Tuesday, March 30, 2010

View from my Desk

What does it say about me that I like to write with knitting to look at?

(That's the oh-so-seasonal wool sweater in front... actually, it would be seasonal if it was done now, but probably the fact that it's not is the reason the whether has been so abysmal... sorry! And some handspun I'm thinking about making into Harmonia's Rings Cowl, because that's also seasonally appropriate. They are different colors, I promise.)

I'm still plotting my large shawl project with the alpaca I bought in Peru (but not actually knitting, see: writing, above). I'm currently leaning towards the Firmaments Shawl. I'm also partial to the Spring Leaves Shawl, or possibly the Anthemion Wrap--but yardage-wise, either of the latter two would be a better match for my gray Trenna (a gray wool-silk blend from Schaefer), than the alpaca.

And hey, guess what? I finished my 25 days of erging in March, and there's still one more day of March left. Hurray for me!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Laziest Blogger

I actually have been knitting and spinning, believe it or not, but I have more consulting work right now than usual (which is good for me, but not so good for the blog), and I just want to knit in the evenings, not write about it.

Just in time for spring, I'm knitting up the dark brown wool and mohair I spun last fall into a cozy, long-sleeved sweater (it's going to have extra long sleeves with thumb holes and a shawl collar... so springy!). The sweater itself will be simple enough, but it turns out that I'm going to steek the neck opening. (This is slightly interesting because it will be the first time I've steeked anything.)

While I understand steeking in theory, I haven't ever done it because I don't tend to knit or wear colorwork, I don't mind purling, and I occasionally change my mind entirely about a sweater, rip it out, and knit a different sweater from the same yarn--and you'd REALLY need to love your yarn to do that after you'd cut it in pieces by steeking. However, in this case I'd knit myself into a problem, and steeking seemed like the best way out.

I'm knitting the sweater in the round, with a simple, all-over 2-row pattern--row 1: knit all stitches; row 2: knit 2, purl 1. When I was ready to divide for the neck opening and start knitting flat, I realized that the beginning of the round (in terms of the pattern) would fall in the middle of the row if I started knitting flat (with the result that within each row some of my stitches would be on row 1 while the rest were on row 2)--and I thought keeping track of that would be a pain.

Instead, I bound off the neck stitches, cast on 6 new stitches over the opening (the ones I'll cut when it's time to steek), and kept knitting in the round. Easy, at least for now.

Now I just need to not change my mind!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Historical Miscellany

1. Hurray, we got to row on actual water tomorrow!

2. In an eight! (Clearly, the best boat ever, no matter what insane nonsense people may talk about how quads are so much fun and how they like fours. They. Are. Wrong.)

3. I have already set my phone alarm, in case I somehow forget to set my alarm clock at bedtime tonight.

4. For 4:45.

6. AM.

5. I am so excited I can't number correctly.

7. Wanna bet I wake up several times in the night, sure that I've overslept?

8. This does put a possible crimp in my plan to erg a half marathon tomorrow (part of the erg marathon training plan), because I'm running a half on Sunday and wouldn't it be fun to erg and run half marathons in the same week? The danger here is that I won't want to erg tomorrow, and that this will be the final straw that convinces me of my other "wouldn't it be fun?" idea... that it would be even more fun to do both on the same day (and by fun, I mean, fun in retrospect).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Yes, it's Done


(Please ignore the odd wrinkle across my lap--I'd just been at the gym, which meant my poor sweater had just been folded up in my locker.)

Let's review: Summer Solstice sweater, knit on size 7 needles (size 6 for the collar), with Sheep Shop Yarn Co. Sheep 3 yarn. I used a bit more than 4 skeins, then I made a hat with part of the remaining skein and I was going to make matching mitts with the rest... but now that I look at the picture, maybe I should make a belt instead. Or possibly some kind of invisible button system. I actually like it open as well, but this dress is voluminous on its own, and without the belt my waist was entirely lost--like wearing a blanket over a tent.

Speaking of the gym, it's March, which means it's time for the Concept2 March Madness Challenge--erg 5 or 10K for 25 days in March. And we all know I love a nice C2 challenge, with things to check off and downloadable certificates!

I've erged both days so far and am off to a good start--but I'm about to miss a bunch of days with a work trip (no need to get excited--just to New York City). The 5K version is meant to be easier, but my problem isn't erging 10K, it's that hotel fitness centers are very often erg-less. And there's no way to make it up--extra 10Ks one day do not count for previously missed 10ks.

And speaking of challenges, I'm trying to decide what to knit with the alpaca laceweight I bought in Peru. I think I have about 1800 yards, or possibly meters, and I'd like to use as much of it as possible--but not run out since there's no way to get more. Also, I worry that I wouldn't wear something gigantic very often.

(Maybe I should just make something I know I'll wear, then use the rest for another project?)

What's your favorite gigantic shawl? Would/do you actually wear it?