Saturday, August 23, 2008

Errold's Grove Progress Photo

I think this was about round 35. I don't really remember. Could actually be closer to 39. Anyway, I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out, though I don't know how big the finished product will be.

I may get to the end of this project and decide to rip it back to the middle to add more repeats to gain extra size. Or I could rip it back and start over with a different yarn or a different pattern. For all that Errold demanded that this yarn be used, he doesn't seem as opinionated now.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thirty-five again!

Well, I'm ready to start row 35 on Errold's Grove. It's amazing how much faster it is for me to knit from a chart than from a written pattern. It took just a couple hours to knit ten rows/rounds on the shawl. Then again, there are only about 140 stitches to deal with at the moment and every other round is knit plain, which doesn't take much time. I might actually get through Chart 1 by the end of the weekend (just 30 more rows), barring any major errors or other distractions. By the end of the weekend I'll post a progress picture.

While I was deciding whether or not I had the brain power to tackle lace knitting tonight, I wound my Secret of the Stole 3 yarn into a ball. I debated casting on tonight, but decided it would wait until tomorrow evening, when I might be a bit more focused. I'll try to keep up with the knitalong, but I'm already a week behind everybody. My goal is to finish within a month of the last clue being issued, more or less. I don't remember how "late" I was in finishing the SOTS-2. I did wear it last week though to keep the chill off.

Speaking of SOTS-3, there's a bit of controversy/debate about the shape of the end of the stole. People are quite invested in whether the end is flat or pointed or curved in either a convex or concave manner. It's amusing and annoying to see people lecturing each other how the stole should be shaped, when they're just guessing themselves. Having looked at other people's stoles, I think it would look best with a concave curve at the cast-on end, but that's just my opinion and it's completely subject to change once the rest of the pattern comes out. In any event, I figure each knitter is entitled to shape it however he or she sees fit and none of the answers are wrong. The only person who actually knows the designer's concept is the designer herself and she ain't telling yet. That's part of the fun of a mystery knitalong, I think. You get to discover the pattern as you go along and try to figure out what it is, but it's not about who is right and who is wrong. It's about knitting and camaraderie and watching the pattern unfold.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to Row 25....

I have the Errold's Grove errors removed. I had been at Row 39 or 41. Now I'm back to Row 25. I even had to switch from one circular to DPNs, though I'm about to use 2 short circulars instead. My circs have better points for this particular yarn than the DPNs. For all that this shawl is not yet very large, it took me TWO NIGHTS to rip back 30 rows. As far as I can tell, the remaining stitches are all correct. I'm hoping that it will take just three nights of knitting to get back to Row 39 again. I have a Dean Koontz audiobook that ought to get me through all of that knitting.

Bellatrix still waits patiently for a braindead night of knitting. Maybe I'll have one of those after I get Errold back together.

Monday, August 18, 2008

*double sigh*

Well, my brain is screwed on right today and I'm blogging in the right place, but I'm having to un-knit part of my Errold's Grove shawl. I got as far as row 39, but now I seem to have an off number of stitches in one section and I can't quite tell where I went wrong. I'd been debating ripping back about 6 rounds anyway since I'm missing one of the yarnovers bordering one of the quarters, so I'm not terribly upset about it. Would it have passed the galloping horse test? Maybe. It kinda sticks out that there is a LINE of YOs above and below this spot, plus there are the other three uninterrupted lines of YOs. If *I* were galloping by on a horse, I'd notice, but I probably wouldn't have ripped all the way back to the YO error if I hadn't had a 2nd error to correct.

And now that I've had a boo-boo, I'm now going to knit off the chart rather than the written directions. This should, in theory, help me identify any errors sooner, rather than later. We'll see how well theory and reality match as the knitting progresses.

Boy Sock Update
Boy has tried on his sock. You may have heard the squee when that happened. Everything fits well, except the toe area. The toe seems to be perhaps a bit short and definitely a bit narrow across the smaller toes. Boy will mail the sock back to me for a toe re-knit. When I re-do the toe, I'll make the toe decreases at a shallower angle and leave the toe "seam" wider to create more space in the toe box. The rest of the sock--the instep, the heel and the cuff--were all up to Boy's rather particular sock specs. (He doesn't like "floppy" socks and can be on his feet a lot for his job, so fit is important.) I figure I can re-knit the toe within a couple days of receiving the sock back, then send it out for fitting #2.

