Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Knitty knit knit

I've been living the most wonderful life the past few days, filled with purpose and meaning. Saturday I handed Marcus over to his daddy and nudged them both in the direction of the lounge and the X-Box: "Come and watch Daddy cook some fools, Squishie!". This left me free to tackle the black hole that was our bedroom. How can a baby have more clothes than I do?

True, I have more knitwear, but that's because I've been knitting for myself for almost 31 years, whereas Marcus has only been in the picture for a few months. It's still disappointing when things like this happen:

This is the grey jacket I knitted for Marcus last year (my last FO, in fact). I dragged it out for the cool change yesterday, only to discover that some edge stitches have come undone. Now, I could spend some time picking them back up and fixing the jacket properly, but I really can't be bothered. It was a stop-gap jacket at best and I'd much rather get started on his winter knitting. There is an awesome cabled jumper in his winter future, not to mention the need to make many many pairs of overalls.

The christening shawl continues on unabated, with the count currently at row 119. I keep finding that I've missed YO's, so I occasionally need to tink back the 16 stitch repeat a few rows. Never phased me, even when it's patterning every row. Then I read Donna's post on her Cap Shawl and now I'm terrified. Poor Donna - go over and give her a nice posting-hug, will you?

Looking through my camera I've found a few FO's that I didn't post last year - yay! So, the sneaky news is that they're going to be the beginning of this years' FO's. Bwahahaha!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A weird knitting moment

I'm still on the multi-pattern repeat in the lace and I've just come to a part that feels a bit odd.

I have to slip 1, knit 1, pass slip stitch over. Easy. The oddness comes from the slip stitch. I'm constantly slipping a yarn over. It just feels weird. I keep freaking out that I'm doing it all wrong, even though I know I'm not.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Faith in humanity somewhat restored

First we had the very nice pamphlet delivery lady on Saturday night. She heard my mobile ringing in a garden and picked it up and returned my parents phone call. After a chat they all agreed to meet out the front of my place, and she handed the mobile over to my parents. Thanks pamphlet delivery lady!

Last night we came home late after the vile vile heat and while I was downstairs (half asleep due to a headache-busting Mersyndol Forte) Felix went back up to empty out the car. While he was there a man asked him if he knew where Flat 3 was, as he needed to deliver a wallet he had spotted in a storm water drain. Thanks complete stranger!

Turns out we're only missing the two credit cards and we canceled them fast enough that no damage was done. Yay - no new license photo!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Stupid life

This weather is just intolerable. 43 degrees is ridiculous, and all I want to do is move back to Scotland. Luckily, Squishie and I are off to my sister's house with its lovely lovely air conditioning which means I may actually get some knitting done.

Not lace knitting, mind you. I have a pair of socks on the go for Felix (curse you Bells, you temptress you!) and a short-sleeved sock yarn cardigan for the Squishie, so I need not worry about lace knitting counting while the awesome Leah and I watch chick flicks and hand the baby over to his highly competent cousins to mind. Lots of drinks with ice in them, and we'll be set.

We had something pretty lousy happen this weekend. We bolted into the house on Friday afternoon (it was really warm) so we could get Squishie all comfy. Here's where the stupid comes into it: I forgot my purse and Felix forgot to lock the boot. Saturday night comes around and I realise I don't know where my wallet is. I check the car - nope, not there. We eventually drive off to the petrol station we used it at last, and on the way we get a phone call from my mum telling me that some very nice stranger has found my mobile two streets from my house and just how did I lose it?

So that's how we found out that someone had stolen my purse from my car. It looks like the eejit climbed through the boot and grabbed the purse and mobile from the section under the radio. They forgot to look in the centre console, so the iPod is safe (it's the old one anyway) but now I have to go off and get all of my cards again: licence, Medicare, library and we need to get all of the banking cards again, because they were all on my purse. Grrrrrrr. The very nice police officers apologised but there weren't any decent prints due to the cars post-holiday dust and the heat on Saturday.

I was feeling very sorry for myself for most of the weekend and then got on the webs and read Lynne's post over at Yarnivorous. I spent most of last night hugging Squishie instead.

Friday, January 08, 2010

A Lacy Summer

Having joined up with Bells' Long Lacy Summer yet again, I thought the christening shawl would be a breeze. I'm pretty good with lacework and it tends to speed along.

Not this time, I'm afraid. I don't know if it's the patterning in each row which causes me to slow down, or just the lack of knitting time available but I just don't seem to be getting far.

I'm currently on row 108 and I have plenty more to go. I'm trying to get a section down each week, and I still have 6 rows left in the section I have to finish before Sunday. Shouldn't be too hard, really but I also have to do all the household-y work, not to mention the Squishie (when he's awake - his morning nap is the perfect blogging time!) who is a real time stealer, especially when he's beaming at me.

