Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Off to a good start

Well, mostly anyway. I've made a good deal of progress on my blue sweater project, about 4 inches of progress. I'm very excited about the progress I'm making and I love the feel of this yarn! I still have that niggling worry that it isn't The Right Sweater Pattern, but I really do like the pattern and I know I'll relax better once the sweater is all finished. I think I've just built up a crazy amount of anxiety about this sweater, for some reason, and feel some unreasonable need for perfection on this project. Ha! That isn't going to happen. I mean, it's a sweater. Lots of stitches and lots of room for "creative variation" on the project, right?

I've already dropped some stitches, these metal needles are really slippery with this yarn. I picked them up without any trouble, but I failed to count before replacing the stitch marker. I thought I knew where it went. It never even occurred to me to count. I was off by one stitch. The thing is, I can't remember now if I had already done the increases before I dropped the stitches or after I dropped the stitches. I figured it out after one row, I randomly decided I should count all the stitches and make sure I hadn't messed anything up. Good thing I checked, I was off. There was a moment when I thought I was off for the whole row, then I figured out it was just my stitch marker placement. That was easy enough, but then I began worrying about which came first, the dropped stitches or the marker move? I decided to just keep knitting and see how it looked after another row of increases. I've looked as carefully as I know how and I just can't see a problem. I'm worried there is a problem, of course, because, you know, that's more fun. Right? Uh-huh. I have convinced myself (99%) that if I can't see a goof, it either isn't there, or it doesn't matter. If I can't see it or find it, no one else will. Except maybe a master knitter. I don't know any master knitters. I'm probably safe. More importantly, I probably don't even have a problem with the stitches, just my head.

I'm not alone though, right? This is something some knitters struggle with all the time. It is the joy of the process, ripping is okay, and creative variations on a pattern are something to strive for. Right? I'm sure I'll stop twitching soon. I can barely remember what I have going on a daily basis, I'm sure by the time I finish the sweater I won't even remember what I did or where I did it. Maybe I'll do something even more interesting to wipe this from my memory altogether. Maybe I should just watch my caffeine intake a little more carefully...

The important thing is, I love how the yarn is feeling and looking (although it is still all splitty on the needles) and I am enjoying the pattern. I'm hoping I can keep up this rate of progress, overall, and then I'll finish it in time to wear it this year. It shouldn't take long, I just got stuck on it last year and don't want to do it again. I think this is where my anxiety is coming from on this one. I had big plans, got started and then stalled for a year. I want the sweater finished and on my back right now, so I'm stressing that I won't complete it again. I really need to go easier on myself. LOL

Friday, March 23, 2007

Mostly well again

Wow. That bug was rough! Sorry for the long absence, but the headaches got worse instead of better and for some reason, I couldn't focus on a darned thing while I had them. No knitting, no spinning, no "getting stuff done" around the house. I did manage to read a couple of books (Thief of Time and Night Watch) and work out my pattern selection for the blue yarn.

My youngest DD ended up getting an ear infection just as we were both feeling a bit more normal, which was a REALLY BAD THING. For everyone. I think this might have been our fourth ear thing in seven years, and because we really don't ever have them, I wasn't looking out for one. The poor baby was fine in the morning and crying constantly by the evening. We had a late night at the clinic (long lines) and barely made it to our pharmacy before they closed. Then we still had homework for the oldest to do and party invitations that had to be done. A very late and tiring night, which was too bad because the little one couldn't sleep well because of the pain and so I got about two hours sleep last Thursday night. Deeeeelightful. Made my headache all the more pleasant, you know?

Okay, sorry for whining, but it was a crummy week last week. This week has been all about catching up at work and getting back on track at home. I think I'm nearly there. I've got more student employee trauma at work, but I'll just hire more. Right? Still, I'm ready for a break in the library. A year and a half (or more) of barely contained chaos (in a library of all places!) is more than enough fun for me. Next week the students will be on a break and that will allow us a little time to recover and prepare for the next session. We are having some electrical work done during the week as well, to allow for more laptop use by students. (We have been woefully low on outlets for them to use.)

