Sunday, February 26, 2006

Just call me Vinko

As in Vinko Bogataj. You remember him; he's the skier who epitomizes the "agony of defeat."

Still don't remember? Maybe this will refresh your memory...

You will notice that the sleeve is no longer halfway done. Ummm, yeah. Let's just say that it *was* halfway done, it was late, I was tired, and we'll leave it at that. If this was the Summer Knitting Olympics instead of Winter, I definitely would have made it. Just another reason to hate my job... but I'm still going to have a nice sweater very soon! :-)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

No Gold for Me!

Not gonna make it. I'm halfway down one sleeve, and I'm going to start the other one to avoid "second-sleeve syndrome." Kinda like "second-sock syndrome" on steroids.

I wonder if they'll give out a wood metal? :-)


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

better picture of the fudging

It *almost* looks like I planned it this way!


You shall not beat me, sweater!! The original gusset idea worked, but not that well - I had a big lump under the armpit and the shaping was really funny. On my lunch hour today, I tore it out and started over. I decided to do a decrease on both sides of the front (in the "extra" 14 rows of white) and when I got rid of all of the stitches, I started the colorwork on the bottom of the sleeve. Here's a rather marginal picture of my fix:

The darker color is peeking through rather badly where I had to trap it on the way around, but I should be able to make that look better when it's blocked. :-) The cool thing is - the triangle is falling right on the bust line, so it looks like it's part of the shaping!

And I believe it's official - there's no way I'm going to be able to finish this in time. Maybe a few days late, but definitely not in time. There are less than 3 days, 2 sleeves and a neckline to do, and I have my knitting class tomorrow night. Ah, well...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

And away we go!

became this

with the help of a 25 year old Singer and a pair of sharp scissors

Two needle bindoff on the shoulders

And the sweater has armholes! It's a tad snug right now, but it will fit much better after it's washed and blocked. It's not nearly as snug as the picture shows, though - Kevin refused to stand up out of his chair to take a picture, and Kelson (my usual photographer) is at a band function. The sleeves aren't that narrow, either - they were rolling to the inside. I've picked up the stitches around the armholes, and I'm on the second row around. By about the 15th row, I'll know if Meg's idea worked!

Now I ask you - is this a good dog, or what?

Monday, February 20, 2006


I feel like the cross country skier who made a wrong turn on the relay course yesterday!! I'm getting close to the top, and I started thinking about how I was going to do the decreases on the sleeves. After I cut the steeks, I will pick up stitches all the way around and start working the colorwork on the sleeves. Does anybody see the problem here?

Yep, I screwed up royally! I put the stitches on the holder when I started the intarsia, not when I started the main colorwork. (Lesson: Always read the pattern thoroughly before starting!! Studying the pictures of the completed item would have helped, too...) As a result, when I pick up the stitches for the underarm, I would be joining into a rather large white section of the body! Much swearing ensued at this point. I stared at this for over an hour this morning, trying to figure out if there was a way I could knit the pouch stitches up to the steeks and cut.

I called SchoolHouse Press in a minor panic and talked to Meg. She came up with a brilliant idea: since I had to create a gusset under the sleeves, I will create a matching gusset when I pick up the sleeves. I will do a rapid decrease to get rid of the 14 rows of stitches, create a triangular white gusset under the arm, and it will look like I planned it the whole time! :-) Thank you, Meg!!!

Whew. Back to my knitting!!

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Am I going to finish in time? With 7 days left, it's not looking good, but at least I'm making progress. I'm almost halfway up the chart, and then I cut for the sleeves. I wonder how late you can be before you get a silver or a bronze? Gracie thinks she's a small animal, and Itty Bitty suffers with a Napoleon complex. As a result, they're best buddies. :-)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Intarsia in the Round

It's official - Meg Swansen is a genius!! I finally hit the colorwork on the Cuff-to-Cuff Pullover, and I just finished the intarsia sections. For years it was said that intarsia-in-the-round was impossible, and Meg proved them wrong. The instructions in this pattern are remarkably clear.
My progress so far - unblocked:
The bottom 2 rows of the intarsia pattern are going to be duplicate-stitched at the end.

I had to do some fudging on the main part of the sweater. As I was getting close to doing the colorwork, I realized that I wasn't going to have enough stitches on the sweater to do full repeats of the pattern! Solution: I did a "mini-gusset" increase on both sides, right under the armpit. Ta-da!! Enough stitches, and the increase looks like it's supposed to be there. :-)

My knitting class went beautifully!! I had a blast, and the 13 (!!) women that showed up knew how to long-tail cast on, knit and purl by the time the two hours were up!! Next week we'll review, and I'll actually have time to teach them to increase and decrease before I teach them how to bind off. Five of them had never held needles before, and the rest had learned to knit when they were children but hadn't touched it since. I was exhausted when the class was over, but it was a great time!!

Gracie and her sound-asleep, upside-down smile:She rolled completely off of the couch about 10 minutes after this picture was taken...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


What a great day!!! When I checked my email this morning, there was an online gift certificate from my Secret Pal waiting for me - $25.00 to Amazon! Thank you very much, Secret Pal!!!!! Now I just need to decide what to get!

