Friday, January 27, 2006

The 11 year old sweater wanna-be

Sad but true. I started this sweater 11 years ago. Many, many moons ago. When I was young and beautiful, without a care in the world. Or some such time. Anyway, except for this year, every new year's eve I would solemnly swear to finish this "thing". But still it sits in its pretty box, out of site out of mind.

Yesterday was cold. This morning the windchill made the snow squeak under my boots as I walked to the barn. And so the sweater is out of the box. I vow to knit the sleeves and finish this "thing" before my tulips bloom. I was going to say before the Olympic flame is lit, but as you may have figured out finishing is not my strong point. I love to knit, I hate to finish. It's so final. Let's not think on this anymore.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Revelations of a Swatch

There you have it. The "training" was completed last night. It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would, which could mean one of two things: either I am a better and faster knitter than I give myself credit for, or the pattern is not challenging enough. I hesitate to go with the former and sit here patting myself on the back. No matter how good it would be for my ego. Honestly, the pattern wasn't all that difficult. Once I did the foundation rows, I barely looked at the chart. Nothing to it.

Now the revelations: the stash yarn (Patons Country Garden DK--made in Canada!--100%Pure Machine Washable Merino Wool) is not going to cut it. Too bad. The gauge is off. I had to calculate the repeats and add 12 stitches just for a hat. I didn't even want to contemplate how much extra knitting that would mean for a sweater or cardigan. Back to the drawing board or the LYS. Revelation two: I must learn that technique where the end and beginning of each round doesn't show. I don't like how it looks, that little jump. Revelation three: it is in fact helpful to use a stitch marker at the start of each round. I got somewhat cocky, ok, ok, didn't even open my box of stitch markers, and you don't want to know how wonky things started to look. Lost time to fix goof ups and dig out markers. Serves me right. Revelation four: I need a form for blocking hats. The 1kg coffee can only do so much.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Preparing for the Olympics

There is evidence of swatching, er, training going on. A hat qualifies as a swatch, right? A true swatch just seems like such a waste of good wool. This will give me a better idea of timing, as well. It doesn't look like much, but admittedly, this a very reliable indicator of what I can expect from my knitting during the actual Olympics.

You see, I was watching Hockey Night in Canada. Ottawa vs. Toronto. (Gee, who do you think won?) As that relates to knitting, has anyone considered how much time can be lost to cheering??! And since MY (superior) team kept scoring and scoring and scoring some more, naturally I did a LOT of cheering, thereby losing knitting time. Ah, what we do for the love of sport. Ottawa Senators Rule!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Knitting Olympics

Yes. I am one of hundreds of participants of the Knitting Olympics, the brain-child of the Yarn Harlot herself. The process of selecting a pattern is slow. So many choices. Here is one of the possibilities:

Anyone out there willing to baby-talk me through the process of adding buttons to my sidebar (since I am essentially computer illiterate), I will be forever grateful. Happy training!

Monday, January 16, 2006

We return to regularly scheduled Winter

The spring-like weather is gone. The earth is once again crusty with frost and the green grass of yesterday white-covered. And yes, it's snowing. And there is wind chill. Damn. Even though it rained on and off most of the day yesterday, I experienced a most thrilling natural high. I was so productive it was almost shocking. I mean, working in the garden? IN JANUARY??? Planting garlic and late-on-sale-purchased shrubs? Adding black earth to my flower gardens to cover sprouting bulbs in hopes of saving them from the sure-to-return frosts?? IN JANUARY???! Good grief! My pair of ducks were simply euphoric, waddling from one puddle to the next. The female has actually begun to lay eggs.

Oh, yes. Almost forgot. Darcy is a dud. No mid-winter lambs on this farm. Turns out I will have to find a ram to visit my woolly girls. Especially since I've come across a dozen lip-smacking, drool producing lamb recipes here.

The bunnies are a month old. Bouncy. Cute. Entertaining.
Well-handled (read: mauled by my kids often).

Then there is the Mazurka. Can patience be purchased? Where?
Is it expensive? Obviously just because my wheel is beautiful,
and just because I love my sheep and love to knit and love wool,
just because of all those reasons, the gods have decided that I need NOT need to learn the art of spinning the very first time I sit at my wheel. Well. Imagine that. So yes. I am going to need patience. Lots of it. Somehow, the first time I spun using my Turkish spindle, it just didn't seem so difficult. Hmmm. Or should I say Ommmm....

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

New Year resolutions are highly over-rated so with that in mind I decided not to make any. What's the point? So I can break them within a couple weeks and feel like a lesser human being? Nope. That won't be me this year! That's not to say that I won't have a quiet heart to heart with myself and decide what could use more attention in my life. Less pressure = less stress. So...