Tuesday, February 28, 2006

As Promised

Well, here they are, folks. A bunch of glorified gauge swatches. :) I think there are a few in there that can certainly rival Geo's "ugly", but there are a few that I'm pretty pleased with, too. Toward the end I had to lessen the technical difficulty (double my triple salchow, if you will) in order to get them all done in time, but hopefully there's enough artistic merit in there to still impress the judges. I am so glad to have participated in the afghan project. Thanks again for the great idea, Jamaica! I have all these new projects brewing in my head from these stitches. I have finally, after many attempts, had some success with lace patterns in these blocks and that has totally inspired me! The other thing this project has done, though, is unleashed my inner yarn snob. I'm so sick of knitting with cheap acrylic yarn!

I took my stitches out of The Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns (my Christmas present from my mom and a really great book!). Even though you probably can't see them too well in the picture, I'll list them in the order they appear, just in case anybody cares:

1. Honeycomb
2. Left Diagonals
3. Trinity Stitch
4 & 5. Garter Stitch (done in my last desperate hour and half on Saturday night)
6. Dewdrops (which looked lovely and dainty in the picture in the book, but when knitted in my Pepto-Bismol pink yarn looked horribly, horribly ugly)
7. Column of Leaves (my favorite)
8. Overlapping Waves
9. Tweed
10. Gentle Curves
11. another Trinity Stitch
12. Open and Closed Fans

I have really enjoyed this experience and being able to hear about everyone else's progress. And I have been SO impressed with all of your projects! Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement and positive vibes!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Team Business

I know that we've only just finished, and that we still have posts to come in about our projects but I'd like to put a few things out there for team members to think about.
  1. I want to say how great it was, in my opinion at least, to have been part of a small and closely connected team like ours. I know that some of you in "Deseret" get to meet in person to knit, but this was a little like having some of you out here with me. Thanks for the fun and companionship, for me, that was the best thing to come out the Knitting Olympics. I think everybody should be proud of their accomplishments and that we will soon have enough blocks to donate a "Team Deseret" afghan to a great cause like Warm Up America.
  2. Speaking of that, I'd like to remind whoever will collect them to let us know where we should send the blocks. I bet it would make a great party to get toegether and assemble them. Very "sewing bee," I'm jealous.
  3. Finally, I'm not sure how others feel in the team, but I would hate for this to be the end of the online LDS knitting presence. I'd like to put it out there that I hope we will continue in this or some other incarnation for fellowship and building of the community. I'd like to encourage everyone to think of ways to facilitate this, if any of you think as I do that we should continue.
Once again, congratulations to everyone who participated whether you finished your projects or not, and best wishes from Manhattan.

Finished Object: Fair Isle Beret


I wrote a full post with two other pictures and my opinions on my Olympic experience here.

This beret was the "Fair Isle Beret" from p. 41 of Vintage Knits by Sarah Dallas. I knit it with 1 skein each of Knit Picks Palette 100% wool fingering weight yarn in Grass, Mint, Pool, Petal, Lemon, and Mist. I cast on around 8:30 p.m. on Friday, February 10 and finished around noon yesterday, Saturday, February 25. I estimate that I spent between 25-30 hours on the project. The beret measures 10" (25.5 cm) across flat and has a circumference of 22" (56cm) around my head at the opening point (much wider of course at the wider part of the beret.)

So, I wore it to church today, even though it was pretty darn cold here in Manhattan. I found that despite my ambivalence towards the color that people (suprisingly the men) liked it and told me it seemed like springtime, which was what I was going for. This picture and the ones on my blog are so funny because the wind was going in these huge gusts and I was afraid the thing would fly off because it is as light as a piece of paper. You can see my hair flying around in this one, and in the one with me and my dog on my blog, if you click on it you can see how red my face is from the cold! So after all the frustration of making this thing, I definately am looking forward to the more comfortable days that it represents.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

I Believe In Miracles

11:28 pm. That's what time I cast off the last stitch of Charity Block #12.
Four and a half hours. That's how long I had been knitting continuously (ok, one bathroom break) prior to that moment.
Two days ago I had completed 5 blocks and thought I'd be lucky if I finished 8, 4 short of my goal. Who says Olympic dreams don't come true?
I've got to go to bed. I'll post some pics tomorrow. Night-night, everybody.

