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Monday, May 23, 2011

Graduations Make for Great Knitting Time

This weekend my daughter graduated from college, a very proud moment for us. What this meant for my knitting was lots of car time and sitting & waiting time.
My 11th hour shrug that I blocked the night before leaving and sewing together the night before I planned to wear it worked out perfectly. Once I knit it again, I'll publish the pattern. I knit it with Artyarns Silk Pearl.

I brought three projects with me. That may seem like a lot to you. I had two that were good for mindless knitting where I could carry on a conversation. The third project was the Wendy Knits Mystery Shawl KAL (knit-a-long).
I started with Barb's Koigu Ruffle by Churchmouse Yarns and Tea. I've been going through my stash and looking for small portable projects that use up stash. This pattern is perfect for Koigu, it really shows off the lovely hand-dyed nature of the yarn.

Did you feel the "but" in there? The initial cast on is 648 sts using the cabled cast on. Oy! It took me the better part of the day to complete it. I worked on the cast on everywhere I went, the hair dresser, the nail salon, and the car.
Once I finished it I decided to cast on for the Mystery Shawl, why not? I was in the cast on mode and what's another 241 sts when you've conquered 648? Since this project needed more concentration than the Ruffle scarf, I started knitting this one. Plus, I was really curious about the pattern.
By Sunday morning I had finished Part One on schedule with time to spare. This was a rare and wonderful thing. I'm loving the yarn I chose and the pattern so far has been easy to memorize.
The third project I brought was a pair of sparkly socks, knit 2 @ time, toe up, magic loop. You are not seeing things and there is nothing wrong with your computer screen; there are two completely different colorways here. The daughter who requested these socks picked out the skeins herself. My kids hardly ever wear two socks that match, so why not knit them that way.

I'm knitting these with Great Adirondack Smoochie sock yarn and I'm on a #00 circular needle. That's one of the reasons why I had an alternate project. You get pretty tired of #00's. She got to try them on after the toe increases, one of the many things I like about toe up socks.

Merrily I knit along until I went to knit the first row of the ruffle sock. Ah yes, those 648 sts. It was night time, driving in the car. No big deal I thought, it's stockinette. Well, you know how cast on rows can be twisty initially? Picture this, it's dark, the cast on is twisting as I'm knitting and I'm trying to untwist it, and I'm using Addi Clicks.

Right about now you could queue suspenseful music. The unsuspecting knitter goes confidently along her seemingly easy knit row when the clicks un-clicked! A hush fell over the car. I was staring at about 5" of unraveled cabled cast on with a ginormous amount of sts on either needle. I didn't know what to say or do. I sat there frozen. I could've cried. I think I held my breath. I tried to remain calm and consider my options.
1. take out the row and cast on and begin again. - not happening.
2. smoosh the remaining cast on sts together, continue knitting and fudge it later. - meh
3. attempt a mid air repair cabled cast on with the unraveled strand.

I chose option number 3. I had nothing to lose. There was no way I was going to cast on again and I wasn't giving up. It was like walking a tight rope. Would you believe I was able to put the sts back on? I never recounted. Who would ever know or notice if my stitch count was off. The good news is that by the time I reached the mid point where the sts were decreased to a manageable number of sts to count, I was only off 3 sts. That's a success in my book.
My friend Cynthia wrote a very poetic and lovely essay about knitting and The Motion of Our Lives. The timing of this email was perfect as I reflected on the weekend. Once again my knitting fit the rhythm of my life.

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