Saturday, December 29, 2007

They Call This Walking?

I have what my doctor calls "walking pneumonia."

I call it the "sleep 16 hours a day, wheeze the other 8, barely stagger around the house while coughing up a lung" thing.

On the positive side, I need to sit absolutely still in order to avoid coughing, which affords me lots of knitting time.

On the negative side, I'm exhausted, coughing, and the house-cleaning I had planned to do this week is absolutely not happening.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Loving the colourwork

Yes, I spell like a Brit.

I adore-adore-adore working in two colors. I have a bad case of second-mitten syndrome: I decided that it's better to give everyone ONE finished mitten with a promise of a second, rather than having two finished pairs and two empty boxes-with-promises.

I also have to finish the socks (or at least the first sock!) for my mother.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

When patterns don't give enough info

Right now, I feel like an idiot.

I started "Matrix" from the latest Knitty. I modified the cast-on to be tubular and made it one size larger than the largest given in the pattern, but otherwise followed the directions as stated.

The first 3 inches look terrific.

Then I hit the increases for the thumb, and that's when my troubles started: because the increases happen on every other row, and each row is a different color, so the standard "picking up the running yarn" to Make1 didn't work at all. After much fiddling around, I changed it so that I increased on the dark colored rows (not light) so that I could increase from the line of dark stitches running up each side.

It's still not great,but at least it doesn't look like heck. Fortunately, my DH isn't the picky type when it comes to handknits.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Playing with Gauge

This is why I love being a math teacher:

When I want to knit "Matrix" but my already-purchased and husband-approved yarn is giving me a gauge of 6 stitches per inch (and it look really good like that so I don't want to try bigger needles), instead of the recommended 5 stitches per inch, I know how to fix it! Since the palm pattern is a repeat of 2, and the back pattern is a repeat of 4, if I go up 8 stitches from the largest size, then take those 56 stitches and divide by 6 = yup, a circumference of just over 9 inches.

The fact that I cannot spell "gauge" correctly to save my life is probably part of why I'm not an English teacher.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Why I'm not paying it forward

Seems like all the cool kids of the knit-blog world are Paying it Forward this year. I love the idea, and nearly signed up twice... but in the end, I didn't. Why not? I love to get gifts, and I love to knit for other people; what's to lose?

Well, here's the thing. I'm surrounded by teenagers (very nice ones), many of whom have been asking me for the past year or more when I will knit them something. Last year I only knit for four of them. This year I'm working on mittens for another three, but then may try to do a few more. And it makes me so happy to knit for people I know and care about. When you add in all the knitting I do for my own family, I just don't see myself living up to my Pay it Forward obligations.

Best thing I cooked recently: pecan-cranberry bars, but now I can't remember whose blog originally featured the recipe. I'll post the link when I do find it. My department loved them and sucked down a double recipe in two days.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

In which I love the new Knitty

Actually, I always love Knitty.

Even though I would only knit about 25% of the patterns they publish, the fact that it's free, always available, and contains a huge number of patterns by different designers makes it a fave.

In this issue, I'm adoring Jeanie (cables with dropped stitches? Wow... and I love the Dream in Color yarn), Tudora (for those days when I would just lose a scarf), Matrix (except for those long floats on the thumb... got to do something about those), and all the sock patterns.

I wonder if Tudora is fast enough to be a good Christmas knit?