Saturday, February 27, 2010

I changed my mind...

Olympic Knitting Day12
(aka big pile of yarn)

After accepting that I was never going to finish my Olympic Liesl in time for the closing ceremonies, I came up with another plan.   You see, I was never all that crazy about the color of the yarn (pretty but not my pretty).   That combined with a friend announcing her pregnancy and the color I really like becoming available brought me to plan B.   I ripped out the incomplete (to put it mildly) Liesl,  ordered a Liesl's worth of Comfy Bulky in Planetarium (a very me blue), and am using the SeaFoam Comfy to make a baby blanket for the expecting friend (who despite my pleading wants to be surprised by the baby's gender). 

I usually crochet my baby blankets but am doing something a little different this time.   One of my favorite shawls is the Silk Swirl Shawl by Joan Schroader.   All I am doing here is following that pattern but with a bulky, rather than lace wt., yarn.   I am still undecided re: the edging (a simple ruffle perhaps?).   It is going really fast, looks nice and feels divine.   As this is for a summer baby in Florida, cotton is the order of the day.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic Knitting....

Olympic Knitting
Epcot Canada

Not very sporting, I know, but I have accepted the fact that there is no way, after four rip-outs, that I will never get this sweater done in time for the closing ceremonies of this years Winter Olympics.   I will complete the sweater, just not on time.      For now, I will work on this sweater until the Olympics end.  Then, I think, I will finish Shawl That Jazz (only needs another inch of ruffle) before finishing Liesl.  Next Winter Olympics I am going to knit a dishcloth scarf.

Olympic Liesl
Day 9
Saturday we went to Epcot to celebrate our 14th anniversary.   Among other fun things, I got to work on my Olympic Knitting in Canada.   We were at Disney during the last Canadian Olympics (summer) and there were tons of Olympic themed items for sale at Epcot Canada.   This time not so much.   I was a bit disappointed with that.   I had really wanted to get an Olympic tote bag for my Olympic knitting (hokey, I know).   Also, missed were the Dale of Norway knitting kits in Norway.   I think, like so many other places, Disney is cutting back.   All was not lost, though, I found a cute knitting tote in England (photos to come).  It has sheep in a field and the caption "Baaad Girls".

At guest services we picked up Anniversary buttons that we wore all day.  Consequently, we were picked as the "first family" for the show at the USA pavilion.   It was so much fun to be made a fuss over but Hubby and I agree that the best part was getting to sit on real chairs for the concert (rather than benches or the floor).   We may be getting old but at least we are doing it together.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

One step forward, three steps back...

Olympic Liesl Day 1

Day 1:  Stayed up late, cast on, knit a row and went to sleep (by this time it was technically day 2)

Olympic Liesl Day 3

Day 3:  Trouble getting started and staying on track but by now I was feeling good, like I was on a roll.

Olympic Liesl Day 5

Day 5:  Past the yoke increases, messed up a row, pulled back too far, a dropped stitch ran, much swearing insued, ripped the whole *!@# darn thing back, cast on, knit a row, went to sleep.

Olympic Liesl Day 7

Day 7:  Moving right along (again).   It will be a miracle if I finish this *!@# dang sweater in the time alloted.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Knitting Olympics

This is our favorite "grown-up" restaurant, where I knit between courses at yesterday's Valentine's Day lunch. See, it is not that I am not working on my Olympic  Liesl whenever possible.  The problem is that I have ripped it out and restarted it three times!    First, I forgot the button holes.    Then I skipped the first row.   Then I did not like the placement of the button holes (and one was on the wrong side).    Despite these trials, I like the pattern (it is, despite all evidence to the contrary, easy to understand) and I LOVE the yarn (KP Comfy Bulky).    The fact is that this is not an unusual start to a project for me.    I know what I like and am not afraid to rip-out and re-start to get it.   What is different about this project is the time issue.   While I am sure that I will have a Liesl to wear this spring, I am not sure if I will have it by the finish of the Olympic Games.   I guess that is what makes it a challenge.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's a beginning....

Liesl day1

Did you see the Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony?    It was wonderful; beautiful, artistic, compelling and very Canadian.   We loved it.  An unexpected bonus were the performances by my favorite musical artists (Sarah McLachlan, K.D. Lang, and Loreena McKennit).   Hubby and tween stayed up too (teen is visiting the ex this weekend).   A good time was had by all.

