Saturday, January 31, 2009

1.31 sleeve

Originally uploaded by zinlizzie
It's always such a relief to have a paper out of the way. It's turned in - with 8 hours to spare!

This is my latest project - intended to be a short sleeved scoop neck pullover, approximately the same style as a favorite commercially made sweater. It may take a while - I'm doing it on size ones in half linen stitch, but there you go. It will make a nice change from K's new sweater in bulky yarn on size whatever-they-turn-out-to-be's.

Speaking of K, I have promised to take her out and do a first run through on starting, stopping, and generally keeping the car going in the right direction. Given that we have just had another six inches of snow in the past twelve hours, and are still getting occasional snowsqualls move through, I don't think any real roadwork is going to happen today.

Friday, January 30, 2009

1.30B New Driver in the House

K passed her test and now has a shiny new learner's permit.


This is all I have to say about that.

1.30 analysis

A friend of mine said a friend of hers was having trouble with a pattern - it just wasn't working and she was sure there was an error. I said I'd take a look and see if I could see anything.
Full of enthusiasm (or as much as I have nowadays - see Winter Doldrums), I started by checking stitch counts. Aha! Line 15 starts with 34 stitches in the repeat and ends with 37. Line 16 starts with 34 stitches...
Except that when I went to graph it out to see if I could fix it, it turns out that line 15 starts AND ends with 34 stitches in the repeat. So the most you could say about that is that line 15 is easy to misread.
Knitting this puppy I discovered several things: 1. The lace part of the pattern has that difficult transition from knit to purl with a yo in between where it is really really easy to lose the yo. One possible source of error. 2. Another row has a different transition where I lost stitches multiple times, but not always in the same place on the row. Annoying to have to check for. 3. The title of the piece is Lace and Cable Afghan but there really aren't any cables, just cable simulations at the junctions of the 34 stitch repeats. 4. There are two completely different pattern sequences in this afghan - one set for rows 1-12 and the other for rows 13-24. There are no transitions or delineations between the patterns - you just jump back and forth.
In talking with my friend, I think this last is why she thought there was an error in the pattern. She got to row 13 and it had no earthly connection to row 12 except that it was the next row. I don't know what her friend's problem may have been - I gave her the list of possibilities.
This is where a chart might have helped - at least it would have been obvious that there were two different patterns going on.
And frankly, I think the end result might be rather ugly.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

1.29 Winter doldrums

It's that time of year when I find it very difficult to get past the winter doldrums. Spending the day yesterday shoveling (and shoveling and shoveling) did not improve my mood. Today, we have lots of white snow in the backyard and the trenches have been (re-)dug for the dog to get out without having to bound along.
I'm not sure what brought him out yesterday but there was a big dog fox trotting along through the backyards as the snow was falling. He was tracking along the edge of the woods when I first saw him, and vanished behind the back of the neighbor's shed. Then he followed a (his own?) track back through the yard, about halfway between the shed and our garden fence, then bending back to the woods just to the left of the small willow tree. He reversed pattern again, came back along that same track again and vanished behind the neighbor's swimming pool, off the right in the picture. I didn't seem him again but he was a handsome fellow. I didn't get a picture of him - the camera was upstairs and I was reluctant to miss sight of him.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

1.21 Just a little boggled...

You remember my sad tale of trying to buy some Jo Sharp Ultra Verdi for a new sweater for K? Right.

The bottom line was that I wound up with 16 balls sent me from a shop in Idaho. I have 7 more balls sent from a shop in Albany, Australia.

The part I find just a mite mindboggling is that all 23 balls are the same dye lot.

Monday, January 19, 2009

1.19 Bloghopping

I decided to go bloghopping the other day. Open a blog at random from your blogroll; pick a blog at random from their blogroll; read that blog; pick a blog at random from their blogroll... until you run into someone who doesn't have a blogroll.

The only time I cheat is where I recognize one or more names on someone else's blogroll - I don't randomly pick ones I already have on my own blogroll.

I usually get two or three new blogs on my blogroll when I play this game and this time was no exception. Cake Wreaks was the outstanding new find this time.

However, in the spirit of letting people bloghop, I decided I better add my blogroll to mine. I found myself unreasonably annoyed at blogs that were stoppers in my game.

Friday, January 16, 2009

1.16 Oberstdorf...

is finished! J's going skiing in it tomorrow - after that I'll wash and block it. Backwards, I know, but with the temp supposedly in the minus range, I'd rather it was on him and warm than sitting on the floor wet and blocking.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

1.13 The weather...


is not news to anybody, but it is still going to be too damn cold. The cold air is starting to sweep in and the air is full of tiny snowflakes that feel like miniature slaps in the face with a wet dishrag. It is warm enough still that they almost melt in the air, but not quite.
I did manage to sew and cut the steek. Now I'm tucking in the zillions of ends. I got a snappy comment from one of the women at guild mentioning that I could tuck them in as I go, but not tucking them I see as insurance against having to rip out. You just know the minute I tuck one in, I'll notice an unacceptable mistake one row below that point.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

1.11 oberstdorf

Progress. I've even made a bit of progress past this point - I've stopped for the evening because the next step is sewing either side of the steek and then cutting down the center of the zipper line. That I need to be fresh in the morning for.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

