Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Isn't It Pretty!

Monday, February 27, 2006

What's Next After the Knitting Olympics?

This was a tough one. You know what is like when you are knitting on something and it comes to the end and you don't have an idea of what you want to do next? The whole time you are knitting on the deadline project, you are imagining what you could be knitting on if not having to knit on what you are knitting on. Then when it's all done, you sit and look at the possibilities and they are overwhelming?

My new self-imposed deadline is April 1st. If I finish two WIPS then I can go to the new yarn shop in Dunlap and buy something. Otherwise, I cannot go!

The purpose is:
To eliminate some WIPS there by gaining some needles back, using up some of the stash, and gain some room in the drawers for some completed sweaters.

The tough part of it, is deciding on what one of these projects to start with?
On Saturday, I knitted on a little of all, trying to figure out what I want to do next. None of them floated my boat. Finally, on Sunday, I decided the purpose of knitting is for there to be passion about it. You gotta want to knit what you are doing, or else, it becomes work. So I choose, something that I really want to be working on. Sure it is for winter, and with it going to be 50 for a couple of days, I doubt that I will wear it this season, but there is always Fall/Winter and I'll be ready.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I'm Getting A Gold Medal!

The Knitting Olympics are officially over for me. I am proud to have finisished. This was a challenge, even thought it was just a Poncho. Crashed computers and life interfered every once in a while, but I made it! This project involved doing a little lace and decreasing while working it. A couple of things that are not my forte, but I could see myself doing more.

Most importantly, the success of the project, was because I stuck to one project and did not flit from one to another. I knitted just on the poncho. There were times I itched to start something new, but I kept my mind on the prize, albeit not a tangible medal, but great satisfaction.

I enjoyed haveing a site to go to during the Olympics to see how some of my fellow team mates were doing and what they were working on. I love surfing new knitting bud's sites to see what the rest of the world is doing.

Last night, if you asked me if I liked the finished project, I probably would have said probably not. I just was unsure. The only time I had tried it on, was prior to blocking, and I wasn't much impressed. But, today, I got dressed, put some make-up on and put it on. I love it! It fits well, I think it looks nice! I think I will like wearing it.

What's next? That is quandry, but I think I've made my decision, I'll tell you about it tomorrow. For now, I have to go celebrate!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

It's Blocking!
I am so pleased that Arnhild's Poncho is in the final blocking stage. This truly was an Olympic Event and I feel so good for having completed the challenge. There were a couple of times this past week, when I thought that it would never be done. And then, all of sudden, there I was at the end, crocheting around the bottom, tying in ends and wetting it down.

I really like the lace stitches in the beginning of the pattern. I never have really done alot of lace. Sure, I've tested the waters out at Stitch Camp and Stitches Midwest, but never to this extent. Blocking really makes the stitches come out. This Olympic Challenge really was a skill builder as well as an exercise in time managment for me.

Now, I just need to figure out what my next project should be. I've kicked several around, but I swore to myself that I would not start anything that is not already on needles. I told myself just this morning, if I complete two WIPS by April 1st, that I can buy yarn at the yarn shop in Dunlap. That should be an incentive, shouldn't it? It was hard, because two particular bags of yarn have been calling me, but finally this afternoon, I shoved em back in the drawers and told them to behave! There others ahead of them! So far they are listening, but the night isn't over yet!

Friday, February 24, 2006

It Is Finished!

Well almost. All I need to do is block it and let it dry. In less than 16 days I completed a project. It was kind of fun. It just goes to show, if you stick to one particular project and see it to it's completion, it happens.

Now, the big problem is what do I work on next? Shall I start on that mountain of WIPS in the basket across the room? Shall I work on a Spring project that I started about three years ago? Do I pull out something totally new and make a new deadline of another 16 Marathon Days of knitting. Or, do I tear the Pyth jacket back aways and add the bands. I'm not ready for that yet, so for now it will just sit on the end of the couch waiting.

This has been an interesting experience. And I learned some things along the way including I still know how to crochet. Not that I like to, but I can when the pattern calls for it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

What Was I Thinkin?

Or at what time of the night did read the final directions? I thought they said work pattern C and D for 16". All of sudden, something told me tonight to look at those directions again. Well, maybe it was my knitting that spoke to me. I just transferred the stitches to a 24" needle because they were getting a little tight. I looked at it and thought 16" and I've just knit a little more than a third of the way? And the stitches are getting tight, the neck is getting smaller. What will it look like by the time I do 16"?

So I hauled out the instructions. It SAYS work pattern C and D until PONCHO is 16"! And mine is at 19" now. 3" too much. But, calmer heads prevailed, before I ripped it back 3". 16" of a poncho length is shorter than I want it. 19" is good. I'll just adapt the neck decreases as I do the ribbing to come out close to the correct number of stitches for the neck bind off.

