Friday, May 22, 2009

Woe and Despair

Gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair; woe is me and lackaday and sorrow.

The Kiila socks. You remember them? Brown, invariably blurry in pics? SKA May mystery? I don't know if I mentioned--I'm knitting them in tandem--first the one on two circs (Knit Picks Harmony 16", BTW--love 'em), then the one on cheap-o Susan Bates DPNs. I have knit the gusset on both, and turned the heel and started the heel flap on one, and--

They are too short. By a lot. (This happens, inevitably, whenever I knit socks in tandem--I think the universe may be trying to tell me something.) Like, seven-point-two-five inches of sock for a ten-point-five foot. Ain't gonna happen. And the difference between the medium gusset, which I am knitting, and the large gusset is 4 rows. Uh. Yeah. Bye-bye gusset, hello extra one-to-two inches of sock before gusset.

But not now. Kiila is in timeout, because when you're blazingly angry and vindictive and despairing is a wonderful time to rip projects back (not). If you need me--I'll be casting on Baroque.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What a Difference a Shot Makes

My visit to the doctor yesterday concluded with me being prescribed antibiotics and a steroid shot.  I don't know which it was, but I feel much better today!  (I had some variety of crud, probably from never-cleared-up allergies since I've had the same symptoms 4 times in three months.)  I'm coughing more, :-( so biking probably isn't the best of ideas. :-( :-(  A funny aside about the doctor visit--I was knitting, of course, and my project was Ice Queen (this might be a good moment to mention that it isn't as Day-Glo as the pic last post represents--it's a very soft, girly-girl pink).  So Dr. R comes in, comments on my knitting ("We're in trouble if you're allergic to wool," he says) and we get on with the visit.  Before the nurse came in to administer my steroid shot, he popped back in, evidently for the sole purpose of asking what the yarn was.  Definitely a nice doctor.

This is the Garden Gate sock (by the way? Fall '08 knitty. Exchequered is Spring '06)--I have a couple more inches, maybe 2.5, after the heel, but apart from that, this is probably the best pic I'm gonna get for a while. You can see it's not the best yarn for stranded knitting--Tofutsies is beautiful, and soft, and I think I picked the best colors for contrasting that I possibly could, but both yarns are tweedy, and both yarns occasionally have two plies of a light color--so inevitably, sometimes the light, low contrast stretches of each yarn will occur in the same section of knitting for both colors. I think I put that as clearly as possible; I hope so. It's easy to see, hard to explain.

Speaking of Exchequered, this was the only decent picture I got out of five. And it isn't that fabulous, I know. Exchequered is my first foray into double knitting. It features on my project page as "Armguards Reincarnate", because I had promised to knit my sister armguard out of this yarn, and they got knit, and ripped, and knit, and recharted, and knit, and then they languished. So she finally released me from making armguards, per se, in the hopes of actually getting a knitted item in the foreseeable future. This is the result. (Speaking of which, she's going someplace that she'll need a scarf in September..... I'd better get on that.)

This is the FrankenSweater. No links, because it's of my own devising. I know it looks like a scarf now, but eventually, that will be a shawl collar. I'm thinking I'll do the rest of the sweater in neutrals--there's a fabulous sale at the moment at Joann's, so since I'm using Paton's Classic Wool, I'll be buying the rest of the yarn for Frankie this week.

And this is the Greyflower, except it's more tan. I am knitting it according to a recipe on the TsockTsarina's blog, in every particular except that I'm knitting it in laceweight instead of a light-ish fingering. It will almost certainly be longer than the Tsarina's, given that I intend to knit until I run out of yarn and I currently have, oh, about half the yarn left still. You can see from the second shot that it's a substantial length already--between 36 & 48 inches, unblocked--I think I'll hit Lisa's recommended minimum length of 80 inches, blocked, easily.

That's the roll call, then, of projects I'm knitting at the moment, complete with pictures and links. I'm thinking I'll start Baroque soonish--soon enough to qualify for a SockDown! May entry on Sock Knitters Anonymous--out of a lovely green Panda Silk, but I'll concentrate some more on Kiila first. TTYS!

Edited because I forgot, this time, one I remembered last time--Erste Pullover, the Aspen Top-down Sweater from Knitting Classic Style.

I remembered to take a pic, at leat..... I know it looks really long and thin, but that's mostly because it's a sweater in 1 by 1 twisted rib. I mean, there are some cables, yes, but basically, 1x1 rib. I did knit the body an ootch longer than specified, because I wanted to be sure it wouldn't gap (I hate sweaters that ride up, with a passion), but only a couple inches.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

So, Knitting, I suppose.....

I have a few WIPs........ perhaps more than 'a few', even.  Starting with the ones I've worked on in the last couple days, there's Ice Queen, Kiila (rav link), the Yarnissima sock that's the May mystery sock for Sock Knitters Anonymous (my favorite Ravelry group), and the Certifiables (AKA the Eleanora di Toledo stockings, AKA the Insani-stockings).  These all I have current pictures for.

