Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thinking about Sweaters

(Naturally, because it might have finally stopped raining and started being summer.)

I bought a cone of Artfibers Sylph in San Fransisco last August--it's a DK weight wool, silk and mohair blend, and mine is a dark chocolate-y brown. Now that I'm not knitting quite as many socks (never mind that the only project I have on the needles right now is a pair of socks), I'd like to turn it into a sweater.

I like the idea of Amelia, from Knitty, but I suspect the fuzz of the mohair might obscure the ribbed sections entirely. And I've convinced myself that there's something strange about the way nearly everyone's Amelia looks in the bust. Intellectually, I think there's nothing weird going on (why would so many people rave about their Amelias, if they all looked secretly weird?), but I'm concerned that I've thought about it so much that I'll think mine looks funny no matter what, and then I'll never wear it.

And now I have to take a nap because all that thinking about what I might think is exhausting.

But back to sweaters... I already have 2 brown cardigans in this same color, so it's possible a pullover would be more useful. But one of the cardis kind of drives me crazy (and I bought the other one, so even though I love it, it doesn't really count, right?), so maybe another cardigan?

Suddenly, it's clear why I keep knitting little things!

But I do really want to start something larger--sprinting through small projects is making me feel scattered and flighty. I want a project to last long enough that I can look forward to working on it for more than a couple of days. I made a Burnished Leaves Cowl over the weekend, in some lovely baby alpaca (from an alpaca named Gracie), and it was really nice to think about working on it when I wasn't, if you know what I mean.

Kevin and I were in Lake Placid this weekend for our triathlon club's training camp. We tried to go for a run before dinner on Friday, and got about halfway around Mirror Lake when the sky got dark, then opened up. We were soaked immediately--hair plastered to our heads, shoes filled with water, glasses a dripping blur--and it was nice, as we swam up the last hill to the hotel, to anticipate knitting my cowl with soft, fuzzy (dry!) yarn.

But the cowl's done now, the socks are strangely un-look-forward-to-able (possibly because they're going to be slightly too small to be perfect, but I decided to finish them anyway?), and I'd like to knit a sweater!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I think I mentioned my plan to knit more of my handspun this year? Well, I tried--I had some superwash merino that spun up kind of stripy, so I set out to make another baby surprise jacket. Things seemed promising--I'd started with 4 oz of wool, the same amount as the last time I used handspun for a bsj (when I had plenty left over, and I'm spinning much finer now that I used to, so I figured I'd have more yardage this time.

But I didn't:

(At that point, I still have maybe 20 more rows to knit--the extension of the body, and the front borders, which include the buttonholes.)

Fortunately, I had coordinating solid yarn floating around, so I finished off with that:

Of course, I'd used some of that skein for something else (or at least some swatches?) already, so I nearly ran out of it too. That little ball on the left is all that's left!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

As requested...

..Pictures of the whole skirt (which I have typed shirt every single time).

This was the end of a day of sitting, so the back is a bit stretched out--fortunately, the weight of the cotton pulls the extra fabric down, so it's maybe an inch or two longer in the back (a hemline which can also exist on purpose) rather than bulge-y and weird.

I used 600 yards of Laurel, Schaefer's heavier 100% cotton, on size 7 (for the waistband) 8 (for the stockinette stitch portion) and 10 (for the lace) needles. I meant to use 7, 8, and 9, but couldn't find my 9. The pattern called for a slightly lighter yarn, and slightly smaller needles, but the numbers for the smaller size (which I am not) worked out to be the size I wanted.

Mystifyingly, the pattern called for only 8 inches of stockinette before the lace (and them more reps of the lace). That seemed short so I kept knitting, till I ended up knitting 16 inches. I know I'm tallish, but there's no way I'm twice as tall as the model! Maybe just twice as interested in being able to wear my skirt to work?

Monday, June 15, 2009


Just like the attack of the picots from 2 summers ago, I'm currently beset by feather and fan.

There's my version of the Buttercup Sweater (that's a link to Ravelry, which won't work for the non-knitters/non-members), which has feather and fan at the neck.

(I wore it last week and again yesterday, and I think I may want to mess with the lower hem before it's really done--I finished it off with a few rows of garter stitch, but it still wants to roll.)

