Monday, February 27, 2006

Day 17: What? It's over??? Oh. Right.

Now that all the insanity focussed knitting is over, I'm back to the mind numbing rhythmic knitting of the sleeves for the cabled cardi. The fronts, which are also being worked on, may take until the end of time. No pictures. Trust me, you aren't missing much at this point.

What to talk about? Hmm...

The sitcoms always do a clip show, but I don't know how that would work here... let's see...

Reader Comment Response Day!!

-Thanks to everyone who commented on the sweater. I like the look of it more than I thought I would while in the middle of it. Blocking after setting in the sleeves really smoothed out the line of the seam at the shoulders. The whole sweater is, well, big. I need to figure out some way to (you may want to sit down for this) shrink it a little bit. Even though I got gauge, it turned out quite a bit bigger than the finished measurements in the pattern.

Knitcatt asked: "How long have you been knitting?"
-I learned to knit when I was quite young. I don't really remember learning, but my mom and her mom both knit and I think it was through a combined effort on their part that I learned.
(Knitcatt is also from Calgary! Go look at her Branching Out. Very pretty!)

Agnes asked about the brand of the $@#%&*! sock yarn. It was Sisu Fantasy (I didn't get it from the seller that I linked to. I just couldn't find another picture with the label and info) The thing about this yarn is that I love the feel of it, and the colors are exactly me. It's just the $@#%&*! yarn had a knot and one ball seemed to be wound inside out.

Simone caught my reference (here) to not doing something stupid, i.e. like not showboating on the 2nd to last jump, i.e. like the snowboard cross rider in the women's final... (no nationalities named).

(Mostly I mention Simone's comment as a way to work in a link. Go look at her finished Olympic Knitting project. So pretty!!)

Knitcatt asked "Were you driving while knitting the sock or was there someone else with you who was driving??? I am not really sure how that would work to be driving and knitting...were you on the deerfoot at all??"
-Um... well... Yes. I was the driver. Yes. I was on the Deerfoot. BUT before anyone gets concerned and/or calls the cops, traffic was not moving. At all. I would knit until the car in front of me moved, then put it down until we had to stop again, then pick it up. I usually knit socks on a 12" Addi Turbo so it's not as dangerous for car knitting as it might be... I don't knit in the car often, but I always keep a sock or something small/portable with me so that I can work on it if I end up sitting in traffic for a long time.

Gillian/Ferg has commented often, but more than that, go read the post I linked to. What a brave knitter!! She describes how she altered a sweater using (you may want to sit down again) a SEWING MACHINE and SCISSORS!!!! Brave, brave knitter...

Well, that concludes this episode of Reader Comment Response Day. I will have knitting to show you soon. It might not be exciting, but I will have something.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Day 15: GOLD MEDAL!!!!

Canada has bettered its total medal count for the Winter Olympics by 7 medals!! YAY!!! The Canadian Olympic Committee predicted 25 medals, which we might have had if the men's Hockey Team would have showed up for the games. But let's not talk about that.

Let's talk about Women's Long Track Speed Skating!!! After the 5000 I was a bit concerned that Clara Hughes was going to pull a muscle in her face she was smiling so hard! Today was one of those days in the Olympics that I love. Close races. Cause to jump up and down cheering as the skaters come around on the final lap.

(Note: PUT DOWN KNITTING NEEDLES when watching close races. You will NOT be able to knit, and, you could seriously injure yourself. Seriously.)

Also, Cindy Klassen set a new record for total medals in a single Olympics.

AND (!!) 2 Silvers in Men's Short Track Speed Skating

I'm exhausted from the tension and the jumping up and down and the cheering.


As Brian Williams from CBC would say, this knitter wins this Gold Medal with snow on the seat of her pants (referring to the many figure skaters who fell but still medalled). It's done, but I'm not completely happy with it. Due to the gauge issues, there is some wonkiness in the set in sleeves. You can't really see it in the picture up there (of course. I showed you the sleeve that doesn't have as much wonkiness. You want to see it? Okay.)

One of the sleeve caps is almost, ugh, a puff sleeve. The sweater is currently enjoying a soak in the bath, as I am hoping that I will be able to ease out some of the crappyness issues.

It still counts though, right?

Now, where did I leave my notes on the cabled cardigan...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Day... um... What day is it? 14?? Is that right? Okay. Day 14 Update:

I watched Canadian Men's Curling's 12 year old Skip: Brad Gushue and his rink win Gold this evening (CBC replay) as I knit on my sock.

