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Life knitting, working and parenting

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Success! 

I am pleased to announce that the cardigan is done. I found the most precious pewter buttons with little dragonflies stamped on each. My mission during knitting night was to select and sew on the buttons, and weave in all the ends. That's about all I got done, but that was enough! I took pix this morning, but have to figure out how to link them here.

I've knit a few more rounds on Sweet I's socks. Another 2 inches and I'll tie in the waste yarn for the afterthought heel. Thinking about doing a German Toe on it, and give the students an option to avoid the kitchner stitch. We'll see how it comes out first. Then I suppose I ought to write it up - Look who's becoming a designer, like it or not! Just because I can't follow a pattern myself! :) I tell you with all the wonderful knitting sites, the internet is so inspirational - a perfect balance to my science work all day long.

Still waiting for Crazy Heels and Toes to arrive at the LYS, Woolpack Yarn
Hopefully it will come in by Sat so I can bring it with me on vacation...

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Just a few ends to weave in and 4 buttons to sew on and Little O's cardi is done. And I love it already! All my knitting this weekend focused on sewing up the seams and finishing the neckline on this sweater. I'll do the weaving tonight and sew on some buttons on Wed when I go to the shop.

Next project? Get ready for school! I'll be starting up a couple of pairs of socks to demonstrate with for the class in 2 weeks. I'd like to finish a pair as a model, and get another on the needles to demonstrate the Afterthought Heel in progress. I'm tempted to even get a third or forth pair going as hands-on demonstrations of the Magic Loop technique - let the students knit a couple of rounds to get the feel on a pair of socks in progress. Just like most projects, the beginning is the hardest part. If they know what they are aiming for, the process will make a whole lot more sense and seem less overwhelming. Fun stuff!

Friday, February 13, 2004

Okay, having recently completed the knitting portion of the cardigan (yes, I still have all the finish work ahead of me) my fingers were itching for another project. And I happen to have two beautiful skeins of Schoeller + Stahl Limbo yarn #2538 (100% superwash wool in a heavily verigated dark rainbow colorway. My sweet 2 YO son had picked it out at Christmas time so, "Mama make me socks". Now I have the class coming up, I have to find a way to teach the first few cast-on rows for 2 socks on a single circ. It's complicated enough when you're an experienced knitter familiar with the technique, so I expect it to be an overwhelming process to many of my students. I'm already chanting the mantra, "Persevere, persevere!". I've decided to have them cast on for the 2 socks linearly, knit the first 4 rows flat, then set them up for 2-sock circular knitting from there. I got the circular-format caston working for this pair, but I think most students would walkout if I had them try it right away.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Time to celebrate!

I just this afternoon during my lunchhour finished the last seed-stitch on Little O's purple cardigan! All that's left is to wash, block, zip together the side seams, finish the neckband, add buttons, and weave in the loose ends. Wait a minute, I thought I was nearly done!! None the less I have a great high going from the sense of accomplishment. Not much longer now and she'll be wearing it.

Last night was my knitting night out. Of course I didn't get much done in the way of *my* knitting, but I managed to help a fellow knitter work through her first turned heel & sent her on her way to decrease the fresh gusset stitches on her first sock (another sigh of satisfaction!). I also wrote up my class description for the Magic Loop class I'll be teaching next month - funny I had been agonizing over composing this concise little paragraph (I'm a scientist, not a writer!), yet at 9 PM last night, with Little O dangling in one arm and my knitting bag slung in the crook of my other arm I was able to scratch down the perfect pitch in line at the LYS checkout. Looking forward to seeing the turnout. Time to practice the kitchner!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Isn't it funny how you can work steadily on a project for days and feel like you're not making any progress, then all of a sudden - POOF!- the project is nearly done. I've been struggling with Little O's cardi - working on it at every odd moment I've had, but never for an hour or more at a time. Last night I doublechecked my progress, and it's about time to add the bottom hem already!! I'm tempted to add on a little extra length so it will fit her a little longer. On the other hand, I can easily rip off the hem when she outgrows it and add an extra inch then. Hm. Knitting night at the Woolpack tonight; I'll ask around and get a concensus on the matter.

