Sunday, February 26, 2006

On The Podium...Part Duh



My attempt at the 2 Pairs of Socks Dash is a success!

10:22 pm. February 26, 2006.

They are done. THey fit. DH loves them.

Well, he will when he wakes up. Aren't his snowmen jammies cute? He is mostly asleep but let me take a pic. >g<

Knitting Olympics, Day 16: Lessons Learned

Here's the condensed version of the post I made to my blog today. For full details, please visit the original entry.

Kiri detail, unblocked
Detail look at Kiri, unblocked

1. If time matters, then so does gauge.

The Lesson: If you have a deadline, check your gauge, and calculate how much you'll actually be knitting to complete the project. Even for projects where gauge doesn't normally matter.

2. Your hands always matter, and have priority over everything else. Don't wait until you feel the pain to take action - the damage has already happened.

The Lesson: Take care of your hands - they are your one irreplaceable and indispensable artist's tool. Take frequent breaks. Learn some stretches and exercises for your hands. Alternate between knitting sessions and activities that use the hands in a different way. And if you feel pain, STOP!

3. Goals are more important than deadlines.

The Lesson: Know what is essential about any project, and recognize what your personal conditions for "success" are. Don't let some outside force decide that for you - you are the person who must determine if you derived satisfaction from the work you have created.

4. If deadlines must happen, they must be met realistically.

The Lesson: Know your skills and limitations, and choose projects accordingly. Success comes from a good match of skill level, project size, and time available.

Conclusions

Would I do something like the Olympics again? I'm not sure.

Do I regret having tried the Olympics? Not a bit!

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FINISHED!


It is now 12:26 in the afternoon and I finished the socks...actually finished about 1/2 an hour ago - but taking pictures and getting them on the hard drive takes me awhile.

Here are the RED SOCKS on Tammy's feet -

Well, I didn't think that I would finish on time - and am really happy that I could finsh the task!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Yarn information...and Sock Two...

Even though I posted this in the comments section, I don't know that Lauraj will go there looking for an answer - so, here it is:

The yarn is Sirdar Donegal Tweed DK made in England...machine washable! 45% wool, 25% acrylic, 30% Polyester. Got it at Hodgepodge in Newport

Sock Two is coming along fairly well - right now I am at the place where I start the heel. This was the place that gave me never ending grief on Sock One...but, I am determined not to let it get to me. I think I may be able to finish on time Sunday! Especially if I knit like crazy tomorrow...while catching up on Dancing with the Stars...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Scan of Sock One...



The red sock! Since I scanned it - had to do two views one from the toe and other from leg portion. But, it is a finished product...Now to finish Sock Two. I did get a pretty healthy start on it while at Snowmobile Club meeting last night (I know an old lady like me is joint owner in a snowmobile - great visual isn't it??) and tonight is Survivor and CSI - I'll get a lot done (I hope!). I really like this yarn - and since I thought I was going to need an extra skein and bought one the other day - which I will not need for the socks - I think I'll make myself a hat or some of those cool looking mitten things that Jo makes (blatent hint for where to find directions...)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sock One...

is finally finished! I am most happy about that! Now to start sock two - and hopefully, it will not give me any trouble...I will try and post a photo tomorrow....

And, Jo, thanks for all the encouragement!!!! YES!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Success may be close...

Or at least closer than I think! Last night was a breakthrough...I actually knit from the heel to the beginning of the toes without any problems. Am ready to work on the toe section of the first sock tonight. Maybe there is hope and I will finish both socks by Sunday night...One can hope.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The blasted socks!!!

Spent a lot of time ripping and putting back together - at least ten times...but, I am not giving up. Still only have part of the sock done - but, maybe I'll get one finished in the next day or so and the other before the weekend ends....I will put a photo on my blog...can't seem to get it to upload here.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Knitting Olympics, Day 9: A Change of Focus

Uncle

Folks, I've given it a good try, but one week after discovering the rookie mistake I made in calculating the scope of my Olympic challenge, I am forced to acknowledge that this Kiri shawl will never be done to my satisfaction (i.e., to an adequate size) in time for the closing ceremonies next weekend.

The mistake I made - thinking that I could estimate how many rows I'd have to knit from the number that the original designer did, even though they used a heavier weight yarn and much larger needles - was a rookie error. No, even a rookie should have seen that laceweight yarn on size 1 Addi's would be hugely different in gauge than a DK-weight yarn on size 7's. Duh.

