Monday, March 28, 2011

Over thinking, worrying, losing touch, losing in general

Over thinking: I think I've done this with the hood. I am not enjoying the knit the way I should, because I'm too busy thinking about how I'm going to do the next part. Stocking stitch, or basket weave? I'm not sure I want it to be too busy with lots of patterning, yet the pics I've seen so far don't seem to be too much pattern. I am not sure I want it too plain, either. I've seen some that are done with a combination - a basket weave band part way along the hood, for example. I think I recall either seeing or reading that someone was going to start with the basket weave, then "fade" to stocking stitch. I think that is the route I may take.... I know I want the angels in the back - one because I like them, and two because I don't want a pointy style hood.

Worrying: I'm worrying about the length of the facing. I have four repeats done. I am not sure if I am going to have too floppy of a hood if I make five, but I know it will be too tight if I don't. I mean, sure, blocked and a little stretched, it will work. But, putting the hood up or down will turn my hair into a static-y tangled mess. Too loose and floppy, though, and it won't keep my head/ears warm, rendering it relatively pointless. I headed over to Ravelry last night, and found some photos of finished hoods. I really appreciated the people who took pics with it on their head, so that I could get an idea how long the facing should be. So, I think I'm going to do five repeats, and leave it at that.

Losing Touch: With being away, then doing some catch up at home, I am way behind in reading the Ravelry posts for the Cape KAL, and for my team (Yay, Ulster). I know that there are probably just a lot of chatter posts that I don't *need* to read, but still, I feel out of the loop. And behind, what with still knitting on the facing, which so many others finished two months ago. I know, it isn't a race, and I know some of my need to be a part of things is where my unease is coming from. I really need to work on that last bit. Part of my whole packrattyness, borderline hoarding, insecurity. I know I should be letting go more - I often remind myself, when my emails get so far behind, that I have lived this long without knowing the content of the emails so I should just delete them and start fresh. Just like with clearing out some of my stuff at home, it works for a while, then I seem to reach a threshold where I cannot toss another thing. Often, if I do try to force myself to go just a little further, one more box, or even finish off the box I'm working on, or the emails, or whatever - that extra push causes me to revert, and "rescue" some of the things in the "to go" pile... *sigh*.

So, yeah, this blog is more than just a report on progress, it is a report on feelings that happen while I'm working on the cape. Well, these are some of the feelings that are surfacing right now.

Losing in General: I seem to have misplaced my cord for downloading from my camera... So, I have taken a few pictures, but can't post them just yet. I am not sure if I put it back into the suitcase/bag that I used to carry the craft stuff on the trip, or if I put it away where it belongs, or if I stuck it in a different spot.... I haven't had much chance to look in depth just yet - I briefly glanced into the bag, and in the potential different spot... Hopefully, I get around to looking for it today. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Think I have it.

Ok. I am feeling way behind, even though I know it isn't a race. Yes, life is a little in the way - but really, I'm just plain depressed. I'm really really suffering from it these days. I have been depressed for over a year now (I know exactly what triggered it) but it was relatively mild and manageable. Now, all I want to do is hide on the computer, or sleep. I manage to do a little more than that every day, but not much else.

Anyway - I am going to force myself to get busy and knit this cape. I want to - honestly, I do - but I just don't feel much like knitting anything. So - I go for the easy excuse - too hard to do the math to figure out the facing repeats. BUT - I have made a decision. I'm going to leave the one repeat I've made, and I'm going to use the second skein I wound (I wound two skeins to take on the trip, just in case) and work up a repeat using the 5 mm needle. The first one, I used the recommended 4 mm needle. Now, I know the facing shouldn't "overwhelm" the hood, but I also kind of don't like the resulting fabric on it.... It seems quite stiff. Which is probably the other reason for my lack of enthusiasm about continuing. Normally, going up one size at a time is what would be recommended, but I'm going to jump across the 4.5mm needle, and go right for the 5.

I'm also working on some socks, on smaller needles, but since the ones I'm using for the socks are quite sharp (Addi Lace) I am stabbing myself a little too often, lol... So, I will take a break from those tonight (even though I need new socks) and work on the larger needles :) Maybe I'll alternate evenings - one evening socks and stabbing, the next catchup and healing ;) Then, when I'm done a repeat of the heart cable, I'll compare the two side by side, then decide if I'm going to rip the 4 or the 5. I'll take pictures then.

Oh, as for the socks - yeah, I have the new hills socks, but I need thin socks as well as warm thick wool ones.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Back and Behind

Well, I thought I was going to do some quality knitting in the hotel room, as well as on the beach. I did do a lot on the beach and by the pool, but spent so very little time in the room, that I only got as far as row 25 on the first repeat on the hood facing. Since coming home, I managed to make it to the end of the first repeat....

