Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winding Things Back a Notch

The past week and a half have been a whirlwind, but finally, things have settled back into some sembalance of normalcy. It won't be totally normal until Chris goes back to work in a couple more weeks, but for now, this is as normal as it gets.

I'll just take up where I left off...the trip to Wool Bay. After spending Saturday night at work, I hurried home, getting here at about 8AM. After a quick shower, some last minute packing, and getting Chris' car loaded up, we headed out at about 9:30. It took almost 4 hours to get there, after frequent fag and toilet stops, and a takeaway lunch in Ardrossan.

My take along knitting for the ride were the sleeves for my Welt and Rib Raglan jumper (Interweave Winter 08). I was almost finished with the first sleeve when we left. I knit on it until I was sure I was close to the length required, but having no really flat surface to measure it on, I just left it on the cord I was knitting it on, removed the needles, attached them to another cord and cast on for the second sleeve. As I was knitting them using the magic loop method, cord length wasn't all that important, except, of course, that it was long enough. It was easy car knitting in relatively simple rib, and as small as a sock really, so it was just about perfect.

We arrived in early afternoon, chatted with Chris' friends, Roger and Leslie, for awhile. They all went for a walk down to the water, but I, being rather exhausted by this time, stayed at the cabin and enjoyed about an hour of peace and quiet. I spent the time knitting on the Alpine Knit Scarf from Victorian Lace Today. When they came back, we fired up the bar-b-que and had a nice dinner, shortly after which I crawled gratefully into the bed.

The next morning the boys were gone when I woke up. They had taken Rogers boat out on the sea for a bit of a fish, leaving Leslie and I to our own devices. I find Leslie to be very good company. She's the kind of person who you can enjoy "comfortable" silence with. She's happy to chat, but equally happy to sit quietly, and I like that in a person. We chatted, did a bit of tidying, I knit on the lace during quiet moments, and the jumper sleeve during chats. Leslie read or chatted, and time just flew by.

The Great White Hunters returned from the ocean with two fish shortly after noon, both caught by Roger, and plenty of stories of fishing woe to tell. After only a little while, my dearest husband, true to form, was ready to roam again, so off we went in search of a conservation park he was interested in seeing. He had told me it was about 20 minutes away, but I should have known better. About an hour later, after traveling over halfway across the "foot" of the peninsula, and getting slightly lost once, we arrived at Carribe Conservation Park.

It was midafternoon, and quite hot for walking, so Chris struck off alone for a short walk around. Meanwhile, me and about 3 million flies all hell bent on my destruction stayed with the car. I tried to knit on my lace while I had the peace and quiet, but it's hard to concentrate on lace, or even knit for that matter, when you are constantly batting away flies.

We drove back to the cabin, showered and got ready to go into Edithburg where we had reservations for dinner at one of the pubs. It was a nice meal, and we went out for a walk on the jetty afterwards.

Everyone seemed to think a cappacino was a good idea, so we walked down to "The Garage", a coffee house/takeaway joint styled like a 1950's American Diner. As usual, I took my knitting along of course, and Roger snapped a picture of me knitting by the jukebox:

The rest of the night passed uneventfully. While everyone else had an early bedtime, I stayed up until nearly midnight, partly out of habit, and partly because I wanted to finish off that first sleeve. I had almost finished the ball of yarn on the second sleeve, and wanted to use the well over half a ball that was still attached to the first sleeve and would certainly be enough to finish off the second. From the looks of things, I'm not going to have much excess yarn from this project, so breaking a new ball seemed unneccessary.

We left fairly early Tuesday morning on our return trip. I knit on the second sleeve this time, and had it nearly finished by the time we got back to the house. Then it was a whirlwind of unpacking, washing, hanging out, ironing and putting things away.

On the way home, we had stopped by the post office. The Christmas package from my cousin Terrie was late, and even though it arrived right after Christmas, what with all the New Years holidays and us being away, the post office hasn't been open on days when we were able to pick it up. So we picked up the package and then headed home.

I forced myself to unpack and put most things away first, and finally allowed myself to dig into the package. On top was a hat for Chris. Beneath that was the most exquisite Civil War style ballgown, complete with hooped petticoat, hat and muff. I immediately started stripping right there in the dining room and tried it on. It fit like it was made for me.