A couple of days ago I was knitting on this sock in my car during the drive to work, which took over 1 hour due to the fact that Calgarians seem to completely forget how to drive in snow when we haven't had any for a while. I came across a knot in my yarn, which was annoying, but, since I was in the car I decided I could live with it. The next round, the knot came apart.

Yes. Apart.

Considering I was in my car, I did what any obsessed resourceful knitter would do. I tied the knot again.
(Don't look at me like that. You don't know. You weren't there. You would do the same thing if you had no choice. I'm not proud, but I had to do it.)

You can see the knot here:

This $@#%&*! yarn has caused me more trouble than any sock yarn has a right to. I had to rewind one ball inside out in order to find a matching place in the striping repeats. Then the $@#%&*! yarn had a knot, and THEN the $@#%&*! yarn did this:

I don't know if you can see it. There is a whole 4 inch stretch where the yarn pretty much disintegrates. Awesome

"Lori, What is up with the sock? Don't you know the Olympics are still on? I mean it says 'Day 14 Update' somewhere up there in the really really long title for this post. Shouldn't you be working on the Olympic knitting?"

Why, thanks for asking. I have an Olympic Knitting update:
Pre-bath and blocking. I'm hoping that the crappy tension issues with the fair isle band will be worked out with blocking.

The body of the sweater was taking a bath while I was swearing trying to solve the problem with the sock yarn:

Blocking. I'm not too sure about the tension issues at this point. We'll see how I feel about it in the morning.

So, provided that I don't do something stupid to make me fall seconds from the finish line, I should be able to set in the sleeves and finish the neck tomorrow.

So close...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Day 12: The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of...

I can't even type the words. Sob

We were all very excited at work. One of the managers brought in a TV. We could watch The Game!

Our excitement was short lived. Much sadness ensued. Several non-PG words were shouted. (not all of them by me).

However... Watching replays and seeing the pictures of Chandra Crawford receiving her Gold for the Sprint in Cross Country Skiing (alternate name: Running with planks on your feet) is enough to put a grin on any face. With all the cocky winners, the "Yeah, I knew I had it all along" post-victory interviews, watching this skier beam from ear to ear, is refreshing.

There was also a really great Silver for the Canadian Women's Short Track Relay team! AND a Gold and Silver in Long Track speed skating!!

Hockey? What hockey?


I have divided for front and back and I'm knitting both sides of the v-neck at the same time.

(is that the most interesting knitting update you've ever read?)

Thanks for all the encouragement! I think I can do it. And, as we all know, "I think I can" will TOTALLY get this train to the top of the mountain. er. "I think I can" will TOTALLY get this sweater knit by Sunday. Is it really Wednesday already?

And ferg? Thanks for considering my brief side-trip as "having a life outside of knitting"!! That made me laugh for quite some time...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Day 11: Where has this Olympic Knit/Athlete been?

It's been quite a while since I posted! Oops.

As we all know, pictures and constant updates of straight stocking stitch in the round (in beige, no less) are probably the most exciting pictures that one can post on their blog, but, in an effort to prevent all the heart palpitations, I decided to wait until I got a little further on.

This is where I am at today. I had EXACTLY 59 rounds of the mis-matched dye-lot beige. I ended up doing more rounds of plain green than I had planned, but I will mirror that on the top of the fairisle band.

I'm also hoping that blocking will ease out the issues in the fair isle band. I thought I was doing okay, tension wise, but it's not overly pretty, as you can see:

So where was this Olympic Knitter for the past few days? Well, she was knitting for most of the time, but she also got to deliver the hockey skate baby booties. I went to my brother & sister-in-law's place Sunday. I haven't seen the boys since October so it was a lot of fun. They are HUGE (well, really they're not for their age, but when you see them when they are teeny and then not again for 4 months... well, you probably don't need me to explain that...)

Have you ever tried taking a clear picture of 2 six month olds? At the same time? When they are happy? And active? No? This is what it looks like:

(BTW: When we dressed them Monday morning all I could think about was the kids from The Royal Tenenbaums)

Finally I got this pic:

They were a hit with the parents and the boys kept trying to grab them, which I took as a sign of approval.

Gotta go. Rounds and rounds of straight stocking stitch are not going to knit themselves. crap

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Day 6: Back on Track

Have you ever daydreamed of a time when something would happen that would justify (to all those non-knitters who might not understand stash and the importance and necessity of having it) the amount of yarn and the amount of hand-knit items you have? That day might look something like this:

At the time I took this screenshot (from at 10:50pm) it was -29C. That's -20F. Yeah. Apparently the windchill isn't as bad right now, but at about 2pm it was -26C and the windchill made it about -40C. That's -40F. Yeah.