Finding time to work on this project isn't going well right now. I need to concentrate on the cable part, so I don't mess it up. For some strange reason, I'm having difficulty working from the chart, and need to go with the written directions. And, since I'm mildly dyslexic, the process is slowed down this way.

Oh, well - I shall persevere, and once I get going, there will be no stopping me!!! :)

Next hurdle - I need 28 inches for the facing, and my first repeat is 6 inches... I need to adjust something somewhere. Maybe I can remeasure, and don't need 28? Maybe I need to sneak in some "buffer rows" between repeats? I'll have to do some thinking and some doodle-sketching before I continue knitting.

No pics at this time, but I do need to take some of the projects I did on the beach (didn't get a chance to get pics while I was there), so I'll likely get at least one of the facing so far.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

There will be a temporary break....

I will be going on a trip, leaving in two days. If I can, I will pop in with a pic of the pair of socks completed (they aren't yet, but will be before I go), and if possible, I may do a post while I'm away - but I won't promise anything. Don't know what type of access I'll have. (They have Wifi, but for a cost, and I don't know the details yet)

Will tell all about my progress when I return. I'll be working on the hood when I can, and will still journal in the form of notes, which I will transcribe here at my earliest opportunity. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

sock pic

Good for showing the colour. This is the sock being tried on to make sure it was the right length.

Bad colour, good detail :) The sock after grafting and weaving tails.

Lesson learned today: Using a crochet hook for grafting only messes with my mind. Trying to remember which way to put the hook (opposite of the directions for the darning needle) and which way to go next results in opening a suitcase and redoing the graft...

But, I now have one of my darning needles stored with my craft supplies in the livingroom. I still have plenty of them in my travel tin...

Sock 1 DONE!!

(Ok, I confess, I still have to graft the toe)

I finished up the foot last night, and still had time before bed to do the toe decreases. I then wanted to graft the toe, and realized - I've already packed my craft notions!!! I don't have any darning needles handy!!! Yeah, yeah, I could unpack... but who wants to do that??? So, today, I will use a crochet hook to draw the yarn through instead of a darning needle to "push" it through. :)

Then I will take the picture. :)

And cast on the second sock tonight. At this rate, the pair will be done before we leave, and I'll have nice toasty warm socks to wear when I come back to nasty cold winter after two weeks in beautiful warm Mexico!!

It is really a lovely sock, and lovely pattern. I can see myself having a few pairs, in different colours :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

First sock over half done

Have turned the heel and decreased the gusset. Now just the foot and toe to do.

I have learned a lot already. I learned that my knitting skills have indeed improved over the last few years. I started to learn to read my knitting when I started knitting lace. I learned how to compare the chart with what I had growing below my needles. I began to recognize various elements. Teaching classes also meant that I had to know what *I* was doing, so I found that it wasn't too hard to count rows of garter (something I had never really been able to do before - stocking stitch, yes, garter, no) as well as how to do a few different cast-ons, and a few other little tricks and tips. BUT I didn't think I could read cables. One attempt to rip and recover a cable pattern didn't work, so I just didn't try again. Now, however - I managed to knit the repeats on this sock with barely a reference to the pattern. Of course, it did help that it was a fairly simple pattern to start with, and fairly easy to memorize what to do. But by the end of the second repeat, I wasn't even looking at the paper anymore. Same with turning the heel. Other than a fast glance at the pattern to see what sort of heel Meggie had chosen, I just went ahead and knit it. :) I was especially happy to see that she didn't specify a number of stitches to pick up for the gusset - that was something I tried to pass on to my sock knitting students in the classes: In the big picture, it really doesn't matter if the pattern says to pick up X number of stitches and you get X+1 or X-1 or even two stitches out - the number is just a guideline, and as long as both sides are within one or two stitches of each other, no one is going to notice. My usual line at that point was: And if someone *does* want to stick their nose that close to your foot to count stitches or rows, they have a bigger problem than you do!!

I will be coming back later today to edit this post and add a picture of the current progress, but I'm afraid that I need to take off shortly to take my vehicle in for repairs. In the meantime, I just wanted to update on the sock.

(Ok, so I have now added pictures - on the left, the picture as I took it. On the right, the picture after playing with the contrast. I think it does help, a little. Also, the first pictures I took in the livingroom; these ones on my kitchen table.)

I also wanted to mention, that I was in touch with my sister, to confirm my heritage. I was going, as I said a few days ago, from memory. Turns out that I do not, after all, have any Irish in my background. Won't stop me from continuing this journey, however ;) And as Meggie said in a Ravelry post, some family are born in the heart. So, even though I may not have Irish blood in me, I definitely have Irish in my heart.