Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ok, I did not rip out Fylingdales. I did give it a soak and blocked it and it blocked out to 45". That should be good. I decided to make it just a bit shorter so it won't hit so low on my hips where the lack of width might be a problem. I have split for the armholes and am working on the back section now.

While I was waiting for Fylingdales to dry from it's blocking session, I ended up casting on the February Lady Sweater. I blame the power of suggestion for this one. It's been mentioned in numerous podcasts lately and there are over 2000(!) in the Ravelry Projects section!! The sweater is based on an Elizabeth Zimmermann baby sweater. It starts with a simple, top down garter stitch raglan and ends with a lace body. I'm not a lace fan. At all. But I'm hoping the fact that this is done in worsted weight will make the lace a bit more palatable than the lace weight lace I've tried in the past. This is strictly a filler project to work on when I need a break from my "serious" knitting. I must not get distracted from the projects with deadlines!

Have ya'll heard of Neil Gaiman? I discovered his work in the movie Stardust. I don't think the movie made much of a hit in the theaters, I caught it on DVD and was very pleasantly surprised. It was a delightful movie. I sought out the book. The book was even better. A most enjoyable read, I highly recommend it. Gaiman has a wonderful style of writing. I suppose I shouldn't speak so broadly. Stardust is the only of his books I've read so far. But it did make a huge impression on me. So a few days ago, my sister sent me this link. Gaiman has a new book that just came out, The Graveyard Book. And he did a series of live readings of the book which are being posted to the Mouse Circus site, one chapter each day, beginning October 1. It is such a delight to hear an author read their own work. You know that the inflection is exactly as they intended. And Gaiman has a fantastic reading voice. I'm nearly caught up with the available chapters and am excited to hear the end. The story, like Stardust, is fantastic. The tale of a little boy who is raised by the spirits of a graveyard. If you are a fan of fantasy, do go check it out. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pending doom

Oh no. My suspicions were right about Fylingdales. I've been knitting along on a 32" circular needle and thinking it looked like it might not be as big as it should be. It's hard to measure on the 32" needle so I transferred it to a longer needle so I could do a good measurement. It's small. I'm knitting the 48" version. Unstretched, it's around 40". I can stretch it to about 45" which, with the button band, will be close to where it should be, but don't know if it will stay that stretched in blocking and wearing. I just checked my gauge and I'm getting 18 sts/inch rather than 16! I DID a gauge swatch!! How can this be?! I am so upset. IF the sweater stays to the blocked size, it will probably be ok. It's not going to be as comfy as I wanted, but it should be ok. But I don't think I'm willing to accept "ok". This is a beautiful sweater and tons of work. I don't want to settle for something less than perfect. I'm a month in. I'm nearly to the split for the armholes. I am sick to my stomach because I KNOW I need to rip this out and start over. Why didn't I measure this sooner? Why did I trust my gauge swatch so blindly?

I did wash and block my gauge swatch. So maybe it will make that much of a difference. I've got 2 choices. Rip it and start over, which means I more than likely won't have it for Christmas unless another pending project for someone else falls through. Or, keep going and hope for the best. My inner voice, the Process Knitter, says rip it and start over. My practical side wants to slit her wrists at the thought of ripping all that work.

I think I'm going to try a little experiment before I do anything drastic. I'm using Knit Picks Options needles. So I think I'll unscrew the tips and put the caps on the cable and give this puppy a bath. I want to see if it actually does grow as much as my gauge swatch seems to indicate. If it does, well then, I've only lost a day or two of knitting while it dries and I can keep going with a clear concious. If not, at least I'll have a few days to come to terms with ripping it out.

So what else have I been doing in the last month? Well, I finished the Sock Ease Toffee socks.I just knit the plain sock pattern on the label. I used a US 2.5 needle and the gauge is a bit loose for my taste. Next time I'll use a 1 or 1.5. This is a sturdy sock yarn, a little coarser than I'm used to, but I think they will hold up well. They softened up a bit when washed. The label says there's aloe in the yarn, but it isn't anything I can feel. We'll see if it does anything for my feet when I wear them.

I'm also knitting a pair of socks on request for a Christmas present for someone.I hand dyed the yarn and inscribed the recipient's name on the yarn during the dyeing process. The little blips of brown in the sock are pieces of her name. I find this concept fascinating and endearing. I do hope the recipient will be as thrilled as I am. This is the KP Bare yarn which I adore for socks. They are so soft and cozy.

Apart from knitting, all my remaining spare time has been consumed with reading the Twilight book series. One of my coworkers convinced me to read these books, a 4 book series about a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire. The books are geared towards young adults, but I found them enjoyable nonetheless. Some folks equate the author, Stephenie Meyer, to JK Rowling. In my opinion, there is NO comparison. JKR blows this series away with her madeningly complex and intertwined story lines. Twilight is just a good, easy, albiet somewhat predictable, read. I'm better than halfway through the 3rd in the series, Eclipse and loving it. New Moon, the second book, was my least favorite so far. It added little to the plot and mostly consisted of Bella moping around and acting reckless. But Twilight and Eclipse have been great. I'd recommend them to someone looking for some light vampire reading.

Our weather has finally turned cool and I am psyched for fall. We decorated for Halloween yesterday. Hubby has started collecting old halloween blow molds and vintage die cuts. Here's some of the collection...There are way more blow molds scattered around and a few more die cuts here and there. He's on the prowl for more when we can find them. And check out this piece of goulish gorgeousness...Another of my sister's fine cross stitch pieces. This one even has glow in the dark threads in it! Totally awesome.