Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day 16: The End

I would love to tell you that I finished my blanket and completed my event for the Ravelympics...
August 25
but that would be a lie. Sure, I could probably get away with it, but eventually someone would find out and there would be media scrutiny and scandal, and frankly, I just can't deal with all that attention.


I completed 3 rounds, but being sick just knocked me off my game. When I was awake I was too tired to knit most of the time. Plus it was boring to knit all that garter stitch. And I had this to distract me in my brief periods of alertness:

Spunky Eclectic July 2008: "Eclipse" 100% Romney, 4 oz, 2 ply, approximately 252 yd/ 230 meters. The colors aren't exactly "me" but I quite like how it turned out.

I also received the Autumn Sock sampler from Knit Picks (that makes it sound like it was a gift or something. I ordered it and it finally arrived, no thanks to Canada Post and their "we MIGHT tell you you have a parcel or we might not" policy) and started a sock for my friend who has a birthday in September (I know! I'm starting this really early!!).


It's going really fast. I started the toe and the foot of a different pattern last night, changed my mind this morning and charted and started knitting this Moss Diamond pattern. I'm at the heel already. Why don't my plain knit socks go this quickly? Maybe it's this yarn: 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon. So soft. I'm so happy that I have enough to make 6 pairs in total... I'm predicting at least 4 of them will be for me... I might gift another pair. We'll see how stingy I feel.

Now it's time for another nap, so ... Happy end of the Olympics everyone.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Day... uh... 10? Can't keep track...

Too hot...

The temperature onscreen during the 6 oclock news kept fluctuating between 34 & 38 Celsius (93.2 & 100.4 F). There is no cross breeze in my apartment and, as much as I love hot weather, I already have no energy so it's not helping that it's so stinkin' hot.


Watching the replay of the Women's Trampoline final just now, I caught myself bobbing my head and sort of pushing my hand down on the couch a bit, as though I could somehow help the athletes through their tricks... (are they called "tricks"? Whatever they are, it's cool). When I was in elementary school/junior high/high school, we had a trampoline. Everyone else around who had one had a round one, but ours was rectangular. I spent many many many summer days on the trampoline imagining that I was a diver, practicing my flips and pikes and... Back then there wasn't even trampoline in the Olympics, otherwise you can BET I would have been fully convinced I could go and medal!


It was a few days ago that I last showed you progress on my Leftovers Blanket, so here it is as of 6 pm today. I didn't really knit much on it today, since wool blanket + hot weather = lost will to live... (not really, but, yes, really)

Day ...  something progress

I was so scared on the navy round that I was going to run out of yarn. I had about 20 yards leftover in the end! Whew. The third round is narrower, for no reason other than I felt like it. I have lots of this yarn, so that wasn't really a factor, but 6 stitches should go faster than 12, don't you think? Yeah, I hope so.

It's currently about 36" x 42" (to the navy round). I would like it to be useable for me, so I'm going to just keep going until I run out of yarn or out of patience, whichever comes first. I really would like to finish during the olympics but I can see that might not happen. Maybe it's almost time to take an example from Liu Xiang and just walk it off. I'm not giving up, but I'm not going to kill myself to get it done by Friday. Or, maybe I'll just call it done where I end up on Friday and get my badge!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day 8: Medals for Canada?? WHA???

Yay! Canada finally has 3 medals (one of each). So exciting. Too bad all of them happened live in the middle of the night so I didn't get to see them happen, but YAY!! (And don't get me started on the 100m Butterfly final...)

No update photo today (use your imagination. It's the same as yesterday just a little further on). Knitting has been happening but has been very sporadic as I have energy then suddenly need to lie down over and over.

You know what's the best thing ever? The sound of little children happily playing outside on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. You know what is the worst thing ever? The sound of little shrieking children happily screaming and playing outside on a beautiful Saturday afternoon when your ever cell is telling you to SLEEP NOW NOW NOW.

So, yes. I'm a tad grumpy and can't hold my head up and probably won't knit much this evening either. I had tons of energy this morning and felt really awake so I took care of some stuff in my apartment before needing to crash. This should be an interesting few weeks as I figure out the balance between being active enough to not feel tired from inactivity and resting enough to get better.

How are you all doing? Anyone participating in the Ravelympics?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 7: So much more exciting than Day 6...

Really, it was! (no it wasn't)

Day 7 progress

Rounded corner #3 of solid round 2. Woo.

