Blog Archives

WIP Wednesday: Olympic Edition

I admit it: I’m a total Olympics junkie. I’ve been glued to the TV since the opening ceremonies, and I’ll probably be there until the closing ceremonies. This isn’t too good for the other things I need to accomplish in life, but it’s great for my knitting!

Ravelry has an event called the Ravellenic Games (formerly known as the Ravelympics until the USOC informed them that they had trademarked the -ympics suffix; I’m going to go trademark -ing and -es, so I should be set for life). I hadn’t planned to participate originally, since my summer schedule is so crazy. But then I got the bug, so I starting looking around for a project that I could cast-on and complete in the two-week Olympic period. I gave serious consideration (and massive swatching) for a cabled vest in some heavy-weight (i.e., quick-knitting) yarn, but then my Olympic fever came up against my other illness: Finishitis.

I have so many projects around the house, in varying stages of completion, that my husband mutters under his breath about “decorating with yarn.” (Really, isn’t that a brilliant idea?!) But fall weather is coming, bringing along a whole bunch of other projects I want to knit, and so I’ve been getting a bit anxious about all the unfinished projects that are still lurking about here. Hence, a bad case of Finishitis. It’s a Good Thing, though: In the past two weeks, I’ve finished up both my Linen Stitch Scarf and the Pinkerton Shawl (pictures to follow, as soon as I have time to photograph them properly).

Solemate socksBut back to the Ravellenic Games: When I was talking with my friend Carla about them, she said she was considering entering the “Sock Put” (an event name that made us both giggle). So when they lit the torch on Friday night, I picked up my Lorna’s Laces Solemate socks and got to work. Since I’ve been making this pattern up as I’ve gone along, much ripping and re-knitting has ensued. But I’m more than halfway up the leg now (working from the toe-up) so I’m hoping to bind off tonight or tomorrow. The second sock shouldn’t involve nearly so much frogging, so I’m hoping that one will go faster!

In the off chance that I get the socks done before the end of the games, I’ve got a PolarKnit hat that I need to finish, and the Scalloped Lace Toddler Cardigan is still lacking arms.

Are you working on a project for the Olympics? Or the Ravellenic Games? I’d love to hear about it!

Advertisements

Thrashing About

In the computer world, the term “thrashing” is used when a computer is swapping information in and out of memory so much that it can’t make progress on the task at hand. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of knitting on a lot of projects but not finishing anything, so it feels like all I’ve been doing is thrashing.

I’m making progress on the Pinkerton Shawl. It’s a good tv-watching knit. (My husband and I finally got around to checking out the PBS series “Sherlock,” and we’re totally hooked. Gotta track down season 1 on DVD now.) Each row is shorter than the last, so (in theory at least, even though it doesn’t feel that way!) the pace is picking up.

I added the other side of the buttonband to the Scalloped Lace Toddler Sweater… and it was too long. I picked up exactly the same number of stitches as I did on the buttonhole side, but it looks longer. Pondering whether I need to frog it and pick up fewer stitches (and if so, should I redo the buttonhole side, which seems fine?), or do I try to block it out? Nothing is ever easy, especially where my knitting is concerned…

I even pulled out my Linen Stitch scarf the other day, which I haven’t touched in months. I had a lovely knitting playdate with a friend (our kids played, she and I sat and gabbed and knit; bliss!) last week. She was working on a lovely linen stitch scarf using multiple strands of lace weight cotton yarn. It’s worked lengthwise, and you swap one strand of yarn out at a time, so it slowly transitions from one color to the next. Inspired by her scarf, I pulled out my own linen stitch scarf. I had about 12g of yarn left, and each round uses about 1g of yarn, so I only had about 10 more rounds to go before I could bind off. But man, these rounds are slow. The ball of yarn doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller, and if it wasn’t for my yarn scale slowly counting down the grams, I’d feel like I was stuck in an endless loop, knitting the same row, over and over and over.

I do feel a strange compulsion to finish something (or several somethings!) right now, so I think a case of Finishitis might be in the works. With any luck, I’ll have at lesat one finished object soon!

Making Lemonade

A freak storm rolled through our area late Friday night. Gusts up to 70mph brought down trees and branches all over the place. We were lucky not to sustain any damage to our house or vehicles, but it did knock out our power. We had previously planned to take a day trip to the beach with friends on Saturday, and we briefly considered canceling. And then we thought about spending one of the hottest days of the year in a house without air conditioning and with two bound-to-be-cranky kids. Um, beach it was!

