Sunday, May 28, 2006

Ay! Oh! Where did you go? Ohio*

Last week, my mom, aunt, cousin and I drove to Ohio to see the exhibit of Princess Diana's dresses. Luckily for our budget, my aunt and uncle have friends who live near Dayton, and they invited us to stay at their house. My first thought when we finalized our plans was, "Oh boy, all that time in the car to knit!" I wasn't really in the middle of anything, and I don't like to start a project on a trip, because you never know what will crop up once you've started, but I picked up the stitches for the back of my FLAK and took along the yarn and pattern to start the Fairy Net Blouse from the latest issue of Knits. Things did not go well. Problem #1: I found out that I get carsick when I knit in the car, so I could only knit for short periods of time. Problem #2: I only had time to pick up the stitches on the FLAK before I left, not start the pattern, and I really didn't want to do it in the car, where I wouldn't be able to concentrate on getting it right. Problem #3: I brought what looked like plenty of yarn for the Fairy Net Blouse, but I ran out before we even got to Ohio. Smart move, eh?

I did find some quiet time Sunday to do the first couple of rows of the FLAK back, and did a few more rows on the way home, but I had added a cable at the last minute, and didn't look too closely at the pattern before I left, so I wasn't sure if I was doing it right. I stopped at row 5, figuring there was no point going any further until I was sure I had gotten the pattern right. Naturally, I hadn't, so I frogged the whole section and started over last night. I'm almost through one pattern repeat, and I'm being careful to check my cable crossings after every row so I can catch any mistakes in time to fix them easily.

As for the Fairy Net Blouse, I did some tinkering with the pattern, but it was while we were in the car, so I don't know if it'll work or not. I did it my usual way--add a few stitches here, leave out a couple rows there--without sitting down and figuring out if it will actually make the pattern fit better. Before I go any further, I really need to sit down and do some calculations to see if I can salvage what I've done so far. Also, I didn't read the pattern ahead of time to see that there is a turned hem. I have instructions for doing a no-sew version, which I would prefer, but since I hadn't read the pattern, I didn't know to take them.

So despite all my dreams of uninterupted knitting time, the most I will have accomplished is 5" of one sweater, and the least is nothing. Great.

By the way, the Princess Diana exhibit? Awesome!

*With apologies to Chrissie Hynde

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Time flies

Wow, I didn't realize it's been over a month since my last post. I worked retail for 20 years, so I hardly ever had a weekend off. Now that I work at my company's main office, I have weekends off, and even after three years,I'm still reluctant to give up any of that time. As chance or luck would have it, I have had exactly one weekend free since the first of April, and won't have another one for another two weeks. On April 1st, we had a surprise birthday party for my sister in law at my aunt and uncle's house in Dover. The following Sunday, we had one for my mom's 65th birthday. Now, my family never throws surprise parties, so two in two weeks was our lifetime quota. What's funny is that my mom suggested and planned the one for Amy, and Amy suggested and helped plan the one for Mom. Two weekends ago, Mom and I went to the Sugarloaf craft show in Timonium. We both bought some gourmet food (what is it about these shows? I would never pay $25 for three little jars of chocolate sauce at the grocery store!), and I bought a dichroic glass bead to use in a necklace.

Last weekend, Mom and I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It was packed! I bought 2 skeins of this yarn,

a beautiful mix of sage green and shades of blue and purple. Now I just need to figure out what to knit with it. Each skein is only 108 yards, so I might have to wait until my library gets its copy of "One Skein" before I decide. The yarn is so soft and has such a wonderful sheen, I want to make something special with it.

I also ordered two skeins of this yarn from Seaport Yarn. Mom exclaimed over how much she loved the yarn, so I ordered it to make something for her. I must not have been thinking clearly, because 950 yards isn't enough to make even a short-sleeved top that would fit her (we've both been given plenty of "frontal real estate"). I'll call them this week to see if I can add another skein to my order.

We were both drooling over the yarns at the Tess Yarns booth. I bought a pattern for a darling baby sweater to knit for my friend Lisa, who is due August 2nd, but they didn't have the yarn I wanted in stock, so I'll be placing an order with them, too. I loved the colorway Twilight, and they had a really pretty scarf knitted in Seabreeze that I want to try to dulipcate. Of course, the yarn I liked the best, Silk & Ivory, was $50 a skein. It's a 665 yard skein, though, so it's not quite as bad as it sounds. The problem with this yarn and the Blue Heron yarn I ordered is that 2 skeins isn't enough, but 3 skeins will probably leave me with a lot of extra yarn. What to do? What to do?