Friday, August 27, 2010

Destination Vacation

Yarn Widower, Bennan and I are going on a road trip.  This got me thinking about packing for trips.  It seems to me that I always bring too much and I still forget the crucial thing that I meant to bring but forgot in the last minute shuffle of leaving the house.  Binoculars, hiking poles, chargers for various electronic equipment...

I usually bring too many articles of clothing.  I think about every possible situation and soon the pile gets a wee bit large.  My friend Gwen does not have this problem.  She selects a color theme and carefully maps out her vacation wardrobe.  It's amazing to see.

courtesy of

Not only is Gwen a very talented knitter/photographer/artist friend but she has an extensive and truly envy-worthy wardrobe.  I especially admire her dresses.  I also love that she builds in contingency plans - life can be somewhat unpredictable.

This is Bennan's first Road Trip.  We did a trial run a few weeks back when we went to visit some of Yarn Widower's relations in Central Florida.  I'm happy to say that he did great.  He loves riding in the car and new places excite him to no end.  So when Yarn Widower decided he sorely needed a vacation, we made the necessary arrangements to bring Bennan along. Although I do have to say that for someone who only requires neckwear, he's got an awful lot of stuff to pack. 

As for me, I face the age-old dilemma of what to wear by stuffing whatever's clean into a bag and hope for the best.  But I think of Gwen's careful planning - next time, for sure, I am going to pick a color scheme.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I've been sick.  Not sick in the head (although I've been that too) but I mean physically ill.  I won't go into too much detail here except to say that it's really weird to have shaking chills in August in Florida when the heat index is well over 100. 

The good news is that I got to put my woolen knits to good use.  Socks, scarves, sweaters - knitting saves the day.

I'm feeling much better now, thanks.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Knitting - there is no cure

I have been working on a black linen skirt.  And like many of my projects, it both delights and maddens me. 

First off, I cast on 508 stitches for the hem.  That's a lot of stitches. And after knitting the second row, I realized that somehow I'd miscounted and I was about 10 stitches short.  Frog cast on #1.  After triple checking the number of my stitches, I was on my merry way.  I completed about 2 inches before I realized that I didn't like the looseness of the lace section.  My bad for neglecting to gauge swatch the lace.  Frog cast on #2.  I went down a few needle sizes, did a rudimentary gauge swatch and finally finally got started on the skirt.

And then I went to Knit Knite.  I had cast on the correct number of stitches with the needle size that best fit my needs.  Heck, I had even jerry-rigged two circular needles so that I could knit in the round without having to scrunch all the stitches onto one knitting cable.  Third time's the charm.  I was all set.  Except I kept getting nervous looks from K-Ro and Carolyn.  After my third row, I put down the knitting and asked them what was bothering them.  "I'm afraid for you," said K-Ro.  "Are you sure you didn't twist your stitches before joining?"  Carolyn concurred, "Are you sure you didn't just knit a moebius?"  I was confident and sure.  But they still seemed dubious.

"Here, I'll show you."  So I laid out the knitting, all 508 stitches that I had triple checked and as I got to the join, I realized that I had indeed twisted the stitches.  (For my non-knitting friends, this is an incurable tragedy.  One that can only be fixed by pulling out the stitches and starting over.) I gasped my disbelief.  No, can't be, check again.  But it was true.  I had twisted my cast on stitches when I joined to knit in the round.  All of a sudden, I felt very very tired.  Frog #3 seemed imminent.  I sucked mournfully on my soy chai.

If I had to frog this thing and start all over again, it was simply not going to happen.  I was going to have to make do.  So I twisted the stitches to line them up properly and carried on as though nothing had happened.  Since I had only three rows going, it was not that noticeable anyway.  Plus, I could always point to the hem and say, "this is where K-Ro pointed out that I had fucked up big time."

red circle = twist to untwist

See? Barely noticeable.  Usually mistakes in my knitting bother me to no end.  But not this time.  This was one mistake that I could live with.

A few days later, I had completed the lace hem and decided to block it before I had to gather it.

There was one scary moment when it looked like the stitches were twisted - the ramifications of which I will not go into here.  But no, as I smoothed it all out, it was indeed untwisted and laid flat.  K-Ro and Carolyn had saved my ass because had I blithely continued with the twisted cast on stitches, I would have only realized it now, having finished the lace hem.  And no amount of finangling would have saved it then.

It's good to knit with friends.  Especially the ones that doubt and question you (but in a nice way and only when you really need it).  Thank you, K-Ro and Carolyn!