I had thought I'd go ahead and just make Kiri as big as I could, settling for a smaller shawl if necessary. But the truth is, the pressure of deadlines and Minimum Daily Knitting Requirements is getting to me, and I wouldn't be happy with a shawl I can't wrap adequately around my shoulders.

Rather than completely disassociate myself from the Olympics, however, I have decided to switch my allegiance to Margene's Eddie Along. I will continue to work on Kiri, but I will go ahead and make her the size I want her to be, and I will enjoy the process without requiring myself to knit a minimum portion every day.

eddiejumpingenjoy.JPG

I will even allow myself to work on other neglected projects as I desire. And I get to leave the house for casual, non-knitting outings, too! <g>

Already Better

This decision was made this morning. To kick-start the new phase of my reality, Gryphon and I went on an outing today, shopping at local bead and yarn shops, having lunch at a classic diner, and generally enjoying the sunny - if windy - New England day.*

It didn't take long for me to feel more refreshed and relaxed than I have been all week. I couldn't entirely resist taking knitting with me. But it was a neglected sock that was put aside for the Olympics that got the knitterly love, while Kiri sat home cooling her needles.

No Regrets

Other than making that initial mis-calculation, that is. If I'd made a proper estimate, I would have selected a different project for my Olympic challenge. But, although I won't qualify for the gold medal this time, I am glad that I made this attempt. I've been sitting on that laceweight yarn since last August, saying "I'm going to knit a lace shawl, really I am".

And look at me - I'm knitting a lace shawl!

*More about today's outing later this week - there were a few Knitting Around stops!

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Day Eight: Technical Difficulties

Not difficulties with the knitting, but with the sports arena the knitting was trying to happen in today. Several little power failures in a row that reset every piece of electronics in the house, interrupting my work every time. I finally gave up and went to Panera three hours early for tonight's knitting group. I'm there, at Panera, right now.

I've been making steady progress, even if I haven't been specifically reporting here about it. Kiri is now officially too big to take a good picture of, since I can't spread her out enough on the Addi's anymore. You can see her last pre-blocking official portrait at today's entry over at my blog.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

On The Podium!


9:06 pm Thursday Feb. 16, 2006

They are done. They fit. DS loves them.

Progress...We Have Progress!



My first sock is finished. The second sock is at "the heel is turned" stage! See here http://artgypsies.blogspot.com/ for details.

Go Team NH!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Report from Texas

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of contributions: I'm traveling for the first week of the Olympics, currently in Texas. But the sock is coming along. I'm on the foot now. I'm having trouble posting pictures here, but come see at my blog. Hope it's going well for the rest of you!

Progress...

Progress is slow in coming! For some reason I am stuck and can't seem to get motivated! Yesterday was a prime example - I cleaned cabinets and did a zillion other things - besides knitting. I think it's the yarn...the red doesn't grab me. Oh, it is a pretty enough yarn - red with flecks of different colors in it. Or, maybe, it is that I bought NEW yarn and want so badly to play with it...but, tonight is another night! And, onward with the red socks.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Knitting Olympics, Day Four: Going Public

I took my Olympic Knitting out in public last night. The second Monday of each month is time for the Eats, Knits, & Leaves knitting group at Toadstool Bookshop (Lorden Plaza in Milford).

I knew that being in the midst of a group of knitters talking about their projects, debating yarns, techniques, books, and more, would slow me down. And it did. While at the group, I only managed to knit about 2 1/2 rows.

After getting home, though, I was able to meet my goal for the day*. And I stuck at it long enough to add one more row beyond that.

More important than that is that taking my Kiri out in public proved that I've reached a comfort level with it. At the group, I was able to maintain the pattern, and even found I have reached a point where I can read the knitting and know what stitches to do next, without consulting the original text for instructions. I did make one mistake on the first pattern row I knit there, but I now know the benchmarks in the pattern that are supposed to line up. When I was off by a stitch on the next pattern row, I was able to look immediately below that section, find the error (a SK2P - I had S'd and K2'd, but didn't P), and fix it without having to tink or frog.

