Monday, April 22, 2013

The House Cup!

Well, it's Day One of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, and the fine lady behind Eskimimimakes who has kindly organized the whole thing has also provided prompts for everyone this week. Today's prompt, The House Cup, has asked us to identify which of four houses (a la Harry Potter) we expect we'd be sorted into.

The four houses are Bee, Manatee, Monkey, and Peacock whose descriptions you can find here. Once I had a good think about it, I decided that the Sorting Hat would place me with the Monkeys, as the most important requirement of any project I undertake is that it has to challenge me. I also think that I'm intelligent and fun-loving, but that's kind of a tacky thing to admit about oneself. Anyway, yes, I like to be challenged in my knitting and I like unusual construction and learning new skills.

Just looking at my sock knitting projects, it's pretty clear that I have to have an interesting pattern. Even when I've knit a stockinette sock, the technique was a challenge (Anne Berk's intarsia in the round). There are multiple examples of lace knitting in my sock projects, most of which I think look more challenging than they actually were. I've also done plenty of cabled socks, including Bex, which I've done twice. (I can't even say how many green u-cable needles I've lost over the years - since they only come in a set of three sizes, I must have a gross of the pink ones and white ones scattered throughout the house!) I think the challenge factor gets upped on all these projects because I always knit my socks two at a time. It's not always the easiest way to do it, but I'm pretty sure that I'd be one of those people who suffer from Second Sock Syndrome, were I ever to let myself do one sock at a time.

So, there it is: I'm a Monkey. I think if we were talking about Hogwarts, this Monkey would end up in Ravenclaw House, mostly for the degree of difficulty of the projects I take on. I suspect that Manatees would end up in Hufflepuff House, since they're so easygoing and gentle. Peacocks, I think, would likely be Slytherins, not because they're evil, but because I would expect that cunning Slytherins would value the embellishments and sparkle that characterize the Peacock. I guess that leaves Gryffindor for the Bees, but I would say that Monkeys could be in that house too, since lace knitting without a lifeline requires a degree of bravery that I don't think Bees have.

Anyway, that's it for Day One. For Day Two, I'll see which of my projects is most appropriate as a Mascot Project. Until then, Friends!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


See that picture there? The one that looks like a nearly finished shawl? That's a picture of frustration. Of the heartbreak felt by the optimistic knitter. The one who read that bit in the pattern where the designer said she nearly ran out of yarn. The one who thought that a 100% cashmere yarn would have more yardage in its 55 gram skein than a 55/45 silk/cashmere blend.

The one who was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I'm three 300-stitch rows & a bind off short of a shawl. And I only have about 5 yards of yarn left. And another skein of this yarn will run me $47 + shipping. I am stuck but good.

What's most frustrating is that this project started out so well! Those first few charts just flew by! I mean, it's been a mere two weeks, and I could have had this thing finished, soaked and blocking by now. And it's such lovely, soft cashmere. That isn't yet a pretty lace shawl.

I'm going to have to set this aside for a minute, and think about what I want to do. I could rip back a bit and bind off where it might make sense. I could message a few people on the Rav to see if they're willing to let go of a few yards of their yarn. Or I could buy a whole 'nother skein. I can't think about this right now. I'm going to go start something else. I don't know what that will be, but I hope it's one I have enough yarn for.

Until next time, Friends.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Zipping right along

My Amaya sweater is really moving fast, mostly because it's stockinette stitch on size 8 needles, with minimal shaping. It's been a fast knit, so much so that I've already finished the front and the back. Why, as recently as Tuesday, I was halfway through the front and even though I left it at the office overnight Wednesday, I was able to complete the neck and shoulders last night. I'm saving the seams for Sunday, since that will be my next day off, and once that job's finished, I'll be able to finish the collar. After it gets a wash and a dry, I'll have a nice, new, Spring sweater - just in time for the comfortable weather we're finally starting to see.

Since I didn't have anything else on the needles Wednesday evening, in my desolation I decided (with a little prodding from a friend on the Facebook) to cast on Kirsten Kapur's Portico shawl. Mostly I chose it because it called for a mere 400 yards of laceweight that I could knit on size 6 needles from a skein of Jade Sapphire cashmere that's been in my stash since the Knit Nook closed. Decision made, I whipped through the first set of instructions before I went to bed.

The yarn I'm using is 100% cashmere, completely soft and very fuzzy, but different from the 55/45 silk/cashmere that the pattern calls for. I expect that my shawl will end up with a lovely halo, but without the nice smoothness and drape that the silk blend yarn will give. If I can finish it fairly quickly, I think it will be a light, airy layer to wear on the chilly mornings and evenings we'll have for a few more weeks. Otherwise, I'll likely have to wait until fall to wear it.

Well, that's all I have for tonight. Until next time, Friends.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I rode my bike (almost) to Indiana

I've been knitting up a storm on my Amaya sweater, which I'll tell you about another day. Today's post is just photos of my first bike ride of the spring, which took me to the Big Four Bridge, our new pedestrian bridge over the Ohio River. As of now, it stops in midair just above the Indiana river bank (there's a guardrail to keep people from falling of the end), but there are rumors that the ramp into the Hoosier State will be completed in June. I've been itching for a good day to go for a ride, and since I got some fancy new bike shoes & pedals this weekend, I thought this afternoon was my opportunity. I hope you enjoy the photos!

The view to northwest from the top of the ramp.

The entrance to the bridge. Can bridges have entrances?

A little of the history of the bridge.

I love these old truss bridges! That's the bike lane down the middle. It looks like train tracks!

This will eventually be a ramp that will allow me to ride safely into Jeffersonville. And its yarn shop about 3 blocks away.

Once the tree is in leaf, the residents of this house should get some of their privacy back.

Headed back to Kentucky.