Another revelation last night. I'm a regular reader of "Wendy Knits!" (an amazing blog for those of you who haven't discovered it yet!)and she had mentioned how she was going to steampress her current sweater-in-progress as it was curling uncontrollably while she was knitting & driving her crazy. Wouldn't you know, this one-piece sweater I'm working on has been so infuriating to carry around, because with all the attached appendages the fabric has rolled into a twisted knot which I continually have to wrestle with while trying to knit my simple stockinette stitch. I have been dreaming of the day it was complete & I could block and press it flat - don't ask me why I hadn't thought of pressing it while it was on the needles! So I pulled out my trusty new steam iron last night and pressed it. Oh Joy! I now have the most beautiful piece of handknit fabric hanging straight and true from my silver Addis as I finish up the last of the hem. So much easier to manipulate, so much more pleasant to pull out of my knitting bag and work with! I can't wait to finish it now. Pictures soon, I promise!

Monday, February 09, 2004

Go ahead and ask, "Heather, how much knitting did you get done this weekend?". My answer: slim-to-none. Here I am desperately trying to finish Little O's cardi before she outgrows it, and the only time I can find to do it is in the car: at long stoplights, in the carwash, or while the kids happen to have fallen asleep in their carseats on the way to our destination. Upon arrival, I leave the car and radio going, and pull out the knitting bag to cruise through a few rows before they wake up. Does anyone else do this??

Not that I'm complaining. The system *is* working, just a bit slow. I am on the homestretch now, knitting down the back, about halfway there! I hope with a good knitting night ahead of me this Wed, and an airplane ride coming up, I should finish it before the end of the month. That will theoretically give her a whole two months to wear it before she outgrows it :). Sigh.

I'll post pictures as soon as it is recognizable as a sweater - it's one of those start at the front hem and knit up and over the shoulders to the bottom back hem. On the needles it looks like a twisted mass of tweedy pale violet. I'm using size 3 Addis with Cleckheaton's Country 8 Ply Naturals (100% washable wool) in color#1460 and have loved working with it. A nice stable ply, a few felted knots in the 4 skeins I've used, but nothing unbearable. The pattern is Natural Wonder from Fall '99 Family Circle Easy Knitting, modified to suit my tastes. I've transitioned it to a stockinette stitch body with seed-stitch cuffs, hems and button bands. Very simple, very sweet. I can't wait to see her in it!! Picures to come shortly.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

I could have screamed last night when driving home from work (late as usual!) I realized I left my knitting bag with my 2 current projects and my latest yarn purchase at the office - on my knitting night of all nights!! Wednesday evenings we meet at the LYS I mentioned yesterday to knit, talk, drink tea and catch up on the latest inventory - a great girls' night out that is so hard to come by with kids waiting at home. However as soon as I walked through the door, my sweet, sad little boy popped his head over the couch and muttered that his tummy hurt, before collapsing his head back on the couch pillows. I spent the evening giving the kids a bath (my son just loves baths, and it distracted him for a good half hour or more) squeezing in dinner for the rest of us, and comforting my little one to sleep while he, Little O and I snuggled on Mummy's bed with Barney playing in the VCR. I figured this would be a great time to work on some new magic loop castons, but lo and behold DS perked up as the Advil kicked in and got very excited that Mommy was knitting with bright yellow and red yarn. I finally had to admit it wasn't meant to be and tucked the yarn away to hold my sick baby as he finally drifted off to sleep for the night. Bad knitting night but a mommy-moment I'll never forget.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

How to begin?? I've been knitting off and on for over 6 years but have really caught the bug since my daughter (Little O) was born last July. The question I return to over and over is why did I wait until I have 2 little ones and no time before developing a knitting passion?? Anyone who knits knows how easy it is to fall in love with a new yarn, pattern or project so now I have a list that goes on forever of things I hope to knit someday. Meanwhile I've completed a pair of socks each for me and the two kiddies, a v-neck sweater for my 2 YO son (we'll talk about that one later!! OOPS! The sweater, not my son!)and I'm midway through a little cardigan for Little O which I hope to finish within the month, before she outgrows it!!

I'll post pictures of each of these projects along with some of the constructional details as I go along. Unfortunately with the shortage of time (go figure - working full time with two little ones at home and a new house to finish decorating...) progress will be slow, so I aim to update weekly.

Another venture I'm looking forward to is at the beginning of March, I'll be teaching my first 3-week class at the LYS on the Magic Loop method for knitting 2 socks at once. Check it out at www.woolpackyarn.com. Who would have thought it would be such a complicated process to get organized for such a thing? I've been searching for the perfect universal pattern for cuff-down socks with a short-row heel. Nope, no luck. I think I *might* have tracked one down, but the seller has a minimum purchase price which I just can't justify for this one pattern. Grrr! I'm currently looking into the knitting software Sole Solution which has a short-row heel option. Anyone had any experience with it that they care to share?

Enough for now. I hope to get some pix loaded soon. So much to talk about!!

Happy knitting.

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