How happy was I that I had ALL THAT WOOL!!!! The thick and thin toque, the new mittens, the Clapotis, the green sweater, the blue stripey socks... Happy Wool Day. (wouldn't that be a great holiday? Wool Day? Oh... We could all get the day off work or chores or whatever takes us away from knitting and be waited on and be allowed to just knit... Admit it. You would lobby for it.)

The funniest part?

It should be +12 by Sunday. (It was +12 on Monday the 13th.)

Ah, Calgary. Crazy crazy Calgary.

I spent the whole day today avoiding any media stuff so that the coverage on CBC would all be "surprise". I hate watching sports when I already know what is going to happen. We (again, by "we" I mean Canada, and by "Canada" I mean those few elite athletes who actually have the discipline to practice their sports and make it to the Olympics) won 4 medals: 2 speed skating Silver, Bronze in Skeleton and Bronze in men's figure skating. Yay "us"!!!

And... (drum roll please. Cowbells if you must) Olympic Knitting is Back On Track!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Day 5: Olympic Knitting? What Olympic Knitting?

So, after the extremely long track knitting event yesterday (don't remind me) I took a day off from the crazy-making, profanity inducing math my Olympic knitting.

Instead, I knit these (pattern here from a post at Craftster by sunflowerfairy):
(of course I knit... you didn't think a day off from Olympic knitting meant a day without knitting!!! Come on!!!)
(pair 1 of 2)

In honor of the first day of Olympic Men's Hockey... well, not entirely. I've started at least 2 other of these skate-booties for my newest nephews, but I can't find one of them and the second one ended up huge. I'm hoping to go up to visit with them this weekend, if my company gives us Family Day off on Monday.

I have one more pair to make (twins!) and then I'll be back on track with the Olympic knitting. Hopefully.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Day 4: The 100,000m Long Track

Let's say you prepare for the 10,000m. You train, you do all your prep work, you're ready for the 10,000m. You get to the Oval and you start your race. "This race seems to be going on a lot longer than usual," you think as you skate round and round. Finally you look for your coach. "What's going on?" you shout as you go by. "Oh, didn't we tell you? It's the 100,000m now!"

My gauge is right. I cast on the number of stitches I need for the size I need. I was knitting and knitting and finally thought "This seems like a lot of stitches. Maybe I should measure."

The measurement around is supposed to be 38.5 inches. I have 47 inches. Yes. Forty Seven.

This is going to require some math. I don't want to do math. I think I'll sleep on it. Any suggestions? I'm knitting the medium size. I don't know if going down to the small size for the body will help (it's 26 stiches smaller. That's just over 4 inches. That will leave it still too big).

It's a good thing I have a sock to work on.

Day 4: The 10,000m Long Track

Today was Valentine's Day. (If you are reading this and you are surprised and suddenly worried by that news you should probably stop reading and go to the nearest 7-11 or comparable convenience store and pick up something for a significant other, or for yourself. I recommend chocolate.) Now, I'm not a big Valentine's person (shocking, I know, what with the cynicism and all...) but, while I'm not a fan, it doesn't bother me much. People assume that Valentine's Day bothers single women in their 30s but, frankly, it doesn't bother me at all.

In fact, I had a great day. I found all kinds of funny, crazy Valentine's stuff online (like the Gallery of Unfortunate Valentine's Cards at Cap'n Wacky), and I spent the day making the guys worry about the fact that they didn't do anything for their girlfriends. (If you imagined a slightly evil laugh when you read that, you wouldn't be too far off).

I stopped at Safeway on my way home and almost pulled a muscle trying not to laugh out loud. I looked around and as far as the eye could see there were desperate-eyed men trying to find a card, flowers, chocolate, anything... They were 3 deep at the card section, the chocolate displays were a madhouse and the line at the flower counter went around the store. The cashier and I were laughing out loud at the guy who went before me who had a stack of cards, chocolate and flowers but still looked panicked, as though maybe he didn't have enough.

My favorite moment though, the moment that made me laugh out loud literally, came when I walked past a man and his two small boys. The man told them that they had everything and were going to go. He asked if there was anything else and one of the boys shouted out "We have to go smell the coffee!!!" It warms the heart to know that someone is raising their kids right.

Olympic Report:
Having completed the sprint events (sleeves) we now begin the distance events here at the Knitting Olympics (well, here at the Knitting Olympics in my living room). There are rounds and rounds and rounds and rounds of stocking stitch to do before I get to the next color band. (Did I mention the rounds and rounds of stocking stitch?)

