Sunday, February 28, 2010

Failure to Plan

When I was packing for a trip to Virginia, I knew enough to bring plenty of knitting with me. I knew that I was close to finishing my two Ravelympic projects, so I brought along a ball of Noro yarn that I was planning on making into a scarf and a pair of socks that I had started before Ravelympics. The scarf I made in two nights and left for Carrie to use because I figure that she might need it more that I will since she's up in Virginia where it usually gets a bit colder than Louisiana. (And I forgot to take pics of it - I'll see if hubby will get some before he comes home Wednesday) I finished my two Ravelympic projects and packed them and the needles away in my suitcase that I was planning on checking for the flight. That's just a little less that I have to carry on to the plane, right? So, everything goes smoothly - I arrived at the airport in plenty of time, my flight is on time, no problem checking my suitcase, security goes smoothly (I did get patted down, though, which is something that had never happened to me before), then I found my gate and settled in to wait on my flight. I pulled out my ipod and my extra pair of socks that I was knitting, found where I was in the pattern, and got ready to start knitting. That's when I noticed and remembered that I had borrowed the needles from that sock project to knit my Ravelympic sock project. And what did I used to hold the place on those socks? A circular needle that had one good needle and one broken needle. I. AM. SO. STUPID! Failure to plan, or notice, or remember what I had done. What do I do now? For a normal flight it would not really be a problem, but for this particular flight, I have a 3 1/2 hour layover in Charlotte, SC. So I'm sitting in the Charlotte airport updating my blog and lamenting my stupidity instead of knitting.

Since I'm updating my blog, I might as well go ahead and update about my Ravelympic projects. I finished my Skew socks yesterday around noon then wore them the rest of the day.
They're okay, they fit well enough; they could have had a bit more negative ease, but I didn't really have a problem with them sliding around in my shoes or anything. I don't think I'd make them again, just because of the weird construction.
I also finished Tank's Shrug last night around 9:30. I don't know that he'll wear it, though because it does look a bit like a sweater for a girl dog (hello ... it's a SHRUG, Stephanie; that could've given you a hint)
Anyway, they are both done, and done before closing ceremonies of the Olympics, so that goal was met. I got so sidetracked with other projects, that I wasn't sure whether or not it was going to actually happen. At the last minute though, I just gave myself a pep talk and then a kick in the butt and got it done.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

One Ravelympic Project Half Finished

Now that I titled this post, it doesn't seem like much at all, but it certainly seems like it is. One of my ravelympic projects is halfway finished. That would be the Skew socks. I have one of them done and have started on the second one. I have also started on the sweater for Tank, but I have no pictures of it to post yet.
So, update on the Skew socks: The cast on started at the corner of the big toe which is immediately a little odd because normally you start toe up socks in the middle of the toes. But if you think about it, your big toe is the one that sticks out the most (on most people, anyway, certain members of my family are exceptions). Then you kind of work diagonally up your foot area, so until the heel graft (another oddity on these socks), it just looks really wonky. Once you get to where your longest side is appr. 1 1/2 " less than the measurement of your foot, you start adding on stitches for the heel. And you add a lot of stitches.

Then (trusting the pattern directions) you slide the first 15 stitches onto 1 dpn and the second 15 stitches onto another and graft(kitchener) those 30 stitches together. Believe me, that took some trust because it did not look anything like a heel at that point, and I could not even begin to visualize what it was supposed to look like. But after it was done, it looked a lot better. Then you ignore the heel and begin knitting in the round again (still on the diagonal, though.)

Once the long side of the diagonal leg get to the length you want, you work short rows to bring the other side up to meet it, then do a bit of ribbing and bind off. It ends up being a nice fitting sock, but it is such an involved knit, that I'm not sure I'd do it again. Then again, I may find a handpainted or self striping yarn that just screams "SKEW" at me and have to make these socks again.

Normally a 2-at-a-time sock person, I did this pair 1 at a time because I wasn't sure how involved they would be and whether or not I would need to move stitches around very often (I guess I could have read the pattern beforehand, but that would have required reading the pattern beforehand.) As it turns out, there is only one point in which I had to move stitches around, and I think I could manage that with 2 pairs on my needles, so if I do ever decide to make these again, I think I will do them 2 at a time.
In other news, after I finished the first sock, I suddenly decided that instead of working on my ravelympic projects, I NEEDED to make a toy for our dog. I started out trying to make Kate, the kitten in britches, which has (as you can see from the picture) arms and legs.