Here I am outside by the roses in the dress only:

And here in the living room with all the accessories on:

It will just be so perfect for Winter Roundup in May, our big annual Western Action Shooting get together. There's a fancy dress ball on the Saturday night during the event, and I'd already began to worry about getting something together to wear to it, as everything I have like that is way too big. I never really had anything this grand to begin with. Needless to say, I'm stoked.

The rest of Tuesday evening was spent sorting things out, including my knitting. I was almost finished with the second sleeve on the jumper. The way the jumper is constructed, after getting the proper length of sleeve, you then go back to the lower body, pick up your stitches from your original crochet cast on and start knitting upwards, attaching the sleeves to the body in raglan fashion. All this, in a nutshell, meant that it no longer qualified as "easy take along work knitting", being both too big and frought with fairly complicated bits at this stage.

Turning to the ever so lovely Alpine Lace Scarf, I didn't even speculate. Much as I love it, and love working on it, it will never, ever be "easy take along work knitting". While I might have cherish some faint hope of "remembering the pattern" and "developing muscle memory" when I first started it, I have long since gave up on this fantasy. Frankly, I can't even listen to my iPod when knitting on it, much less watch TV or deal with the distractions of work. I keep it on a TV tray next to my bed, with the Daylight lamp on the nightstand, and to work on it I go into my "bedcave", my DO NOT DISTURB zone. Even Chris just sort of clears his throat and waits if he needs my attention while I'm busy with it. No, not work knitting friendly at all.

The result of all this speculation was that I needed a new project, and quickly. I had been thinking of casting on just a plain pair of toe up socks from some of the plethora of self striping yarn I have, and in the end, that seemed the best idea. I drug out the blue/black/grey/white Heirloom Jigsaw that I bought from my LYS here in Murray Bridge about a year ago, some 2.5mm needles and cast on some toe up socks, which I'm calling "Jiggy With It" in honor of the yarn. For the longest I did all my socks two at a time, but for ease and portability, I decided to go with just one sock at a time this go round. I had them cast on, and a bit of the toe shaping done by the time I had to go in to work Tuesday night.

Having sorted my knitting out, I worked Tuesday and Wednesday night. I was off Thursday night, but can't brag about getting too much done. I did work on the lace awhile, and the jumper, but with Chris around, it wasn't terribly easy to get much done.

Then back to work Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights.

The monotony of work was only broken by the visit of one of my Ravelry friends who is visiting the area from her home in Canada. She's from South Australia originally, and her mother still lives here. She, her mother and husband, stopped by on Sunday morning on their way back from a visit to Mount Gambier. I wish now that I had taken photos while they were here, but it seems I never take pictures when I should. But the visit was delightful, and I was so happy to get to meet her in person. For my Ravelry friends, her name on Rav is Handmadam. For privacy purposes (because I forgot to ask her permission to publish her name, NOT that she refused to allow it) I won't mention her given name here.

She did bring me precious pretties which I have taken pictures of. Beautiful fibre from Fleece Artist in Canada. I think she actually only intended to give me two out of three of these, but I oooohhh'd and awwwww'd so much about the green one she gave me that one as well.

The green one on top is kid mohair, and the other two are seacell and merino. Truly they are all three magnificantly soft. I'm trying to figure out now which I want to spin first. I'm thinking the more pastelly one, mainly because it's already unbraided. No better reason really. I love them all, but of course the green kid mohair best. My tendency though is to spin last what I love the most.

Tuesday Chris decided to make a run back up to Port Pirie and (initially) spend a couple of nights there, coming home Thursday. I was, of course, over the moon to have a couple of "free days" for spinning, knitting and doing whatever I pleased. I was overly optomistic, however. He was gone all day Tuesday, which was nice, but as I had worked Monday night, I was really too tired to enjoy myself. Wednesday and Thursday were going to be the really productive days.

Tuesday I set myself to work on the Welt and Rib Raglan, mainly it was easy enough to do sleepy and it was getting near to completion, or so I thought. You know how sometimes you think you are "almost done" with something, then keep knitting and knitting and knitting...??? That's sort of what happened. I knit on that thing most of the day, and I'm still not finished even as I write this, although I have made it to the collar shaping:

I might knit on it later today, and then, I might not. Hopefully, I will have it done by the next post. I'm running very close to being out of yarn, and just hoping I make it to the end without having to buy another ball.

Wednesday morning, I ran a few errands, and shortly after I got home had a call from Chris to tell me that he was cutting his trip short and would be home "late tonight". This was, to say the least, a bit disappointing. I had pretty much blown the morning as far as knitting and spinning were concerned, and I did have a couple of things I wanted to do before he got home.

