Monday, April 25, 2011

Not Dead Yet

My apologies for the radio silence over the last couple of weeks. Between work deadlines, illness, and other personal drama, I just couldn't muster the energy.

I wish I had a better post to make up for my absence, but all of the pictures I had taken are now out of date! So, here's a text-only status report and I will try to do better a little later this week. I just didn't want to go yet another Monday with no blog!

1. Asterope
Finished, and gorgeous. This really was quite a quick knit for me. People often comment on my knitting quickly, and it always makes me laugh. I don't knit quickly, I just knit A LOT. I don't have any children and I live alone, so nobody can fuss at me for neglecting my responsibilities to knit all day long - except my boyfriend the CodeNinja (he's a software engineer), who doesn't live here but spends enough time here that I grant him some latitude to criticize. But he doesn't. ;) Anyway, I digress - I started Asterope on March 31st and finished it on April 10. Not bad at all!! And now, fifteen days later - I still haven't blocked her. I'm lazy.

2. Sakaki
I hate admitting it when something is my fault. Sakaki should have been finished yesterday, but I ran out of yarn. I ran out of yarn because I was STUPID. Sakaki is knitted end to end and you are supposed to increase until you have 45 stitches. I wasn't paying attention and I got to 46 stitches before I realized I was done. Now, I could have stopped, frogged back to 45, and gone on, but I didn't. I just did another repeat and ended up at 55 stitches. I weighed my yarn. I knit the lace panel. I weighed my yarn again and concluded that I had plenty of yarn to finish. Aaaaand, I was wrong. I'm not really sure how, to be honest. In theory, I started out with 114 grams. After I knit the first side I had 68.8 grams left, meaning I used about 45 grams for the first half. After I finished the lace part, I had 55 grams left. Surely, I thought, that would be enough, even if the skein was a little heavier than 114 grams when I started (I didn't weigh it before hand - critical mistake).

It's not enough. I've got 15 stitches left on the needle and I have about 4 grams of yarn left. I can only conclude that a) I weighed wrong b) the skein was more than 10 grams heavier than advertised c) the decrease side takes more than 10 grams more than the increase side.

Ultimately, the reason doesn't matter - I don't have a whole lot of choices left at this point. I could stop where I am and claim the asymetrical effect is a design feature. I could shop around and see if anybody else has some leftover of the same yarn to give me, but this particular dyer's skeins vary so wildly that I can't imagine I could get anything that would match in the end. I could burn it and pretend it never existed - or I can frog back more than half the shawl and go forward.

Unless another option presents itself I will probably just frog back and reknit. I wouldn't be so bitter if it wasn't for all those short rows!! Once more my love/hate relationship with ruffles comes back to haunt me. I really thought the short rows were an innovative way to get the ruffle without making you knit rows that were billions of stitches long, but they really do require their own brand of suffering. Hopefully now that I've done it once, it won't be so frustrating.
I have to say I've also been a little spoiled by all of the silk or cashmere blends I've been using. Plain superwash just doesn't cut it for softness anymore for me (you know you are spoiled when merino is not good enough for you anymore). I wish I'd been able to get this colorway in the Djinni base, I'd be enjoying the knitting so much more.

3. Alaska Shawl
Our trip plans are firming up and I have started the knitting on my Alaska shawl, and now I really wish I had my pictures - I'd show you even an out of date one if I had it. I used the start of the Phoenix Rising shawl pattern to set up my Faroese shaping. I increased until I had 29 stitches in my center panel, and then started the motif from the North Star scarf out of Arctic Lace. I actually started it a little before I was at 29 stitches, once I was to the point where I would get to 29 stitches before the widest point of the pattern. The pattern is written for stockinette but I'm doing it in garter, and it looks fine. This first colorway (Aurora) is very dark, so the lace isn't showing up too terribly well, but when I smooth it out with my fingers it looks like it will show when blocked, and the shawl gets lighter as I move through the colorways I've chosen, so I think it will be fine. Again, I kind of wish I had gotten a slightly softer blend, especially because the Aurora has that somewhat stiff feeling that you get with very saturated dyes, but I expect that will soften up in the wash a bit (also true of the Sakaki yarn, actually). I'd like to get through at least the first skein of yarn before the trip, if not two skeins - I really like knitting while anticipating and then finishing the project very soon after getting home! I don't want to run out of knitting on the trip, though, so I'm not rushing toooo much.

That sums up what I've been actively working on. Here are the projects I'm 'behind' on:

1. Spanish Moss
No progress. I think this will be great summer knitting, though, so I plan to get back to it when I get back from vacation. I may even work on it some between now and then, since I don't have any other true laceweight shawls OTN at the moment.

2. Light and Dark Lace Club April
I bought in, I have the yarn, but I haven't started it at all - haven't even really looked at the pattern or the spoiler pictures! It's in the 'for after vacation' bin for sure. I may skip the next installment of this club just so I can catch up with other projects. That's the benefit of having a pay-as-you-go program!

3. Romi's Pins and Lace April
I'm not linking anything because packages are still arriving - I haven't gotten mine yet but I've peaked at the spoiler thread and the pattern is lovely. This will be number one when I get home from vacation - if I don't cave and start before hand! I don't have the perfect yarn for it, though (I get only the pin and pattern) so browsing around for it may save me. I can't decide what color is speaking to me for this project. The recommended yarn brings hydrangeas to mind, but I'm not sure those colors suit me. I'm thinking about something in a nice saturated coral. I don't have anything that color yet.

4. Scarf for the CodeNinja
When last we spoke of this scarf I griped because he asked me to make it six feet instead of five. I still maintain that it is silly to have a scarf taller than you are, but since he asked, he shall receive. I think I have about six inches of this thing to go. I have a couple eps of Deadliest Catch stacked up on the DVR. Maybe watching the fishermen out in the cold will give me the motivation it takes to crank out the last bit of this project. I swear, I hate every scarf I make by the end of it. Once this is done, I'm going to dedicate a weekend to making him the matching gloves so I can stop feeling guilty that this isn't done yet!

5. In Dreams Mystery KAL
I haven't even started this. The KAL will be over by the time I cast on! I'm okay with that, I think, but it is definitely on the list for when I get back. I have so much fun on Romi's group that I always push aside other projects for her patterns, but I have been peeking at the spoilers for this project, and they are all quite lovely. I'm going to have to get on this one.

6. Galadriel's Mirror
I may wait until fall to get into this one again. It's a large fingering weight shawl and that just doesn't say 'summer' knitting to me.

7. Birthday Socks
I owe someone socks for their birthday. Right now all my sock needles are occupied. I'm hoping I can clear a pair during vacation and come back and crank these socks out. Normally, I knit socks because they're easy, uncomplicated, and portable, so I don't often knit intricate socks. Because of that, though, socks take me forever to finish (especially when I am KNITTING A MINDLESS STUPID SCARF UGH) since I work on them a little bit at a time. Socks with charts get done much faster because they require dedicated knitting time, so I'm hoping I will be able to crank these out fairly easily once I get back.

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