Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Torn apart

Once again this summer, I'm leaving home and taking the kids south, this time to Houston. Apart from Ian, who doesn't have unlimited vacation time and thus can't accompany us, the thing I'll miss most will once again be the deep V-neck sweater.
Actually, it's just as well I'm not bringing the huge merino creation down to Texas, because I've managed to somehow just fall short of the yarn requirement. Happily, I had enough Hollyberry to finish knitting the body, bind the armholes together, and do one sleeve,
but I'll need another ball for the neckband for sure.
But, as you can see from the last photo, I have finally cut steeks,

and although it was a little nerve-wracking, it was mostly fun,
and the feeling when it's cut and doesn't unravel? Deep contentment. So, once I return, I should make short work of the other armhole and neckband (just 7 rows of ribbing each) and have a lovely fall vest.

Since I've finally proved to myself that steeking works, it's time to start Ian's Aran cardigan, and I'm following EZ's advice and making a gauge-swatch hat. I just started tonight, and I am in love with the yarn, Firecracker Heather, because it's mostly a deep orangey red, but every so often some blue or gold will pop out. The diamond and fishbone patterns are shaping up, too.
So, that will come with me, along with my long-lost autumn sock, and the two lace shawls, and possibly the table mat. Or maybe I'll finally finish the Easter egg sweater. That would be nice to have off the needles. But don't be surprised if I come home from Texas needing to rip out twelve rows of lace and with nothing else to show for myself, because the real purpose of the trip is quality time with the eight-and-unders and that requires a lot of running around, especially since my nephews aren't trained to let me knit and read them a story at the same time and are unfamiliar with the "hang on, just let me finish this row" which comes to the childern of knitters so early.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Progress report

The start of August was a little hectic for me, what with two assignments due, and various other commitments. Though, if one has to read a book word by word twice, Emma by Jane Austen is a pretty good choice. Speaking of lace shawls (there are quite a few mentions of knitting in the book, though it's mostly done by doddering old Mrs. Bates), I have proved and reproved over the summer months that lace knitting cannot mix with drinking alcoholic beverages, watching children, or even conversing with friends. It seems to be best done while your life's companion is watching sports and the kids are safely asleep, or while said companion is reading, silently or out loud. This is also meant to explain why I'm still stuck on clue 2 of the Mystery Stole. As for the non-lace stuff, the armhole steeks of the deep-v vest are fast approaching, and I expect it to fly after that. I love to lay it on the table to observe the hourglass shape already emerging, but the last time I did that, a certain young boy did his best to pull the circular needle out. My favorite way to work on the vest is while listening to the Knitpicks podcast, a wonderful feature that makes me feel much better about supporting them vs. my LYS. And I'm not the only one who likes to listen.

Coco: "Mommy, can we listen to your iPod?"
Me: "It's just a lady talking about knitting, I can't imagine you'd be interested."
Coco and Washington: "Pleeeease?"
Me: "Here."
Coco: "This is really cool. We like it."
Washington: "Yeah. We like it."
Coco: "This doesn't mean I'm interested in learning to knit, though."

Well, if I bide my time, I have a feeling she'll come around. She's back into the idea of karate, if we can only find a Saturday when she's not invited to a party or otherwise committed.
Speaking of karate, we bid a fond farewell to a brown belt student who's off to college, and I managed to assemble these flower face cloths:

In cotton, not chenille, since I have cotton coming out of my ears. and another thing I'm doing with one of the peaches and creme cones:

Here you see it lacking one sleeve, but it is now finished and was immensely satisfying. I modified a raglan funnel neck sweater from Debbie Bliss's Baby Style, then added a little seed stitch star that I got out of my Christmas stocking book. I love raglan decreasing and sewing up perfectly aligned mattress stitch seams, but I think top-down would have made it go even faster (6 fewer seams to sew).
I'll be back soon with pictures of armhole steeks and observations on finger pain.