We had a fabulous day. We joined three other families with children in ages close to my kids, so the kids frolicked on the beach and the parents hung out and gabbed and were generally happy that we weren’t at home. The weather was extremely hot (near 100°F), but the water was refreshingly cool, and there was a steady breeze near the water.

Pinkerton at the beach

I’d grabbed my Pinkerton Shawl on my way out the door and managed to knit a few rows in the car and on the beach. It still doesn’t seem like I’m making much progress (except for the spot where I screwed up the garter stitch edge and once again had to drop about 10 rows to fix it, urg!), but the short-row section appears to be getting a bit wider, so there is hope that I will finish it someday.

We checked in throughout the day with other friends and neighbors, but by the time we’d planned to leave, it was clear that our house was not likely to have the power restored for at least another day. So we employed the magic of the smart phone and after several calls, were able to find a hotel with rooms still available for that night. (As the commercial goes: Hotel room… $200. Not having to listen to your kids complain all night… priceless!) On our way out the door that morning, we had packed a couple of overnight bags with pajamas, toiletries, and another change of clothes, just in case. One of our better decisions, I think!

We spent another day at the beach on Sunday, with the other family who was also still without power and had decided to stay over as well. The kids were thrilled to have a “bonus day” to hang out together at the beach. And my husband and I were quite happy not to have to go home and deal with no electricity or AC. (We were also rather pleased to discover that our new cooler lived up to its advertised promise of keeping ice frozen at 90°F temperatures!)

We got home late Sunday night, about an hour after the power came back on. Because we’d been away all weekend and hadn’t opened the fridge, our food hadn’t even spoiled. Our impromptu vacation turned out to be a great idea all around!

The heat wave is continuing here, and there are still portions of our county who are projected to be without power until the weekend, so we’re doing what we can to help them out. I know a lot of folks are also without power in southern New Jersey, as a result of severe storms there, too. Plus I’ve got friends who are dodging wildfires out in Colorado. So wherever you are, I hope you’re safe and sound!!

Beer at the Finish Line

I must admit that not much KIP happened for me on WWKIP Day. We rode 12+ miles on the hottest day of the year (so far). And although the scenery was awesome and the ride itself was great fun, I was totally beat by the time we made it to the finish line. Where, mercifully, they had—in addition to more of the cold water and gatorade we’d enjoyed at the rest stop—a couple of kegs of ice-cold, locally-brewed beer. Nothing has ever tasted so good. (Okay, it might have been tied with the store-brand Oreos they had at the rest stop!) We found a shady spot, collapsed in a heap, ate a few hot dogs and hamburgers to go with our beer (the kids got more water, since I was the hydration police), and tried not to think about the fact that we were going to have to get back on our bikes to return to the parking lot. My kids were real troopers, though. My son did his fair share of complaining, but he hung in there until the end (and being a kid, had a lot more energy on the home stretch than I did!), and the little one proclaimed, “I wuv bike wides!” (of course, she didn’t have to do much work, since she’s still in a seat on the back of Daddy’s bike).

I was too tired to even dig out the little WIP bag that I’d stuck in my bicycle basket before setting off, nestled beside extra bottles of sunscreen and water and spare tire inner tubes. At the last minute, I pulled out the sock I’d originally planned to bring and stuck in the Pinkerton Shawl that I’d started a year ago in some lovely Malabrigo sock yarn in Indiecita (which is one of those really awesome variegated colors that I pick up over and over, because it never looks the same, but it always looks gorgeous). I’ve cast on for this four times now. The first couple of times, I wasn’t happy with the needles or the fabric I was getting. Then my little one yanked the needles out, and it was easier just to start over. It’s a stockinette-based pattern, so part of my restartitis was trying to find a way to combat the curl a bit. I finally settled on working the first few rows and the last three stitches on the stockinette side in garter stitch.

This shawl begins with the longest side, and I think that’s part of why it’s been languishing in my WIP basket for so long. Most of the shawls I’ve done have you start in the top center and work down to the bottom hem. The rows get longer as you go along, but it’s so much fun to watch the lace pattern develop that I’m motivated to keep going. But a shawl that starts out on the long edge, in stockinette? Um, not so much. I told myself it was a great traveling project, but that just meant I had a good excuse to leave it in my knitting bag when I wasn’t actually traveling anywhere. As a result, my progress with this project has been pretty infinitesimal, which is a shame, because I think it’s a great combination of yarn and pattern. I did finally get around to adding a few more rows in the car on the way home and again today, as the kids and I celebrated the first official day of summer vacation by hanging out in the backyard by the kiddie pool and the sprinkler.

So I’m thinking that maybe some projects, like long, hot bike rides, need a cold beer at the finish line (or the next entrancing project) to keep me motivated. How about you?