I'm also knitting a sock. Well, I mean, it travels with me and I knit on it at lunch sometimes and while waiting at the doctor's office yesterday.

Houdini Sock from Twist Collective
Also terribly exciting at the moment, don't you think? I'm knitting the Houdini Socks from Twist Collective. There are many patterns in this inaugural issue of Twist Collective that I would like to purchase but for now, I'm contenting myself with the free sock pattern offered. So far it's just a normal toe-up sock but I'm interested to get to the Houdini part.

I got my blood work results and I have a "weak positive" for Mono. Yes. The "Kissing Disease" just like a teenager. So awesome. That explains the exhaustion. So, while I'm not sleeping I'll be working on my blanket, but the tiredness is really cutting into my desire to knit which sucks.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 6: zzzzzzzzzz

I don't have a picture for you today. Look at yesterday's update picture, add about 6 inches and there you go.

Before the Olympics started I joked about maybe needing to take some sick days during the Olympics (which, had I been thinking about time difference, wouldn't have been necessary anyway). Why WHY didn't I joke about being given a million dollars during the Olympics?

I will be spending most of the next 3 days (if not longer)(hopefully not longer) going back and forth between the couch and my bed. Not sure yet what it is, I had bloodwork done today (whee). The phlebotomist (why WHY do I know that word?) distracted me by asking about what I was knitting (a sock, I'll show you tomorrow if I think of it) and talked about having knitted as a 10 year old. She then distracted me further by showing me a photo of some beautiful eggs that she had painted (and had me wondering why she had the picture in her pocket?)...

So, I'll have lots of time at home but I don't know if I can stay awake enough to knit all that much.

Track & Field starts today (tomorrow? time difference is messing me up) at the Olympics! Yay! For someone who would only run if she were being chased by a rabid dog or someone with a firearm I have a bizarre obsession with track and field. Not as a participant, but as an avid spectator. Just today I remembered that Don Wittman passed away this winter. Anyone who had ever watched any sports on CBC knew his voice as he called so many different major sporting events for that network. Olympic track just won't be the same without him and Geoff Gowan doing the call.

This is kind of a morose post. Sorry. Um. Here, a LOLcat. enjoy:


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 4: Already out of clever titles

I don't know if this is a cold or what but I had my 3rd nap in as many days today. I don't nap. I don't know how to get that across to my system but... Come on. I couldn't stay awake at my desk at work. Not good. It's cutting into my knitting time.

In other news, I somehow managed to not notice that the lid on my travel mug was open when I was coming home from work today and spilled the dregs of my coffee all over the passenger seat in my car. Of course I noticed this when I was driving down Deerfoot at about 100 km/hr (I say "about" so as not to implicate myself in a crime of any sort as the speed limit is 100 km/hr) so of course I couldn't do anything about it. Then when I got home I forgot about it in my haste to get to a nap, so now I'm sure my car smells like the inside of a coffee shop. On one hand, I love the smell of coffee... but... uh... it's all over my seat. so there's that.

Progress report:

Leftovers Blanket Day 4 progress
Day 4 saw the first round finished and the second round begun. I'm using navy for the second round (I know. exciting.).

Yarnhog (I don't know your real name.. sorry) asked in the comments about the squares so I thought I would talk about them. That'll give me something to write about! Yay!

For the squares I used a pattern from Vogue Knitting Fall 2007 (available online as a free pdf here). The pattern is actually for a jacket and pants, but um... jacket & pants from modular squares? not so much. It's pretty basic and once you get done one or two you can do them in your sleep.

As the name suggests, I used all the leftover sock yarn I had. I had been saving it with no real plan for it, and these squares seemed perfect. Each square was knit on US 3 needles and measures about 4 1/4 inches by 4 1/4 inches. (you know. like a square). I set each square on the diagonal to seam and knit half squares to finish the center section.

Leftovers Blanket Day 4 progress

The solid bands around the edges are knit in Patons Kroy Sock yarn that I picked up by the basket-full at Michaels once when it was on sale. Each band (so far that would be 1.1 rounds) is 12 stitches knit and knit onto the round before it. The bands are approximately 1 1/2 inches wide. So... I have a ways to go.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day 3: Could these updates BE any more boring?

Leftovers Blanket Day 3 progress

I would have finished this round and started the next but I had to finally concede defeat and acknowledge that I'm getting a cold. A cold. In the Summer. Awesome. I ended up sleeping yesterday afternoon for almost 2 hours. I don't nap. I never nap. If I nap it means I'm sick. So, there you have it.