And I speed knit a Wave Skirt (another Ravelry link) last week, which has feather and fan on the lower hem.

Finally, a top of my own creation...

... That's not quite done. I had 2 skeins of Class Elite's bamboo and cotton blend left over from the top I made last summer, which wasn't enough to make anything adult-sized on its own. I originally thought I'd make the skirt of a dress for E, with the top in another yarn, but then I thought maybe giving my sister a half cream dress to keep clean wasn't very sisterly. So I knit the cream yarn into the lower part of a top for me, and I'll make the upper bodice out of fabric and attach the knitted part to it. Eventually... it's amazing how I procrastinate on sewing!

Friday, June 12, 2009

That Didn't last Long

I've started knitting socks again.

What else was I supposed to do with the leftover yarn from the hat?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another Sporty Weekend

For all that triathlons are solo events (and you could, in theory, wake up one morning and think, huh, maybe I want to do that race, and then do it--if you'd been training and the race hadn't filled up) and sweep rowing is not (in that you need a varying number of other people, with their own schedules and weekend plans), my scientific study of 1 triathlon club and 1 rowing club suggests that triathletes plan way ahead and rowers wait till the last possible second to decide, tentatively decide something, and immediately begin think about changing their minds.

What this means in practice is that Kevin signed up months ago for a triathlon which was on Sunday, and my boat and I decided a week ago to race in a regatta on Saturday (and, just in the interest of scientific accuracy, were not 100% sure what race we were racing in, or who was coxing, till Friday night).

This deciding later thing actually worked well for me, because it saved me from having to be nervous--if I started to worry, I could just remind myself that maybe we wouldn't actually race!

But we did, and it went well (we won, in fact, but only because no one else signed up in our event--but more importantly we rowed well and kept racing the whole way, and didn't get demoralized when the men's boats which were racing at the same time leapt ahead of us at the start).

Even though the actual race took 4 minutes, we were there all day--I volunteered in the morning at the registration desk, then we went to the boathouse, launched our boat, rowed down to the race, raced, rowed back to the boathouse, put the boat back, then went back to the regatta to watch the last few races (normally, the boats are driven to the race on a trailer, but this regatta was just a little ways down the river from our boathouse, so we rowed there). Meanwhile, Kevin was volunteering at the finish line. Kevin's tri was kind of in the same direction but further away, so we stayed up there (in Southbury, I think it was) Saturday night.

You know, I thought when Kevin started doing triathlons that I'd feel bad about not doing them too--but it turns out, I'm happy to be a spectator. Getting up at the crack of dawn is a pain, but otherwise, it's perfect. I went for a run while Kevin was getting set up, then hung out with him till he got in the water. I even took pictures:

I watched the swim start, then watched the swim to bike transition till Kevin came by, then went back to the car to nap and knit till it was time for him to come back from the bike. When the car got warm, I moved to nice shady bench under a tree. I nearly missed Kevin's bike to run transition, because he biked much faster than I expected, but I did see him.

Then I knit some more, then went to watch for him on the run. The course was a little strange--5 miles out, 5 miles back, then a 3 mile loop--so it was possible to stay near the start and see your runner at the 10 mile point. Because it was so convenient to the start (and the parking lot) there were groups of kids with their non-triathlete parent, waiting to see their triathlete parent come by. Triathlons are not a kid-friendly sport--hours of waiting for few short glimpses of your parent. And that led to some funny conversations--one mom who told her kids (right after their dad passed by, with 3 miles left to go) that their dad would be back in 15 minutes.... because he just needed to get warmed up with a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, an 10 mile run at regular-person pace before picking things up to world-class pace for the last 3 miles, apparently!

Anyway, Kevin made it to the finish line...

...Even though the run was nearly impossible. Really--the pro who won said it was the hardest course he'd every done!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fewer Than You'd Think

That's how many of the 52 pairs have made it into my sock drawer. I've just counted, and I'm definitely keeping eleven pairs--there are a few more pairs that I still have, but which are slated to be presents.

The eleven pairs make up most of the upper row--although there are also a couple of pairs of anklets currently in the wash.

(I've started a summer top, and am about to wind some handspun to start Ishbel.)