They aren't the best pics, because a) I have a really crappy camera and b) all of this stuff is even harder to photograph than my other projects.  Every picture of Kiila came out blurry, except the one with flash, which was washed out and didn't show the cable anyway. Sigh.  Apart from these, I have the Garden Gate socks (knitty '06? Definitely knitty), a stole based on a TsockTsarina recipe (I linked to the post in my rav projects page...... I'll see if I can come back and edit with links for the non-Ravelers), my first sweater, the Aspen sweater from Knitting Classic Style by Veronik Avery, the FrankenSweater, a mock-up of my own devising (not very far along yet) and Exchequered, another knitty pattern.

I must scoot--I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Beginning

All right. I have caved. For more than 18 months, I've had a Ravelry account, for more than 8, a Plurk account (for those that don't know, Plurk is a micro-blogging site like, and I have finally run into something that I don't have a Rav forum for (yet), and cannot describe in 140 characters or less, but really want to talk about.  (I'm Cinnabars both places.)

But first, a word from our sponsors a bit about me.  I am an obsessive knitter--I've been knitting since January 2006 (more or less), and obsessively knitting since--well, that's harder to pin down.  It probably began when the Yarn Harlot came to Oklahoma--one of my local librarians knits, and she went, and was talking about it, and I discovered the blogisphere, and obsessive knitters.  From there, and after discovering socks (you can make a whole project for $20!), it was a downhill ride, and oh! such fun! (I'll talk about my current projects later.)  I've picked up two more obsessions over the past year, too, making my life one with healthy, balanced obsessions ;-)--violin and biking.  I've always loved music and singing, and whenever I display it, I am told that I have a very nice voice, but I had no formal music training before last November. I've been learning violin since then (yes, as my first instrument; I can't do anything the easy way), and I'll talk more about how that began later.  Bicycling began--either this time last year, or around September--when I began talking about wanting to ride a century the next year. When I still wanted a bike, and to be fit enough to ride centuries (100 mile rides, FYI) in December, Mom decided I should get my bike.

And here we come to the crux of the matter, the spur to begin blogging. I began to ride, a bit, in January, but for the most part gave it up for the indoor exercise bike after I aggravated my respiratory system into some nasty coughs.  I also admitted to Mom that I wasn't comfortable enough on my bike to ride well, and she said, in the acute way moms have, that I needed practice, and a riding partner to ground me in the basics.  The weather is finally nice enough that we can borrow Dad's truck, drive down to River Parks, and spend a good portion of the day biking, getting comfortable with our gears and our bikes generally--we'll make a Friday date of it. But meanwhile, let's try out the bikes on the least busy portion of our nearby streets.

So yesterday, Monday, we go and try out our bikes on a non-busy street and the quiet rec center parking lot off it.  And I discover that I have been avoiding turning, and also that when forced to turn, I don't do it well (no doubt why I've been avoiding it).  As far as I know, I have never properly turned on a bike--I remember biking a lot when I was six or seven, and going fast, but I have no clear memory of turning, apart from taking the entire street to do so after riding really fast down the steepest drive in our neighborhood.  For the most part, I seem to remember, I stopped, manhandled the bike around manually (which was one of those anvils in bike form called childrens' mountain bikes, and was a lot more stable than the beautiful, sleek road demon I have now), and then tore off as fast as possible.  So. Whenever you learn a new skill, there are bumps in the idyllic path of knowledge.  True for math, knitting, and turning a bike.  Start with the fact that turning a bike is completely counter-intuitive (even if you know the principles of acceleration, and have taken Physics--they're the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you want to do), and combine it with my tendency to slow down when I'm trying something new (both physically and mentally), and you have panic attacks, short vision, and wipeouts.  Let's just say that I was blessedly aimed at curbs bordering grass both times I wiped out.

Oh, you wanted more detail?  The first wipeout, on Monday, was avoidable--I had nearly completed a good, sweeping turn, but I couldn't go past the curb at the speed I was going, so instead of pedaling hard and letting the bike stabilize and just miss the curb, I squeaked, froze, and ended up sprawled in the grass.  The second was avoidable also, but I would have had to start earlier--I turned into the parking lot too sharply, and was headed straight at the curb down into the park.  Once again, instead of keeping my turn and pedalling (so that it was just possible I might have avoided the wipeout, but then again, I might have fallen on the parking lot), I panicked and this time slammed on the brakes.  I cannot express the brilliance of this.  I damaged myself quite a bit more on the second wipeout (fortunately, Mom had bowed out of this ride and wasn't actually witness), and apparently it looked quite spectacular, because a party down in the park sent a delegation up to check on me.  Toll from the first--a small bruise that I only noticed when I was trying on a sock, afterwards.  Toll from the second-- an impressive bruise on the shin that included a blue knot early in the proceedings, a scraped elbow complete with grass stains, and a jolted neck and shoulder that are both much better after an application of ice, thanks for asking.

Okay.  The knitting's going to have to wait.  I'm gonna shower--I hurt all over again (but less so) after this recital.