I wanted to attempt the Navaho plying of the SCF I had spun up for that purpose, and I wanted to get the heel turned on the sock I am currently using for work knitting so it would be good to go Thursday night, and for both of these things, I wanted the peace and quiet of an empty house.

So I got busy on those two things, and essentially put off the Welt and Rib Raglan until after he got home. I got out the Ashford, and got started on the Navaho plying, which went better initially than I expected it to. I used the single of the "Deep Thoughts" colourway from SCFC. I'm sure it would have two plied fine, seeings how David's fibres always do, but the colours were so dark and subtle, I thought it would lend well to keeping those colourways more or less intact.

So after getting the plying started, I turned my attention to the sock, got the heel turn done and had started to pick up the gusset stitches. I figured I could go from there without any problem, even with distractions. So I put that aside and went to do a bit of work on the Alpine Lace Scarf, which is always a "do in quiet" project, but particularly so when I was adding a new safety line, since I had to remove all the markers, then replace them.

This is where everything started to go tragically wrong. In my survey of the lace that I tend to do every time I put a new safety line in, I noticed a big ole boo boo about four 16 row repeats back. I wish now that I had taken a picture of all this, but honestly, I was just not in the sort of mood where you even think about photos. Suffice it to say that one of the rows had went terribly pear shaped, causing the whole pattern to skew and then right itself again on the following rows. After blocking, it would have looked tragic, and I can't for the life of me figure out why I hadn't noticed it before.

So I had to frog back to that point, something I really really wanted to finish before Chris got home. I frogged it back to just before the error, then tinked back a row to get all the yo's accounted for. Back on the needles, I knit a row to get a safety line in, and then another row to replace the stitch markers. Sadly, it's almost back to the point that it was at when we finished the boat trip:

All should be well now, although I must admit I haven't knit on it any more, since Chris came home just as I was finishing the stitch marker row.

Chris got home at about 7PM, not the "late tonight" he had originally said, but then, I should know him well enough by now to know he will always be earlier than he said. Still, wishful thinking can go a long way towards deluding oneself. Ah well, another tick on the "Well crap" wall.

I was sitting on the couch, watching TV and listen to him tell me about his trip during commercials, when I finished the gusset decreases. I was at the point where all I needed to do was knit round and round up the leg. Perfect for work. I tried the sock on. "Well crap!" It didn't fit. Not just by a little bit. No, it was tight enough to curl my toes up.

So once again, I put on my frog face and starting ripping. Again, no pictures, and for the same reasons. But I ripped it all the way back to where I had started the gusset increases. Now, I'll need to knit another quarter inch or so length onto the foot, then redo the gusset increases, heel and gusset decreases.

It's frankly a bit of a bother, but then, socks that don't fit are pointless, so there really wasn't much choice. I will admit though, I did run through my mind who amongst my friends and family had smaller feet than me. In the end, I need the socks, and that was that. A frogging I must go.

So obviously, the afternoon did not turn out well. I can't say I was terribly amused by it all at the time, but in hindsight, all's fair in love and knitting. It is the first time I had to substantially frog back two projects in one day, and I really will die happy if there isn't a second time. But you know, one of the things I love about knitting is that no matter what, you get a "do over". I haven't ran across a mistake yet that frogging and redoing couldn't fix. If only life were like that.

Today is Thursday, and I have to go back to work tonight. Chris, when he announced he was coming home "late" Wednesday night, reassured me that he had "lots" to do Thursday and would "hardly be home" anyway. Well, he did go out to his friends boat this morning (he's trying to sell it) and clean it up for some potential buyers who are coming by this weekend. He was gone about an hour and half. And now, he's gone for a walk at a nearby conservation park. So he is trying to stay out of my hair.

My son sent me this neat UT (University of Tennessee) bag kit for Christmas.

It's a pattern and some quilted fabric to make a bag with. I just love it to pieces and I reckon it will make a really cool knitting bag, so I pulled out the electric sewing scissors around noon, only to find that it had been so long since I'd used them they had lost all their charge. So they are charging up as I type, and hopefully by the next post, I'll have a cool bag to show you. Or some quilted scraps if things go badly. At any rate, there will be something to show.

That's all I have for today. Till next time...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a GREAT post, and I love the pictures. Love U, Mom