Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bye Bye Birdie

There have been some setbacks: this was a complete hat, which looked too small--first just too short, then also too narrow (which it wasn't, but the cables pulled it together in a funny way).

So it's a different hat now--and on its way to the recipient.

Unfortunately, I'm officially distracted--I even fixed 2 of the 3 holey socks I'd set aside to work on Someday, in my effort to avoid the last few gifts. (I'm working on the last one--while not gifts, it will be nice to have those socks back.)

And I'm making good progress on the yoke of the purple sweater--I'm following the Elizabeth Zimmermann yoke decreases, which happen when the yoke reaches half of its final height, 2/3 of its final height, and just a smidge short of the final height. I'm ready to do the 2/3 decreases, and I'm not sure if I'll do the last set, since I'd like this to have a wide, scooped neck, not a crew neck. (Which raises the question: do I still need shaping at the back of the neck?) Did I write about the edge finishing yet? I've almost certainly decided on I cord, like on Manu. I'd like to make the same buttonholes, even though that will require another button hunt.

(Imagine a picture of a dark purple blob here, and you'll have a good idea of what the sweater looks like at this point!)

Friday, December 17, 2010


Once again, the holiday challenge on the Concept 2 site will come down to a race between me and the gym--will I finish before the gym closes/we leave town? Will I erg extra meters over the weekend to give myself a cushion in case I get lazy next Tuesday? (I feel pretty confident about Monday and Wednesday, since there's schedule practice.) Will I convince Kevin to speed all the way to my in-laws' house so I have extra time to erg at their fitness center? Stay tuned--I have about 60,000 m to go, and only 5 days before the gym closes (but 7 days till the challenge ends--so really, it's all a question of the gym).

In a related vein, I'm down to just a few things left to knit for Christmas. I can't say what they are, naturally, but it's about 650 yards of yarn. Since I'm not tied to the gym schedule, have 13-15 hours as a passenger coming up, and am significantly more excited about knitting that erging (how can that be?), that's totally doable... except that I'm losing focus and spent all of SnB yesterday working on the purple sweater yoke. Interesting, I unraveled enough fabric to cover the shoulders and upper chest plus a giant collar, and I'm re-knitting enough fabric to cover the shoulders and upper chest minus the gigantic collar, and it still seems like I might run out of yarn. Naturally, this makes me want to knit faster in order to find out the bad news as soon as possible. (It's Cascade 220, so I should be able to find more yarn that's meant to be the same color easily enough... but will the dye lots be even remotely similar?) Possibly I will try to finish up the yoke as well as the gifts, then have all new projects for the drive?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Years in the Making

I've wanted to make reusable fabric gift bags for years, but never did it--I didn't want to buy the fabric and never make them, which meant when I felt like some easy sewing, I didn't have the fabric...

Then this weekend I discovered I had some Christmas fabric lurking around, and I made a gift bag at last:

Then I made some reusable ribbons from long skinny scraps I'd saved for just such a purpose:

(I'm amazed that I actually did this, rather than saving the scraps for a while then tossing them. I'm pretty good about making the knitting projects I plan (or at least using the yarn for something else), but so, so, so (sew, sew, sew!) lazy about getting to sewing projects.)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

2 Things That May Never Happen Again

1. The front desk attendant at the gym asked me if I was on the track team. Clearly, he's never seen me run, throw, or jump. And my polo vaulting isn't so great either. (I've been trying to think of a track and field activity I might not be a disaster at, and I think I might be ok as a hurdle. That R is missing on purpose.)

2. I picked Kevin out of a crowd. Well, not a crowd, but a small pack. (If you're as bad at identifying your husband in a group as I am, you have to start small.) He's in Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Marathon, and I actually recognized him on the live finish cam. Go Kevin! I'm proud of you!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Everything But Knitting

I'm still knitting gifts I can't write about (although I did knit a red scarf for the Red Scarf Project that I could probably write about, as I don't think s/he reads my blog). I made great progress over Thanksgiving, since Kevin drove both ways when we visited my parents in Ithaca, NY, and I managed to stay mostly awake in the car. Now I just have a zillion socks left--which I have convinced/deluded myself is no problem at all, since I spent that year knitting a pair of socks a week. Tune in on December 24 to see if I've given myself a puncture wound in my right pointer finger.

In other news, rowing winter training has started, which is handy since I'm trying/doing the Concept 2 holiday challenge again this year--so, 200,000 m between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It shouldn't be a big deal--about 45 minutes on the erg most days from now till Christmas--but sometimes I want to run instead of (rather than in addition to) erging, and the ergs at the gym are not encouraging. I was pleasantly surprised to find a mostly functional erg at the gym yesterday--maybe they've tuned them up? Fortunately, any meters on the erg during practice also count, and those ergs are in good shape. But my poor log card (which has a chip to save your workout) has been acting up, so I keep having to remember what I've done With My Brain. Poor me.

Hmmm.... I've also done some sewing, which I can't talk about either. But wait! Here's something:

Months ago, I cut out the pieces for a cozy cube (a fabric-covered storage cube, from It Seams to Me). Weeks ago, I went to the fabric store for interfacing. After much searching and consultation, I found the right kind, grabbed a package, and went on my merry way. A couple of days later, when I finally opened the package, I discovered 1 (one) 14 x 18 inch piece of interfacing--nowhere near enough for the 5 (five) 9 x 9 squares I needed. So back I went to the fabric store over Thanksgiving for 2 more packages--then since the rest of the pieces were here, I couldn't finish it till Monday. I think it turned out ok--and would have been a fast project if I hadn't taken such long breaks between steps (and been so slow to get my supplies). And now I have enough interfacing left over for 2 smaller, shallower boxes too.

If you could peek inside the box (which would require me to take pictures...), you'd see that I've been crocheting! A little bathroom rug/bathmat from the bottoms of t-shirts, leftover when Kevin cut up his race shirts for a t-shirt quilt. Also fast, but I'm lazy about cutting up the shirts, because I end up covered in white fuzz. I think I'll still have shirt pieces left after I finish the mat, so I'm thinking about making some baskets next.

And I spun--3 oz of llama/wool/silk/mohair/? from Mocha's Fiber Designs, in a pretty grey/blue/green/gold colorway. I'm thinking a cowl... after Christmas.