Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Picking up the pieces

Irene has come and gone. We fared okay -- a few downed branches and this:

We were very, very lucky. The tree missed hitting the house by three feet and that wire you see? That's our cable line. The tree missed that by a foot. My husband bought a chainsaw yesterday, so with any luck, we'll have this pup dismembered by the end of the week.  We were also lucky in that we didn't lose power. My mother, who lives on the Connecticut shore, has been without power since early Sunday morning. She's going M-A-D.

Now that the weather drama is over (earthquakes! hurricanes!), I can focus on other things like my upcoming Maine trip and getting my son ready for school, which starts next week. We're also finishing up some remodeling/repair work on our new home, which, knock wood, we can move into by mid-September. And tomorrow I get to start on my Cadence sweater, which I'm knitting as part of a knitalong. Very excited about that because the yarn I picked, a brilliant greenish/blue (Debbie Stoller's Washable Ewe in Dragonfly), has been calling to me for weeks.

That's my gauge swatch, which I knit in the round since the sweater is also knit on circular needles (yay! no seaming!) I got gauge on the first try, so I'm good to go.

I haven't had similar luck with my Elizabeth Zimmermann Icelandic yoke sweater. I swatched and got 4 stitches per inch with my wool on size 8 circulars, but after knitting a few inches of the sweater, my gauge was off -- it was more like 5 stitches per inch. So I ripped it all out and started again, this time resizing with some modifications. I have a 12" difference between my waist and hips, and when I fit garments to my hips,  they tend to bag up around my bust and waist. About four inches of knitting and I realized this sweater was looking way too big. Like I could fit two of me in there! I measured my gauge again and I was back to 4 stitches per inch. Ugh! Rip, rip, rip. I went out yesterday and bought size 9 circulars for my next try, but I think I'm going to give it a break. Besides, I've just picked up my Kate Davies' Owl sweater after a long break and am eager to get this knitting up by deep fall.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene's coming for a visit ...

... and I'm prepared.

If you're on the east coast of the U.S., how are you doing?

p.s. The sweater above is my first "self-designed" knitting project, a fitted Icelandic yoke ski sweater, with a little help from Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My first knitalong

I've knit sweaters before, but until this summer, hadn't finished any of them. Meaning I get to a certain point and I give up, mostly because I see all these mistakes and I think "Why bother? It'll drive me crazy to wear this thing with all those big glaring errors staring back at me." (Yeah, I've a got a wee problem with perfectionism.) I forced myself to finish the February Lady sweater; what helped was that there were no seams to finish at the end. That and I was pretty careful about checking my work as I went along, even though I did make one big glaring error in the beginning but decided to let it go and live it with it, another new page in the playbook.

I've been casting about for a new sweater project, preferably one without seams. I've had Jordana Paige's Cadence sweater in my Ravelry queue since April, and when I saw that Sarah at Rhinestones and Telephones was co-hosting (with Kristen at Kristen Makes) a knitalong for it in September, I quickly joined up. It's part of my New Me program after my brush with cancer, which I haven't talked about much at all here, but will at some point. I'm not a joiner AT ALL, but in an effort to get out of my comfort zone, I jumped in without thinking too much about it.

My yarn budget is tapped out for now and I don't have a yarn stash for sweaters, so I'm thinking of Stitch Nation Alpaca Love in Peacock Feather. This aran-weight yarn gets pretty good reviews on Ravelry and it's inexpensive. I naturally gravitate toward dull greens, browns, and grays with an occasional foray into bright yellow and orange, but recently I've developed a love for jewel-like shades of teal and deep turquoise. What do you think? A good choice for this sweater, yay or nay??


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dear Jeremy

Dear Jeremy Irons,

I read, with interest, an editorial in the Daily Mail that claimed you'd said patting a woman on the behind was "communication ... can't we be friendly?" It was my understanding that the behind wouldn't necessarily belong to your spouse or partner, but to a woman whose behind was, shall we say, worthy of communication.

Not quite believing that you'd promoted such a flirty viewpoint, I poked around the Web and read that Salon, the Telegraph, and the Sydney Morning Herald have also reported on your cheeky ways.

I, too, like a sexy, rounded tush, although of the male variety. So many times while riding the T, I've had to use every ounce of self control to prevent my hand from reaching out to express a little friendliness with a bottom I find oh-so-squeezable.

It's nice to know that should we ever be in a room together, you -- or your minders -- won't care if my hand meanders over to your heinie for a nice squeeze. You'll know I'm just being friendly.



p.s. Loved you in Reversal of Fortune. "You have no idea" is a favorite line around here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

At Salisbury Beach


Carol models my February Lady sweater, a version of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Sweater on Two Needles. Believe me, it was chilly on the beach yesterday, so I was glad to have this sweater in my bag. Details on my Ravelry project page.