I decided to do the bottom of the body in the mismatched dyelot, then do a band in the middle with the green and then the colorwork, a matching band of green and then the yoke in the dyelot that matches the sleeves, since they will be joined to the yoke. I'm hoping it works.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Day 3 Update: Re-e-a-a-d-d-eee???....

The starter's voice at the long track Speed Skating always makes me laugh. It sounds like they are trying so hard not to freak anyone out. "Re-a-a-d-eeee???"

I now have not one, but 2 sleeves. Which is convenient, as this sweater will be for me and I have 2 arms!

it is possible that I am a little loopy from a day that saw me nearly blacking out when I was getting ready for work, a morning spent on the couch trying to stop the spinning (ah, sinus cold, my old friend. and you brought your buddy vertigo! great!!), an afternoon at work that started with one of my co-workers sniping at me and then when she was called on it by our supervisor she took it out on me even more (ah, junior high. i missed you, with your backstabbing and petty ways. welcome back), then a blinding headache and a pile of paperwork and it's cold.... sorry. the whining is over now.


I think my tension issues on the first fair isle band were due to the strangeness of the two handed technique. My right hand wanted to revert to the way I used to hold the yarn when I was an "English"/Throwing style knitter. I taught myself continental about a year and a half ago. Strangely, since I am right handed, it was harder to teach my right hand to hold the yarn for the 2 color fair isle technique than it was to teach my left hand to knit continental. I think that was because I had learned to crochet when I was little, and the way I hold my yarn is similar. My right hand had to unlearn the English style.

I'm pleased with the way the second band turned out (on the right):

Now the sleeves are having a bath and I'm hoping that some of the wonkiness (and the "rowing"/uneven tension at the sleeve caps from the switch from in the round to back and forth) will be evened out by blocking.

Now for the body. I have a plan to compensate for the mis-matched dye lots. I hope it works.

Knit On!!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Day 2 Update

Day 2 of the Olympics saw a Bronze Medal in Speed Skating (Women's 3000m) going to Canada.
(pointless name-dropping: Cindy Klassen goes to my church.)(I don't know her)(told you it was pointless)

Day 2 Knitting Update:
(although, if you count the Opening Ceremonies as Day 1, then this is Day 3)

One sleeve complete. I'm hoping that blocking improves the look of the fair isle, although from a distance it looks not too bad.

However, lest I get too excited for my speed on the first sleeve, I fear an equipment issue will sideline my Olympic chances.

I had forgotten that when I got this yarn from The Yarn Lady (still can't remember her name) there were 9 balls in the bag (labelled 10) and that 2 of them were a different dye lot. D'OH. The difference is fairly noticeable (the ball with the paper tucked into it is the dyelot I'm using for the sleeves).

I used 2 balls for the first sleeve, which will mean that I will need 2 for the second sleeve which will leave 3 for the body (who says I can't do the maths?). I don't know if that will be enough.

I am thinking now that I might do the whole body in the green. The pattern calls for a switch to the contrast color for the yoke of the body, so I'm thinking I might start in the green, do the band of fair isle and if it is looking like I won't have enough of the green, then I'll do the top in the same color as the sleeve. Thoughts? It looks okay in my head, but I'm not sure if it will translate well in reality. I sort of feel like I'm skiing the downhill without any sort of preparation here...

Short Track Speed Skating is on right now. This is an exciting sport but, frankly, it's a little crazy. Like Roller Derby crazy. Apparently I'm not the only one who has made this comparison. Lots of fun to watch.

Up next in the Knitting Olympics: Sleeve 2!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Lace Edged V-Neck "Pattern"

I had requests on Craftster for the pattern for my alpaca Lace Edged V-Neck. I decided to post it here, so as not to overload Craftster. I wish I knew how to put up pdf files but, since I just recently figured out how to put buttons on the sidebar, I'm okay with baby-stepping my web-savvy-ness.

Lace Edge V-Neck
Knit in the round with knit on raglan sleeves.

