Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Maybe pass GO now?

I am going to be done with clue #2 today.

I have five rows left to do to complete it.

This is a great feeling. Man it's been a long clue. (Duh, that's what happens when you have to knit it TWICE.)

I also remembered this morning that I cleaned the bathroom sink last Friday, which means I should probably start blocking some sweater pieces I have waiting for seaming.

The back piece is currently Soak-ing in the sink.

I'm so excited about finishing clue #2!

Is it completely delusional to think that I might even get clue #3 knocked out today? Y'know, so long as I don't end up having to knit it twice?

Monday, April 23, 2018

Do not pass GO

I've been participating in a MKAL for the past few weeks - White Light, by Jenny Faifel.

The first clue dropped on 2 April, and it was completely charming knitting, and I zoomed along with it without having to be weird about dedicated to knitting all the time, and finished it a day and a bit early. I got antsy while waiting for the second clue to drop, and started this:

Then clue #2 dropped on 11 April, and I was off and running, but...more slowly. Which confused me a bit. As fun as colourwork is, juggling two balls is a bit of a pain, and clue #2 had me cut the contrast colour and zip along with just the main. That should have sped me up a bit, since I was no longer futzing with yarn every two rows. And yet, when clue #3 dropped on 16 April, I still wasn't done with clue #2. I mentally shrugged and wrote it off as a consequence of end-of-term - that week was sort of extra busy with marking, and preparing final exams, and invigilating those exams, and then marking those exams, and all the associated paperwork chores of finishing off a semester. (There was an additional step this time, because somehow I messed up with some grade submissions, sigh.) Last Friday I was well and truly done for the rest of the month, so I let the incredibly satisfying feeling of being caught up with work wash over me, and then turned my attention to making that happen with this MKAL, hoping to at least be done with clue #2 before clue #4 went live.

I knit and knit and knit (punctuated by bits of household chores - much to my dismay, things do not clean themselves), and yesterday I was approaching the end of clue #2, which was great, since clue #4 dropped today, so I thought I'd be able to make it and be only one clue behind schedule. As I was working the latter portion of clue #2, I reflected on how long that particular bit of the project had felt. Part of it was likely due to me being behind, but it had seemed like rather a lot of knitting. A lot of knitting for one week, and these MKALs aren't usually set up to be a knit-so-fast-you-set-your-needles-on-fire sort of production. I wondered if the lack of colour changing had pulled a bit of mental trickery on me - maybe without the usual landmarks, it was harder to see progress? But the single coloured bit had finished with a stretch of an eyelet pattern, and that should have achieved the same sort of chunking effect that colour changes would.

I looked over at my remaining yarn, and really looked at it, and noticed something. My main colour was pretty severely depleted. I didn't bother getting up to weigh it - just kept knitting - but it looked to be smaller than my remaining contrast colour, and that was not good, because I'd already looked at clue #3, and I knew there was another stretch of main-colour-only coming. Finishing clue #2 should put me at about the halfway point, so I shouldn't have used more than half of my main by then.

I went back to the pattern clue to see if there was anything that needed to be done once I'd finished up the section I was one repeat away from being finished, and that's when I saw it. I'd misread an instruction.

This is what I had. See the stretch with the eyelets? I'd worked that repeat eight times.

The pattern instruction was to work it three times.

No wonder my main colour was looking a little light - I'd thrown an extra 40 rows in! Which, of course, meant that I would need to rip back to reclaim that yarn.

Out came the needle. Out came hours of stitches.

It's fixed now, and I'm trying to catch up again. Maybe I'll be able to get clue #2 finished today.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The right tool for the job

This most recent Sunday, my parents came over for dinner, and my mum said something that I no longer remember the exact wording on, but basically she was wanting to verify that I had a ball winder. I replied that yes, I did, and she said, Oh good, because I have a couple of skeins of yarn that need to be wound, and that would make it so much easier.

Yes, two 100 g skeins of fingering weight yarn is much easier to wind with a ball winder. I would know - I used to do it by hand, using an acrylic rod I found kicking around as a make-do nostepinne.

Now, you might think that perhaps I loaned my mother my ball winder, or that we made plans for her to come over with the yarn to do the winding. That would be wrong. See, when Mum was figuring on what the right tool for the job would be, she was figuring on her wind-happy daughter as part of the plan, and so she'd actually brought the yarn with her, with the intent of leaving it with me and retrieving two lovely wound cakes the next time she came over.

(To be perfectly honest - I will happily wind as much yarn as my mum needs me to! And I'm pretty sure she knows this, which is why her plan came together the way that it did. She is not one of those my-kids-owe-me-life-itself-and-will-therefore-do-whatever-I-want-them-to kind of mothers.)

She said there's no rush on this, but they've been staring at me for several days now, so I'm going to spend some quality time with them now.

(I was wrangling end-of-term and final exams last week and up until yesterday of this week. I should be able to be back here a bit more regularly now. Not that I have much to blog about - test prep and marking don't mesh well with knitting, sadly. Invigilating exams could, but I suspect it would be a poorly understood choice, so I've opted out of it.)

Friday, April 6, 2018

So much for that

I finished my sister's non-magical striping socks last night.

I should really step up my game with the pictures here. I took that last night once the ends were woven in, so it's terrible night time lighting on unmodeled socks. Yeesh. I took the picture in those terrible conditions because I thought my sister would take them home with her last night. She forgot, so I could totally grab them and do better right now, but that just seems like way too much effort.

I suspect the problem is that I'm not terribly pleased with how they came out. It's really the second one that's offending me - first it had the gall to not stripe the way the first one did on the leg, but I noticed that the leg of the second sort of matched the foot of the first, so that was sort of okay, but then the striping on the foot got even wider, and the sock was suddenly irredeemable in my eyes. I just wanted it done. At one point, when I noticed that the leg striping looked like the foot striping of the first sock, I wondered if perhaps the two skeins were from the same dye lot, but wound in different directions, so I'd get narrower stripes on the foot of the second to match the leg of the first, and I spent a few days swinging back and forth between liking that idea and wondering if it was truly bonkers to rip the second sock out to wind the yarn the other way so I could get closer-to-matching socks. A wait-and-see strategy actually saved me here.

Anyway. Those are done, I can move on. Which is great, because I've started this:

That is a hopefully not-too-spoilery shot of my progress on the latest SweaterFreak MKAL. The first clue went live on Sunday, and so far this one is not disappointing at all, though I did forget to twist my carried yarn with my working yarn two rows ago. I think it'll probably be fine, but there may be some tinking later today. All because I was so excited to get to another row with dropped stitches I just barreled along without thinking. I should find out pretty soon if I can live with the longer carry this one time. Well, this one time, until the next time I forget again.

We'll see if mistakes have corrective value for me.