Tuesday, October 31

Math is relevant

If only I remembered the formula - I could have knit the outer rings for the Circle of Fun rug with confidence:

Smarty pants DD#2 could tell me.

This turned out to be a very enjoyable project. The middle section is worked in one piece because the wedges are done in short rows, without the last stitch wrapped and then the last section is sewn to the first section to complete the pie. The first outer ring is narrow - even though the directions advise putting aside 3 years to finish the length, the needles are big, the yarn is doubled and bam! You think you are done.

The final outer ring is a little more tedious because you are facing that common syndrome: are we home yet???

I underestimated again the length I needed to knit but decided to sew it all up anyway - that gave me the feeling that I was finishing the project.

An important tip is that you should sew up the rug using the yarn color that you have the most of. Then when you have to finish knitting both rings, knitting from both ends of the incredibly shrinking ball, the idea won't flit across your mind that you just might have to take out the binding stitches to get enough of the right color.

For the second rug I plan to pick up all the stitches around the pie and knit the trim on, like a shawl. Then I will pick up the stitches of that ring and knit on the wider outer ring. If that's too hard, I'm going to try to learn how to knit backwards. We shall see.

April: Charlie wants you to see those curtains I was telling you about:

Wednesday, October 11

One blackout, three nights and four soccer games

That's how long it takes to get this far on the circle of fun rug. I finished the pie section while the Storm beat one of the blond suburban teams on Friday night. The pattern is very easy and intuitive. Really. You might see that I eschewed M/D's advise to carry the other yarn around the worked section. I would rather hide away small bits of yarn than lug around 2 more tangling skeins.

I started the first round of trim when the team beat the 2nd team on Saturday morning and continued on through the Saturday night game and finally the Sunday morning championship game. Please know that I only knit during warm-ups and half-time. The instructions warned that this round could take 3 years. The knitting is tedious but only 10 stitches back and forth in garter stitch and the color combination keeps me surprised. I tried knitting backwards but that might have to wait until I am sitting under the bright lights with the book in my lap. I'm not quite done but better than knitting too far and ripping out. Such wasted energy.

After 5 years of knitting I will be done with the outer ring and will assemble. Hopefully the table will have a cleared spot by the time that happens.

And do you see the cutest kitten ever? He spends a lot of time on this perch, the OED blocking the opening that Charlie made, enabling him to break out near the air conditioner. Scottie thinks if he is up high like that then those darned fleas won't find him. As soon as the radiators come on I'm going to give him another bath.

Thursday, October 5

What did I do when the lights went out?

I worked on this:

crazy circle of fun in the dark. I had just started this, 2 pieces of the pie into the rug. Quick user feedback, progresses nicely - am I doing short-row? Then the TV blinked, I looked up, and it was dark. Julie is right - dark in the city is DARK. We keep our flashlights a little handier but we have more obstacles in the way, as we have still not finished reorganizing. Box, vacuum cleaner, ladder - ah! flashlight. Couldn't find my wristwatch. DH knew where the size D batteries were lurking in the pantry so we had news. Still da Bears -

Tuesday evening when we were still in the dark, however - I found all the tapers (resisted using the Baptism candle) and lit them as well as a couple of the 50 or so tea lights still left from my IKEA bag of 100. By romantic glow, I added more pieces of the pie. DH and DD#3 had gone to Regenstein for the wattage and computer power.

I woke up on Wed morning to the blinking of the CD clock radio. Back to the real world.

Wednesday, October 4

Casting on for home

I cast on for this project while driving home. Not when I was driving but when I was stopped. There is a train crossing and many many stop lights between my last stop and home. The gates were going down just as I turned onto 55th St. A few seconds later and I could have taken I-55. Annoyed, I cursed my luck. But the bag from the yarn store was in the front, with the needles I brought along, thinking I could do some knitting at the store - I decided to cast on. When I would rather it not be, this was a short train, hardly any cars at all. I only got 10 stitches on the needles. Continuing on east to home, at every stop light, all of which turned out to be so short, I cast on a couple stitches. The average stoplight was only about 3 stitches. Unbelievable! These lights are interminable any other time! I got a couple more out of the lights with left-turn arrows. By the time I got home, I got about 1/2 the stitches done. A very fruitful drive home.

This pattern, the moss stitch linen hand towel in Mason Dixon Knitting is very interesting. Looking at the picture you see a border of seed stitch with a design of boxes separated by stockinette. If I were to lift this pattern from just seeing the finished product, that is how I would remember it. But the pattern is very noncommittal - the pattern gives row by row instructions, instead of the big picture. A number of purl and knit combinations that do not indicate at all that you are creating a box. Purl 3 k1, p7. These instructions take you through the whole row without telling you where you are going. I like a map. I might have converted myself to knitting by chart -

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