Yarn: approximately 600g light worsted weight alpaca.
The yarn used in the original is no longer available and didn’t have yardage on the ball bands. I would guesstimate that each ball was about 85 yards. Definately less than 100. The original took just over 10 balls.
Needles: US7/4.5mm: 24 - 29 inch circular for body, 12 inch circular or dpns for sleeves.
The sleeves could be worked on 2 longer circulars or using magic loop. (there is one line in the lace pattern that has k3tog which is a bit frustrating on the short circular...)
Gauge 20 sts/26 rounds=4"

Size: One size fits: me. (I have no idea! Medium? Close fitting but not tight with waist shaping.)
Measurements (blocked)
Finished Bust: 39”
Length (shoulder to hem): 24”
Sleeve length (to underarm): 21”

Gothic Windows Lace Pattern
(pg. 120 Reader's Digest The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches; 2003, Collins & Brown Limited; Elanor van Zandt, editor; adapted to be worked in the round)
Multiple of 8 sts + 2
Rnd 1: P4, *k2, p6; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k2, p4
Rnd 2: P4, *k2, p6; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, p2, k4
Rnd 3: P3, *k2tog, yo, sl1, k1, psso, p4; repeat from * to last 7 stitches, k2tog, yo, sl1, k1, psso, p3
Rnd 4: P3, *k1, purl into front then back of next st, k1, p4; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k1, purl into front then back of next stitch, k1, p3
Rnd 5: P2, *k2tog, yo, k2, yo, sl1, k1, psso, p2, repeat from * to end
Rnd 6: P2, *k6, p2; repeat from * to end
Rnd 7: K1, *k2tog, yo, k2tog, [yo, sl1, k1, psso] twice; repeat from * to last stitch, k1
Rnd 8: K4, *purl into back then front of next stitch, k6; repeat from * to last 5 stitches, purl into back then front of next stitch, k4
Rnd 9: K1, *[yo, sl1, k1, psso] twice, k2tog, yo, k2tog; repeat from * to last stitch, yo, k1
Rnd 10: P1, p1tbl, *k6, purl into front then back of next stitch; repeat from * to last 8 stitches, k6, p1tbl, p1
Rnd 11: P2, *yo, k3tog tbl, yo, k3tog, yo, p2; repeat from * to end
Rnd 12: P2, *p1tbl, k1, purl into front then back of next stitch, k1, p1tbl, p2; repeat from * to end
Rnd 13: P3, *yo, sl1, k1, psso, k2tog, yo, p4, repeat from * to last 7 stitches, yo, sl1, k1, psso, k2tog, yo, p3
Rnd 14: P3, *p1 tbl, k2, p1 tbl, p4; repeat from * to last 7 stitches, p1 tbl, k2, p1 tbl, p3

Body: Cast on 84, place marker for side, cast on 84, place marker for side and join in round being careful not to twist stitches. (168 stitches)
Rnd 1: *K1, work Gothic windows pattern across 82 stitches, k1, slip marker; repeat from * to end of round.
Continuing to work 1 knit stitch either side of side markers, work remaining 13 rounds of Gothic Windows pattern.
Next 6 rounds: **K1, p4, *k2, p6; repeat from * to last 7 stitches, k2, p4, k1; repeat from ** to end of round.
Next round (decrease round): *K1, k2tog, knit to 3 stitches before marker, ssk, k1, slip marker; repeat from * to end of round.
Knit 8 rounds even.
Repeat these 9 rounds once, then work one more decrease round. (12 stitches decreased: 156 stitches)
Knit 6 rounds even.
Next round (increase round): *K1, m1, knit to last stitch before marker, m1, k1, slip marker; repeat from * to end of round.
Knit 13 rounds even.
Repeat these 14 rounds two more times then work one more increase round. (172 stitches).
Knit every round until body measures 15” (or length you want from underarm to hem).
Next round: *Knit 5 stitches past marker. Place last 10 stitches on waste yarn or stitch holder. Repeat from *. Knit to end of round. Set aside.

Sleeves (make 2. Obviously.)
Cast on 42, place marker for beginning of round and join to knit in the round (being careful not to twist stitches).
Work 14 rounds of Gothic Windows pattern.
**NOTE: Sleeves will not have the additional knit stitches found on the body piece at each side. Work Gothic Windows pattern as written.
Next 6 rounds: **P4, *k2, p6; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k2, p4; repeat from ** to end of round.
Knit 5 rounds even.
Next round (increase round): K1, m1, knit to last stitch before end of round, m1, k1.
Repeat these 6 rounds (5 rounds even, 1 increase round) 11 more times. (66 stitches)
Knit every round until sleeve reaches 21 inches (if you are like me and have orangutan length arms) or the length you need to the underarm.
Knit to 5 stitches past marker. Place last 10 stitches on waste yarn or stitch holder.
On needle for body, place marker for raglan decrease, knit across stitches from first sleeve, place marker, knit to next sleeve opening.
Make second sleeve, joining in the same manner.

