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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bodley's Cardigan: into uncharted territory

First, I must gripe.  The new iOS lets you 'multitask' by shifting among open applications (but, sadly, does not let you actually close any without shutting the iPad all the way down, but that's another story).  However, the Blogger app seems to have missed the memo and I just lost a whole post while I was looking for something online.  I'll attempt to recreate now, but it's past my bedtime so I don't promise I'll be witty.

Beyond the Charts

I finished the charts last night just before switching over from Once Upon a Time to the baseball game (Go Red Sox!).  I've got a bit over 7 inches now--just 8.5 to go, in pattern, until the arm-hole decreases!  It might take a while.  I'm about halfway through my second skein and I need to get to the middle of the fourth skein by the end of October.  You may commence prayer, candle lighting (just not near the wool, please), smudging to cleanse evil spirits, whatever you think might help get me there.  I shall do my part by knitting.  I may have overstepped myself attempting to do this sweater while, you know, living my life.  And knitting a Phoenix (socks! They helped the Red Sox win, I swear!) and I also spun for a class, but I think it might be my only. I'm quite swamped.  NEWT first, other stuff later.  Prioritites.  I must get my first wand.

Anyway, progress:

The ribbing is a bit looser than I'd like, and it's a little hard to see the 'stained glass windows' pattern...

but it's coming out well enough and it will certainly be the warmest sweater I've ever knit.  It's very tight--I'm on size 2 needles! and I think it'll be a little less stiff once I wash it.  When I washed the swatch, dirt came out in amazingly larger proportions than when I washed the skeins, and everything softened up a lot.  And got tighter.  But softer.

Keeping the brain occupied

So, I spend a lot of time watching TV -- mostly Netflix except for the odd foray into ABC-land for Once Upon a Time.  I've watched several whole series since I started this project: Beauty and the Beast from the late 1980s (I learned 2 things: George RR Martin hasn't changed much in 25 years, and Ron Perlman must have been Benedict Cumberbatch's smoldering professor); Alphas, Continuum, and I've just begun Arrow.  

But there are other things to do while you knit or spin! I've been listening to audio books--I just went through all the Circle of Magic books by Tamora Pierce, a re-listen for me--and I'm currently listening to The Alchemyst which is happily also a Fantasia workshop this term.  And I'm also reading.  According to Elizabeth Zimmermann, knitting master and creator of the February Lady Surprise Jacket among other awesome patterns, 

Some may gasp and stretch their eyes, but knitting and reading at the same time is just a matter of practice.  Of course you must love knitting and you must enjoy reading; if you don't love them equally, one at a time is sufficient.

--Elizabeth Zimmermann, The Knitter's Almanac, April (found at location 835 of my Kindle edition... I can probably reference a page at a later time).

So, reading and knitting.  This week the final ETA: sorry, penultimate book of the Heroes of Olympus: House of Hades by Rick Riordan was released.  Having required 3 years to mostly exise the unpleasant narration of the first book from my head (splutter splutter don't pronounce "Hera" like SheRa! splutter splutter), I simply refuse to listen to these, so reading it is! On my iPad, I can access my Kindle app, and it stands up on its little standy thing, and a page turn is just a matter of a quick swipe, and I can make the text large enough that I can sit back in my chair and knit and read and knit and read.  I mostly knit for a bit, then finish the page, turn it, and knit more... I'm not so much doing them at the same time as alternating them.  Still, I'm getting through this book... Annabeth and Percy are in dire straits, and of course Hazel and Jason are too... I'm going to guess it all gets resolved somehow by the end of the book since this is the last one, but Riordan can be tricky, so we'll see.

Okay, bed now.  Have a lovely night!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bodley's Cardigan: Casting on at Last

There really wasn't much to say last month.  I spun, I plied, I got covered in bits of hay and dust, my poor wheel needs a good cleaning, and I finally got most of the grit and fluff out of my hand cards after washing them twice.

But finally! Lo! and behold! I have Spun All The Yarn!

Seven skeins of... varying length.  The shortest is 172 yards and the longest 246, with most of them averaging 200-220 yards.  Well.  Here's a screen shot of my Ravelry handspun project page (new to Rav: handspun as a project! and fiber as a stash option! I think it's still in beta but I've been using it since Tour de Fleece and it is quite lovely!)

As you can see I have named all the skeins for my dear Rav friends or their Merry Beasts (I thought Foxy and Ember would like their own skeins even better than their Persons would) and if I run out of yarn and have to do one more, another dormmate will get her own skein.

The grand total if I did my Mathings right is 1,520 yards, which was enough to declare I'd reached All The Yarn for NEWT 50% points purposes.  

I then proceeded to cast on... with the wrong size needles, bless me.  I knit 4 rows with size US 4 needles before realizing my mistake and switching to the 2s.  I'm just *not* ripping this stuff back.  It's very clingy and I'm afraid it wouldn't do well coming out.

what I have is currently right around 45" long (perfect: it's supposed to be 44.5" and it will tighten with washing if my swatch is any indication), 314 stitches, takes about 20 minutes to do a row.  I'm just adoring the Broken Rib stitch at the beginning and end of the rows.  I shall hereby admit that I'm afraid this yarn has too much halo to do DovieJay's stitch definition justice.  But we shall see... and if nothing else, this will be the warmest sweater I've ever owned.  And since it'll be one more winter without heat in my office (they'll be putting in a new furnace next summer while the preschool is on hiatus, but this winter we'll be keeping the space heater running!) I'll be glad to have this finished.

There's not much to see, really, but let's give the iPad camera a try, shall we?