Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Ooooooh a comment. I knew I put that link there for a reason. Just have to post a response.

Yes, that knitting machine looks scary, but bear in mind, I'm working intarsia with a bunch of colors. Eighteen color changes per row if you are counting. If you were hand knitting it would look scary about now as well. Unless you were the kind of wierdo that weaves in ends as you go along. Actually, the mess that is pictured is quite under control.

To learn, I started with one color, then moved to basic 2x2 cables, then tried stripes. After that I did an intarsia heart on a sweater front. Then I tried the chicken sweater from a book called "animal knits". It got scary. It became a mess. I left it on the machine for three month's hoping it would go away. It didn't. I finally ripped it off the machine and threw it into the trash. So, there's the answer to what happens when things turn into a tangled mess. Avoid, then destroy. This may be a deviant aspect of my personality.

This is the first time "back in the saddle" since the terrifying chicken incident.

My knit guild has an impossibly huge supply of craft yarn that is being used for charity projects. We just drop by one of the storage locations, pick what we want and bring back what we make. I took a good sized shopping bag home when we sorted it over a year ago. I am taking advantage of this to develop my skills and confidence with the scary machine cost free. Because of the abundance of the yarn, I don't feel the need to conserve, so tossing a mess away rather than picking it apart and re-using the yarn is an option I can live with. And sometimes, I even end up with something to donate. When I began I made several toddler child sweaters that were donated.

So, everyone in the United States, have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

We're off to Colorado tomorrow. Yippeee. Our friends heat with a wood stove, so us southerners will be freezing our pants off. I just sorted all our long underwear, and I bought some jeans with some space so I can layer.

I checked progress on the pink and purple vest against last week. I may have done two whole rows. Hopefully, I'll have some sit by the fire time to finish this vest. I'm alternately annoyed and enraptured with this project. I wanted to be about done by now.

And I must have had trouble counting in Lousiania. About eighteen extra rows. It's looking nice I think.

Now, all these projects would be farther along if I had'nt gotten the urge to dust off that Bond knitting machine upstairs, and make a charity blanket for an ongoing guild project. For those of you toying with the idea of a knitting machine, understand that machine knitting is nothing at all like hand knitting. I thought that the thing would help me work through the embarassing amount of yarn I have collected. It's a bit faster than hand, but not as quick as one would think, unless you are doing straight stockenette. In fact, I had to get rid of the concept of "fast" before getting anywhere with the machine. It took a long and frustrating amount of time to get the feel for the thing. I still don't quite have the feel, to be honest.

So this urge is to get the hang of knitting machine intarsia. I started to get it, then the stitches started popping off the needles and the carriage began to jam every row. I remembered this morning that I need to hang some weight on the piece once it gets so far. Does it not look like a disaster? It's about a third done.

The stupid part is that I'm already dreaming about Fasset intarsia designs that I could work up on the Bond.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Gakkk is the sound of the week

I'm out on a two night biz trip, and my suitcase managed to get away and visit Hartford CT, and Columbus OH, before joining me at the hotel. This seems to happen when I absent mindedly pack my medicine in my checked bag instead of throwing it into my purse. When I finally met up with my bag, I found that the purple/pink vest was missing a needle, and could not be worked on. I sure hope that needle is in my living room chair rather than in New England.

On the good side, the weather is nice, and I've got the back seat of the rental car claimed for our three hours of driving today so progress will be made on the blue vest. For sure half the front will be finished, and the second half will have good progress before we return tonight.

And just for fun, and a bit late - Shiloh trying to figure out what happened to his walking path on Monday night after a day of torrential rain. We live near a bike/hike path that runs by a bayou. To the regular eye, it looks to be a lovely recreational area. To a civil engineer it looks like a flood plain. It's both. Gotta love dual purpose development. For reference, the "keep dogs on leash" sign was under water except for the last six inches.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Don't we feel better now?

Jason at blogroll has restored from a backup files and all our precious links are back. I feel sorry for the poor Laura whose link was inserted by the nefarious geek. Congratulations on that pregnancy too, girl.