Raglan Decreases/V-Neck Decreases:
(You should have 76 stitches for front, 56 stitches for each sleeve and 76 stitches for back.)
Knit 38 stitches, place marker for v-neck. This will now be the beginning of your rounds/rows.
Row 1(decrease round: sleeve only): *Knit to 3 stitches before sleeve marker, ssk, k1, slip marker, k1, k2tog; repeat from * around.
Row 2: Knit (no decreases)
Row 3: repeat decrease round: sleeve only.
Row 4: Knit
Remove center marker. Take the last stitch on the right hand needle, pass it over the first stitch on the left hand needle, moving this stitch to the right hand needle. Swapping these stitches will prevent the gap in stitches that can occur when dividing for a v-neck.

Row 5 (decrease round: sleeve and v-neck): Slip 1 knitwise (with yarn in back), k1, k2tog, *Knit to 3 stitches before sleeve marker, ssk, k1, slip marker, k1, k2tog; repeat from * to 4 stitches from center gap, ssk, k2.
Row 6 (and each even row): Slip 1 purlwise, purl to center gap.
Continue to work sleeve decreases every right side row. Work v-neck decreases on the following right side rows: 9, 13, 15, 17, 21, 25, 29, 31, 33, 37, 41.

Work Sleeve decreases until there are 8 stitches between raglan markers.
**My notes break down at this point. There will be approximately 2-3 decrease rows when you will have 3 stitches before the first marker and after the last marker (for the front). On those rows, knit the front stitches even, working decreases for the stitches inside the sleeve markers and for the back.

Finish Neckline: With right side facing you, knit 3 stitches for right front. With these 3 stitches as your starting point, work i-cord bind-off across sleeves and back, grafting stitches to left front stitches.

I-Cord bind-off (as I do it. I have no idea if this is “right”)
On 3 stitches (either cast on or from existing live stitches)
Transfer 3 stitches just worked back to left hand needle. With dpn, knit 2, k2tog taking 1 stitch from dpn and 1 stitch from live stitches. Repeat this process until you have 3 stitches on the dpn and 3 live stitches from left front. Graft these stitches together.

Weave in ends and block. Wear. Accept compliments from admirers. Smile.

National Pride and Yarn.

I sat down to check email at the beginning of the Women's Hockey (Canada vs Italy) game this afternoon. I looked at the computer screen for a couple of minutes and when I looked up Canada had scored twice. I didn't even see the goals. This is one of those situations that is sometimes hard for a Canadian to deal with, what with our stereotypical passive natures. You don't want to completely destroy the undermatched Italian team, but in the long run goals for and goals against can have a significant impact when it comes to the medal round...

(3 minutes into the second period is is 7-0 for Canada. Poor Italian women...)

In other obsessive Olympic watching news:
-We (by "we" I mean Canada) (and by "Canada" I mean one member of the Canadian Olympic Team) won our first Gold in Moguls. Somehow I missed it. I was watching, I left the room briefly and then when I came back we had a gold.

I LOVE the Olympics (if you haven't caught that already). I was watching the Men's 5000m Long Track Speed Skating this morning, and while I was cheering for the Canadian (who ended up in 5th), I was jumping up and down when the Italian, in the final pairing, suddenly looked like he might medal (he did: Bronze). That's what I love about it. I get really into it even when the Canadians aren't figuring in the competition. (I will probably be yelling at my TV whenever Canadians are involved however. Just not in the game that's on right now. It's not so interesting. Kind of like an exhibition game between the Flames and an Atom hockey team)

Also, in spite of my somewhat cynical take on all things girly, I have a tendency to tear up when watching some of the commercials and Athlete profiles during the Olympics. Like the "Every Cup Tells A Story" commercials from Tim Hortons. When the Grandpa comes to watch his grandson's game and proves to his son that he watched him play even though he (the Grandpa) was disapproving of the time spent on hockey... Sob.

Twice in my life I have been living overseas when the Olympics were on, and maybe that plays a part in the sudden increase in National Pride when it comes to international competition. I was in Germany during the Lillehammer Olympics and was in Pakistan during the Sydney Olympics. The good natured rivalry amongst the international communities I was living and working in added to the fun of the Olympics.

I think that is part of the reason I was so excited about the Knitting Olympics. It is good natured national rivalry, combined with cheering one another on, with national boundaries not playing a part.

I have 10 inches of a sleeve:

Part of which contains the following wonky stitching:

Some of the stitches which are on their own have pulled into the background so they are almost invisible. I'm hoping that blocking will improve the overall look. It's not that noticeable unless you are looking for it. If the second sleeve ends up looking a lot better, and if time allows, I might consider re-knitting the first sleeve. (those are some big "if's")

But for now, I'm back to knitting and... Biathalon is on? This is possibly the strangest sport, but also, the one sport where I can totally see how it could have practical applications in very limited situations. Like if you are James Bond and you find yourself in the frozen tundra and you only have a pair of skis and a rifle with which to defeat the bad guy and get away.

