Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The trouble with having to play catch-up... trying to remember everything.

Sometime during that absence, I found out about Summer of Stash, and decided I needed to join. The goal is to go all summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, without buying yarn. Hence the new ticker at the top of the page.

Finished the Sixth Sense socks for the Six Sox KAL, just a day or two after the "deadline", then immediately started the new pattern, Color Blocks socks. I'm using Plymouth Sockotta, a cotton/wool blend that had already been a pair of socks, but I didn't like them and ripped them out. I like these -- they're toe-up, using a toe I hadn't tried before, then a heel I hadn't tried before, and ending with a garter stitch cuff that is knitted on sideways. First sock of this pair is done.

I got very little knitting done the week of June 5 - 9; I was immersed in teaching the 5th grade VBS class at church. I love 5th graders -- they're generally charming, funny, eager to please. I was told by one of the moms that her son appreciated not being treated like a little kid. Our theme was "Arctic Edge: Where Adventure Meets Courage". Memory verse: "Haven't I commanded you: be strong & courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." [Joshua 1:9] I find that to be a comforting, empowering thought.

Following VBS family night Sunday evening, the Princess & I drove to Springfield to do orientation & registration for the fall semester, spending Sunday & Monday nights in a dorm residence hall. An interesting experience. The parent portion of the program was not at all boring, as I was afraid it would be. I had my knitting with me, just in case, but never got it out -- I was too busy taking notes. We were done about mid-day on Tuesday, and did a little shopping before we headed home. I scouted out one of the yarn shops, went in & petted some yarn, and told the women I'd be back -- my daughter kept reminding me while we were in there that I wasn't buying any yarn until after Labor Day. (50 mile round trip to church; 332 mile round trip to Springfield)

Wednesday was a catching-up day at home (laundry, etc.). On Thursday, we had dentist appointments (50 mi. round trip) and an evening baseball game in a town about 46 miles away. (92 mile round trip)

Friday morning, my son & I were up early, headed to Branson for the Grand National Challenge of Champions clogging competition at the Welk Resort Theater. I was going to try to start the Leda's Dream stole for my mother's birthday, and instead found a Booga Bag that had been languishing behind the couch, which would be much easier to work on in the dim light of the theater. That was a good choice -- rounds of stockinette stitch allowed me to pay some attention to the dancers on stage, as well. The kids (the team he dances with) came home with several plaques for placing in their categories, but no cash prizes for overall points. Got home late Thursday evening -- it was a long day, with a 400 mile road trip.

Saturday, another baseball game, this time 41 miles away. And only 5 of the kids on the team showed up. So they borrowed kids from the other team, and the opponents' coaches played (with their own team), and they went at it for a couple of hours, anyway. I took that Booga Bag with me, and just about finished it. Total mileage for the week: something over 1000, as I'm not counting things like trips into town here, or within Springfield or Branson.

Since then, I finished knitting the Booga Bag, did an i-cord bind-off, and made about 6 feet of 5-stitch i-cord for the handle. I felted it yesterday; it took about 20 minutes (I checked it every 5 minutes, reset the washer to the beginning of the cycle, and set the kitchen timer for 5 minutes to check again; after the 3rd check, I reset the washer & let it run through the complete cycle). It's drying/blocking right now, then I have to attach the handles, and figure out whether I want to make a lining for it. It is a thing of beauty, though -- an ideal vehicle for Noro Kureyon's stripes (I used color 92).

I started Mom's stole (Leda's Dream) with KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud; Mist is the name of the color. Boy, is this stuff slippery. Not so slippery that knots slip out, however, as we had a bit of an incident in the ball-winding stage. My dear 14yo son was operating the ball winder, when the ball of yarn suddenly popped off and rolled across the room. I picked it up and noticed that the yarn seemed to be going up inside the ball from the bottom, which didn't look quite right. He finished hand-winding the rest of the hank onto the outside of the ball, and I thought, "We'll just rewind this one." So I pulled out the beginning of the yarn, set it into the ball winder's notches, and started to wind. Then I hit a snag, and the center of the ball came out in a clump. I tried to patiently loosen the yarn to continue winding, but it just got worse, and now we have this hideous mess. I was working on it the other day, and announced that I have just about decided to do something I've never done. My husband says, "Cut?" "No," I say, "throw it away!" [Gasp!] It's a $3.99 skein of yarn. I have ordered a replacement for it, hoping to get the same dye lot. Should I reset my ticker? Does this count? It's not yarn for a new project....

Oh, and there's a Mystery Stole 2 starting next month -- by the same designer who did Leda's Dream, which was the first Mystery Stole. I'll have to find some stash yarn to use, but I think I'll want to finish Mom's stole before I start the Mystery Stole. Um, and I'm also working on Mystery Shawl 4, a circular shawl this time, in Louet's Kidlin Pixie. I'm keeping up with this one so far, finished clue 2 on Monday, waiting for clue 3 to post on Friday.