Knit Bob Purl :: Probably more knitting. Probably less penguins.

Knit Bob Purl

May 11th, 2008

My enthusiasm for knitting dropped considerably over the last few weeks. Somewhat in line with my mood – I just wanted to “get through it” (both the trip to London and the socks) as opposed to being excited by what I was doing. I am extremely happy to say that I finished my Slippin’ Stripin’ Socks yesterday. I immediately cast on the Round 4 socks – Something’s Shady, and the joy is back.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like the pattern – it is the first time I have really played with colour in my knitting which has been fun – but I think I tied the bad feeling and lack of oomph that I am experiencing generally into these socks.

It also didn’t help that I didn’t swatch before casting on. I did what I normally do which is just knit them with US#2 needles. Although they just about fit me, they are way too small for the person I had in mind for this pair. Next time I would do them with #3′s or even #4′s. I may even swatch!

I haven’t knit any more of the Laminaria either. I took it to London to show it off, but it is still teeny tiny small. I promised myself that I would only knit it between Sock Madness rounds. As I am so far behind now, there is no time between rounds to get any more done on it. I would really like to have it complete by my birthday, but I doubt that will happen now.

The Something’s Shady socks are just the kind of challenge at the moment. I am getting to practice reading a chart and cabling without a cable needle both of which I have little to no experience with. I am using Grumperina’s excellent tutorial for the cabling and it is all going well so far. I really must print out the pattern though, as constantly reading it off the computer screen is making my eyes screwy.

My MRI is tomorrow morning which means that tonight I will have the joy of taking out all of my piercings. I only have nine pieces in at the moment which is a lot less hassle than the nineteen I used to wear. I might go to Body Manipulations afterwards and treat myself to something new (and get them to put everything back in for me!).

Bumblebees

April 15th, 2008

I am making very slow progress on the round 3 socks – Slippin’ Stripin’ Socks. Partly because I am somewhat unmotivated, but also that I have a lot of other stuff going on. Not least that we are all going to London for Pesach on Thursday.

There needs to be packing. There needs to be more physical therapy. There needs to be purchasing of various medications/clothing/general shit. There also needs to be a lot of downtime for bobs – I get the feeling that the travelling is going to take it out of me somewhat and I need to make sure that I am in the best possible condition to do that. I have a TENS machine on it’s way which should really help on the flight.

Sock Madness Round 3 socks

Here is a (crap) photo of my progress so far. I am loving the pattern as it is so much more about the colour than the stitches. I think it would work equally (but differently) well with very low contrast colours – say two shades of the same colour. It would also be nice to try this as a rainbow of slowly shifting stripes. Oooh the possibilities! And I am not even particularly confident with colour. Unless it is black.

This is also the first round in the competition where I didn’t start both socks at the same time. I was planning to cast on the next one when I get to the heel flap of the first, but I think this was the wrong decision. Two at a time just seems to go faster, and there is no “second sock syndrome” to contend with. I am hoping to get a whole load more knitting done on these on the flight. But then there is also my father-in-law’s scarf that I was hoping to give him on this trip and the wonderful beautiful laminaria that has been neglected.

I should really pull the stops out and finish the scarf for Alan (my father-in-law) as it is so almost done. (No photos yet as he doesn’t know what he is getting, so I can’t put it up on flickr). I will talk about it when it is done and there are pictures.

The laminaria continues to taunt me. But I refuse to start working on it and get heavily involved while there are SockMadness socks on the needles. My prize for sock madness will be the group photo of all seven pairs snuggled up together. I wasn’t in it to win anything, I just wanted the experience, the motivation and to be part of something special. I feel bad that I have been much less active in the forum on Ravelry since I was knocked out. But a lot of that is due to having other things on my mind. I really want to get back to cheerleading – especially people in my division Maryland Merino Madness. Knit Maryland Knit!

I am going to cast on the second sock in between small bouts of packing and laundry. I have all of tomorrow and Thursday morning too, so I (hopefully) won’t over exert myself.

Finished!

April 10th, 2008

Finished Reversai socks

I finished my Reversai socks today. And even wove the ends in. The next round starts tonight, and although I am sad to be out of the competition, I am really glad to be able to knit these at my own pace and *enjoy* them. In a way that I wouldn’t be able to if I had the anxiety and adrenaline of competing.

The Round 3 socks are knit from two strands of laceweight yarn held together. I bought the recommended Tess Designer Yarn in black and yellow with the idea of making strong contrast bumblebee socks. The other great thing about the Tess yarn is that it is superwash, so I can throw it in the machine.

But… I have started the Laminaria for which I bought the Malabrigo Laceweight in shocking pink. And the idea about the shawl is that I will wear it for the embrace-the-pink party that I am planning on having for my 30th. So having a matching pair of socks (and hair, obviously) would be great. So I’m stuck. Do I make the bumblebee socks as originally planned, or do I make a pair of handwash only (eugh) socks?

