Monday, July 09, 2007

Where's my apple?

So I think I'm all ready to teach the sock class on Wednesday. I've done practice runs. I've reworked the schedule of what we're doing in each class so that everything will fit. I've prepped some knitting so that the students can practice the techniques:

double-pointed needles

two circulars

magic loop

I've also got all my example knitting ready to go:

Foot-pampering socks for moi
I need to be able to demonstrate knitting in the round on double-pointed needles for the class. Since I didn't have a sock-in-progress on double-pointed needles, I had to start one. I am using the Austermann Step yarn that I got for Mother's Day and I think it looks really good so far:

Wild socks for DD1
This project is going to be the example of knitting with two circulars for the sock knitting class. So I knitted a little bit on it this weekend just to make it a bit bigger:

Sleep socks for moi
Last week sometime I decided to finally, finally teach myself the long-tail cast-on. I've been avoiding it for years - partly because I've been quite happy thus far with the knitted cast-on, and partly because my mom has demonstrated the long-tail cast-on to me a gajillion times and I was never able to get it so I figured it would take some serious concentration on my part to beat it into my brain. (She does some weird thing where she loops the yarn around her neck, it looks quite complicated.) But it's supposed to be a stretchy cast-on, and I figured I needed to have it under my belt since the socks we'll be doing in the class will be top-down.

I headed on over to Knitting Help for a video, practiced it for a while, and then I had it. I estimate that the watching, learning and practicing took somewhere between five and ten minutes. Why on earth did I wait so long to decide to buckle down and learn this?

Having acquired this new technique, I decided to rip out the inch or so I'd done on my sleep socks and re-cast-on using the long-tail method (and larger needles). This has now been done, and this project will be my example to the class of the magic loop technique.

So the feelings of panic and the concerns about being totally unprepared for the class have now been alleviated, and I'm excited about it! I went over to the shop yesterday to make sure June was cool with the final details, and everything's good. I also brought her a whack of the yarn that I inherited from my friend's grandmother's stash, for her to give it away to customers doing charity knitting. So that makes me feel like I did some good. To my surprise, she then turned around and very generously gave me some yarn from her older stash:

It's a mohair/cotton/acrylic blend - lovely stuff. Four-and-a-bit skeins. She's hoping I'll be able to use it for a sweater for DD1, so I will try to oblige. And if there isn't enough yarn, I'll make a sweater for DD2 instead. (It's very handy having kids of different sizes about the house.)

In other news, Startitis has returned. (It may actually be more accurate to say that it never left...but why split hairs.)

Tubey for moi
It didn't take me long to decide what I was going to do with the bottle green alpaca I bought last week. And once the decision was made, well...

I am weak. 'Delayed gratification' is not a phrase in my vocabulary, evidently.

This project has also made me realise how fast I can knit when I don't use thin yarn, small needles, and intricate motifs. I burned through three of the skeins in three days of work. (There are ten in all.) This sweater is moving along ridiculously fast.

Unfortunately, I think I'm going to rip it all back and start over, because the sleeves are looser than I want them to be. On the model, the sleeves are shown fairly snug against the arms, and even though I'm following the XS instructions, my arms are kind of swimming in the sleeve I've done (i.e. I need to reduce the circumference by about 10 stitches). Since the number of stitches in the sleeve is directly related to the number of stitches in the upper back of the sweater, I also have to rip out what I've done for the back. However, this doesn't distress me too much, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this is a very fun knit, so ripping it back just means I get to spend more time on it. Secondly, it's not like I'm ripping out a hundred hours of knitting time or anything - I don't think it took me more than ten to fifteen hours to get this far. And lastly, it's summer. It's not like I need a sweater rightthisveryminute.

Plans to frog aside, DH supports this new project wholeheartedly because the sweater is form-hugging and he is therefore looking forward to drooling when I put it on. (He's so sweet - we'll have been together for ten years this coming New Year's, and he is absolutely unswerving from the opinion that I am ridiculously hot.) I expect that he will be considerably more distressed when I frog back to the beginning than I am.

For my part, I support this new project because, well, it's for me. Also, I agree with DH that it will flatter my shape, plus, I suspect it will be easy to nurse in. (Obviously a serious consideration for clothes these days.)

Rainbow lace blanket
One of the yarns I wanted to keep from the stash I inherited from my friend's grandmother was an acrylic, probably worsted weight, in a very nice variegation of baby colours: white, soft pink, baby blue, mint and light yellow. There's quite a bit of it, probably enough for a blanket. I thought it would be nice to use it for the re-creation of the white fuzzy blanket that my daughter loves so much. So again, delayed gratification was not something I was willing to endure:

I had a lot of pooling there for a while, but I started to knit a touch more loosely and it seems to have eased up.

I'm not sure whom this will be for. DD2 is the logical person, but I also have a baby shower coming up later this summer and, depending on how much knitting I can get done between now and then, I might need to use this project as my gift.


Elaine said...

WOW! you are one prepared sock knitting teacher! i wish i could be in that class! i think you are going to do Great! can't wait to hear how it goes! :o)

Elaine said...

p.s. it's me! kelpkim! :o)

Carrie K said...

You're a very prepared teacher! Surely there is a bushel of apples for you.

Startitis is your friend. How else to use up all that yarn? And that's so sweet of DH. Of course he does!