Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chemo Cap Snafu

Remember a while back when I said I was going to knit the Santa Cruz cap?  Then I changed to Interlude and finally decided on the Snowdrop Beret?  I got a whole pattern repeat of Snowdrop done last weekend.  Didn't have much knitting time this week, at least not much knitting time for knitting that required any sort of brain function. It's very much been a K2, P2 or garter stitch kind of week, mentally.  Here's proof of that:

One night this past week I decided I'd work a couple rounds of the Chemo Cap just to be making progress on it.  So I did.  I got up to Round 13, which requires a cable needle that I'd put away, so I set the cap aside until today.  Today I knit three or four more rounds and finished the pattern repeat.  When I sat back to admire my work, I realized what was wrong.

I had knit seven rounds FROM THE SANTA CRUZ PATTERN on my Snowdrop Beret .

So I frogged an inch of hat.  Now I'm ensconced in my comfy chair with a mug of hot Sleepytime tea, watching Ben-Hur on TCM.  If I'm lucky, I'll be able to make up the ground I lost.  The recipient of the chemo cap is probably a month into chemo at this point.  I need to get this finished before she a) finishes chemo and b) regrows her hair!!!  This hat needs to get with the program and STOP STRUGGLING TO NOT BE KNIT!!!!!  Bad hat!! No biscuit!!  (On the other hand, I have completely lost my sulky, crabby attitude about this project since it started misbehaving.  I am now completely determined to kick its soft blue butt and show it who is boss!!)

I would just switch over to the Tri-Cities Socks (aka Pittsworth by SpillyJane), but I'm ready to start a 49 round repeat cable pattern.  If I haven't the brain power for Snowdrop, I certainly haven't got enough brain left for Pittsworth.*sigh*

One thing I can say about Spa yarn by Caron.  It holds up well to repeated knitting and frogging.  I'm getting used to the splittiness of it and managing to not split many stitches now.  I'm also using some rather pointy Bry-Flex needles too, which I'm sure helps.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Chemo Cap Reborn

So I frogged the too small Santa Cruz hat and started Interlude by Marya Speton.  I got halfway through the ribbing when I spied the Snowdrop Beret on Marya's blog.  I liked Snowdrop so much that I decided to knit it instead.  I'm just about to start the lace pattern now.

I'm also reminded that it's really hard for me to get into knitting when I'm knitting because I have to, not because I want to knit.  I also realized that I tend to knit as a background activity while I read or watch a movie.  It's very different when I'm supposed to be knitting, then need to find something else to fill the background.  Too bad I can't figure out how to simultaneously knit and type (or surf the internet).  I am, at least, mentally re-ordering my Ravelry queue and sort of making a list of stuff to clean/declutter/fix/do around the house...

Project Pictures and Project Woes

First, for the good pictures, we have the Boy Socks (all finished save for the weaving in of the ends) and we have Sis' Striped Sock #3, just ready to turn the heel.

Now for the project woes....
The chemo cap is nice to look at, but only about 12 inches in circumference when unstretched.  Although a bald head is smaller than a hairy head, I suspect that it's not small enough to allow this hat to fit.  As much as I dislike this yarn, I'm not really keen on ripping out and starting over.  I had just talked myself into finishing the hat quickly by promising myself I could start the Pittsworth/Tri-Cities socks as soon as I was done too.  Grrrrr.  Now I need to figure out what to do with the hat--either change needle size or cast on more stitches

The other woe isn't a complete and utter woe.  This is a sock that I'm designing myself using Barbara Walker's Fractured Lattice pattern.

I had hoped the stitch pattern would show more stitch definition than it does.  I haven't decided if I want to rip it out and start with a new pattern I devised the other night or if I want to just keep going and get this pattern proofed/tested.  Just because I'm not overly keen on the pattern doesn't mean other folks won't like it.  I am, however, really excited about the next pattern idea.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Productive Headache

I woke up this morning with a headache, probably of sinus origin, that left me pretty much uninterested in doing anything but sitting in my comfy chair.  Knitting on any of my current projects (stripey socks, chemo cap, Errold's Grove or blueberry sweater) wasn't even appealing.  The new Knitty did create some interest in knitting.  I have added Clandestine, Cathedral, Girl Friday, Kernel, and Zozo to my Ravelry queue.  I nearly cast on one of the sock patterns, but decided that it would be too much effort. (By that time my stomach was beginning to be upset too.)

So I decided to work on the sock pattern I started developing nearly a year ago. (Don't ask me how this is less work than casting on an already written pattern, because I have no idea. Brain said it was easier.) I had already written out the pattern on paper and had even cast on and knit the ribbing, then stopped.  Now I'm a few rounds into the pattern itself as I sit here and watch Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring on DVD and sip some caffeinated beverages.  The headache is abating.  Now I'll need to decide whether to continue with the productive knitting or move on to some productive yardwork or decluttering.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Boy Socks Done!