This post should be enough to put anyone to sleep, so if you find yourself needing some sort of sleep aide, feel free to bookmark it to help you out next time you're having trouble dozing off...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 2: Quarterfinals?

As you may have predicted, updates of my progress on the Leftovers Blanket will surely go down in the annals of internet history as some of the most riveting blog posts ever. The pictures alone are so exciting and moving as to merit mass-downloads and re-prints.

Day 2 progress

Yeah, I can't even convince myself of that one.

I turned the second (of four)(haha) corners for the first solid round. This is turning out to be quite good olympic viewing knitting. It doesn't require much thought at all and is going fairly quickly.

I'm surprised at how faithful to this project I've been. (I know, it's only been a couple of days... but it's solid garter stitch!) I only had one minor slip:

mail pockets
I needed something to try to keep bills together. They have a habit of sliding under a pile of stuff (too much stuff+too small of a space=where did that go?) I need to finish the edges and finalize a way to hang it (I'm planning button holes and hanging it from hooks at the moment).

Now back to the olympics.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Day 1: Qualifying Trials

The time difference between Bejing and Calgary is making it possible to watch some events live, but it's making it hard to figure out what day it actually is. Is it Friday or Saturday? Day 0 or Day 1? The poor broadcasters: At noon in Bejing, the announcers from CBC were saying "Good evening" when it was obviously not evening where they were... so confusing.

I started on my Leftovers Blanket yesterday morning before going to work as the Opening Ceremonies were being broadcast on CBC. As crazy as it was to start the solid bands over again, I think I made the right choice.

Day 1 progress
Not bad for the first day's progress. This might be do-able...

As I type this the CBC is showing highlights from the Men's Cycling Road race. I was watching it last night but they cut away from coverage after about 30 minutes. I think it's probably an apt comparison to me working on this blanket. The men's road race is 245.5* km with a lot of uphill sections. That's pretty similar to knitting a garter-stitch blanket on US 3 needles (I was wrong yesterday when I said US 4. They're 3s)

I love this mitered corner. This is what is making me believe I made the right choice in starting this section over. The corners would not have been this neat & tidy if I had carried on the way I was going.

Wrong Side
I even kind of like the wrong side!

Oh! Swimming is on. Gotta go.

*why is it 245.5 km? Why the 1/2 km? anyone?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Summer Olympics Day -1

I decided to participate in the Ravelympics in the WIP Wrestling event. My project? The Leftovers Blanket. It's a long way to go and miles and miles and miles (or, to be Canadian: Kilometersres and Kilometersres and Kilometersres) of garter stitch. I think it'll be good Olympic watching knitting, since it doesn't require much focus and I can just knit and knit.

When last we saw it, the Leftovers Blanket looked something like this:
leftover blanket
I haven't really knit much on it in a month or more. Can't imagine why it's not done by now...

My original plan was to pick up stitches along the edges of the center and knit 20 rows of garter stitch before binding off. Then I would pick up stitches on the opposite side, then the edges and so on. I planned to knit rounds in this manner changing colors for each round. Mostly I liked the look but there was one problem:

blanket round 1
The solid bands sort of flared. Not sure why, but they didn't lie obediently flat like I had hoped. I tried steaming them which helped but I wasn't 100% happy with them. (Can you feel where this is going?) I had (the past tense is sort of giving it away here isn't it?) 2 sides complete and had picked up stitches for one of the ends when the blanket began its 2 month hibernation. This morning I started thinking about having to pick up all those stitches from a bound off edge each time I started a new band. And the daunting task of knitting upwards of 200 stitches per band (increasing each round)... and the fact that I wasn't very happy with the way it was looking...

Meet Plan B:
blanket plan b
this isn't cheating... this is training. Honest. I forced myself to put it down once I had determined that this would work.
I cast on 12 stitches with a provisional cast-on and will knit the bands onto the center section as I go. This plan allows me to not have the entire blanket on my lap as I knit (bonus when it's summer) and it should allow for a neater overall look. I plan to miter (mitre?) the corners and I'm slipping the first stitch to make it simpler for picking up on the next round.

Is it too obsessive if I plan to start working on it at 6 tomorrow morning? Yeah. Probably. Hmm.

Let the Games Begin! (Go Canada Go!!)