And to think, earlier this evening I thought that I would not get my gold medal! And to think, a couple of days ago, I thought I wouldn't have enough yarn. Is this what giving up caffeine has done to me?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I Really Have To Knit Tonight!

On Sunday, I made a schedule of where I need to be each night in order to complete my poncho in time for the closing ceremonies on Sunday. I am off schedule. Who would think that 16" of double seed would be so time consuming. I have about 4" done, and need another 12" by tonight. I really am going to have to put the foot to the pedal on this one! I have to stop playing with the computer and get it done. And tonight isn't all that great of an Olympic Event night. Guess I'll have to find something else to watch.

I'm going for gold on this one. And the Olympic challenge is two fold. Will it be done? And will I have enough yarn? Sounds like the commentators in figure skating doesn't it? Does she have the stamina? Can she do the program without falling apart? I can hear Dick Button in my head! Oy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Yes, I would. But, yesterday, I got my new computer. The boys set it up for me, but there are things that need to be re-installed. So I did a little of that last night. There are things on my old computer that I need and I am afraid that will be lost. They tell me there is something called a crossover cable that might work. Although, I distinctly remember that the CIS people at work didn't do that. Ah ha, I remember, they put it out on the network and then grab it back. I may have lose some one time software that I purchased so I might have to investigate that.

I am going to have to shake my booty, if I want to be at my self-imposed point on Arnhild's poncho by bedtime tomorrow night. Except for a couple of stitches yesterday at lunch, the poncho sat there.

Even some Olympians have to take time out to rest.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I'm Knitting Merrily Along

I am now to the double seed stitch portion of the poncho, and hoping that I have enough yarn to complete. Time will tell and I will continue watching.

A couple of things that really helped me out as I was knitting the lace portion and the 2nd stitch portion are pictured below. The one that is not picturd was my note cards. I've showed those before, but they really are a life saver when doing the lace so I don't have to look down at the chart.

I hate to repeat myself, but markers helped out tremendously, especially in the first two patterns. The black one signifies the center front and the center back. At these spots on every other row, I had to decrease, and these markers helped me to remember that. The little tail on the cast on spot (center front) signified where I would start the next round. It helped. I probably should have used a different color, but I used a lot of markers on the 384 stitches and couldn't spare one of the other colors.

When I finally got to a point where I did not need the notecards, this bright green tape helped out. My chart is in a plastic folder, and I could lift the tape off after each round. It sat down next to my chair in my basket and all I had to do is glance down to see what I should be doing. I put little pencil marks on the left side of the chart on every other row where I needed to decrease at the CF and CB.

I have given myself til Wednesday night to do the 16" of the double seed stitch. In the mean time, I'm watchin the yarn dwindle.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Only Eight Days Left In The Olympics

And I am doing well with my project. I think I will finish on time, barring running out of yarn. I am almost at the point of some pretty easy knitting after today hopefully.

But, not without an Olympic war wound! I've been knitting so much that I have a finger injury, much like a rope burn. Today, I'll try to move the yarn up a bit, or I might have to resort to a bandaid to keep it from digging any deeper.

Friday, February 17, 2006

We Interrupt This Olympic Moment For A Finished Object!

The Pyth Jacket is done with some added triangles. It's not all I hoped for, but it will do. I decided to use the blue as the trim. As you can see from the first pictures, the purple just stood out way too much. Some of it was the lousy pick up job I did, but it just was too distracting. I think I really liked the first one that I did the best. It had added bands that helped make it longer in the sleeves and body.

Now, back to Olympic knitting! The end is less than 10 days away.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

How I Spent Valentine's Day!

Prepping for a test. It's amazing how much one can accomplish when one is sitting!

My Olympic project is coming along, but I still have not dealt with intense scrutiny on the front and back points. I don't think I have ever had to deal with decreases in pattern like these. Normally, I have dealt with them at a side seam and they have been increases. These decrease are a little different. For now, I am stickin my head in the sand and going on blind faith!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Markers - They Are The Saving Grace

It was a smart woman who invented these ring markers. It was a smart woman who decided to use them during the second cast on of my poncho. When there are 384 stitches and pattern changes, one needs to know where one is in the scheme of things. I can't believe I was smart enough to use them.

I am merrily knitting along with my Olympic Challenge, but it sure seems like I will never get to the end of the first border that needs to be worked 4 times! I sure hope I have enough yarn. I have almost used one and am just into the second repeat. I am hoping to have all 4 repeats done by tomorrow night. At that point I will know if the decreases that are being done on the center front and center back look right. If they don't, the world will probably hear me scream about it!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

I Temporarily Have A Computer BUT--

That could change at anytime. It makes an awful noise. At the moment, we do not believe it is the hard drive, nor the card, but could possibly be the power supply. Anyway, a new one has been ordered . I did manage to get some stuff saved to thumb drives so at least I will still have some things that I have been saving to my hard drive even though I know better!

