Friday, December 02, 2005


I am exhausted. As colds go, this last one was pretty mild, but I think the combination of DD and I being sick (read: cranky) at the same time really did us in. Her behaviour has been very off, I've had a frighteningly short fuse, she's been fussy at bedtimes and, consequently, I'm desperately underslept (read: taking longer than I should to shake the cold). It hasn't been pretty. Add that to the fact that I was really hoping to get to the Lettuce Knit SnB this week but was too sick to do so, and you have a very unhappy person.

But on the plus side for the fibre arts, whenever I was unable to nap because DD was being obstinant about sleep...I knitted.

Cape Cod sweater for MIL
Last week, as The Schedule said I should, I finished the front yoke, joined the shoulders, knitted the neck gussets (the patterned neck gussets, mind you - so freakin' cool), and completed the neck. Behold:

shoulder seam and neck gusset


Not only did it all turn out really well, but I finished it before the end of Sunday, and was able to start on sleeve #1 earlier than scheduled.

This morning I hit the halfway point of sleeve #1. (I thought I'd hit the halfway point last night, and crowed triumphantly to DH about this achievement, but upon a recount of the stitches this morning I discovered that unfortunately I had jumped the gun with my celebration.) Check it out:

completed (patterned) underarm gusset

sleeve #1 so far

It is only Friday and by lunchtime today I'd already finished The Schedule's dictates for this project for this week. It's going quite well. So well, in fact, that forgetting the pattern at home this morning didn't even slow me down...I had enough of it memorized that I was able to work on it during the commute. Once at work, I phoned DH and got him to dictate the pattern details I would need for the rest of the day until I got back home to my pattern again.

(As an aside, I must say that teaching one's spouse to knit makes this kind of thing sooo much easier. The dear man was able to comprehensively describe the chart instructions, and work through the myriad of abbreviations so that he could read the important bits to me quickly and clearly.)

As it all begins to really come together, I am constantly being struck by what a triumph of mathematical precision this pattern is. I love it.

Okay, I am starting to get a niggling worry about running out of yarn, but at this point I'm dismissing the feeling as rampant paranoia. There's still plenty left on the cone.

Persian Tiles shawl for Grandma
I ran out of patience while doing the swatch - I never made it through the entire test pattern. Gauge was more or less being achieved, so there was really no point in resisting the lure of the pattern anymore. (Rationalization: it's a shawl, so precision is not vital. Plus, I've washed this yarn before, and I'm pretty confident I can achieve the sizing specifications during blocking if I end up being a little off with the gauge.) Since I need all the yardage of the blue that I can eke out, I frogged the swatch and started the shawl.

at first glance, a curling pile of crap

forcibly unfurled, the beautiful reality


There is one problem: I did a more thorough skimming of the instructions, and realised that they do not, after all, call for using the secondary colour in the fringe. So it is possible that I could run out of the blue before I finish all 9.5 repeats of the pattern. (Crap.)

Unfortunately, there is no way that getting more yarn is an option if this happens. Firstly, I don't really have the money to buy more...although this is my grandmother we're talking about here, so I'm sure if push comes to shove, I could rationalize the overspending somehow. Secondly, there is no way I'd be lucky enough that the additional blue would be a similar enough dyelot to the original blue. And lastly, the target date for the completion of this project is January 14 (my grandma's birthday), which is terrifyingly close enough that by the time I (hypothetically) run out of blue, there is no way I'd be able to order more wool in time.

But I think I'm managing to be pretty positive about it all. There is, after all, no guarantee that I will actually run out of blue, it's just a possibility. The math says I have enough. (Stop laughing.) Secondly, I have two very legitimate options (other than weeping and cursing) if the worst does come to pass:
  1. I will rely heavily on my grandmother's extremely small size to make the shawl useful as a shawl anyway, even though it will be a shorter length.
  2. I will try to market the gift to my grandmother as a runner for a small table instead of a shawl.
See? No reason to panic. Just keep knitting, just keep knitting, just keep knitting and knitting and knitting...

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