Sunday, February 28, 2010

La la la la LA la

Let me tell you, this is a proud moment!
I ktog'd the last three stitches yesterday afternoon, hid my ends, dunked 'er and stretched 'er, and this morning we're all dry and ready to go!

Knitting gold for me!


Let me give you the full details of this accomplishment:

I started Birch in December or January, and by the 4th of January I had knit from 299 stitches down to 279. Then it sat around for weeks, and I meant to get it done sometime before now, but was distracted by the Skiers and those pre-Olympic socks!

I had planned to knit children's socks for the Olympics, but then I realised I had to finish them and mail them to San Francisco for March 1, so I did them first, finishing them on the 13th, the day after the Olympics started.

In the days leading up to the opening ceremonies, I toyed with various ideas, and finally put myself on Stephanie's list as knitting a really nice cardigan which I fully mean to knit one day, perhaps after I've swatched and got more appropriate yarn! But my coach (the good angel who sits on my shoulder occasionally) directed me to stick with a sport I knew something about, and not go running off to become a figure skater when really I'm a snowboarder. Or whatever.

And so I knit on Birch again! And knit and knit and knit, and the rows did get shorter and shorter and shorter! Once you're down below 100 stitches a row, things do happen fast. The repeats fly off the needles, as it were.

Whoo hoo! (Also, the Canadian athletes are doing really well, and we got 3 gold medals yesterday, 13 golds all together so far [one more to come, I'm sure] and any one from any country who can ski in those gloomy, damp, wretched conditions of a wet February day up Whistler deserves an extra medal!)

See you all at the game this afternoon! A little more cross-border rivalry for the hockey gold... Bring it on!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Indeed, there is a light up ahead

You can't really tell, but there's only about 79 stitches left. That's about 65 rows, give or take. And they really are short now!

Can we do it? Yes, we can!

And of course, Canada will be in the gold medal hockey game tomorrow. Too much excitement!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The blob

Here it is, my Olympic shawl:

Not a pretty sight, is it?

We have a few more thrilling hockey games to go. Elaine is having a friend over tomorrow morning, which may give me more or less knitting time -- hard to predict these things. Arthur has to be taken to a party tomorrow afternoon, which will take someone an hour. The kitchen is really a disaster. It has finally snowed a decent amount, so I think we are going sliding in the park after school.

And a shawl is not finished till it's blocked, so I have to get it finished a wee bit before the very last minute.

When is that last minute, anyways? Ah, it looks like the ceremonies start at 8:30 pm TO time on Sunday, so that's just loads of time. Right, loads of time! Right??

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

If I were the betting sort....

I'm not sure I would be betting on myself to finish this Olympic challenge!

I feel like the women racing in the giant slalom right now, in the snow. We all know that when it's snowing, the proper thing to do is head to the hot tub, but they are out there racing and falling through the muck, with zero visibility and icy faces.

I don't have an icy face, but conditions are not perfect for Olympic knitting. Like, for example, I should not completely ignore the needs of my family to eat, in relatively clean surroundings.

I just tell myself that though I have 140 rows to go (more or less) the rows do get shorter, so all is not lost. However, if I find myself with 100 rows still to go and no time, all will be lost.

Okay, enough dithering. I'll go unearth a kitchen counter and then resume knitting. And then I'll have to watch another hockey game tonight -- ack, no, I'm supposed to go out and actually socialize with other humans tonight -- oh, where's that hot tub?

Added some time later: Oh, was that a game! The USA-Switzerland game was way more exciting than I had expected! I just saw the last period, but hooo-boy that was thrilling hockey!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic bowling

We took a break from the Olympic knitting and the occasional sport-watching this weekend to celebrate our own achievement: Elaine is now 10 years old!

We took a cake, some candles and a handful of girls up the hill to the bowling alley. I think everyone had fun -- some very careful children kept track of the score, but all rivalry was quite civilized.

And now both my children are in the double-digit ages. Arthur will be a teenager in a few short weeks. Where does the time go??

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's hard to knit lace and watch hockey at the same time

Oh, Em, Gee.
US 1, Canada 0, after 49 seconds of play.
And how can I pay attention to my Birch? Do I risk dropped stitches, or do I put it aside for a couple of hours? Eeeeek!

Time passes:

Are you watching this?! Halfway through the first period, 2-1 for the other guys. And I can tell you things are tough when you mess up the stitch over a K2tog. Perhaps I'd best just watch the game...

End of second period: 3-2, US still in the lead. Looks like I'll have to stay up past my bedtime to see the end of this. Birch progress is minimal.

Oh, boo hoo! We took our goalie out in the last minute to try to tie it up before the end of the game, but to no avail -- the Americans scored one last time to win 5-3!

Good game, guys, and .... grr, next time!!

Approximately 3 rows were knitted.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Only 200 more rows to go

It's very hard to see the colours, and hard to see the pattern as it is all scrunched up on the needles. I managed to find a decent circular needle -- on the floor, not near anything I might knit with it -- and progress is slow but steady. It's just so fiddly, this dang laceweight!