Is languishing at the moment. I had an Errold's Grove craving over the weekend instead.

Holiday Knitting Plan
Ok, so I'd initially planned to knit my niece and nephew sweaters for Christmas and I may still do that. Then I found the Morehouse Merino critter patterns. I sent the web address to my sister so she could ask the kidlets what they'd like. My nephew would like an alligator scarf, alligator mittens (he called them "glubs") and an alligator hat (really a dinosaur hat, but I can see how you'd call it an alligator). My niece would like a pony tail hat, a caterpillar scarf and puppy mittens. My sister also wants a caterpillar scarf and niece and sis have decided that matching scarves would be really cool. I'll order the patterns later this week and then set about on a quest for machine washable yarns in the best colors. (Unfortunately the Morehouse Merino yarns are not machine washable or I'd just order the kits.)

In a fit of madness....
I signed up for another laceknitting knitalong--Secret of the Stole 3. I have the first clue printed out and waiting with the chosen skein of yarn. I'm using J. Knits Lace-a-licious in the color Pueblo. It's a soft, pale green alpaca yarn that reminds me of lichens. Although I'm really looking foward to this project, I have yet to wind my yarn. Oddly enough, the sometimes compulsive project starter in me is okay with waiting until I fix my Errold's Grove shawl error before starting SOTS3. A few weeks ago, I don't think that would have happened.

Friday, August 15, 2008


You know that post just below this one? The one that has absolutely nothing to do with fiber stuff? Yeah, right post. WRong blog. Oopsies. I think I was distracted. Or something. *sigh*

I'm past the heel on the first Bellatrix sock though, so I don't think I really care.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Good Works Are Rewarded!?

Ok, this is an interesting story. I complimented a listserv moderator earlier in the week on how he handled issuing a correction to a post he'd made. I thought it was handled very professionally and graciously and told him I was considering using that response as a template for my future boo-boos. He replied a day later thanking me for my kind words and mentioned that one of his former grad students works for my employer. I replied back and said I really enjoyed working with said student and thought said student was a valuable addition to our organization. I also mentioned a couple of projects that I'm working on with former student. Moderator writes back with some suggestions and ideas about these projects. A bit more back and forth ensues talking about satellite imagery and predicting tick habitat/presence. At one point I comment that I always thought it would be pretty straightforward to create a national predictive atlas of tick species. The reply I got today was "If you're seriously interested, let us know. I've cc'd the go-to person on the project." !!!

Wow. I never would have expected that to happen. Going from compliment to project in 4 days! Heck, I never even considered going from compliment to project at all!

I did, of course, say I was interested. I don't know what I can contribute, but I can certainly work with satellite data. I guess it's time to wait and see what happens next! Time to do some background reading on tick biology. I've worked on tick projects before and even on tick projects involving satellite imagery, but my PhD research was actually on mosquitoes. It's been ten years since I had to know detailed tick biology. Fortunately I never quite got around to throwing out my four file boxes full of research articles....

Working Out!

I tried to not go workout this morning. I even stayed in bed a bit late, trying to decide if I was tired. When my feet hit the floor, they took me to the bathroom to wash my face and put in my contacts, then to where I had left my workout clothes for today. All righty then. Looks like a workout day! I had just under an hour to workout, but it was just the right amount of time to do a full weight circuit. Tonight I'll hopefully get to bed a bit earlier so I can get out of bed a bit earlier and get in a full hour of cardio.

And I had a deja vu moment with my workout clothes and packing my gym bag last week. That was weird. Oddly enough, I also remember when I had the dream that it was weird to dream of working out/workout clothes when I absolutely wasn't doing any working out and hadn't been working out for several years.

How I Made My Sister Nearly Wet Her Pants
I left her voicemail yesterday. Voicemail in which I sang the Oscar Meyer Weiner Song as loudly as I could, in my best 5 year old's voice. Apparently she laughed so hard, she nearly wet herself.