I got the body made and attached the ears, and brought it out to show it to my DD.

Tank decided that he had to have it right then.

My DH remarked that it looks a lot like a weeble (if you are of a certain age, you may remember those cute little egg-shaped toys that would never fall over). This toy has since become known in our home as Weeble Kitty, and Tank does seem to like it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


So, Ravelympics begins tomorrow, and I have not decided yet what I want to work on for it.

What are Ravelympics, you may ask? Well, let me tell you. Ravelers, members of the knitting and crochet group, Ravelry, choose projects to work on during the 17 days of the official Winter Olympics. Projects cannot be started before the beginning of the opening ceremony and must be completed by the end of closing ceremony. Knitters and crocheters all over Ravelry are joing teams to show support for their favorite groups, causes, cities, podcasters, etc.
I have joined Team BRRS - that's Baton Rouge Red Sticks, which is the name of our knitting group here in Baton Rouge. There is also a Team Sasquatch, which is a team for fans of several podcasters. I am thinking about joining Team Sasquatch so as to not have to split my loyalties between all of the podcasts that I listen to. I would have far too much to knit if I tried to join a team for every podcaster that I listen to. I listen to a LOT of podcasts! So Team BRRS and Team Sasquatch would be two teams. I could probably swing two projects in those two weeks. But WHICH two projects? I'm thinking about doing these socks and maybe this doggie sweater because Tank sure does hate to go out when it is cold outside. Or maybe I could do this vest. After all, it uses chunky yarn and big needles. That's do-able.

But, whatevver I choose, I'll be casting something on tomorrow during the opening ceremony of the Olympics. What will you be doing?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My new camera

The best Christmas gift that I received this Christmas was a new camera. It is a great camera and takes really wonderful pictures. I was so very excited to receive this camera because now I can take pictures of my knitted items and post them on Ravelry and here on my blog. It takes much better pictures than my cell phone. And it does really neat things too, like cropping the subject before taking the picture. I was so happy with this camera that I immediately began taking pictures with it. I bought an SD card and carried that camera around with me everywhere taking lots and lots of pictures. It isn't a rechargeable camera, though. It takes 4-AA batteries, and it has a little compartment where the batteries and the SD card go. Not long after the New Year, I hooked the camera up to the computer and downloaded the pictures that I had taken while "playing around" with the camera. I then unhooked it from the computer, turned around, and DROPPED my brand new camera, my favorite Christmas gift. Son of a BITCH I though (or probably yelled) - please don't let it be broken. I picked it up. It was all still in one piece. The lens was still there and not broken - that's good - but the batteries were scattered across the floor. I gathered them up and re-inserted them into the little compartment. Then I closed the compartment and pushed the power button. Nothing. Crap. Am I really going to have to tell my husband that I broke the gift he got me? I couldn't understand why it wouldn't come on. My daughter, who had watched all of this happen, said, "the door's not closed." Oh, I thought I had closed it. Ok. Close it again. The door would not stay closed. The teeniniest piece of plastic that serves as the latch on this truly awesome camera had broken off thereby not latching the door and not holding the batteries in. I shed a few tears and set the camera aside. Then I told my husband about it when he got home. He looked at it and couldn't fix it any more than I could when I had looked at it two hours earlier. So the next day he called the company and told them about it then packed the camera up and sent it back to them.
For the last six weeks I hae been berating myself for being so stupid and careless with a gift that I was so excited to receive. There have been many times that I have wanted to use that camera in those weeks. I have finished several knitting projects and just have not been able to bring myself to take pictures of them with my cell phone because if I hadn't been so stupid, I could be taking pictures with my camera. Sigh.
But it is all better now, because yesterday the mailman brought me a replacement camera! It is exactly the same as the one I had gotten for Christmas, and I cannot wait to start using it!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sock Challenge

I have joined a SOCK CHALLENGE for the months of February and March, 2010. I signed up to knit the Vintage Knee Socks pattern out of the Closely Knit book. According to Ravelry, they are an under-appreciated pattern, which means that there are fewer than 15 projects being worked on using this pattern. I don't know why. They are really, really cute socks. Anyway, I started them on 1 Feb and have until 31 Mar to finish them. I don't see them taking that long, really. Like I said, I started on them yesterday (evening, btw) and am now past the cuff and into the patterning on the upper part of the leg. The picture above is just after cast on. Probably round 2. More pictures to follow soon.