Yeah. I'm a geek. I know...

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Flame Is Lit!

All day today I felt this sense of expectation. I kept stopping myself from talking about the Olympics with my co-workers. Oh, we talked about the Winter Olympics. I mean that I kept wanting to talk about my project for the Knitting Olympics, but they already think I'm a little, how you say?, crazy with all the knitting.

So, due to ridiculous muggle coworkers and irritating supervisors who don't understand the importance, nay, necessity of knitting circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to cast on at the official cast-on time. However, I arrived home from work at about 6:45 (there was a slight detour in there. It involved looking for emergency replacement yarn. Just in case), just in time to get ready to watch the opening ceremonies on CBC.

This is where I will be competing. Just me, my yarn, my needles, a lot of coffee and chocolate and the CBC (that's Brian Williams there on the TV)

**Aside: can you believe how many knitters are in this thing? Mind. Boggling. Amazing.

By the time the Canadian team made their entrance I was here:

These are awesome pictures, I know! I should put together a coffee table book of my work.
*I'm not serious.
**You knew that, right?

But as I kept speeding along, feeling rather proud of myself for getting the hang of the fair isle two-handed stranding thing (I really don't know exactly what term is appropriate or correct for what I'm doing), I realized I had missed an increase row for the sleeve. I was looking at what I had so far trying to decide if I should tink back to do the increase or just do the increase on the row I was on. Then I noticed this:

I somehow missed one entire round of the pattern. (I don't have any fancy-schmancy software to put captions or arrows or anything on my photos. Can you see what I mean? At the top of the pic?)

So, I frogged. You know, I think this may be the thing that sets the Knitting Olympics apart from the Real Olympics: If I screw up at the beginning, in the middle or even at the end of my Olympic event, I have full immunity to start over. They don't let you do that so much in the Real Olympics... (of course there are some exceptions due to technical issues or like in Gymnastics where you have a certain amount of time to get back up but, for the sake of illustration... work with me... )

I frogged back to the row before my mistake and I'm happy with the result. I could have and would have lived with it if I hadn't noticed when I did, but I'm glad that I fixed it. (In the interest of honesty I will mention that I picked the pattern repeat that I did the most even work on to show you. Some of my stranding/fair isle-ing/color work is not so, how you say?, good. Possibly it is even, how you say?, wonky. I'll show you tomorrow)

And now, as it is already past curfew in the Olympic Village, good night fellow Olympians (and spectators and those who think this whole thing is just a little, how you say?, cuckoo?).

I don't know what brought on the sudden and somewhat stupid silly use of the phrase "how you say?" I think my boss (for whom English is not the first language) says it quite often and it gets into my head by the end of the day. Or maybe I should lay off the cold medicine.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


It is almost time for the Knitting Olympics!!! (I hear that it is almost time for the Winter Olympics too, but that doesn't have anything to do with this post.) (well, maybe a little bit)

So I decided to complete my pre-event warm-up (wind the yarn into more manageable center pull balls, since it was a bit mangled) and, completely against my normal character I also double checked the yarn requirements for the pattern I have chosen.

The pattern in the size I plan to knit calls for 8 skeins of the main color and 4 skeins of the accent color. I thought that I had plenty of the dark green. However, after making the same mistake over and over since I am able to learn from my massive brain fart with running out of yarn previous mishaps, I checked to make sure I had enough.

Now, admittedly, I'm not so good at the maths, but I don't think that is anywhere near 8 skeins of dark green. Am I right?

What to do? What to do? Oh, wait. I have 9 skeins of:

I realize that isn't actually nine skeins in the picture there, but, trust me, there are nine. I checked. Twice.


Yeah? This works, right?
(I don't think I'll re-swatch. That one time was enough considering I never swatch!)

Whew. Close call.
(I hope I have enough now...)

In other news:
I am all about the "along" these days! I joined Sew? I Knit!. I haven't picked out fabric or a pattern yet, but I'm excited to try a skirt!

Also, I finished the mittens on Tuesday

I'm not crazy about the pattern (a little too pointy) but I love new mittens almost as much as new socks!
(I am such a dork!)

Knit on Olympians!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Is it foggy in here?

I am taking a break from a busy schedule of coughing and blowing my nose to show you this:

Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool in color... ?? (The ball band reads "Code: 10" which doesn't seem to correspond to anything on their shade card on the site...). I used about 1 1/4 skeins.
Pattern: (as if you need me to tell you.... haha) Knitty's Clapotis designed by Kate Gilbert
Modifications: I knit a narrower width, doing only 4 1/2 repeats of the increase section (the pattern calls for 6 1/2 repeats) and made it longer than the pattern called for (doing 16 repeats of the straight section (pattern calls for 13 repeats).

