Tuesday, January 22, 2008

change

On the knitting front as usual for me, I have messed up the neck band three ways from sunday on the peach shrug and am still going to try and slide by with calling it "a custom design feature" (I learned that at Camp-I-Wanna Knit, where all mistakes are seen as blessings in disguise and a great excuse to pass the chocolate)

Somehow during Mom's biopsy I lost two stitches off of the width of the neck band that I am knitting lastly to attach to the shrug/bolero. Since it is narrow, I was using dpn, and  when Daddy and I went to get coffee, I shoved the work into my bag,  when I pulled it out of the bag, it slid off the needles, and when I went to slide it bake on, somehow I pulled the next smaller size needle out of my bag to pick it up again...

SO!! as my protective pixies would have it, it turns out that the narrow section will fall at the back of the neck (how convenient!) I thought about frogging, but I think I will accept it as it is...I am swinging around now to the front side of the neck, and I just have to figure out a gracious way to pick back up those stitches lost stitches to match how they were lost to begin with.....

Personal (to my customers)
"the doctor smiled, but the news wasn't good"
                 -Paul Simon, lyrics from "darling lorraine"
(as an aside, off subject and over in another ballpark, some lyrics from that song I also like are "what!? you don't like the way I chew?!".... I am groping for a little levity here, can you tell?)

Anyway...sigh. Bad news always makes us rethink things, rearrange our priorities, count our blessings, hold our loved ones closer.

When you are a one-woman show, it also can slow you down a little, so, I will try to not fall too far behind, but if your order is a day or two longer in delivery than I expected, well, I'm a trying..

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hybrid Knitting (or, how necessity names a style of knitting)

image

This peach bolero has been off the machine and on to the needles, off the needles and back on to the machine so many times that I decided to coin a phrase for this technique. I shall call it

....."hybrid knitting" a term for the use of both hand knitting needles and "hand knitting machine" needles in the construction of a single knitted item.

Last post I mentioned that I had picked up the neckline and the hem (of the reconstituted peach bolero) onto circular needles. So for a couple of evenings I knit along on the hem needle, making it up as I went. I didn't like it, it was too bland, and my arthritis in my forefinger is really bothering me and I don't want to waste my knitting time on something bland.

Meantime, my shoulders are cold, I have other shrugs, but I need this one, now.

Then as life has a way of doing, everything changed with a phone call, and Momma's news from her doctor visit was unexpected, so I am hustling to get the shop work done and will be gone to west tenn to be with her the first part of the week.

During the long hours of the procedure, I would like to have my knitting to hold my hand. I would like the hem to be done, so that I only have the one needle dangling and tangling around the knitting bag.

(ok, I am getting to the point here, really)

I slid the peach thing back onto the lk-150 needle bed by pushing each machine needle into the row below the current row on the hk needle.needletobed When every stitch was thusly stabbed, I removed the circular needle, ripped back the top row, threaded the carriage and commenced knitting several rows of basket weave stitch (3st x 3rows) Stopping every 3 rows to hand reform the purl blocks with the adjustable multiple latch tool, and the single latchet tool on the center purl stitch. It went pretty quick, finished it with some rows of stockinette, and took it off the machine back onto the double pointed needle for binding off.

This part is now finished, I will be able to concentrate on hand knitting the rest of the neckband in the hospital, without the dangly second needle, and hopefully it will be ready in time to show to Momma.

This is the beauty of hybrid knitting.

Friday, January 11, 2008

reconstituted peaches

I am telling this story backwards...because I told part of it on ravelry....so now, getting straight what is where is just one more organization thingie for the new year....sigh.

anyway..this iz a zig-zag bolero. It started life as a potential sweater, I began hand knitting the cable bands in 2005 at the club over Coronas  while JB was still playing with the BB Kings All Stars. I had hoped that it would be done in time for Camp Iwanna Knit 2006(ha-ha!) by that time, I had hand knit the cable sleeve insets and borders and machine knit the fronts, and had only sewn one band on...good enough for show and tell...

but I set it back and over time, in this cabin, mice ate part of the front and the other front was knit at the wrong tension..so I ripped it all apart and frogged the big pieces, keeping the cable bands (see photo, previous post)

Then I restarted it as a bolero instead of a sweater, because I need that worse than a full sweater, what with climate change and all, and I am not sure there is enough wool that hasn't had moth damage to do a full sweater....I have now done most of  the assembly and picked up the hem and the neckline to knit by hand...phew!

The knitting looks a little wrinkly, because I did not wash the yarn after I frogged it, just used it all kinky...because I am a little wrinkly and kinky myself, and I have no sense and even less time!

reconstituted peach

Monday, January 7, 2008

Peach progress

Perfecting my invisible seaming technique while working on this peach bolero. I thought I was one of those knitters who didn't like "finishing". But I am found myself actually looking forward to snatching some time to put together the panels into the sleeves, then the raglan sleeves onto the back. It is relaxing and enjoyable to run the smooth chibi in and out joining the hand knit edges to the machine knit edges, which don't really look any different from one another....only the fronts left to seam..

Well, not exactly, there will still be hand knit cable hem to attach..and the button band and neckline...I still haven't decided on them, plain or cabled? hand or machine?deconstructedpeach

electric blanket warning, Will Robinson!

Here is my sad tale (freak-out, but then everything turned out sorta ok, but not really) tale of woe of the last few days, so that you may learn from it..

First, let me confess, I am bad about not backing up regularly. (ok, truth is, I haven't backed up since, oh, about august)

Anyway, like the rest of the country, we have been through a temporary, but very severe cold snap. Severe enough that the cabin temperature for a few mornings was not above 45.

One of these evenings, I was climbing into my bed, which I was pre warming with an electric blanket. (I don't sleep with it turned on, afraid of emw, but use it to warm up the bed in my frigid room before I climb in)and suddenly remembered that I had not answered a customers email inquiry about spindolyn shipping options.

I got back out of bed and grabbed my laptop and booted up, after a couple of minutes, the laptop died and would not boot up. I will not go into the gory details of the fruitless boot loops, the tears, the research, the reinstall attempts, the self recrimination, etc, etc, but will cut to the chase. 

All evidence points to the likely possiblity that the electric blanket fried the bottom ram chip. After removing it, I am up and running, but limping along at half ram. I have spent a few days (and precious lost knitting time)reorganizing data, hooking up and reformatting my old dinosaur computer as a back up and learning the ins and out of syncing software., poor me, half ram is soooo slow, but I have to keep telling myself, could be worse!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

rustica-cata sock

I am a dog person, so cat lives here only because I try to be compassionate and fair minded towards all creatures. She does have an uncanny knack for being right where I planned on being next....she lays on the computer desk, my spot on the couch (note Southern Exposure Seed Catalogue, one of my identifying placemarkers this time of year) and even on the needle beds of the knitting (gasp!) machines. 2008 01 Jan 009I have found that aggravating her is the most entertaining way of removing her from where I want to place my derriere next and "draping" something upon her person is a good cat aggravating technique. Here we find exhibit "A" one sock of the rustica pair, in need of washing to settle the color repeat and soften the stiff romney wool.

I might be using cat as a sidetrack from the real issue. The chart on the sock did not turn out like I wanted..the tree rides right up into the chickens butt, and the chickens beak is snorting the evergreen. Back to the charting board.