All while discussing everything from stitch markers (I sold some last night) to books (we were offered a 20% discount on knitting books bought last night because we're officially a "book club" at Toadstool) to dyeing yarn (I brought my latest food-color dyed yarn to Show'n'Tell) to Valentine's cookies (Patty brought great sugar cookies) and charity knitting (Patty is helping to find knitters to make hats for premies, and has kits to offer that include yarn and instructions).

So, while I didn't knit as much during those two hours as I would have during the same amount of time at home, I did prove that I know the pattern for Kiri well enough now to effectively knit it with multiple distractions.

For today's progress picture, please visit my knitting blog at I Knit Around

* With my original fixed goal no longer valid, and being now uncertain how big I'll actually be able to make Kiri by the time the Olympics are over, I am starting each day by evaluating the previous day's performance, and setting a new potential size and daily goal based on that. If I knit a lot, and I think the amount I knit is possible to sustain each day, I increase the goal size until the row I'm currently at represents progress of 10% for every day since the Olympics began. My new goal for the current day is then set at another 10% of the projected size. No, that doesn't have to make sense to you - the important thing is it makes sense to me. :)

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Knitting Olympics, Day Three: Regroup and Redouble; and, the Weekly 99:99 Report

I am forging ahead with Kiri and making better progress than ever. Yesterday, with the encouragement of comments and my renewed confidence in this project, I redoubled my efforts of the first two days and knit about as much as I had in both days combined. It was hard work, but I did take time to do other things, like eat, sleep, and take a few breaks to blog and play on the computer. If I can keep up that same pace, I think it might not even be outside of possibility that I could still get a full-size shawl in the time allotted.

No pictures today - just imagine a larger size version of the WIP shawl in yesterday's post, and you'll have an idea.

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End of Day 3


A brief from the Knitting Olympic Village...

Updates on my own progress are all good. I am proud to report that I'm well ahead of schedule on the first sock. As you can see, I've finished the foot and I'm ribbing up the leg now. I did have a bit of a glitch turning the heel but I only had to take out a row or two to find the error (dropped a stitch which led to a miscount) and I was back on track with no penalty. I expect I'll not only finish this pair but (dare I say it?) I'm considering upping the ante to a second pair designated for DH. Finishing one pair even if they are Godzirra-size AND toe-up just isn't turning out to be the challenge I'd envisioned and to stay true to the event I think I may have to commit to TWO pair. What do you think? Is it too late to enter for a second pair? Surely the Speed Knitting Team could use another member, yes?

See my blog http://artgypsies.blogspot.com/ for the RRRREEEEEEEst of the story...

(apologies to Paul Harvey)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Day Three

Well, Day One was awful! As soon as the Olympics came on tv at 8PM I was there ready to start...

Cast on my sock stitches and was just busy working away - when I noticed that I was off a stitch - I was supposed to purl a stitch - but, I was on a knit stitch...so, I checked my count and sure enough I had lost a stitch somewhere...and I couldn't find it to bring it up to the current row.

SO, I ended up ripping out the entire part that I had done - and starting over. By the end of the coverage for Friday night - I had 1-1/2" of ribbing done.

Last night we went to a party - so, I didn't get to knit at all - but, today is another day - and the Olympics come on at 3PM and I will be sitting in front of said TV with knitting needles in hand.

Knitting Olympics, Day Two: Crisis of Confidence

I know, I said I was going to cross-post text . But today's entry is very long, so here's a teaser. To read more, please visit my blog at I Knit Around.

Day Two started well. I began knitting early (shortly after 11 a.m.), and worked steadily throughout the day. By 4:30 p.m., I had made enough progress that I felt good about taking a break, so Gryphon and I went out on some small errands.

I continued knitting after we returned home, and around 7:30 p.m. or so, I had made goal for the day. Plenty of time to gain even more ground, so I kept going.

By 11:30 p.m., I had reached the 75th row. Theoretically, according to the shawl percentage calculator, Kiri was now 25% done.

I looked down at what I had on the needles. 25%? That didn't seem possible. I checked the shawl percentage calculator spreadsheet. Supposedly, I've knit half of all the rows that will ever be in this thing, if I knit it as I originally planned. I could only expect to double the current length and width, at best.

To learn more, and find out what I decided to do about this crisis, please visit I Knit Around.