Casting on as the Olympic Torch was lit required staying up past midnight.    Not being a night person (I usually go to bed at 9), it was a struggle but I did it.   Still, done in with fatigue, I barely managed to cast-on and knit one row before stumbling off to bed.   I worked on it some more this afternoon while watching speed  skating and will get a little more done tonight while watching Apollo Ono.  

The pattern is proving to be easier this time, which is something of a relief.   I was worried that I might be losing my knitting grip.   The deadline is still a bit daunting but so long as I get more done each day than I did last night, I should be okay.

Keep knitting and don't forget to cheer on your Olympiads.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Let the Games Begin….

Tonight is the night.   The opening ceremony for the Knitting (and other) Olympics begins at 7:15pm (EST).   I am as ready as I can be.    The yarn (KP Comfy Bulky) and needles (KP Options) for my chosen project (Ysolda’s Liesl) are here, and good to go.    It is only a matter of time.

I didn’t actually make it through the last Knitting Olympics (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome stinks) and, I have to admit to doubts about this attempt.    It is not so much the time crunch.   I know that if I find the pattern doable, the sweater will get made.   It is just that, lately, I am having a hard time with things that do not usually challenge me.   This pattern is just one of those things.    I have already cast on and knit a bit, twice, only to find out that I did not like the yarn or understand that pattern.   I am an accomplished knitter.   I have read the Ravelry notes and spoken to a couple of friends who have made it.   It is not hard.    I chose it because it is obviously a challenge to me, but what if I am not up to that challenge.    Maybe I am just having performance jitters.   Surely I will feel better once I get going.

The time approaches, my friends.   Are you ready to cast on?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Special Knitting Olympics...

I was not going to do this.   It was not even on my knitting radar.   Last time I did it I had to drop out due to a bout of carpal tunnel (ouch!), that left me unable to knit for two weeks!   However, after reading this post over at Chez Harlot, I am going to give it another go.  I must be crazy inspired. 

After checking out the available options (This is, after all, the last minute), I have decided to go with Liesl.   I have been trying to get this sweater on my needles for some time but something always gets in the way.   The yarn (Comfy Bulky in Sea Foam) shipped on Friday.   I did forget to call KnitPicks re: the needles but I will get that done tomorrow.  I'll just use another brand until replacements arrive.   So, my challenge is simply to get it done.

In the meantime, after my funk of last week, I cast on for the Shawl That Jazz using a gorgeous hand-dyed cotton that I found in NYC a couple of years ago.    I love the way it is turning out.   The yardage is just a little short so I will have to find something complimentary to use for the ruffle.  I also decided to stick with the size 1 needles for my Koigu socks.  Now that I am further along, I like them.

Be good, and keep knitting.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Don't mess with my....

Have you heard that MacMillan publishing is trying to force up the price of ebooks (read more here)?  In response Amazon has temporarily pulled MacMillan’s books (digital & other from their site).   No doubt, there is more than a one side to this story.   As a reader, here is mine:

A couple of months ago I got tired of waiting to have enough money to buy an eReader.   In a fit of pique, I sold off the last of my ex-husband’s jewelry, cashed in my coin jar (for real!), sold a thing or two on Ebay, and bought myself a Nook (disappointing) which I almost immediately exchanged for a Kindle2 (which I love).

I am an avid (sometimes book-a-day) reader.   I read in bed, while I wait for my boys, while I knit (and wait for my boys), in public, and at home.   Books have been my cave for as long as I can remember.   I worried that I might not like the eReader format (too sterile?), but I was wrong.   I love, love, love, my Kindle.  A big part of this love/love relationship is being able to carry lots of books (there are knitting books!) with me sans back/shoulder pain.   

Like so many, I am on a budget, with a set amount put aside for books each pay check.    Accordingly, the lower price of Kindle books allows me to buy more books.  I had hoped that Amazon would stand firm, thus preventing MacMillan from forcing up eBook prices, but apparently that is not to be (read more here).    

MacMillan has prevailed at our, the readers, expense (literally),  but the ultimate outcome will be up to us, their customers.   Businesses, and publishing is a business, run with what works for them.   If we shrug our shoulders and pay their needlessly high prices, we will make MacMillan and others like them very happy.    If we give preference to the publishers that are charging reasonable ($10 or less) prices (there are quite a few), and buy the higher price books only when necessary (i.e text books), we will make those same publishers unhappy, thereby discouraging them from making it harder for those of us who must watch our pennies, to continue feeding our minds.

Think about it….