Wednesday, 29 June 2011

When the End isn't the End

So following the great shrinking fiasco I returned to the Princess edging.

I knit a little each day.

Only a little each day because edging knitting at the beginning of a project is wrong and against the natural order of things.  (That and the fact that I've recently become obsessed with paper and glue and all things inky and glittery. )

But I have been knitting when I manage to get the ink out of my fingers and yesterday I counted my edging points and I had made it to 62.  WooHoo!

I took a look at the pattern to see where that put me in the 'how much longer will this have to go on' stakes.

And this is what I read:

Knit the edging for 85* points.
I glanced down to the * point and saw this:

* 2007 note: For a shorter edging you could make only 62 edging points....
62 points! I have 62 points.  Clearly it is fate that I checked the pattern at this point.

The practical, let's get this edging done side of me is screaming (really, it's screaming) "WooHoo! you are done. Now you can do some real knitting.  Let's go!"

But the masochistic, obsessive compulsive side of me is whispering "Well, you could do the 'easy' alternate edging.  If you aren't up to the project as it was originally designed  then you should stop now - don't push yourself."

Even as I write this I KNOW the practical side of me was right.

No one, not even the Princess' designer Sharon Miller herself would actually notice if I did 62 instead of 85 repeats.

But I probably don't need to tell you that I'm on repeat 68 now.....

It's hard work being a freak.

Monday, 13 June 2011

When You Can See the Ending from the Beginning

You know when you watch a horror film and you spend the whole time thinking "Don't go in there!" "Why is she going in there?" and wondering how you are supposed to believe that any rational human being would make the decisions you are watching?  And then, just when you think it's over -- the baddie springs back to life for one last horror?

Well, prepare to feel that way now.

Our opening scenes begin with our hapless knitter finishing up the Donkey Jacket and shoes she is making for a friend's soon to be born baby.  The knitting has been pretty uneventful but took longer than expected - largely because the knitter failed to take into account that if you are knitting a jacket with a full lining it will take twice as long as a jacket without a lining.  This alone should alert the viewer that the knitter we are dealing with is not on top of her game.

As the knitter finishes the last piece of the shoes the background music changes slightly and you feel the tension rise as she looks at the 3 random shapes in front of her and wonders how in heck they are going to come together to be a shoe???

You watch in fear as she turns the pieces this way and that and begins madly seaming.  She tries a few permutations and then in frustration just sews the pieces together in what appears to be a random sort of way.

You watch from behind a cushion - but - it's ok. 

They turned into shoes.

You relax as the music calms down and you watch the knitter prepare to block the jacket. 

She drops it into a cool wool wash.

But as she turns away from the washing machine you see the first tell tale signs of red...dripping from the jacket onto the cream lining.  Go  back - you scream at the screen.  But she doesn't.  She's off to the shop to get something for dinner.

You know what's waiting for her when she returns.  A jacket with a pink lining.  You hope she holds her nerve.  You hope she doesn't panic.

You hope wrong.

She panics.  She wants a cream lining.  Not this pink thing.  And she's meeting the mom to be the next morning. 

And now you watch in horror as she throws it back in the washer hoping that another gentle wash will take out the dye.  Nooooooooooooooooooooooo.  She's selected the wrong setting and she hasn't noticed!  It's on a warm wash.  A long warm wash.

But she's watching the Apprentice and hasn't noticed. When the Apprentice finishes she does think it's odd that the short gentle cycle hasn't finished - but turns to BBC2 to watch "You're Fired" and puts it out of her mind.

You meanwhile are watching the little jacket go round and round and get littler.  And littler.

Cut to the final scene.  Our knitter, clutching a small, shrunken, red and pink jacket. 

The next day I gave the mom to be the slippers - which escaped the ravages of the washing machine - and a promise to knit something else when the baby is born.  The little jacket is - well - little and might possibly fit a newborn - but as a double layer felted jacket it's way too warm for a baby in July!!!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Knitting as Comfort

Thank you to everyone for the kind comments and messages of sympathy - each one is so appreciated. 

As we sorted through my parents' house we came across many of the knitted gifts I've made for them over the years.  Lyra was still in the tissue paper I originally wrapped it in.  The only wear and tear was on the paper - worn from when my Mom would take it out to show it off to someone - before carefully wrapping it up again. 

Lyra has come home with me and I am clearly my Mother's daughter as it's currently still in the same tissue paper.  I'll be trying to find a home worthy of it over the coming weeks.

I've taken to wearing the Retro Rib socks I made for my Dad (which he did wear a lot!) - they are too big but they feel perfect to me.

My niece Sarah has the cardigan I made for Mom last year, and Dyl has the cardigan I made for Dad in January.  I like knowing that the love I put into the projects is being passed on - and I hope the cardigans bring the girls some comfort.
Current knitting has been slow.  I made a pair of socks which went to Dylann and discovered I need to get cracking on a few more  if I want to  have any chance of filling this year's sock requesst list. 

I can't believe there was a time I was worried that I was knitting socks no one would want!

I picked the Princess back up a couple of weeks ago but progress is slow and a little uninspiring.  I've decided that I'll do at least one edging repeat a day.  That at least gets me to pick it up and I do find myself doing one or two more some days.

I don't know how many repeats I've done -- just that it's 'not enough'.

I figure at some point it'll become a real project and I'll work on it with  a bit of enthusiasm.  Until then - one edging repeat at a time.

I've just cast on a baby jacket for a friend who is due in June - it's fun to be making baby stuff. 

It's a Debbie Bliss pattern from The Baby Knits Book called the Donkey Jacket - and I'm torn on whether or not I'll be making the ears.  Ironic really as it was the ears that drew me to the pattern!  I expect I'll change my mind a few hundred times before I finish it.

It's a lined jacket:- the inside made on 4.5 mm needles, the outside made to the same pattern on larger 5 mm needles.  I've chosen a wintry red for the outside and am making it in 6 month size so it should fit the little one around Christmas.

And to finish it off there are a cute little pair of shoes to co-ordinate!  Better get busy - just set a date to meet the expectant mom next Tuesday.