I will admit that my initial response was anger and hostility when I saw that my link list had been hacked. I calmed down considerably when I saw that all the other blogrolls I saw had suffered the same attack. A few hours later, I checked the news at Blogroll, and found that they were aware of the attack, and had put things to right. A traffic snarl on the information highway.
Blue vest has the back done, and I'm working up the front. Garter stitch sure is slow, and it's pretty dense. The mohair makes it lighter. I'd be concerned about the weight if this were made in cotton as suggested in the pattern.

The pink/purple vest is at the armhole. I wanted to be there last week, but had to rip rip rip. With all the decreases, it ought to spurt along until I increase up to the back. It 's looking nice, but I've done the last five rows a few too many times, trying to get the shaping right.

And finally Shiloh sez:
My bed, my toys, my blanket and I'm happy.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

busy busy
I had to drive to Austin today. I subscribe to Audible, and prepared for the long drive by burning the first half of "Life of Pi" onto CD's before I left. It worked really well, and lasted until two exits before home. Love it when a plan comes together. Pi is currently on a life boat with a live hyena, a live tiger, and a dead zebra and a dead orangutan. Can't wait to see what happens next.

Needless to say, not much progress made on knitting. I don't really like to drive.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Friday I had a three hour line of up useless conference calls. I worked on the donation vest, and almost got to the end of the first shoulder. I then learned that one of the analysts I work with, a very skilled person, has been laid off. Sunday, when I was walking the dog, it occurred to me that I had sloped the shoulder in the wrong direction. It seemed appropriate that the time wasting calls should be doubled by having to take out all the progress in the knitting too. Talk about a work funk. I try to improve my attitude, but it just keeps getting mashed by upper management.

Sunday night the thing got pulled apart, and I was able to re-knit about half of what was done. I wasn't going to offer a progress shot, as I was so irked, but it's a nice cool sunny morning, and I feel a bit better. Here it is in all it's purple and pink glory:

Saturday, we went to the Houston Space Center, so that daughter could attend a parking lot Pokeman event. I had enjoyed the Johnson Center tram tour before, and my husband had not taken it, so we abandoned her in the parking lot, and did the tour. I was sort of disappointed in that it's been toned down considerably since 9/11. You used to be able to view the real working mission control. I did enjoy the dinosaur exhibit that's running right now. Lot's of stories of people digging for a swimming pool and finding mammoth bones. Kind of weird to see dinosaurs at the space center, but we take advantage of what we find.

Daughter had a decent time, but was not happy about the judging standards of the karioke contest. We explained how fair really didn't have much to do with reality, and went to lunch on the Kemah boardwalk. I still haven't' had a nice meal at any of the restaurants there, and I wonder why we end up eating there at all. We did enjoy watching the J80's come in from racing.

What this has to do with knitting is that I did accomplish a few inches of the back of the blue vest.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Both vest projects have made progress, and little by little the family is recovering from the nasty flu.

The blue/blue mohair vest in one is at the armholes. I'll work up the back first. The GS vest I'm knitting side to side, and just finished the neck increases. At 4.5 stitches/inch it moves quite quickly.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Well, I'm mostly over the nasty flu, but still run down. Time to figure out what's important, and work on that.

I was well enough to go to the TGKA SW Convention in Sugarland. I wasn't coughing my brains out at least. It was a small, mellow affair. The hotel was brand new, and there were still rough edges showing, especially with the banquet staff. The market featured mostly novelty yarns and kits, so no temptation there. I did enjoy the classes. It's good to work on new or different techniques now and then. I took a class on short rows and color, a lace class and two classes on Horst Schultz type techniques.

Special bonus.... at the breakfast, I won a door prize!

It's from Interlacements; hand dyed rayon ribbon and cotton/rayon yarn and a pattern for a linen stitch T shirt. I would never have purchased anything like this, but it looks fun.

Now, back to work. But first, here is a peek at the new vest I'm working on: