Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Edging Jeanie

So I'm home from work with a sick little girl again. The silver lining might be time to knit on Jeanie, except I feel wicked saying that, because really, I just would rather her be better. We curled up on the couch together, listening to Bridge Over Troubled Water (She digs Cecilia) and Flyer
(she digs Time of Inconvenience) and knit for a while--she put down her knitting a lot sooner than I did. Knitting's a good distraction, though not a cure, for those maternal worries like "Why is she running a fever again?" and "Should I send her to that mandatory rehearsal?".

I've been edging Jeanie. This involves knitting a cable band parallel to the edge and joining it with the live stitches. I tried to take a photo to illustrate the insanity that is knitting with four different needles--holding needle for resting live stitches, 2 LIME GREEN double points for the active stitches, plus a cable needle for all that mad cabling--but the pictures are far more illegible than the reality.

All that's left now is to graft the final 8 stitches, weave in ends, make sure all the stitches are dropped, and blocking. Unfortunately, grafting didn't look so good with the lower edging, and I'm hesitant to proceed. I'm sure I will, though!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A gift in progress

This is the type of thing that's been seducing me away from Jeanie. Quicker, manageable, attainable projects. I'm trying to have a gift to mail off in the next few days. I have completed one fetching, with a few modifications, including a thumb gusset. It's made of the soft and fuzzy yarn my #1Man brought me back from the market in Lima, Peru.

PS I just put the first fetching on the scale, and it weighed 23 grams. I put the remaining yarn from that ball on the scale, and it weighed 23 grams. I did knit the few rounds of the thumb from another ball, so in theory, I should be able to make it through this without running outta yarn. I hope!

Ballet skirt!

I like to blog my sewing projects, too. My little ballerina needed a full skirt for rehearsals, as she will be wearing the costume of a 19th century german girl. And naturally, they don't rehearse in costume. I admit that while I actually first thought, "I can make that!" I did make a breeze through several kids' stores, and didn't see a single full skirt. Guess it's not the style of the season. So we were searching through the fabrics, and she couldn't decide, and I just said, "Here, let's use of the last of the ballet pink and make you a ballet skirt." She agreed, and the skirt is perfect for her needs. I think next time I'll make the elastic a little tighter, it sags a bit.

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Jeanie is all but finished. Only 13 rows of knitting remain, plus the edging, finishing, and blocking. I keep distracting myself with smaller, more attainable projects. More on those, later.

I knew I wanted to have proper blocking wires for Jeanie. There are blocking wires at, but frankly, I've already spent a lot of money on Jeanie, and spending another $30 for blocking wires (plus shipping, or purchasing more for free shipping) just wasn't sitting right.

I searched ravelry for more information about using welding rods, and found the exact info I needed, so I could walk into a welding supply store and tell them just what I wanted. I was just working up my courage to actually go to the welding store. I was thinking I'd spend about $10.

I saw on ravelry that had blocking wires for $17. I went to look, but spending $6.99 made it so that I wasn't saving much money, anyway. I returned to the welding store plan.

A couple hours later, I got an email from that offered free shipping on a $25 purchase. Good timing on their part! I searched the site, thinking carefully of what exactly I wanted to buy at JoAnn's anyway. I finally recalled my elastic needs. I tossed some elastic thread and some lingerie elastic into my cart, getting the total to about $25.04, I think, and ordered. My wires and elastic arrived yesterday. So I guess I'd better finish up Jeanie!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No longer nekkid!

This poor babe has been waiting an awful long time for clothes. She was crafted back in the days of Graduate School, and has endured that, plus my months of recovery, waiting for a wardrobe of her own. It's a modest start, but at least she has something to call her own! If I could ever stop driving long enough, or stop knitting Jeanie, or stop sneaking in baby socks for babies that are arriving soon, I'd make her a whole buncha stuff!

Good news, bad news

Good news! Two socks, all finished (almost!), all identical (almost!), all matching

Bad news! So, uhm, these socks aren't supposed to be identical. They are supposed to match, but they are supposed to be mirror images.

Good news! Two friends are expecting babies. I'll just make two more mirror image socks to complement these.

Bad news! I'm really bad at making a second pair. Also? I'm supposed to be working on Jeanie. Oh yeah, Jeanie. Off to knit...

Infidelity. I has it.

It started so innocently. Browsing through the pictures on Ravelry of people's versions of Cat Bordhi's baby socks. And then, browsing through New Pathways itself, looking at the baby socks. Then it snowballed to stash diving, seeking out some colourful worsted weight yarn. And then--oh my--then I found the perfect yarn. I was frantically swatching, and my husband was standing in the bedroom door going, "Don't you have to leave NOW?"

When I returned from driving the ballet carpool, I didn't even hang up my keys or my coat before I was knitting. I didn't like how the toe looked in the variegated yarn; the increases made it look sloppy. So I ripped out the toe and redid it in a solid colour. And while the family slowly went to bed, I was still sitting there, knitting on a baby sock. About 11:30 at night I came up for air, because the sock was ready to cast off. Tonight, same yarn, same place?