Knitting is finally up and running again. I have decided that I've talked myself into slow-motion knitting on the sock. I may spend the next 50 years on that darned sock. I could probably start and finish 200 other pairs of socks before I ever finish this one. I have no idea why this is, it just seems that I knit and knit and get nowhere fast. I will not give up, however I will work on something else. I was feeling a bit "slumpy" there for a while, not very eager to do anything new (not even buy new yarn!) and just uninterested in knitting. I was very concerned, then I got sick. I had all that time at home to knit and I absolutely couldn't do it. I didn't want to and I couldn't concentrate. I decided to cut myself some slack and do some reading and, ta-da! I came out the other side all ready to go on a new (sort-of) project.

Some of my sick time was spent piling through my patterns for just the right one for the blue Softwist yarn (American Blue). I'm still not convinced it is "the one", but I don't want to waste more time waiting for the perfect thing to come along. I don't think it ever will. (At least not until I've already knit it up into something else! LOL) I've decided on the Henley T Shirt from Knitting Pure & Simple. I have enough yarn, and it looks like it will fit loosly enough for me to be comfortable, but not huge and crazy big. Most other patterns I have are too fitted, and unless I can lose some more pounds, I'm not wearing fitted anything.

The yarn is splitty and snaggy and I'm not sure I'll like it much by the end of the project. On the other hand, it is soft and I love the way it drapes and I love, love, love the color, so I know I will wear it until it gets trashed. I thought the yarn was snagging on my bamboo circs, so I tried some metal needles. They snag it too, so it must just be the yarn. Still, I have way too much invested in this project (emotionally and time-wise) already, I'm not going to give it up. This sweater, much like the never-ending sock, are sort of "hump" projects I think. I can't move on, really, until they are done.

I'm still feeling pretty optimistic about my project list for the year. Just getting started with a new project has me pretty jazzed. I'm hoping it will go quickly, I could use the adrenaline rush. Or maybe just a serious caffeine habit. - HA!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Knitting & fever

Not to be confused with Knitting Fever, but knitting with a fever. Apparently I don't knit well while sick. I think it is the fever, I'm restless & want to do something, but once I'm trying to concentrate on a task, I just can't do it. Lame. My youngest got sick last Friday with a fever and congestion, my concern was that it was the 5-Day Fever virus (congestion, headaches, spiking fever for 5 days). Saturday, I was sick and confirmed the virus. Interesting thing with 4 year olds, even while running a 102 fever, they will still proclaim themselves to be "just fine" and "not sick". Even as they cough their blessed little heads off and struggle to breathe through their blocked sinuses, they are not sick. Really. Hmmm. If only the germs didn't spread anyway.

So, Now here I am home with the 4 year old, I guess she's on day 4 now, and I'm on day 3. I was feeling pretty cocky yesterday. I believe my exact words were: "This isn't so bad, I'm not really having the bad headaches and the fever has been pretty mild. If this is all it is, I"ll be fine and get some stuff done around the house." An hour later, the Virus Freight Train ran over me. Repeatedly. Headache - check. Fever that just won't go away - check. Congestion - check. Feeling pretty miserable - double check. That'll teach me to get all cocky about how I can handle the virus that is wiping out folks left and right up here. Really, why should I be different? Some nice hot TheraFlu got me off to a great start this morning, however, so right now I'm fine & wacked out on drugs. Better living through chemistry, that's what I'm talking about! I am glad, however, that my oldest and DH have not yet succumbed to this virus. I really hope they both manage to miss out on this opportunity. It hardly seems likely though, does it? Anyway, I'll live with the (probably misplaced) optimism that they are going to miss the virus.

Today is my oldest dd birthday, she is 7 years old today. I can hardly believe it. I also have to register my youngest for kindergarten today (if the drugs hold out, I'll get this done). I'm feeling pretty sad that I'm spending her birthday sick, but since we're not planning to do her birthday party until the 24th, I guess it is okay. I'm taking cupcakes to her school today and she is so excited, she could hardly sleep last night. She told me that when she woke up today her feet would grow (for her birthday). I have no idea where that came from, but okay. She is totally jazzed at being 7. This girl is a sweet, loving, thoughtful delight and we are so blessed to have her in our lives. Happy Birthday my Sweet Monkey!

