Monday, February 25, 2008

Back to School

We had only 2 days of school last week. No school on Monday, President's Day, back to school on Tuesday & Wednesday, another ice storm on Thursday, so no school Thursday or Friday. So, lots of knitting time! There were widespread power outages with the ice storm that hit on February 11th, but we only lost power for a little over an hour while we were asleep Monday night. We didn't lose power at all with the storm on Thursday. We lost a few trees, but none in the yard -- we have quite a bit of forested acreage here.

I finished one Tempted "Tease" sock, and started the other. The toe I like to do is easier on circulars than on dpns, so I dug out a circular needle to do it. Then I decided to just keep going, using Magic Loop. It seems to be going so much faster. Not that I'm done with dpns -- just feeling more Magic Loop-y right now.

I also switched my Big Black (soldier) Sock to Magic Loop. Unfortunately, the yarn I'm using is no longer on the approved yarn list for SFS. So these socks will be for my husband. Good thing I was making his size!

I dug out another UFO -- my Diamond Fantasy Shawl, in Handmaiden Sea Silk, in the Glacier colorway.

I have no idea why this has been ignored for so long. Since I picked it up a few days ago, I have completed 2 chart repeats. Part of the impetus for this is that there is another knitalong on Sivia's Yahoo group, for her Moonshadow stole. I got the kit for it, from WoolGirl, and would love to start it, but I'm really not good with more than one lace project at a time. There are two other shawl knitalongs which will be starting soon, as well. One is for an Orkney Pi (based on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Pi Shawl) on the EZasPi group (first part of pattern will be posted 2/29), and the other is MysticLight, the sequel to the MysticWaters shawl by Anna of Knit & Knag. (This one starts March 26th. Signups close on March 25th.) I have yarn on order from the UK for the Orkey Pi, and have already ordered and received my yarn for MysticLight. More when those KALs actually start.

Just in case that's not enough, I'm also signed up for Sock Madness, which is scheduled to start March 13th. If you've missed the sign-ups (they're closed), you can still be a spectator. I participated last year, but was knocked out in the first round. And I wasn't working last year.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Day 4 - The ice is melting

We went to school Monday morning, the freezing rain started, and we were dismissed before 1st hour was over. The precipitation continued all that day, and there was no school on Tuesday. It stayed cold and gray, and nothing melted on Tuesday, so no school Wednesday. The sun finally came out (briefly) on Wednesday, but the temp. never got above freezing, and our country roads and gravel parking lots remained sheets of ice, so no school today, either. The sun is shining brightly today, and the temperature is in the upper 30s (F), so we are finally getting melting. In fact, we are sitting here listening to hundreds of little chunks of ice from tree limbs hitting our metal roof and sliding down (it's an A-frame; the roof goes all the way to the ground).

I am experiencing whatever you call it when you want to start a new project about every 2 or 3 hours, nevermind the current pile of works-in-progress. I have been working on a Big Black Sock for Socks for Soldiers. This is only my 3rd pair since joining (8/25/2006). Not an impressive statistic. (Safety pins mark every tenth row on leg & foot, giving me a better chance of making a second sock to match.)

My Tempted Yarns "Tease" sock has been re-knit with a short-row heel, and I am starting the leg. I'm much happier with how it looks this time.

I started making an Aibhlinn (cowl) last Friday night, thinking it would be my take-along project as I went to a "Teachers as ACT Coaches" workshop about 3 hours away last Saturday. Turns out, it was carried along, but I never took it out of my bag to work on it. I figured it would be easier to explain knitting neckwear to non-knitters, than to explain hand-knit socks. The yarn is Pasticcio, 100% cotton aran weight, in a color called Deep Denim. I don't see it in the current listing.

Yesterday, I got a package from KnitPicks, with The Best of Interweave Knits and the yarn (Andean Silk)to make the Cabaret Raglan. I think instead of knitting it as written, I'm going to knit it in the round, adding waist shaping, attaching the sleeves, and continuing with the raglan shaping in the round. That will require some thinking, but hey, I'm a math teacher. I can do it! So I thought I should do a swatch in the round. The pattern gauge is 17 sts per 4", so I cast on 34 sts and joined. This way, it should be 4" across when I lay it flat to measure. After about 3 rounds, I realized that I could just start a sleeve as my gauge swatch, so I ripped that out and cast on the 46 sts required for the sleeve. I finished the sleeve increases last night, and am about an inch or so from the point where I'll have to put it on a holder until the other sleeve and body are ready.

Happy Valentine's Day!