Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fight the Pooling

Here's the sweater in progress for Schaefer Yarns--not that you can tell from this picture, but it's knit side to side.

I thought that would keep my useless superpower--casting on the perfect number of stitches for dramatic pooling (pooling=lining up the colors in hand-painted yarn to form weird blotches)--from engaging.

It wasn't, at least not for the body, so I've been knitting this alternating yarn from 2 skeins. It's easy enough, but it makes the project less portable. And the shawl isn't super portable either, thanks to the beads... especially since the tip broke off my smallest crochet hook, and the next smallest one is just slightly bigger--so it only fits in about half of the beads (all meant to be the same size, but not really).

But I was a good knitter, and brought them both with me to Mass this weekend. And to Kevin's race this morning (a half marathon at Rocky Neck State Park). They've both reached the home stretch, I think, if things keep going well.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Very Little Knitting Content

Due to the tragic lack of pictures. I thought I was as bad a picture-taker as I could be last year, but I've gotten worse. Who knew that was possible?

On the other hand, I've accumulated an assortment of random thoughts--and what are blogs for if not to torture people with your probably boring random thoughts?

1. I wrote an imaginary post last week, about how much I was enjoying listening to Moby Dick (I really enjoyed reading Ahab's Wife, and it didn't seem fair to read the new, fun one without reading the old, boring one. But it turns out the old, boring one isn't boring. At least, not to listen to, when you can kind of zone out through what must be pages and pages about the history of whales and whaling since the beginning of time, every recorded mention of whales ever, etc.)

Partly, I enjoyed it because there was rowing in it, kind of--when they hunt the whales in long boats. And the "cox" (actually the captain of each long boat) calls them rapscallions, a word all coxes should use more often.

As a result, I was thinking to myself that rowing improves every book... other people have had this thought too, because when I was looking for erg workouts online a couple of days ago, I found Twilight/rowing fanfic instead (in which all of the characters from Twilight book are rowers). I haven't read the books, but on the surface, rowing seems like the perfect sport for vampires--this time of year, you're practicing in the dark anyway.

2. I made (sewed) a capelet for myself a couple of weekends ago--not quite sure what came over me, but I've been coveting the capelet from Chic & Simple Sewing for a while, then suddenly I was cutting it out. Then I was too lazy to get out my sewing machine, so I sewed it all by hand--it's mostly hemming and edgings, so I should have done that anyway, but if my sewing machine had been set up my laziness would have worked the other way, and I'd have machine-sewed the hems. As garments go, it's nearly useless: the temperature will only be right to wear it for about 20 minutes all year (possibly I'll be inside during those minutes, and miss them entirely), and I can't really move my arms, or carry anything, and the neck is really wide so I need to wear it with a big scarf or shawl around my neck to avoid drafts. But it's cute. And I used material I'd been hoarding: dramatically on sale wool fabric that I felted a couple of years ago, just to see what would happen (answer: nice fabric, but the edges didn't felt as well as the middle so it was a little wonky), and scraps from a thrift store sweater I felted to make blankets.

Naturally, I haven't taken a picture of it either--the perfect 20 minutes haven't arrived yet.

3. Kevin and I are trying CrossFit (because otherwise we'd never do any strength training). After the first day, he couldn't lift his arms and I couldn't use my legs. After the second day, I couldn't raise my arms either. But it's going better now--except that it's a huge pain to get there in the evenings, so probably we won't continue after the set of beginning classes we already signed up for.

4. I managed to get a bee sting on my wrist on the way to CrossFit yesterday (I ran into the bee as it was flying above the sidewalk). So now my wrist is just swollen enough to look weird in a way you can't quite pinpoint. And I bet it's going to itch like crazy later.

5. Four of us from the New Haven Rowing Club, with a borrowed cox, won the open Mixed Four on Sunday at the Coastweeks Regatta in Mystic. The cox was really great--but she may have been a little alarmed when (on the way to the start line, after it was too late for her to get away), we told her we'd never rowed together before. Which sounded worse that it really was--the bow and stern pairs had both rowed together a lot--just not both ends of the boat together.

6. Rowing with guys is fun. NHRC mostly puts out separate men's boats and women's boats, so I forget.

7. I really want to knit a dress--possibly out of the leftover alpaca laceweight from the shawl. (Don't worry Laura, I'll finish my designs first!) I was thinking it would be fun to double the yarn for the bodice and most of the skirt to make the fabric solid, then use a single strand for the sleeves and lower skirt, where it can be sheer.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I still haven't taken any picture of the shawl. But my friends and I rowed our marathon. The water was much, much, much (how many times can I say that before it gets redundant? Imagine that it's repeated enough to fill the screen, at least) rougher than we're used to--there were white caps at one point, and because the river is much wider than our river, the motorized boats were bigger, which means bigger wake. So it took longer than we expected--but we did it!

And we came in second in the doubles overall and first in the women's doubles. (There were four to start with, two stopped at the half-marathon, and we beat the other one. Hurray!) The friend who rowed a single came in second in singles.

I meant to work on my current shawl design on the drive, but left my pattern notes at home. So I knit a sock instead--started in the car as we left, finished as we got close to home on the way back. No pictures of that either.

And I started a cardigan, Eilonwy (I think that link will work for everyone), which I found in Ravelry. Actually, that was a week or two ago, now that I think about it.

Anyway, I love it so far--I've gotten to just below the waist--but I think I'm going to knit an adaptation. The original was knit in wool, but I subbed soft linen, a wool and alpaca blend. Because my yarn is less elastic, the pattern around the yoke wants to pull in. That's fine at the yoke--it makes the neckline a little v-shaped, which is cute--but less good around the hips. So I think I'll just continue the stripes (actually garter stitch plus stripes), with a wider band of garter stitch stripes for the lower hem instead of garter stitch in the contrast color. And I might do the same stripes on the button band.

Hey, late-breaking addition: pictures from the marathon!

I know the water looks smooth in those pictures, but they were mostly taken in a protected area behind an island. And it got choppier as the day went on. We're laughing because we survived the Culvert of Doom (it turns out we're not very good at rowing through culverts), and because it's still the first lap. By about that point in the second lap, I thought I might be dying of sunscreen in the eye.