Enough of that for now. My Olympic Knitting has been going just as about as bad!

These pics are at 3:30 AM on Saturday morning. Do you see what I see? Is that a twist? Of course it is. 384 stitches and there is a twist! I went to bed. Woke up at 10:30, ripped it out and began again! This is not FUN! This is indeed an Olympic Challenge!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Opening Ceremonies - Knitting Olympics

The Knitting Olympics is meant to be a challenge for me and so far it is aptly named. My hard drive is failing on my computer so it will not let me in to the web or my email. So, I am at the mercy of my children's computers. Which means I can't post any pictures. Which also means, I think I might just have to buy a new computer! And it could not come at a worse time. I just don't have time to wait on it to get ordered, get shipped, arrive and get set up! Technology is good, but when it is bad it is very bad!

I was so excited to be able to sit down tonight and cast on Arnhild's Poncho! Had my coffee ready, needles in hand, and thought perhaps before it all started, I would see what is happening out there in blogland. I knew there was something wrong last night, by the whirling sound it was making, but I thought maybe it was just dusty. No such luck, one of the boys popped it open an blew out the dust, but tonight it is back to it's old tricks!

So finally, giving up, I casted on. 384 lovely stitches! What was I thinkin? And of course, the first try, I did not pull out enough yarn to long tail cast on. See, what I mean by a challenge?? With the computer and now having to recast on, I just wanted to send the yarn and the computer across the room, much like a disc in the summer olympics. But, wait, this is the Winter Knitting Olympics. So, recasting on, discovering at the time that I got all 384 stitches on the 24" needle, that it is almost impossible to see if the 384 stitches are twisted on that small of needle. OY!

So, off to my worm bag I go, looking for a longer size 7 needle. Of course I don't have one! But, wait, isn't that the same size I was using for the Pyth Jacket? Why yes. So out of the Pyth Jacket it comes, into the poncho it goes, and the whole time I am praying that when all of the stitches are there on it that I have not twisted anything. TaDA! No twisted stitches.

First hurdle over. There I go again, this is the Winter Knitting Olympics not the Summer! So let's say I've just done my first triple axle. Tomorrow, I am shooting for some fancy footwork in my program, cause hopefully, I will be able to see if the pattern at the center front and back are truly mirror imaging as they are suppose to or if I have just fell on my fanny!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I'm Ready!

I've done my gauge swatch and lo and behold the first time, I got gauge without going up or down a needle size! Tomorrow at 7:00 p.m., I will cast on Arnhild's Lace Poncho during the Opening Ceremonies and hopefully 16 days later it will be done. I'd like to think I can finish it early and work on a couple of WIPS out of the basket too, but perhaps that is a lofty ambition!

The Pyth Jacket is almost done. I am working on the front band and then just need to decide if I want to put the narrow bands around the bottom and sleeves. I have a ton of yarn left and have an idea of what I want to use for, I just need to see if I can locate about 600 yds in the black to go with it! I have not tried it on yet, so I don't have a clue on fit yet! Chicken?? You bet! After this much time, trouble and $! Like I said yesterday to my lunch time knitting buddies, it might make a nice sit around at home sweater! I hope not, but what will be will be right?!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sometimes Surfing The Net Can Be Dangerous

I was searching for an alternate yarn to knit this from Knitovation.

I found these. Hmmm......

I'm not buying at the moment, but are they me or what?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Knitovation Has A Few Interesting Pieces I Might Just Adapt

This is from Knitty.com. The pattern is a scarf called Clapotis. I think it looks like the stitch used in the Knitovations' poncho above. I know ponchos are going to go away, but I think this one was kind of interesting for Spring.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I Couldn't Help Myself

I had to cast on and see what it would be like. Last night while watching a movie, I cast on for the drop stitch scarf. I love this. And I think it will be long enough when finished I can wrap it around the neck as an accessory and let the ends hang down. But of course, I have to have something new to wear with it. JCP has a cool little sweater in the color thyme that would look great with it. I will have to further investigate it.

This is making a great little project to do while sitting at the computer waiting for web pages to download, cause otherwise, I need to be training by finishing the Pyth Jacket!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I've Got Yarn!

And no, I didn't go shopping. It is a gift from a friend. And now, I'm going to go cast on a scarf with the one in front. Just to see what it looks like, knitted up.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I'm In Training!

My goal is to finish the Pyth Jacket by the time the Olympics start and my new project begins.

But, I forgot how long it takes to knit the front square. The cool thing is when I lay this out, I think it is going to work! I think that the extra stitches/ridges I added are going to be okay. And I really like the look now when adding the front square in caribe blue. I wasn't too sure until I started adding it.

The only downside is that I do think I bought too much yarn, so I will now have to figure out what I am going to do with the leftovers.