I wanted to write a knitting blog. But real life keeps getting in the way

April 6th, 2008

I am a participant in this year’s sock madness competition. It rocks. So fucking hard. The excitement of the build up to a pattern release is electric. The discussion about what the construction of each teaser shot is, which techniques will be in the next sock, what people are doing to prepare, etc. is fun and engaging. I am loving it.

I finished the Round 1 Zombies in four days – a personal record. The pattern was really fun to work. Having to intentionally drop a stitch was a little scary at first, but watching it go ping ping ping to make the ladder was really satisfying. I had only knit one cuff down sock before (that’s right – not a pair) and I did it on DPNs. So doing it on two circs was a first for me. Not difficult, just different to what I am used to. I was excited and motivated and was able to power on through the pair. I think they look great.

Finished Zombies

Round 2 however, is a different story. I had all the same excited build up. I looked forward to the pattern release. I was tickled by the organiser’s April Fools joke of sending the pattern out a day early. And then things just started to fuck up.

First, on Monday night, my car was broken into. Nothing was stolen, but it took a day to recover and both deal with the practicalities and the emotional stress. (I have decided to take the car in for a service and get the glass changed at the same time as the people who were going to fix the glass just couldn’t get their act together). I couldn’t really knit. I was just feeling crappy and unable to focus. I have always felt really safe here and having my window smashed in whilst the car was parked right outside the front door was a big jolt to that safe secure bubble I had imagined. I wanted to loose myself in the macro-ness of “knit purl knit purl” but it wasn’t happening.

On Wednesday morning I had an appointment with the spine clinic at UCSF. It was a very long appointment where I was x-rayed and had my (lower body) physical limits tested by a nurse. I took my knitting with me which helped while away some of the waiting time. Apparently I am not very agile or flexible – I had always thought that everyone was like this. After reviewing my physical abilities and x-rays, the doctor came in to chat with me. Turns out I have fractured my spine. A long time ago. Like when I was twelve or thereabouts. They have given me some drugs (which don’t appear to be working so far) and sent me to physical therapy and are going to do an MRI to determine what the next course of action should be. Which may be an operation. On my spine. I am freaking out somewhat about this. It makes me feel sick in the squicky way.

All of which has kept me from the real, serious matter in hand which is sock knitting. And as of yesterday afternoon, I am out of the competition. All twenty places in my division have been taken. I am about three quarters of the way through. I need to do another half a pattern repeat on both feet and then decrease for the toes.

progress on Reversai - Sock Madness Round 2

I also started Laminaria last weekend. I will write more about it later. For the moment I will just say that I completely love it. Passionately. When I will ever wear a pink lace shawl I don’t know. But I had to knit it. I just couldn’t help myself. Here it is so far.

Laminaria

Hey! This is me.

April 1st, 2008

Starting to write is always difficult, so I am just going to begin here and see where it takes me. I am hoping to use this space to record the progress I am making on my knitting adventure. It is such fun. I have been secretly wanting to have something I can look back on and a place where I can keep more detailed notes of my projects and progress. I am a bit shy – particularly online – so this is all a little scary. But I am thinking of this as more of a personal record and not a part of the (eek!) blogosphere.

I was first taught to knit by Auntie Vi when I was maybe 6 or 7. I never took to it. She would bring round these lovely patterns for knitted dolls clothes, I think in an effort to inspire me, but it just didn’t click. For me, dolls clothes were only there to be taken off. Later, Mrs Hyams (my Infant 3 teacher) taught me again. And again I wasn’t particularly interested. But for some reason I just got it last summer.

I became interested slowly. We moved to San Francisco where it turned out that most of my friends, both old and new, were crafty types. Or aspiring crafters. And I wanted something else to do parallel to mummying. Something where I could express myself and feel like I was achieving something aside from teaching my one-year-old calculus. I think the turning point was sitting with two knitty (and otherly crafty) friends of mine. I explained that I couldn’t knit and one of them looked at me and said “but you want to learn, don’t you?”. It has been a cascading journey ever since.

Now, eight months later, I am in a sock knitting competition and am knitting my first lace shawl. I have only worked on the shawl for a few hours, but I get the feeling that there will be a lot more lace knitting in my future. The sock competition (Sock Madness) is my main inspiration for this blog. The group is warm and welcoming and the camaraderie is amazing. I have really enjoyed reading about the progress of my fellow competitors in their blogs and flickr photos. And the Ravelry group is second to none. All of which bugged me for a while to create my own space to write about this stuff too. I want to give back to and be more part of this wonderful community. So here is my blog. Welcome!

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