Friday, February 26, 2010

I've wasted a lot of time

It's not looking good...

As noted last time, I didn't really start on my Ravelympics project until three days after the opening ceremonies. But for four days there, I made really good time. By Saturday, I'd finished up to the armholes. Since Arachne is knit all in one piece up to the armholes, it meant I'd finished all of the lower body.

But then I stalled. Hard. For various reasons, I didn't touch it for three days. But I thought, it's okay, I've got an 11-hour flight home, I can get a lot done then. While waiting to board, took the project out, realized I needed to cut the yarn, couldn't do it without scissors, and, of course, had no scissors. It turns out I managed to sleep a lot on the flight, anyway. Which I guess is good.

Got home Tuesday night. Haven't touched the project other than to take it out of my suitcase.

I have absolutely no explanations or reasons for my inability to work on this project and get it done; I've not been occupied with other knitting. But it will definitely get done- I'm too far along now to stop. Plus, I still really want this cardigan. I'm going to get off the computer now and knit. If I manage to get to the sleeves before the closing ceremonies, I'm gonna award myself a platinum medal. (Ha.)

Update: 3-1/2 hours later, I've knit nearly the whole left front shoulder, only to realize I'd been following the chart for the right shoulder. Aaargghhh.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy New Year (again)

Greetings from foggy San Francisco. Actually, it's just clearing up now, and I can see the tip of the Transamerica building from my father's kitchen window.

I spent my birthday in time-honoured tradition:

(All pictures by The Limey.)

I actually just went in for needles. I had gotten everything ready to cast on for my Arachne during the Olympic opening ceremonies (which, by the way, were inexplicably shown with a 3 hour delay, despite being in the same freakin' time zone): I'd e-mailed myself a copy of the pattern; I'd wound all three skeins of my Scrumptious 4-ply into balls; I borrowed some spare yarn and a crochet needle from The Limey for the provisional cast-on. All set! Except, half an hour before the start, I realized I'd forgotten to bring the correct size needles. Ugh.

The next day, I had a couple of hours in the early morning before my brothers arrived home (we all managed to get back to SF for the new year), so The Limey and I ran out to get the right needles. But, then, since everyone was home, the rest of the weekend was spent with various new year's activities (to be honest, this mostly involved eating ourselves silly, although we did also visit some extended family). So, three days into the Olympics, I've just about managed to finish the bottom hem on the cardigan. My brothers leave tonight, though, so I'll have more knitting time soon.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Things I cannot do

1. Knit stranded colourwork with two hands. I try and try, but it's so painfully awkward that I pretty quickly switch to knitting both colours with my left hand.

2. Swim. True story: Perhaps in preparation for the day the peninsula floats off into the Pacific, San Francisco required (requires?) students to pass a swimming test before they can graduate high school. My parents, despite coming from a country that is mostly coastline, did not feel that swimming was a skill their children needed. So, the two summers before I graduated, I spent lots of time at the YMCA pool. My friends tried to teach me; I took proper lessons. Nope, didn't take. Couldn't do the simple crawl- I kept going lower and lower into the water, so that, a few strokes in, when I turned my head to breathe, I wasn't reaching air. I could do the required two lengths of the pool in the backstroke- this was okay, because if I kicked my legs hard enough, I wouldn't sink. The problem was the one minute of treading water. Could. Not. Stay. Afloat. People were all, Relax! Just move your arms and legs slowly. Ha! Needless to say, I flunked my test- they had to fish me out with the long pole thingy. While complaining about the dunking and flunking to one of my teachers, the swimming coach walked in. I told him my problem. He said, if you're going to sink, just let yourself sink. When the water hits your neck, lay your lead back, and move your arms and legs as fast/much as you need to. Basically like I'm doing the backstroke, but going nowhere. Armed with this, I *just* managed to pass the test on the second try.

3. Make ganache. Like two-handed stranded colourwork, I understand the theory, and I understand how it works and how other people do it. But I cannot. Except for the very first time I tried it, I have never been successful with ganache. It always always splits on me. I have wasted kilos and kilos of damned good chocolate trying. I've just wasted another 250g tonight, before giving up and just making frosting instead. Anybody know what I can do with split ganache? (Don't say recover it; this has also been tried. And failed at.)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

There's been a lot of knitting, I swear!

It's been a while, but I promise you I've been busily knitting away. A couple of new patterns which should- the gods willing- be moving towards completion, rather than away from it (frogging and me, we know each other well).

My train and bus knitting has been the mate for a sock for The Limey that's been sitting, alone in a drawer, since before Christmas.

Next week, we're leaving for San Francisco to celebrate the Lunar New Year (and my birthday!) with my family. I'm promising myself to get the patterns to a state where I don't need to be actively working with them. Then I'll have some time for the Ravelympics project.

The question is: what should it be? I have two choices: 1) start another design that's been dancing in my head or 2) knit myself that Arachne Cardi that I've been promising myself since I handed the sample over.

There's no way I'll be able to finish a new design in the two weeks. I may be able to knit it in two weeks, should everything go well, but since I haven't done any of the groundwork yet, it probably won't happen. Even if I managed to knit it, then there's the real work of writing the pattern up to be done. So, no, I think that's a non-starter. Arachne it is! I actually started balling up the yarn weeks ago, but got distracted with other things.

I'm looking forward to this- I really need a lightweight cardigan.