Thursday, October 18, 2007

Time Passing

Time passing? Time has passed. No, Suzanne, I'm not still lying down in the darkened room (though I feel as if I am). I seem to be knitting in the black hole again. I knit every day. I knit for at least two hours every day and most days I knit for longer. You would think, therefore, that the needles would be smoking (good job I'm not fond of bamboo needles) and the FOs would be flying off the needles. It just doesn't seem to be happening that way and I can't, for the life of me, work out why. I have obviously warped the space-time continuum once again.

There has been some progress, I suppose. The Rona Shawl is finished, though she remains unblocked. I have to wait for the weekend when #1 daughter's bedroom, which has the largest floor space, is available for stretching (the shawl) and crawling about (me). Strangely, she appears to me "more than a circle". That's not a problem, all the better really, since it means the shawl will stay on my shoulders better, but I was surprised - I thought I was making a circular shawl. All may change in the blocking stage, of course.

Here's the centre of the shawl:

hanging on the washing line.

Here's a view of the centre flower:

(she's still on the washing line).

Here's a slightly dodgy (technical term) view of the whole thing:

Blocked pictures/vital statistics when the blocking happens.

I also started some socks. Yes, I know - I like the idea of knitting socks (and wearing them) much more than the actual fact of the matter. These socks are different. They are the Rainbow Socks from Magknits and were called to my attention by a certain person, who shall remain nameless but she knows exactly who she is and she has a lot to answer for.

(Not the best picture. I'll try to get a better one later.)

Short rows are used to create the "crazy stripes". I thought I was proficient in short rows after my adventures with Nona's Japanese Short Row Tutorial. What could be simpler? Ha! Think again, clever clogs. I can knit the most complex of lace (see above); I can knit stranded colour work (see the Kauni); I can knit complex cables (see Fulmar); can I knit a simple, short row sock? Not without a great deal of difficulty. I have even resorted to a life-line (a life-line! I ask you! I haven't even got a life-line in the Wedding Ring Shawl!) I don't know what it is about this sock but it's not the easiest thing in the world to do.

I started off using the Japanese short rows (with the safety pins) but soon got fed up with that. I tried it without the safety pins but really wasn't sure if I was picking up the correct loop. I tried the yarn over method. That left holes and loose bits and just looked a mess. I've settled on my own method. I wrap the yarn right around the needle fairly snugly and then knit that snug loop together with the wrapped stitch when I next come to it. The sock still looks a bit "bobbly" (tt) but I'm hoping that the very wearing of it will cause a "mini-blocking" and even out a multitude of sins. We shall see.

I'm also taking part in the Anne (with an "e") of Green Gables Knit and Read along. I first read these books as a child but re-read them at the beginning of this year, when I was so ill. Even though I'm a knitter, I hadn't realised just how much knitting content is in the books. Imagine my surprise when on the very first page of the very first book we find, "Mrs Rachel (...) knitting 'cotton warp' quilts." I haven't a clue what a "cotton warp" quilt is. I've googled and come up with very little apart from someone on the Yesterknits message board, who tells us that "Cotton warp is a kind of cotton thread. It's used for the warp threads in weaving. It is about the same weight as a sport weight woolen (sic) yarn." I don't think I've got the fortitude to knit a whole quilt (and I certainly don't have time to do so), which leaves me with the problem of deciding on an Anne-inspired project.

On another note, I saw an awesome bag the other day. I accosted the bag-holder and discovered that it was made by Elbo. I think these would look good in a knitted fabric. I know that Anne came with "a shabby, old-fashioned carpet bag" but maybe, when the bag was new, it looked a little bit like one of these? (Without the bow, perhaps?) Over to the drawing board, I think.


Anonymous said...

"She who knows who she is - and is answering for it" -- HA! I told you so. I thought I had a brain glitch, but obviously it wasn't indigenous only to me. Rainbow Socks caused me great grief and multiple lifelines, and have now become a very nice pattern of ribbing and stockinette stitch. It has eliminated my need for a new vocabulary and psychotrophic drugs. Glad to hear I'm not alone in my challenge and frustrations!

Mary-Lou said...

Phew - at least it wasn't me suggesting those socks ... though someone did mention them to me following the short row problem. I've forwarded Suzanne's reply about her socks and wrapping, but it looks as though you already had it covered. The shawl looks lovely by the way, looking forward to seeing it blocked

allisonmariecat said...

Oh, I haven't read the Anne of Green Gables books in years! I will have to find copies. I may still have mine at my parents' house somewhere. Sounds like a great knit-and-read-along.

The socks, while lovely, sound like they should be on my "don't try this at home" list. My word! They had better be the most comfy, gorgeous socks ever after all that.

The center flower looks beautiful. I can't wait to see the whole thing blocked.