Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I may deserve a medal...

First, let me apologize for the poor quality of the photos. (If you have any questions, see yesterday's post. Oh, sigh.)

Several weeks ago I tried to wind some sock yarn into a center-pull ball. No directions...how hard could it be? Apparently, too hard. The resulting ball looked great, but several yards into the ball, the yarn refused to come out. So, I tugged and I tugged and I pulled, and POP out came a HUGE snarly tangle. I swear, about half the ball came out! After un-snarling the tangle, and re-winding that half of the ball, I now have two balls of connected yarn, and I'm scared to even think about the whole thing.

But, you see, I have these two skeins of lace weight yarn that need to be wound into balls before I can begin my project for The Amazing Lace (see yesterday). I found directions for hand-winding center pull balls here, and in the above pictures you can sort of see one skein au naturale and one skein wound into a (hopefully) center pull ball. I'm too scared to pull out more than a few inches. Got to work up my courage...

The writer of the directions mentioned that she liked to use her yarn swift and ball winder when working with lace weight yarn. I don't have either one of those items (nor can I convince the Curmudgeon that we should use the power-bill money to purchase them), and I looked at my two lovely skeins of lace weight yarn and thought "I can do this...these skeins only have 440 yards in them...piece of cake!"). Well, you know how sometimes the more you get done on something, the more there remains to be done? - Or, at least it seems that way? That's how it was with the skein of yarn... I draped the skein over the back of my Mom's old wooden rocking chair, and propped-up the front of the chair so that the back came down to a good height for sitting-on-the-couch-and-winding-yarn. And, following directions (religiously), I began to wind. Approximately 8 hours later (have I mentioned that I sometimes exagerate, just a little) I looked at the remaining portion of the skein still on the back of the chair, and I swear, it had not decreased in size!

As you can see in the photos (can you see it?) I did get one skein wound. That's why I may deserve a medal... I'll wait until after my arms and shoulders heal before I do the second one.

I am excited to begin my Amazint Lace adventure. I've chosen the "Rosebuds and Climbing Roses" shawl from Lavish Lace by Carol Rasmussen Noble and Cheryl Potter, published by Martingale. I'm using Knit Picks yarn called Shimmer (70% baby Alpaca, 30% Silk) in the Stained Glass colorway. (And, I'm thinking of using a US size 4 needle.) Both the yarn and the book were purchased here.

There's also a small lace sample piece in the above photos, in case you can see it and wonder what it is. It has nothing to do with the Amazing Lace project. I just thought I'd get a picture of it.

I did successfully sign up for The Amazing Lace, but haven't figured out how to import the button into my side-bar. And, in yesterday's post, you can see my abortive attempt to import the Lace Ring Button. Even the Curmudgeon couldn't help. I'll keep working on these dilemas.

Monday, May 29, 2006

I'm definitely not a Geek (in the best sense of the word)

The really sad thing here is I keep proving it to myself over and over...not being a geek, that is. I love geeks. They amaze me! The IT guy where Curmudgeon works is one of my favorite guys. He's cute and funny and young enough to be one of our kids -- and extraordinarily smart... Contrary to the stereotype, all the geeks I know have super personalities - in addition to being wizards when it comes to computers and other geeky stuff. Too bad the great personality trait thing isn't automatically linked to the geeky trait thing. I might have half a chance 'twer it so...I consider my personality to be OK, but my geek-quotient is non existant. To paraphrase a comment recently made by Matt Lauer on the Today show, if being a geek is a battle of wits, I am sadly, deplorably un-armed.

Proof? I took the Seed Stitch Vest outside for a photo shoot in the sun. (Our first sunny day of the whole Memorial Day weekend.) That part went pretty much OK, considering that I am also camera-challenged and our digital camera is a freebie we got years ago for signing up with one of the internet providers. So... then the upload-photos-to-the-computer process... I've only done this once before and, sure enough, I couldn't remember how... Had to call in the Curmudgeon - he's always glad to help, but since he is close to geekness himself, and his brain cells function astronomically faster than mine, he often "rushes" through these things, and I am literally sitting there thinking "...duh..." I think I did get the pictures successfully into the computer, but exactly where, I'm not sure... If I can find them, one or two may appear in this post. No picture? You'll know what happened.

Note to self: Save up for a better digital camera. (I know, I know...a better camera really won't compensate for my shortcomings, but I would be nice to be able to take close-ups...)

Also on my mind...

Amazing Lace - find the details here. Today is the last day to join, and I've never joined a group-knit adventure before... But I love to knit lace (having knit two whole knit projects and one sample piece), and I've got some lace weight yarn calling to me. (You know what that means!)

The Amazing Lace
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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Design Angst

I am learning new respect for knit designers. I've been designing a Seed Stitch Vest (snappy title, huh?). It started out so easy...12 rows of seed stitch, followed by 12 inches or so of stockinette. The armhole seed stitch borders and armhole shaping only caused moderate angst. But the shoulder shaping combined with the back neck shaping and the back neck seed stitch border. I'm certain it shouldn't be this hard! The graph paper and I have become nearly inseparable (and both very frazzled).

Why am I trying to design my own pattern? When there are such a plethora of lovely patterns out there? It's because I'm...umm...ahhh...rather LARGE. Not only is it extremely difficult to find patterns that actually fit me, but when I do, they're invariably knit out of fingering weight (or smaller) yarn and the stitch counts are astronomical. I know myself well enough to know that I require gratification sooner rather than later, so projects with 18 bazillion stitches are never going to be finished. And, I have to admit, I am a Start a New Project Junkie (SNPJ), and also the queen of Projects Still on Needles (PSN). I am so easily diverted and easily bored. Both of these character flaws used to bother me a great deal. Now that I'm more mature (read older) I just try to live with my limitations... For example, I don't generally go out and buy yarn to start new projects per se. But if the yarn is in my stach and is calling to me, then I have to answer the call, right. And, I usually don't put projects on stitch-holders just so I can steal the needles for another (new) project. But, it has been known to happen.

Above is a picture of the Seed Stitch Vest early-on.

As I'm sure you can tell, I'm new at blogging, too. Bear with me while I (try to) learn from my mistakes...