We were playing Scrabble last night, and the word "tied" was on the board. Stephen said, "ha, ha, is 'stied' a word? Like the pig was in its sty; it was stied." Just to be sure, we looked it up, and indeed to "sty" is a verb. Our actual paper dictionary gives a more full definition, which includes, as the 5th definition, "to live in or as in a sty." So, I am stied today. Must dig out from under the laundry and dishes, must go get some groceries, must unsty the place!

Rock on...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Do I spend more time blogging when I'm knitting under pressure?

Today's Birch is hardly different from yesterday's, but I've had to pause a moment to look through my closet to try yet again to find the perfect needles for the job.

I have found several pairs of needles I no longer want or need, and one pair that I will test out.

First I used the circular needle with the little bump at the end of the cord -- ick. Then I got some plastic straights which are too flexible, not pointy enough and ... straight! -- ick. Now I have metal straights.

Please stop me from going down to Romni and spending $25 on a pair of Addis.

But, enough about me! The Poetry Society is knitting another poem! See it on Ravelry, or try Facebook. I hope to get all the dope soon and add a letter to my never-ending pile of WIPs.

And now, back to work.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A day late, but done

The pre-Olympic sock sprint is over, and although I stumbled across the finish line a day late, I am pleased that these socks are done and out of the way.

Now I shall mail them off to San Francisco and they shall end up keeping some Afghan child a bit warm.

And, start on my real Olympic project. Oh, indecision and confusion! I said on the Yarn Harlot's sign-up page that I would make Sedate from Rowan 47, but I am not using the designer's yarn, I haven't swatched, I just noticed the sleeves have lace knitting on right and wrong side rows.... I think I should be prepared to give that project more time, and I should go back to idea #48c, which is work on Birch.

Also, I have that pile of UFOs to wrap up....

Real Olympic athletes don't have to fuss about whether they are skiers or skaters, do they?

Edited a few hours later: I knit one plain row of Birch, then I stared at it and skimmed over the pattern to find which row I should be doing. Then I made up something completely wrong and knit about 200 stitches before figuring out what I should really do. Then I tinked out those 200 stitches and knit the one pattern row, and one plain row. And that is the evening's work: 3 lousy rows. This will be a marathon, for sure!

Read what the pattern actually says, and look at your work!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Last pre-Olympic post

I am off to see King Tut at the Art Gallery now and likely won't get another stitch knitted for a few hours. I am just on the heel flap of sock #2. I guess... oh... what to do? I think I will finish the dang sock a.s.a.p and cast on the Olympic cardi when I can!
Good luck, all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sock progress

This was the sock yesterday morning. It was on the floor with the ol' Dr Who mask we once got in a loot bag from a kid birthday party.

Then things got a bit silly. This is, of course, me.

And now I have one finished sock!
Can I make a whole second sock before Friday?

The emergency blue toe is because I now have a nice digital scale,
and I could tell that I had used half my yarn already.
This way I hope to have two socks that look alike, at least!

Right, back to work!

Monday, February 08, 2010

There was a party

Friends of ours had a February Deblahification (I think that was the word!) party on the weekend. Potluck, but only desserts, please.

One can get all the food groups in a meal of desserts -- cheesecake for protein, fruit salad for fruit...

From my contribution, one would get white flour, white sugar, eggs, butter and cocoa. Plus pink icing and giant heart-shaped sprinkles! It was a bit early for Valentine's Day, but it was an opportunity to publicly show off my heart sprinkles.

The pre-Olympic sock sprint is going well, though I'm not sure I can get the whole pair done by Friday. Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Passing it forward, and Olympian challenges

I saw this on Tempewytch's blog, and I was one of her winners! So, now I make this offer on my blog. It is a bit different from others I've seen on knitting blogs -- this just involves 5 items, and not necessarily a handmade gift.

  1. Send no less than 5 stitching/knitting/craft related items per person within the next 365 days.
  2. Items can be DMC, other threads, stitching needles, straight pins, buttons, scissors, ribbons, etc. - a combination of items such as 3 threads, 1 pack of straight pins and 1 pack of stitching needles or just 5 threads. This is obviously for stitching - for other crafts do something similar! (And we know there are lots of little knitting gadgets around!)
  3. The items must be new and not used. (Send things you'd be happy to receive.)
  4. You will post this PIF on your blog and do the same for at least 2 people.
So, leave me a comment before, hmmm, next Friday, Feb 12, the first day of the Olympics, and I will draw 2 lucky winners!

And speaking of Olympics, I have had to reorder my priorities about the Knitting Olympics. The socks I was going to knit need to be finished and in San Francisco March 1. And the Olympics end Feb. 28.

So I am doing a pre-Olympic dash on them now, while knitting a row or two on the Skiers here and there, and then I'll do Birch for the Olympics. (If I continue to knit with my kids in the pub, I will get nowhere, I'm sure.)

It's a plan, though perhaps not a very good one. And indeed Birch has been started some time ago, but there is still plenty to be challenging for 16 days.

Perhaps I am bending the rules here somewhat... Maybe I'll start a whole new thing and play by all the rules and never get around to poor Birch after all!

Monday, February 01, 2010

It's February -- let's make a list

I will make this month:



some Olympic children's socks for a4A... that is, I will make a pair of socks for my Olympic challenge, which I will then give to afghans for Afghans for their youth campaign

I think that's about enough! I don't need more than three promises to fall short on...