Well, I got the Boy Socks finished, but not, of course, while I was visiting Boy.  I got most of the way down the foot by the time I left Boy's house and all the way to the toe shaping before I got back to my house. (Gotta love a long flight for lots of good knitting time.)  Can't say I can complain about my progress.  I actually started my trip to visit Boy with a sock which was about 1 centimeter tall.

On the first flight leg of my trip, my seatmate asked if I'd have a sweater by the time we got to our first stop and said he didn't know how long it took to knit things..  I replied that we wouldn't have a sweater but we would have a good bit of sock leg.  He thought that was pretty cool. Later on I amazed him because I was reading the airline magazine *and* still knitting. Apparently he'd been watching me for some time. Initially he thought I was just flipping through the magazine, but not really reading it.  Then he realized that I was actually reading and continuing to knit (while not looking at my knitting at all). He was truly amazed when I told him that I sometimes knit at the movies, even though I told him that I keep to simple, uncomplicated stuff for knitting in the dark

On leg number two, my seatmate asked what I was making and we chatted about knitting in general. Being a Union electrician, he understood the concept of paying more money for a high quality, long-lasting job. The idea of paying $20 for the yarn to make socks which might last me 5+ years was not absurd to him. He also admired the finished sock #1.  We chatted nicely the whole flight about various things, including the nasty face the flight attendant made at a fellow passenger who left the overhead bin door open.  All in all, it was a fun trip out and I got all the way to the heel turning by the end of the travel.

During my visit with Boy, I got a goodly chunk of knitting done, thanks to one road trip and a couple evenings hanging out at home.  I could have gotten more done on the boat tour we did, but I was too worried about dropping a needle.  I also took far too many pictures to have had much time for knitting.  Most importantly during the trip, Boy tried on the re-knit Sock #1 and declared it to be an excellent fit.  Of course I didn't really take good notes on what I did to make Sock #1 fit better the 2nd time, so I'll have to hope that Sock #2 mostly matches.  (I know that I made the toe shaping more gradual, but exactly what I did isn't documented. Fortunately "close enough" will likely be good enough.)

The flights back weren't quite as prolific in a knitting sense.  Leg number one was spent writing a summary of my trip.  Knitting on leg number two was interrupted rather frequently by taking photos of the landscape passing beneath the plane (I like flying over mountains).  And I took a bit of a nap too.  But I got the second sock finished on the day after I returned so that's pretty good.  I'll stick the socks in the next box o' cookies I mail to Boy.  He's very excited.

Yarn Souveniers!
There are two yarn stores in the area where Boy lives.  One of them, Sheep's Clothing, is actually just a mile or two away from his house.  I purchased two skeins of Socrates sock yarn there.  I picked out the colors Dress Blues and Navi's Blue. To my eyes these are more of a purple heather and a teal heather, but they're gorgeous regardless of name.  I'm favoring the Fisher Price socks by Loumms and the Naive socks by spillyjane for these yarns.

The other shop is Knitty Gritty and I found a skein of Misti Alpaca sock yarn there.  The colorway I chose, Maple Gray, reminded me of the colors of the landscape in the Tri-Cities area.  I've decided that this yarn will become a pair of Tri-Cities socks.  I've chosen the pattern Pittsworth by spillyjane.  I thought it would reflect the three rivers that run through/near the cities and the three cities themselves, plus the steppes, orchards and fields.  These socks are rather high up in the queue right now.

I find it amusing that I all the yarns I bought were alpaca blends.  I hope that they wear well.  I'd hate to end up with gorgeous socks that wear out far too soon.  I'll have to pay attention to having a proper tight gauge.

Sis' Stripey Socks
I'm working on the heel flap of Sock #3.  I might get past the gusset shaping by the end of the weekend. I've got a metric bucketload of house- and yardwork to do this weekend.  Part of it is getting back on track after travel and part of it is getting things squared away for some house repairs/maintenance and an impending upcoming move.

Chemo Hat
The chemo hat is trying to entice me with its softness and nice color.  I really don't like the splitty yarn very much at all.  The hat will be needed by the end of the week, but I've already let the hat organizer know that it'll be closer to the end of the month the way my schedule has been.  Unfortunately it's not likely the recipient will grow her hair back by then so I'm still in good shape time-wise.  So, if I get sick of the stripey sock, I'll have a crack at the hat and vice-versa.  Perhaps I'll stagger things so it's 15 minutes each project.  Wonder where I put the hat pattern.....