Fiber news. Well, as I said above, I don't do well knitting while sick. I wonder if it is just me, or if this is true for others as well. It is a darned shame since I am losing some long hours of knitting time I normally don't have. Maybe as I lose the fever I will feel more like knitting. I keep trying, just in case. However, I did put my time to good use yesterday. I wound up some sock yarn and my youngest wanted to pose with it. The lighter pink yarn is Lisa Souza in Violet's Pink Ribbon colorway. The green yarn is Lisa Souza in Emerald City and the darker on is the Mountain Colors Barefoot in Obsidian that I bought a few weeks ago.

Here's another shot of the Mountain Barefoot. I'm having a hard time picking up the colors. Black, red and a bit of dark green.Well, later I might try some knitting, again and if that isn't working maybe some spinning. Mom's don't really get to rest and recover unless they are exceptionally ill (like when I had pneumonia last November). If I have to be up feeding and watering my youngest DD to keep her healthy, I might as well find something I can do so I don't feel like I'm wasting time being sick. Hmm. Why is it that I can't just be sick and take it easy? Ah well, there are quite a few books in my pile to read, that would be an excellent choice too. We'll see how it goes, eh?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Snow day & one project down

Last Wednesday it took me over 3 hours to make it home after work. This trip is usually (on a good day) between 40 minutes and 75 minutes long (Fridays always take longer). Fortunately for me, I had a big pile of podcasts on my Zune, and a full battery, so I was good to, um, sit. The reason? Well, we had a bit of snow.
The forecast said we had a pretty decent chance of snow on Thursday, but, well, we all know about weather forecasting, right? It started snowing some time in the afternoon, but I was unaware of it until I left work. There were a few scattered flakes in the downtown area, but no indication of what was waiting for me further north. When all was said and done, I made it home to about 4-5 inches of snow. I was just glad to make it home, past all of the folks who got stuck and ended up on the side of the road. Thursday morning looked like the picture and I think we had an easy 6+ inches of snow. The day was nice and sunny and warm, so the streets were clear by the evening, and the kids had a beautiful day in which to build a snowman army (scattered throughout the neighborhood). I got a day off. None of my coworkers live in an area that got snow, so it was just me. I love the weird wacky weather of Seattle!

I thought I'd get time for spinning and knitting. Um. No. It was a strange day off, & I was glad to have it, but I accomplished nothing & I can't really explain how that happened. Sad, really, but the kids had fun, DH worked from home and I think I spent my time feeding the 4 y.o. ALL DAY. (I have no idea where she puts it all!) The snow was pretty though.

This weekend I finally finished the Knucks!

I used the Rowan Felted Tweed in colorway 141 for these. I cannot tell you how delighted I am to have these little gems off of my needles! It isn't that they aren't a fun knit, because I really think they are, but this was the second pair in a row (in only slightly different colors) and I made some really stupid mistakes on this pair. I had the fingers all off, so I decided I'd just hem them up. That seems to have worked out, DH likes the way the edge looks much better with them turned under, and they are not too tight. So. He wore them to work today and practiced his flute with them last night. I'm just glad he likes them, he is wearing them and they are done.

My next project is... finishing the darned socks. (puns anyone?) No, really. I mean it this time. Well, I plan to finish the first sock and hope I'll be inspired enough to want to do the second sock as well. Once I switched to the two circ method, the sock went really quickly. I've just had to ignore it while I worked on gifts. Now that I'm done with gifts, well, anything that needed to be done now, I can take the time to work on things for me and, more importantly, things on my Stash List. So, I'll start up the socks and then make a decision about the sweater pattern for the blue Softwist yarn. If I manage to do this, I might just get the sweater done in time to wear it this year. Wow, what a concept. LOL