Saturday, February 01, 2014

Already Fallen Down

A skate on an icy road in my car and a really challenging work schedule wrecked havoc on my good intentions. Nothing but metal and rubber were harmed in the accident, but it was certainly scary.

In the same week, one of our dogs, Patches, was diagnosed with a hemangiosarcoma. She is my first dog ever, and the thought of losing her takes the air out of the room. She is almost 14.  She is wasting away, and I'm working hard to try to keep food in her.

There was a week or so there that I wasn't even doing any knitting or spinning for pleasure. I abandoned all thoughts of anything with regard to level one.

My yarn arrived. That provided some small amount of inspiration. I decided I was allowed to be as gracious to myself as I'd be to a friend in a similar situation. Because I was unable to do what I planned to do doesn't mean I should give up.

I cast on a swatch. I found that I was having some tension problems after that first column of ribbing. I did some research and tried to wrap my yarn the other way on the purl stitch. It's better. 

I've now completed Swatch 1.1 and started on 2.1.  I'm going to block them both and check gauge. Then make a decision on what to do next. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Accountability and Knitting

Dusting off the blog to help provide accountability as I work towards becoming a Master Knitter by completing The Knitting Guild of America (TKGA) program. I have looked into it before but was put off by the cost. I was looking at class options for Vogue Knitting Live and thought that if I skipped taking a class, I could enroll in Level I.
It helps that I feel unchallenged and therefore uninspired by my knitting lately. I added spinning to the mix and that helps. However it also adds some unfinished project guilt.
What I'm hoping to do here is post my goals and progress to add some accountability to the process. I know that my nature is to start enthusiastically and over commit. Then give up because I failed at what was unsustainable. I want to do a little every day.
I've started the research for my report and the questions. I've swatched a bit with some leftover worsted weight and already think I have some issues to resolve. It's surprising.
The first swatches are simple things: ribbing, garter and stockinette. I *know* how to do that. Can literally do some of it in my sleep. And yet, the ribbing on the first swatch isn't perfectly even.
I'm thinking of using Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool, but I haven't gotten out to get it yet. It's snowing now and may be icing later so I'm not leaving town for yarn.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Why I need stockinette projects...

Laura's Scarf
Originally uploaded by trainlady1114
This is simple lace. A four row repeat that I have memorized. And, I can read it. So why if I can look at a row and know what I need to do next, do I just do whatever comes into my head instead of actually looking and thinking?

There have been far too many occasions where I've picked it up to find that the last time I worked on it, I knit instead of purled or vice versa. I might be done by now if not for the regular ripping out. I'm hoping this is a practice makes perfect thing and not a hopeless statement of my abilities.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Late Spring Socks

Spring Socks in Shadow
Originally uploaded by trainlady1114
I finished my Atlantic City Socks last night. I went to the stash to get the Regia Kaffe Fassett that I bought in Rhinebeck and intended to be my next socks. This yarn jumped into my hand, and I couldn't put it down.
I won it in Claudia's MS raffle last year. It seemed the time to get it out. And it is only proper that they are picot-hemmed.

Spring is late this year. Violets are usually Mother's Day flowers, but here they are in their prime on May 23rd. The yarn seems to go with the flowers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Originally uploaded by trainlady1114
Following the lead of Wild Yeast, I tried to make bagels with my sourdough starter. They were amazing.

They look like bagels. They taste better than what I can buy locally. The picture is too washed out, but they have a perfect network of small air bubbles. I'm amazed that I can make something like this.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bread and the Beauty of Ripping

I made a whole-wheat sandwich loaf today. Yesterday got away from me, and I didn't get dough made so it's not sourdough-based because I don't have the time for a rise.

The dough recipe is based on this one. I didn't have potato flakes or flour so substituted oats. I used about two tablespoons of honey in place of the sugar. Since I did that on a whim after the liquid was added, I needed about a tablespoon of bread flour to get a soft, but substantial dough. It's a little too soft, I think, but it tastes good.

I am back to work on this:

I took it with me to a nightclub and was working on it in the dark while listening to loud music. My wallet fell out of my knitting bag that night and I was pretty disturbed about that so the whole bag was in time-out for a while. When I did look, I realized that I had misplaced a yarnover (which I couldn't live with) and dropped a stitch which I split in my attempt to pick it up on the dark (I might have lived with that). So the poor neglected sock hung out waiting for me to repair it. Yesterday, when I was going shopping, I packed it up and brought it along.

When I stopped for gas, I pulled it out to start the dreaded repair process. And then boldly (for me, anyway) pulled out the needles and ripped. I picked the stitches back up in the parking lot of the Tar-jay and knit my way through the store. I've reknit the inch of knitting I was trying to save already. And it was much more enjoyable. I like to knit. I don't really like to repair mistakes. This should be a lesson.

I think the problem is that when I was six or so and first learned to knit, my mother explained to me that you really couldn't rip knitting out. It would ruin the yarn. The yarn would be all kinked and wouldn't reknit the same. I now know that this is largely not true: kinks are correctable and wool is forgiving. But somewhere in the back of brain, that still stands true.

May I always have the courage to rip and reknit.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

No-Knead Round Two

Originally uploaded by trainlady1114
This one was much wetter than the first one and consequently didn't rise as high. I used one pound of flour (5 ounces KA whole wheat, the remainder KA bread, 4 ounces of sourdough starter dissolved and enough water to make up 12 1/4 ounces total liquid weight and salt.

The bread has a nice sour flavor, but is a bit too squat. The next round, I'm going to cut back to about 10 ounces of liquid and see how that works.