Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Proof that I did my part: This is before:

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This is after:

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However, about 4 or 5 rows in, I had an insight about theMinimalist Cardigan. Moss stitch is not the same as seed stitch. I know that comes as a shock to you all; it certainly was a shock to me. You see, I realized that the directions for the moss stitch of the Minimalist Cardigan consists of four lines:
Row 1: k, *p, k*, repeat from * to * to end
Row 2: p, *k, p*, repeat from * to * to end
Row 3: repeat row 2
Row 4: repeat row 1

Now, I had been thinking of this as if it were a chart and working a checkerboard of knits and purls - true seed stitch. Alas, what is specified is moss stitch - this cardigan is knit in pieces, not in the round, so rows 2 and 4 are written as if one is looking at the back of the piece. What you are supposed to end up with is short, 2-row columns of knits and purls, aka moss stitch.

So, after completing 15 dutiful rows on the baby cardigan, I picked up the Minimalist and dithered - should I take out the four rows of seed stitch I've already completed and start over with moss stitch? Or should I just keep on with seed stitch, because it won't really matter, right?

I couldn't decide. I put it all away and read a book.

And tonight I'm pooped. For work today, I searched for rare dragonflies and damselflies at this beautiful lake.

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Found a couple, too, surprisingly, but it means I spent much of this evening writing up my field notes and keying out the shed skins of dragonflies (not to mention blogging), all of which leaves me very little time and energy for knitting a certain little green baby sweater.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pant, Pant, with Minimal Lust

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I'm in love. More accurately, I'm in lust. I laid my hands on the Malabrigo last night within seconds of opening a bin, wound it into cakes out on the porch, found the right needles immediately (OK, OK, I admit I had never really put away the size 7s from the b-a-b-Y blanket), copied the pattern, circled the correct numbers, and I was off! Oh, frabjous joy! Oh, the smoothness! Oh, the color! Oh, those k2, p1 ribs just tripping off my needles! Followed quickly by good old seed stitch, which the pattern calls moss stitch, but I'm calling it seed stitch, because that's what I used a lot of in the b-a-b-Y blanket, not to mention the two baby sweaters still in progress.

Speaking of which: I can tell that my heart is forever lost to the Minimalist Cardigan. Nonetheless, I must, simply must, finish those little cabled baby sweaters for the upcoming twins. Officially, they're due on Halloween, unofficially I'm betting on October 1st, and the word around the cubicles is that we may see the last of Melissa come mid-September, at least for a few months.

So, I am going to set up a carrot-and-stick arrangement - I knit ten rows of baby sweater, I get to knit two rows of Minimalist. I sew a seam for a twin, I get to knit two rows of Minnie Dearest. I finish Sweater # 1, I get to knit for a whole evening with the Malabrigo of my dreams. I have to finish both baby sweaters by mid-September, if I'm to have any hope of giviong them to Melissa in person, which I'd really love to do. It's a Goal with a Capital G.

And I promise to keep you posted, more regularly than usual. (I get 10% of any side bets, by the way.)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Give Me the Big Stuff

I'm ready for chunky yarn, aran-weight yarn , heavy worsted, bulky, super-bulky, 17-ply yarn. No more of this dainty DK weight. Last night I was dutifully trying to pick up 78 stitches around the neck of the magenta baby sweater. I had sewn the shoulder seams and one of the sleeve-to-body seams, and I thought I'd take a break and pick up for the neck ribbing before I moved on to the second sleeve. Mind you, I had already worked up about a third of the back of the olive-green baby sweater in the past few days, so I have indeed been a Good Girl in terms of my knitting goals.

I hate picking up and knitting stitches, especially in itsy-bitsy dark yarn. I tried picking up each stitch, knitting it, and sliding it along the working circular. No dice. I tried picking up stitches with the needle, and then knitting each one. This usually works for me, but this time the yarn kept splitting and I couldn't see what ply belonged to which stitch. After several more tries and various methods, I said screw it and read a book.

So tonight I wanna play with adult yarn. I want to cast on for something new. I want to do MY knitting, not all the knitting I think I SHOULD be doing for everyone else. [Remind me of this, will ya?] [About once a week should do it.]

So, I'm thinking about the Minimalist Cardigan from the latest IK. 20 stitches to 4 inches, good basic worsted weight yarn. 1308 yards for the size I want. Let us now consult the Holy, if Slightly Out-of-Date, Table of SABLE.

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The choices:
  • Malabrigo, 1512 yards in the color verdeazul;
  • Classic Elite's Waterspun, 1380 yards in gray heather;
  • Dale's Sisik, 1480 yards of navy tweed (I had started a mindless sweater of this some time ago, you may remember, but I didn't like the fabric that was resulting from knitting it at the stated gauge; it was too limp. Which means it will probably be too thin a yarn for this pattern, come to think of it); and
  • Plymouth Indiecita Alpaca, 1400 yards of purple.
If I can find it in the bins, I'm going for the Malabrigo. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The b-a-b-Y Blanket


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Pattern: My own
Size: 31" x26"
Yarn: Classic Elite Spotlight, 100% cotton, about 5 and 2/3 balls at 92 yards a ball; say 600 yards. The middle photo is the most accurate for color, at least on my monitor. Note this yarn was from the stash.
Needles: size 7 bamboo circs

OK, that makes two baby presents down, and three to go before the end of the year. I think I'm getting tired of cute. Luckily, this cotton Spotlight did not bother my hands to knit, but I do think it wore down the ridges of my fingerprints. I feel as though I can't quite grasp yarn as well or as quickly as I did before this project.

In other news, Sophie came through her knee surgery just fine this week, Dawn nominated me for a Rockin' Girl Blogger award [me? come on now!], and Dave and Shelley tied the knot this past Saturday in their backyard, with 240 people watching and cheering them on. It's been a good week!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Not Gonna Happen

This Friday evening: the multi-baby baby shower. That's 2 days away.

Progress so far:

Baby #1:
Bonnet complete.

Baby #2: Blanket is more than half-way. Now can you tell what I'm doing?

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Of course, you can't; that's a lousy photo.

Baby #3: All four pieces are completed - the ends are woven in, even. But they're not sewn together, the neck ribbing isn't done, and the button at the back of the neck isn't even bought, much less sewn in.

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Baby #4: Well....

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I'll blame the blurriness of that photo on my shaky hands. (Or my shaky grasp on reality, if you prefer.)

Obviously, I'm not going to be ready for this shower in two days. I'm taking the news well. In fact, since I am sick of knitting constantly whenever I have a free moment, I have given up trying. In the past few days, I have started a new book (Michael Korda's Another Life), weeded the garden of friends who are getting married there in two weeks, gone to the ice cream stand, and skirted a Jacob fleece.

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I may actually be returning to normal, but don't hold your breath.