Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Schedule is marginally pleased

Cape Cod sweater for MIL
In my last blog entry I forgot to mention anything about how I had started back on this project after many months of neglect. But it's true - I'm back to concentrating on this so that it can be finished in time for Christmas. In order to succeed at this, I must accomplish about a centimetre a day while I'm working on the body. This is very tough to do - not only are there are a lot of stitches per round, but the fact that I'm combining four strands (of what is essentially just thread) as I go generates further complications: slower knitting to make sure I knit through all four strands in each stitch; gentle coaxing of more yarn out of the skeins instead of rapid yanking; and fairly frequent breaks to do some untangling.

This week I failed miserably in my centimetre-a-day goal, but I did catch up a tiny bit yesterday on the two-hour drive to the SCA event. I'm now over one-third done pattern motif #3. I'll be concentrating a lot on this project during my 'knitting vacation' this week to give myself a chance to catch up.

Secret Garden cardigan for niece
Friday morning, both sleeves looked like this:

Within minutes of starting the Friday commute home, both sleeves were finished:

And that's where I ran out of steam. I had foolishly brought along no backup knitting for when the sleeves got done. I hadn't even brought the body of the cardigan with me so I could start the next stage of sewing things together (which would have meant doing the naughty thing and not blocking them beforehand, but I often ignore details like blocking in my eagerness to finish). Fortunately, I had some extra yarn and needles in my bag, so I practiced combined knitting the rest of the way home instead of going nuts from boredom.

However, this project has kind of stalled, and I'm not going to fulfill this week's goal of finishing the cardigan by tonight. The good news is that I'm not far off since all that's left is the making up, collar, front bands and button sewing. I'll probably start doing that tomorrow.

Christmas socks for DH
I am a sneaky wife. :) Yesterday in plain sight of DH I started the first sock and worked on it brazenly in front of him the whole day and night, and I finished it this morning.

I thought having a different colour at the heel and toe would be nifty. (The real reason, of course, is that I was worried I'd run out of blue yarn.)

The burgundy heel and toe also helped me keep up the ruse that the socks are for me. I told DH that the burgundy will help me tell the socks apart from his blue ones, since otherwise how will we know which are his and which are mine since the two pairs will be so close in size? (Much innocent blinking followed up this statement.) DH has no idea that the socks are for him. In fact, he was simply dee-lighted to see me finish the first sock because he thinks I'm that much closer to finishing the first thing I've ever knitted for myself. Muahahahaha.

The only drawback to this is that he can never see me finishing the second sock, because after that he'll wonder why he never sees me wearing them. So at a certain point I'm going to have to 'go underground' with this knitting.

I did have to do some frogging around the heel of the first sock, though. This is not (and I want to stress not) because I screwed up turning the heel. No. I had to emphasize that point a few times to DH, who told me not to feel bad about screwing up the heel because he understood heels were tricky things. I did not screw up the heel. What happened the first time I had to frog was that I'd realised I'd lost track of my decreases after turning the heel and had messed up too badly to fudge them going forward. (I had lost track of the decreases because I was distracted watching the tournament.) And the second time I had to frog was because I realised I had knitted too long with the burgundy and should have changed back to the blue much earlier. But I did not screw up the turning of the heel itself. (Did not.)

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