Putting the needles to bed

Ah me, what wonders you've created, Team Deseret! And we haven't seen 'em all yet.

I finished stitching my two necklaces, though I had to abandon the wire plans and go with actual fiber. I'll get back to my wire experimentation later--I decided that it was more important to be flexible and actually reach my olympic goal by this evening. So, wool it was. Okay by me--I love wool!

It's tough not to compare my basic blocks and necklaces with the beauties the rest of you have worked up, but I am reminding myself that the challenge was the thing. For me, right now, these little bits were a challenge. The stretching came in making time, even a little time, for something I love to do: knit, and in doing so for somebody(ies) else. I got to take care of me and also get out of myself for a minute. To tell you the truth, for me, the most fun of all has been interacting with and watching you all.

So, yeah, I'm done clicking and clacking for now. I'll take tomorrow off. I still need to block a necklace that looks very very strange at the moment, but will hopefully improve with some OCD steaming and pressing and pinning. I still need to weave in ends on the other two uglies I made for the humanitarian afghan. I need to sew a button and string some beads. But the durn stitching is done. Monday I will think about our awards. Tomorrow I read in the tub and think about what's next.

I'll post a photo or three on Monday. I hope to see more from the rest of you. She Who Wins Blue Ribbons In County Fairs brought over some finished blocks, so I'll post some photos for her too.

Enjoy your Sabbath, folks. Love ya.

Blocking on the Bed



I didn't want Christy to be the only one with a red shawl pinned to the bed, so here's Kiri. She got a nice warm soak with Italian bath gel before her trip to the bedroom. And just so everyone knows, Christy wasn't the only one knitting with dirty hair! I think I do my best knitting in my jammies with greasy hair sticking straight up. Trust me, it's the only time my baby fine blonde locks stand up. The only difference between Christy & me that I can tell is in the beverage of choice---diet coke for me. Lots of it! Well, that and the fact that the snowdrop shawl is much more difficult than Kiri. I have snowdrop saved for a future time. Like maybe the Vancouver olympics????

I have some more pictures on my blog (www.beadntat.blogspot.com) The obligatory "bee-hind" shawl pix are yet to come---after Kiri gets up from her nap. It's been a blast knitting with ya'll!

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful


The Snowdrop Shawl is blocking. She's extremely happy to be off the needles and glad to have her border. I can't believe I'm finished. I feel like those cross country skiers that fall down in a heap as soon as they cross the finish line. I wrote an extended entry on my personal blog. You can find it HERE!

I made it!

I'm all done with my beret, and it is blocking now. I plan to wear it to church in the morning so I can take a nice picture while I'm still dressed in my Sunday clothes. Until then, I'm finishing my second charity afghan block. Congrats to everyone else who has finished, and there are still a few hours left for those of you who haven't so hang in there.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Wheeee! Casted off this morning



Wheeee! I'm done. It was quite a performance last night. Those last few rows of Kiri are so long! I knit madly on the edging as I watched the Ladies Figure Skating. I correctly predicted the silver medal, only the gold and bronze medalists did the flip flop on me. But Shizuka Arikawa of Japan skated beautifully--a truly olympic performance. Just like my shawl, huh? I finished knitting the last row last night, but opted to cast off this morning so it would be nice and even. I'll post another picture once I've finished blocking. I admit I am very pleased with myself over this one :-)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Finished

The toddler socks/slippers are done. The don't fit quite as well as I'd hoped, but they will fill the measure of their creation nonetheless. Also, I'm really glad for this project--I'd forgotten how much I enjoy knitting. Go team go!

I'm seriously starting to lose it...

I am reposting comment I made on Harlot's blog, as am trying to save knitting time. I'm sorry team, I think I'm letting you down. (This post is more realistic, if read aloud without taking a breath - just do confused british/american accent and you'll sound just like the crazy limey that wrote it).

