Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Plugging away, with a few diversions

The biggest diversion was a rush proofreading job that took all my attention last week--12 hours of work in a seven-day period. Not impossible, but distracting and rather stressful. On the upside, it was the second half of Montel Williams's new book, Living Well, and I ended up enjoying it and agreeing with quite a bit of what he said, especially regarding ridiculous portion sizes, marketing of junk food to kids, and keeping one's home environment safe and healthy. I did keep carrying the cardigan, and am more than halfway through ball 6. I finally felt I had enough to make Ian try it on, and I'm pretty sure that after one more diamond, I can start the armhole steeks and V-neck shaping!

The day Ian dropped off my job, I had the irresistible urge to start (and complete) a very small project, so I crocheted this small orange ball. It was going to have a Jack-o-Lantern face, but Washington was too eager to play with it.

Finally, I've got about 5 inches of the never-ending bathmat done, and the good news is that it feels very nice if you rub your bare feet on it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Deadlines can be a good thing

Not only did I finish the mittens (and show them around to most of the people I saw Sunday, somehow neglecting to take the finished item photo though I had several willing models) by Friday night, but, realizing that I had until Tuesday because mail doesn't go out on Columbus Day, I managed to finish a pair of socks in three days. It would have been a little bit better if I had realized how little green I had and put some gray in the first sock also, but here they are on and off, showing that they mostly look like a matching pair. I ended up mixing two sock patterns from Knitting for Peace together to come up with a somewhat unique design. I really wanted to turn the heel rather then doing the usual toe-up short-row heel, and I'm pretty pleased with how they came out.

Riding the wave of euphoria that comes with finishing two projects (however small) in such a short time, I decided to start the project that may take the rest of my adult life, the Loopy Landing bathmat from Not Your Mama's Knitting. Straight knitting on the WS, but on the RS one has to make a loop 84 times. I'm just now finished with row 6, and it's not no-look knitting either.

Interestingly, when Ian saw me starting, he didn't say, "Hooray for you for using up that big cone of green wool." First he said, "A bathmat? What about the other tablemats?", then he really got to the point: "What about my cardigan?" So, even though I'm more than halfway done with ball four and it's getting quite bulky, his cardigan is back to being my take-everywhere project. For now. Here's a belated link to Grumperina's cabling without a needle tutorial, which has made this cardigan that much easier and faster.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Been very sidetracked lately. Had some white sandwich bread turn out gratifyingly well.

Made another small dishcloth and finished the first tablemat (will I have the fortitude to make three more? If I don't we'll be stuck with our ocean life, jungle life, and animal alphabet ones).

Ian's cardigan is shaping up, but is getting almost too large to be carried around. Decided to do a horizontal rib in the third diamond, but what's really helped speed it up is that every fourth row I'm cabling WITHOUT a cable needle. I'd been wanting to do this for a while, and finally found Grumperina's tutorial. Perfect!

But most of all, Afghans4Afghans sent out a particularly urgent call, with the very practical "A pair of socks or mittens -- can be completed in a couple days or over the weekend." Since I haven't made any mittens since last year, I pulled out my worsted wool stash and whipped these up (starting at knitting circle Thursday morning). If I mail them on Monday, they should get there by October 12, and I may be able to add a plain pair, too. I've gotten out my copy of Knitting for Peace to see if there are any relevant patterns (the mittens below were straight out of my head).