When I got home, there was a box waiting for me on the porch. My friend Nancy from Pennsylvania (I met her at Knitting Camp last summer) read my SP7 questionnaire, saw that I collect spoons and pre-1960's cookbooks, and sent me some of her mother's collection!! Every one of these is from the 1950's - I can't wait to sit down and read them!! (Yes, I'm one of those geeks people who reads cookbooks!) I love, love, love the recipes (and the "household hints") in these old cookbooks!! And the spoons:

These are kind of in a jumbled pile right now, but there are some really, really nice ones in here - most are from places I've never been, and there isn't a single one that duplicates the ones that I already have! And as proof that Nancy is truly a nice person:Two skeins of Lion Imagine! These were gifted to her, and she's allergic to mohair. She knows that I'm not, so she sent them to me!! (It's amazing how much you learn about somebody over the course of 3 days at Knitting Camp!) There's close to 400 yards here - right now it's telling me that it wants to be a fancy scarf. :-) Thank you, Nancy!!

Tomorrow is my first knitting class...I put together a couple of pages to hand out. Kelson took pictures of my hands through each step of casting on, knitting and purling, and I put them into a Word document with instructions for each step. Tonight I'm going to type up a resource page. I bought a skein of acrylic crap Red Heart; I'm going to wind a few balls of it and a wool worsted to take along - I just know that somebody is going to show up with Fun Fur crap and expect me to teach them how to knit with it. Sorry, that's some other teacher! I got the Red Heart in case any of those people are allergic to wool.

And then - it's back to my Olympic sweater!! The Knitting Olympics was actually mentioned in Time Magazine this week!! My issue just came today - I'm going to save this one.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Day 4:

and around and around and around....

Only about 4 more inches until the color work!

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Olympic Sweater progress:
round and round and round and round....with a hem at the bottom.

Now wasn't that exciting? :-)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ta Da!

As promised - the latest sweater for KnitPicks! It's called "Divine Asymmetry" from a Leisure Arts booklet called "Options," and it took 11 skeins of Wool of the Andes.
Kelson took the picture for me. I usually don't wear this much makeup; I was getting ready to leave to go to the theater with my sister and nieces, so I tried the sweater on over the top of the outfit I was wearing.

We went to see Rent tonight at the Palace Theater in Cleveland. I was a much better performance than the last time I saw it (I was sent to cover it for the Medina County Gazette a few years ago when it was playing at Akron's EJ Thomas Hall). I was astounded, though by the amount of people in blue jeans and sweatshirts! At the theater!!

Too many cats? Don't know where to keep them? I have discovered a solution to that pesky cat-storage problem:
What - everybody doesn't keep their cats in giant ZipLoc bags full of yarn and UFOs? I really thought I was on to something here...or maybe Moe's just a strange cat. :-)

Friday, February 10, 2006

3 hours short of the goal...

My goal was to get the KnitPicks sweater to the UPS store by 4:00 so it could go out today. I didn't make it - I missed my goal by 3 hours. 2 weeks, start to finish, while working full time, fighting the flu, and dealing with other assorted things that got in my way. 2 weeks, start to finish, and I missed by 3 hours. But - the sweater turned out very nicely! It's drying now, and the buttons aren't sewn on yet...but for all intents and purposes, it's done.

Once again, Kyle (my 11 year old) picked out the buttons. Once again, he did really well!

I will take a picture of the modeled sweater tomorrow before I ship it out; the stitch definition doesn't really show up very well in this picture.

I did make one goal, though - I finished this in time for the Knitting Olympics to begin!! I have cast on, and I have about an inch done..not enough to warrant a picture yet. Picture natural colored yarn on size 7 needles, and an inch of around and around and around...

From the Yarn Harlot:

The Knitting Olympics Athletes Pledge

I, a knitter of able hands and quick wits, to hereby swear that over the course of these Olympics I will uphold the highest standard of knitterly excellence.

I will be deft of hand and sure of pattern, I will overcome troubles of yarn overs and misplaced decreases. I will use the gifts of intelligence and persistence (as well as caffeine and chocolate) and I will execute my art to the highest form, carrying with me the hope for excellence known to every knitter.

I strive to win. To do my best, and to approach the needles with my own best effort in mind, without comparing myself to my fellow knitters, for they have challenges unique to them.

While I engage in this pursuit of excellence and my own personal, individual best, I also swear that I will continue to engage with my family in conversation, care for my pets, speak kindly with those who would ask me to do something other than knit, and above all, above every stitch thrown or picked, above every cable, every heel stitch, every change of colour, I swear this:

That I will remember that this is not the real Olympics, that I'm supposed to be having fun and that my happiness and self-worth ride not on my success....
but on my trying.

Let the games begin!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Just because...

Life has been fairly hectic here - but to tide you over, here's a picture of Gracie and Itty Bitty playing "bitey face." Gracie was letting Itty Bitty win...