On Sunday I was contemplating what to knit during the Super Bowl. It needed to be simple enough to be able to knit without really paying attention, but interesting enough that if the game was boring (as Super Bowls sometimes are) at least I would have my knitting to keep me interested. I looked around and saw my partially completed (as opposed to NOT FINISHED) Clapotis. It just looked at me from the floor where it has been patiently waiting. How could I refuse? Look at it! So blue! So variegated but not pooly! (totally a word)

So, having completed (last night) and blocked (well, not "blocked" per se. More like soaked and hung over the shower curtain rod) Clapotis, I decided that the best course of action for today, when I am at home sick and hopped up on "non-drowsy" cold medicine, would be to start a totally new project. (Of COURSE!!)

This is about 3 hours of knitting on a mitten, using the leftover Nature Wool. This accomplishment leads me to ask of myself the following questions:
1. Why are you, Lori, so hesitant to use dpns? If you can knit a ribbed cuff and that much of a mitten in 3 hours while sick and on cold meds, what is to stop you from knitting other projects on them? Huh?
2. Why are you, Lori, knitting a new project which requires a greater degree of mental acuity when you could be working on something that is already in progress, and much much simpler?
Exhibit a:

sleeve to cabled cardigan, in progress
Exhibit b:

cuff of sock, in progress, which required re-winding one ball of yarn inside out in order to find a matching place in the patterning

I have no response to myself and these questions.

Now, if you'll excuse me. I need to find more Kleenex with Lotion. I think there's another box here somewhere...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Jaywalkers done

I finished my Jaywalkers! (I actually finished them on Feb. 1, but couldn't find my camera...)

I love these socks! The stripes match! The colors are pretty crazy, and there isn't much stretch in the sock, making it difficult to put them on, but the fit is really good.

I finished the back of my cabled cardigan. Seemingly endless rows of ribbing. (It needs to be blocked. It really will fit) While I love the look of the yarn, it isn't very smooth to knit with so the ribbing doesn't necessarily fly on the needles.

(exciting photo, huh?)

If the ribbing doesn't flow smoothly, imagine the cabled section:

I love the way the cables look in this yarn but it is a bit of a chore to do them. I will NOT give up on this one though. It just might take a while longer than I had anticipated...

And lastly.

Does anyone have any idea how long (heel to toe) a 6-month-old babies foot would be? I'm making these for the nephews but it seems really big. (4.25" from heel to toe!)


Thank you all for the encouragement this week. I really appreciate it.

Wednesday was difficult, but not as heart-rending as it might have been. Thursday's episode of ER featured a story about a man with very progressed ALS. I thought it would be very difficult to watch. The thing is, my dad had only just gotten to the point in the disease where he would require oxygen. I can't imagine how horrifying it would have been for him to not have been able to communicate with us. Or to not be able to breathe on his own. As much as I want to have the time back, and as much as I hate when people say "He's better off now" (although I fully believe he is, I just don't like hearing it), I feel some relief for him knowing that he did not need to go through that.

So, again. Thanks.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

not chickening out. honest

Thank you all for your encouragement about getting out and going to the Stitch and Bitch.

"But Lori," you all collectively ask, "doesn't it start at 7pm? And you are posting at 6:40pm? What's up?"

I'll tell you. But first, I didn't chicken out. Really. I didn't. I just couldn't go.

Reason #1: I had a migraine all day, and at the moment the lights in my apartment are banging angrily against my eyes. After a long (LONG) somewhat stressful day made longer and more stressful by the pounding in my head, I just couldn't do it.

Reason #2: I thought I would be okay today, but as it turns out, I'm not as okay as I thought I would be. Three years ago today we lost my dad to ALS. (Heather: this is what I was talking about in the email). Even though it has been three years, the memories from that day are too hard.

I've avoided the news all day today, just in case they mentioned the shuttle disaster, which was happening as we sat in Dad's room in the hospital. I had taken a break and gone next door into the TV room and sat watching the coverage, not really taking it in at all.

I wrote about Dad here, on his birthday. I can't bring myself to read it today, but I will re-read it this week, and remember and be happy for the blessing I had in my Dad.

For now though I plan to knit. Maybe watch a little hockey if my eyes stop screaming for a while. And again, Heather, I'm sorry I bailed. (Morgan too. I wanted to meet you also!)