So now, after that splendiferously spectacular day, I'm going to park my behind in my favorite chair and watch the Olympic dressage competition while knitting. Then I'll go mow my yard. w00t!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Have Fawkes!!

I finished my Fawkes Socks over the weekend. I have not, of course, woven in the ends or washed them. For that matter, I still intend to rip the first sock back to re-do the heel turning according to my preferred turning rather than the pattern directions. Nonetheless, I have a pair of Fawkes.

About 30 minutes after I finished the Fawkes, I finished Boy's first Sock. I don't have a picture of it though since I shipped it off to Boy this morning for a fitting. He'll get it on Friday or Saturday, which is probably not nearly soon enough. I can only hope he'll be mollified by the cookies that are in the box with the Sock. If the fitting goes well, I'll commence sock #2. Fortunately I have most of my notes written down. Except for how many stitches I cast on. *sigh*
(Boy is smart enough to learn how to count stitches though, so all is not lost!)

After finishing the Boy Sock, I commenced to cast on for Bellatrix. While knitting Fawkes, I had rediscovered the pattern for Bellatrix. I thought it was quite suitable for two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn. The colorway is blue, but rather reminds me of moldy bread, having some grayish areas and some brighter aqua areas. Given that the character Bellatrix was working for He Who Shall Not Be Named, I thought it suitable that a "moldy" colorway be used. On top of that, the pattern uses dropped stitches which gives the appearance that the sock is a bit worn or unravelling. Altogether it's quite a statement of decay and neglect. I like it!

Next up? Queen of Cups in the purple ShiBui sock yarn I bought in May. The Errold's Grove shawl appears to be rather dormant at the moment. Perhaps that will change by the time I'm done with Bellatrix. Then again, I may feel the overwhelming urge to knit the third Monkey Toes Harry Potter-themed pattern, Nagini. I am discovering that socks seem to knit up faster when there is a stitch pattern in them (as opposed to being just ribbing. I think it's the >2 row repeat. I can see myself making progress through the multi-row repeat and it's easy to set a goal of 1-2 repeats per evening. I'm going to have to re-think what my "basic" sock pattern is and include something more complex than ribbing.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Ok, still just nearly finished

I didn't quite get my second Fawkes finished last weekend and I didn't knit on it at all this week. I haven't knit anything since last weekend. There just wasn't time between working out, mowing the lawn and doing the normal weekly chores around the house. I started to get excited this morning about knitting this weekend, but a crummy day at work sucked all that excitement and energy right out of me. Now I really couldn't care less if I knit at all this weekend. Meh.

Boy's sock is still sitting here. I didn't even get the toe grafted shut, nevermind mailing it to Boy. Boy's sock will have to be mailed soon since he's not traveling this week. There are brief windows of opportunity for packages to find Boy at home these days.

I haven't touched Errold since I got back from vacation. I'm not sure that's good after work weekend anyway, given that I can be unfocused and distracted or too tired to concentrate. Maybe I'll try it again next week. I really really want to make some progress on it, since what I've seen of other people's Errolds is just beautiful.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fawkes Nearly FInished!

I'm about 1 pattern repeat from finishing the cuff. I could very well have a finished pair of socks by the end of the weekend. Then I'll seriously consider ripping back the first sock to re-do the heel. For the first sock I followed the pattern directions, which put all the shaping of the heel underneath the heel, rather than along the sides of the heel. I think this would be a fine plan, if this particular heel didn't pull funny at the end of the shaping area and look like it will wear badly. I really won't want to rip out half a sock, but I want to be mending socks even less than I want to re-knit. I still think I could get a finished pair of socks this weekend.

And then I'll kick the Errold's Grove Shawl into high gear.

Oh, the first Boy Sock is finished. I'm packing it up and shipping it off to the Boy for a fitting. I don't mind re-knitting things if they don't fit well, but I want to have some idea of how well the first sock fits before I knit the second one. Boy is terribly excited that he's going to have his very own socks and keeps asking if his sock is there yet. *sigh*