1.10 red leaf spinning

I saw a picture of this leaf on Freyalyn's journal back in September, and it was just perfect. Freyalyn was incredibly patient with my quest for the exact balance of red to gold, and I just love spinning it. It is easily some of the most yummy fiber I've ever spun: drafts well, soft, gorgeous, not-white and not-grey - what more can you ask for?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

1.8 First grump of the new year

I was looking through the Twist Collective and thought that K might look good in Vivian (ravelry). On consulting K, I determined that she thinks she might look good in Vivian (not always a given), and we started discussing yarn possibilities. She likes the green of the original, so I started looking about for possible yarns. The original yarn was a bulky, 120 yds/100 gram put up from a British company. Looking for something a little closer to home, I found Jo Sharp Silkroad Ultra in the Verdi shade is 60 yds/50 gram put up and currently discontinued.

K likes the Verdi green, and I figured that the discount for discontinued would bring it into (relatively) affordable range. I started googling for who had it and for how much, flipping back and forth between google pages, catalog pages, the pattern... how much do I need, how much does it cost, what're the exact specs on the yarn. Fine! Company A has it on discount, they have 19 balls available (I want 12 - 11 that are called for and 1 for extra just because), reasonably priced, not too far to ship. Order that puppy! A-a-a-and just as I hit the confirm button, I start kicking myself because I have just confirmed an order for 12 balls that are half the size of the 11 called for by the pattern. Moreover, I can't order another 12, because they only had 19 to start with which isn't enough. And it's a sale item, which they won't take a return on.

That part was my mistake.

Groaning softly, I started looking for another 12 balls of Verdi. I'll mix dyelots alternating rows if I have to - I'll figure out something.

Company B: not quite so close, but, hey! no discontinued discount, but a half price sale on everything! I can live with that. They have 17 balls available - I ordered what I needed. Very nice note from the automatic teller, and then a followup nice note on Monday morning - the stuff is In the Mail. And on Wednesday, Company B's package arrives. I hadn't heard anything from Company A, so I dropped a note to the Customer Service dept - Well?

And this morning I got a note from Company A - in response to my note, not in response to my order. Oh. Well - we don't have any of that left, sorry, have a nice day.

So - sometime between Sunday, when I ordered this and their online system assured me that they had 19 balls and 12 of them were earmarked for me, and this morning, when someone opened my email and bothered to check stock, either:
1. Someone updated inventory to reflect reality.
2. Someone called or walked in and spoke to a live person who snabbled all the inventory without checking to see if an order had been placed already.
And - no one has yet responded to the actual order I placed 4 days ago, which is, by the way, still sitting in their system marked "open".

So - I have 12 balls in hand and I need at least 22.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

1.7 Snow, sleet, rain, sleet, snow...

to be followed by sleet and rain tomorrow.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

I'm trying to get J's Oberstdorf finished by weekend after next. I can't decide whether I want to calculate how many stitches are left in order to decide whether I think I can finish, or whether I want to just be surprised.

Monday, January 05, 2009

1.5 on the 12th day of Christmas

They all went back to work and school and I went back to bed.

Katy Shawl, rear elevation.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

1.4 on the 11th day of Christmas

We had S's birthday! He was difficult to buy for at Christmas, but the birthday we had covered. Judging from the smile, the electric razor for his 14th was a hit.

I got a request for "how does it look on a body" for the Katy shawl, so herewith is a front elevation.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

1.3 on the 10th day of Christmas

That would be Saturday. Grocery shopping, laundry, sightseeing, dinner out (my brother's visiting).

Friday, January 02, 2009

1.2 on the 9th day of Christmas

We took down the Christmas tree. And packed away the ornaments. Caught up on paperwork and tidied up the kitchen.

Are you sure today isn't Saturday?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

1.1 on the 8th day of Christmas

We woke up to more snow on the ground. Let's see - that makes 9 inches this go round. J and I shoveled the drive so that he could go stand out in a field of snow, shooting off model rockets. He took his skis, another guy brought snowshoes, and a third brought a snowmobile for chasing rockets. They had about 40 people show up, and had a great day - sunny, just a little wind, and not too cold (just 25 F).

I let K & S sleep in until they woke up (11 am), for the first time this holiday (mean mom that I am). I made them help me fix tamales this afternoon and planned to make cheesecake this evening, until I couldn't find my springform pan. J finally located it, packed inside a cookie tin in the basement (why? who knows) but by that time I had lost my cheesecake mojo. Maybe tomorrow.

I've gotten a bit of knitting done - mostly knitting assembly, actually. I've gone back to working on J's Oberstdorf (that finishing-things-up impulse I mentioned before) and managed to swing past a potential roadblack. I finished the last two rounds on the second sleeve and then got the sleeves and body assembled together on the long needle so that I could do the first two rounds of the yoke. That assembly bit was liable to be a stopper if I didn't hurry through it. The next sticky point is identifying where the zipper placket needs to be placed, but I don't actually have to do that for an inch or so after the top of the colorwork and that actually has another seven rounds to go, so I'm safe for a day or so. At 400+ stitches per round, each round takes a little while.