My wake up at 5am plan is actually working quite well, except for the part where I use it for knitting. At the moment I use it entirely for housework, because the post-Christmas disaster I call my home really was a disaster. Hopefully by the end of the weekend I'll be back in to knitting time, but I can't do my usual knitting routine of watching a dvd while I'm knitting this shawl; it's hard to concentrate on a film when you need to concentrate twice as much as normal on your knitting.

The worst part of this pattern is that it has two parts: the lines of lace flowers down the corners and the main panels. The flowers are a 18 row repeat, which means that I'm keeping track of two patterns as I go. It gets easier if I'm working on it continuously, but this stopping and starting means that I'm getting a bit lost.

I'm thinking that a big push might be in order tomorrow, especially as I have no plans to leave the house in this weather: 34 degrees all weekend!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I don't know everything

It was a bit of a shock to be pulled up short by the christening shawl I'm currently working on. The knitted lace (not lace knitting) section required me to knit two together. Easy! Anyone can do that. The problem was that the two stitches to be knit together were a knit and a yarn over.

Looking at the potential stitch, it seemed that the only way to knit it was to knit through the back of the two stitches, lest the YO become a tightly stretched thread and the hole it created disappear. So I tried that. It worked, but the twisted stitch looked completely out of place.

I decided to look it up on Ravelry - where would we be without it? According to the pattern listing, no-one else had any problems with row 105. I seriously contemplated messaging the creator, Dorothy Siemens, to ask what to do.

After about 20 minutes of hesitation I gave up and went to bed. Yesterday morning, in a brief moment of "Quick! He's asleep!" I decided to try again.

I looked at the two stitches again, looked at the pattern - still K2tog - and did just that. The YO didn't pull tight, the hole was relaxed and lovely and I learned a very valuable lesson: designers do actually know what they're doing, especially with lace. I think I know so much about knitting just because I've been knitting for years (31 years this March) yet something like this has pulled me up.

Knitting resolutions for the year? Find out more. Read up on the history of what I love, find new techniques (I used cable cast on until I was 28. Pffffffft!) which are always brought up on Ravelry, challenge myself more. This could be a little hard with Marcus around, but if I have to get up at 5am every morning to do it, then I will.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Forget lemonade, we're moving onto clear spirits...

Port Macquarie is lovely (apart from the vile humidity). How can you not love a place where you can see this many wonderful birds at once? (My in-laws backyard.)

Marcus enjoyed himself immensely, especially at Lake Cathie (it's apparently pronounced Cat-eye, not Cath-ee. Freaks, I tells ya).

This picture was taken just before his butt hit the water and he lost it completely.

However, Port Macquarie has one small problem: it is 1200 kms away, and now my darling Felix has promised we need never visit there again. Why? Because the drive home was just as bad.

First stop was at Taree at 10:30am on Saturday to feed the Squishie (Did I mention that's what Marcus has been called since he was a week old?). All was going well until we returned to the car to discover that the battery was completely dead. Somebody* had left the lights on and drained the battery, so we called the NRMA, who decided that telling us sixty minutes and taking two hours with no reason was perfectly fine.

Were it not for my knitting I would obviously have gone insane. I got some pretty odd looks while we waited, but K.I.P. will do that. Eventually we hit the road again, with me driving through torrential downpours only to stop 10kms before Buladelah.

Yep, another tailback, another batch of knitting - luckily only one hour before the tailback ended. We stopped just before the town at a Revive centre to grab a coffee which was when I declared: no more holidays ever ever EVER again. The rest of the day consisted of driving as hard and as fast as I legally could, making Goulburn by nightfall. 600km in just 12 hours...bah.

First stop this morning? Look Squishie - it's a really BIG sheep!

He loved his little take-home version too.

Felix drove today and I managed another 10 rows of my Garden shawl, bringing me up to a total of 100 rows - only 79 to go, not counting the border, obviously. The only reason I managed so much knitting today was the brilliance of my boys. Felix drove and Marcus, well...

Nothing like the world's best traveler to help his mother keep her sanity. Now for a medicinal fortified!

* It wasn't me, and Marcus can't drive...

Friday, January 01, 2010

Finished Objects 2009

Well, the post is a day late but humidity plays nasty tricks on the mind (only 68% today).

We had a very non-eventful NYE here: watched "The Glenn Miller Story" with my in-laws and Felix while we waited to see if Marcus would wake up in time for us to see the local fireworks at 10:00pm; he slept until 10:30pm and grizzled so much that our midnight saw Felix, Marcus and I all lying down trying to go to sleep.

Despite the shortness of my 2009 list I think I still went pretty well. I think we can all agree that number 19 was my greatest work for the year, if not my life.

Happy New Year all.