Jeanie note: Yes, I did stray from Jeanie. But I did manage to do my obligatory 2 repeats on her beforehand. She measures in at 61", 5" shy of finishing. As she gets closer to being done, my roving eye gets oh-so-worse.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jeanie Report, no pictures

Okay, tonight Jeanie measures 59"! I'm well on track to making it to 66" (or more) by this weekend, and then I can edge her, finish her, and block her. I have managed to adhere to, and sometimes exceed, my knitting goal all week. Except Friday. So on Friday, I was glancing at the books on our delete/discard shelf. I picked up this Jodi Picoult book that I totally didn't want to read. Unimaginable violence in teens tearing apart happy families. Yeah, don't wanna go there. So then of course I started reading it, except that I was at work and I couldn't read it. Instead of knitting, I read all through lunch hour, and then again that evening. I had imagined a cozy evening of reading and knitting, both, but then one thing after the other had me in and out of the car all night, and just a few stolen moments of reading until late evening. Fortunately I finished it, and enjoyed it, even, so I could get back to knitting the rest of the weekend. When Busy Mama had a few moments to herself, anyway.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Jeanie math

  • According to last night's measurements, I need to add 17 inches to Jeanie.

  • Every six rows, I do a cable row. I consider each cable row the end of a repeat, even though the pattern is really larger than six rows. My recent goal has been to complete two repeats a day. This isn't always possible, but it's helped me to make steady progress.

  • I had guessed that one repeat measured approximately one inch. Today I tested that with a ruler. I found that 4 repeats measures 3.5 inches.

  • (17 inches)*(4 repeats/3.5 inches)=19.428 repeats

  • since I would definitely finish a repeat, I round that up to 20 repeats remaining

  • At two repeats per day, I would finish in 10 days, or the 17th of October

  • after finishing the repeats, I will need to do the top edging, weave in the ends, and block

  • This means that I'm barely on schedule for finishing in time

  • So I have to adhere to the 2 repeat/day rule, and preferably make that 3/day.

  • One repeat takes about an hour

  • So I need to commit 3 hours a day to Jeanie. On top of working extra hours, driving carpools, feeding a family, helping with homework, etc. Oh yeah, and sleeping.

  • Oh man...

  • (Yes, my brain loves that kind of number fun)

Monday, October 06, 2008

And a sock post

So I'm finishing up a pair of socks that never made it to the blog. These were my more portable project, something to knit on when knitting Jeanie was inappropriate or implausible. I've actually expanded my definition of when knitting Jeanie is appropriate. For a while, I considered her too bulky/finicky to take to work, but I've decided to just deal with the problems, since I can make serious progress by using an entire hour every day at lunch.

arugula socks

But back to the socks. I had intended these to be my July socks for the Sock-A-Month club. Yes, I did. I even thought I could make it, for I was making steady progress up the leg as July was waning. Yeah, well, I didn't. And then I didn't make it for August or September, either! At the end of September, I was only 3 rows from casting off. Now I've cast off one sock, and woven in its ends, too. It won't take me long to finish the second sock, but I'm just not willing to take much time away from Jeanie. I will, however, finish this pair in October.

My participation in the Sock-A-Month club this time round has been pathetic. What a bummer. I hope that I can finish off Jeanie and get back into the groove. I even have baby socks to make, so that might help me succeed in the sock department in the months to come.

Breaking the Silence

So, yeah, I didn't blog in a very long time. The quietude of the blog is a pulsating symptom of the unquietude of my life. Not much knitting time at all, and the very lack of time meant that any free knitting time was spent actually knitting, rather than blogging. And then I found that the longer I hadn't posted, the harder it was to break the silence and start posting again. So this weekend heralds the Return of Blogging. So it seems.

First off, I'm posting a better picture of the new yarn that arrived this weekend from the Loopy Ewe. I have been making progress on my Jeanie, and I was starting to panic that the wrap wouldn't be long enough. I decided to order another skein. Now, I ordered it knowing full well that it wouldn't likely be the same dye lot and could easily not match. I ordered it fully accepting this possibility. And when the yarn arrived, even though I didn't have the wrap nearby to check, I immediately knew that the yarn wouldn't match at all. It doesn't even look like the same colourway. Oh well. Now I will be forced to knit something else with this divinely soft and lofty merino. Woe is me.

I also have decided to use smooshy to make a pair of knee-highs. I didn't think one skein would be enough for knee-highs, so I ordered another skein of Ruby Red. Again, I knew the colourways might not be compatible, but in this case, I had no attachment to them matching. The new skein is, indeed, a little lighter, with more colour variation. I'm okay with this. I'm confident they'll be fantastic as socks, even if it's obvious they aren't identical.

I've been knitting diligently on Jeanie. At the moment, this is my primary project. I am yearning to cast on the abovementioned ruby red knee-highs, but I will not. I have a deadline on Jeanie, and I really have to finish her up. She's at 49 inches right now. The pattern says to knit to 66 inches before starting the edging. While the progress I've been making has seemed minuscule, I can finally say I'm approaching the end.

This weekend I worked on the lower edging. This lower edge has been parked on a knitpicks cable from my interchangeable needles kit. I had a very difficult time getting the edging right, because the stitches didn't quite line up with the stitch columns. Have you ever noticed that? I've noticed it in situations where I'm working on mittens, and have taken out the waste yarn holding the place for the thumb. The upper edge, especially if the mitten is in pattern, is awkwardly not aligned with the stitches. This was the problem I had with the lower edging. For a column of 8 stitches, I had 7 live stitches to edge. Awkward, yes? I finally just ploughed forward. I don't know if the edge is adequately pretty. I hope so. I also hope blocking makes Jeanie blocky.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Fresh from the Loopy Ewe, 2 new duplicate colours. I was hoping the Pansy yarn would be a good match for Jeanie, but no luck. The ruby is also a duplicate because i want knee socks. Wow did they arrive fast!