I hear you loud and clear. Last night I woke up to use the bathroom around 2:30pm and considered whether I should not go back to bed (although I had only been in bed for an hour) and knit. I made myself go back to sleep but dreamed of knitting. If only the amount of knitting I accomplished while sleeping had magically appeared, I would be done. Unfortunately, tis not so. I feel like I am skiing down the hill with the avalanche chasing behind me, getting closer and closer to the inevitable doom of not completing.
I was off to such a great start with the first sleeve finished in 3 days and 2nd sleeve a week later (I was slowing down), then I hit the ribbing on the body and time stood still. AND THEN, my body decided to become ill (which was of you sneaky olympic countries sabotaged me with illness), 3 of 4 kids became ill and then husband informed (reminded) me that we're going out of town for some boring dental conference (oh yeah, and 14th wedding anniversary) in chicago. Which just happens to be the weekend of the pinewood derby, where the pack was so kind as to say that siblings could have cars to race too. I put my foot down at only the 10, 7, and 4 year participating - 13 mo old will just have to hold this against me and drag up on Dr. Phil shows as evidence of psychological abuse later in life. So, 3 cars later - well, actually I have to go help 4 year old paint, calm husband as he profanes about "who hated parents enough to invent such an annoying event" as he tries to get them to the correct weight.
This is a long comment, I know! Did I mention that I was knocking down all the Vitamin C and Echinaeca (spelt wrong) plus beautiful Diet Coke (seriously 6 cans today) to try to complete preparing home for babysitter, knit, pack, cook, pack, laundry (8 loads), knit and I think possibly cry.
Oh, but don't worry I'm not complaining!! ha ha
P.S. How much Diet Coke in the bloodstream constitutes olympic doping? Because if more than 6 is illegal, then I'm pleading the 5th (which I'm not sure I can do, as I'm a british citizen living in the US - Do you have to be american to plead the 5th? and would it even matter if they had this comment as evidence.)
Oh crap! I've lost my ever-knitting-loving mind!

Speed Dining


1. No time to eat with hands. I am now resorting to being "fed" by my trainer.

2. Greasy hair. No time to shower.

3. No makeup. Not even my brand new eyeshadow!

4. Cramping in my left arm. Feel the burn.

5. Three days left. Note to self: go and buy some Depends undergarments. Cannot waste any more time on the toilet.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Snowdrop Shawl

I don't have time right now to re-do my post on the Snowdrop Shawl so I'm just going to refer you to my website. The kids have had enough of me blogging today and are banging down the door!

See my Olympic progress here.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Block-o-rama!














I thought I'd give you all an update on my Olympic afghan progress. I have completed seven blocks and am working on an eighth. Obviously, some of them will require some blocking to look more presentable, but I didn't want to wait any longer to take a picture (and I'm hoping you all will be forgiving!)

Photo 1 (at left): top left--King Charles Brocade; top right--Tuck stitch; bottom left--Harris Tweed ribbing; bottom right--Knit Twist Lattice.

Photo 2 (at right): top left--Tweed pattern; bottom left--unnamed lace pattern that is supposed to look like diamond-shaped leaves (although it looks like a big mess at the moment); right--unnamed stitch pattern that gives a cool woven effect. (If I ever wanted to knit a placemat--who knows?--this would be the stitch I'd choose).

Three of these came from my Vogue Knitting book, one from a Leisure Arts book called 99 Knit Stitches, one from a pattern I've been eyeing in Jean Frost Jackets, and two from a booklet called "Knitting Primer," copyright 1968, which was mysteriously unearthed in my Grandmother's basement despite the fact that neither she nor anyone in her family ever knit a stitch as far as I know.

Even more impressive is the fact that I have successfully restrained myself from knitting anything else besides afghan blocks! I will admit I am counting down the days till I can pull out that cabled cardigan and finish it, though.

The Frosted Cupcake is Done!



The Frosted Cupcake is done! It turned out lovely, after having its crocheted trim ripped out and redone, but that was par for the course, given that I crochet backwards. Oh, well. The Russian judge in the rocking chair (my husband, not an actual Russian) scored me high on artistic merit and tried to appropriate the hat for himself. The French judge (my roomate, not an actual Frenchman) scored me ambivelantly on technical merit given the trim re-do. Overall, I felt the scores were appropriate, and the owner picked up his creation over the weekend. He loves it. It was an audience favorite. I even gave him special tips on blocking and re-shaping. I'm sure he and the hat are involved in a rigorous training regimen as we speak!