t have any lace weight at home (obviously as usually don’t volunteer to knit lace).

That won’t happen until after the North Star Stole though and I’ve just re-started knitting that after having finished the TBGA Socks for my aunt. Those turned out quite well, I hope. I had to improvise since the gauge on the stockinet foot was a lot bigger than on the cable leg. I think they’re fine though. I certainly loved the wool (Valore from Jakobs) and would recommend it to anyone. They are also super comfy and if nothing else, she can use them as around the house socks for warmth in the evenings.

I’m also going to be changing the cabled socks I will be doing for me into Deb’s Fensterl socks. I want to try the pattern out (no, I haven’t forgotten you Deb!) and that is a good opportunity to do so. As much as I love the other pattern, sock patterns tend to loose their shine for me after I’ve done one pair of them, so on to the Fensterl we go!

Which brings me to my new obsession: Stitch markers. I found some lovely stitch markers on Etsy (from Knittingpark (aran and celtic) and Sunneshine (paw print)) and have now become obsessed with them. Even more so since I got the aran ones I ordered (dog paws will hopefully follow soon, hopefully). I love them! They are so much better than the plastic ones I got at the knitting store. They don’t get caught on everything and fall off every chance they get. Love. Them. The only thing that scares me about them is that I am certain to actually knit them into my work at some point and wind up with a decorated work or having to frog the whole thing to get them out again. This will happen. It is only a matter of time. Knitting them in, however, would give me an excuse to go and find more cute ones :D

Oh to be knitting right now! Air conditioners, February. ‘Nuff said. Just y’all be thankful I’ve spared you my light bulb rant featuring knitting chickens (unless you’re on my LJ FList that is muhahahahahahaha!). That one got a bit bizarre. Like I said, air conditioners, February. *sigh*