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Knitting Olympics, Day One; a Report From the Lace Knitting Track

I've decided to cross-post the text of my Olympic updates here, but not the pictures. If you want to see the images, please visit my main blog, I Knit Around.

Promptly at 2 p.m. Eastern time, I cast on and began knitting my Kiri. In about 20 minutes, I was past the tricky start - provisional cast on 3 stitches with waste yarn, knit 14 rows of garter stitch with your working yarn, pick up stitches along the side of your tiny little caterpillar of a start, then take out the waste yarn and pick up those three stitches.

At that point, I took a break before starting the main body of the pattern.

I paced myself through the day, taking plenty of breaks to spend a half hour playing a computer game in the bedroom, spend some time preparing food and eating, and to just generally walk around. By the middle of the evening, I was starting to get nervous about completing my day's goal of 10% of the shawl. So I took somewhat fewer breaks, and made them shorter.

Finally, around 10:30 p.m., I made it to my 10% mark. And then, since it would still be an hour and a half until Gryphon came home from work, I kept knitting.

An Over-Achiever - 8% Over Goal for Day One!

In the end, I completed the first 50 rows of Kiri, which according to Rose-Kim's shawl percentage calculator made 10.8% of the total shawl. That's 8% over goal for the day!

So far, the biggest problem I'm having is the yarn-overs at the beginning and end of each half of the pattern rows. The times that I've found my stitches off, it seems to always be that one of those either wasn't done, or got dropped, or worked together with the stitch next to it on the purl side by mistake. Once I realized that, however, it became easier to find the problems and fix them when I needed to.

And, of course, now I know the trouble spots to watch out for.

I am really, really pleased with how this yarn - the first I ever hand-dyed - is knitting up. The random patches of color are making a beautiful, mottled effect with blues and greens. Kiri, with it's leafy-looking pattern, is a good choice for this. I'm thinking this colorway would have looked good in a water-themed shawl as well.

Day Two

I've begun my knitting already, completing three rows before taking a break to write this post. My goal for the day is to add 10% more of the shawl to yesterday's end point, reaching 20.8% complete (at a minimum).

Early Analysis - the Level of Challenge

I feel like I hit the challenge level dead-on with my choice. Completing my goal knitting yesterday was a stretch, but in the end was achievable. I felt like I was under pressure, but not facing an impossible task.

Cheers to all the other Knitting Olympians out there! I'm back to the Wilton Lace Knitting Track to continue my second heat!


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Let The Games Begin...Finally!

Check out my blog http://www.artgypsies.blogspot.com/ for updates on my event progress. Good luck, Team NH!!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Well Begun is Half Done...

At least, that's what they say. If so, then the gold is as good as mine!

I decided, instead of waiting for the broadcast of the opening ceremonies tonight, to accept Yarn Harlot's designation of 2 p.m. local time as my official start. And there I was, 2 p.m. this afternoon, waste yarn creating a provisional cast-on, and knitting up garter stitch rows on 3 tiny stitches so I could pick up along the ridges, drop the waste yarn and knit up the cast-on stitches, and finally begin!

To allow time for blocking and a little slush for mistakes (which I have vowed not to make), I've set a goal of completing 10% of the shawl on each knitting day. Rose-Kim Knits offers a free shawl percentage calculator (an Excel spreadsheet) that I'm using to track my progress. Today, that means knitting at least the first 48 rows before putting down the needles.

So, that's the report from the Wilton Lace Knitting Track - how's the competition faring over in your field?

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Plodding along

Apologies for not posting sooner. I've been more or less smited by pneumonia & knitting has not been a priority. At any rate, W is plodding along. Slow & steady won't win this race but that's okay-she's going to be quite beautiful when she's done.

Do or do not

I'm taking a break from a last minute gauge swatch (the result of a last minute yarn change) to say hi to everyone. I'm Erica (aka "Stitchwitch") & I'm knitting Knitty's "W" in ribbon. I'm not exactly great with non-work related deadlines but I'm sure sure I'll find personal pride and peer pressure 2 excellent forms of motivation. Happy Knitting, everyone!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Folkcat Checking In!

Okay, I'm here! I'm eagerly looking forward to casting on tomorrow night for Kiri, my first-ever lace shawl. I'll be using another first - the laceweight yarn that I hand-dyed with Kool-Aid back in November.

This is going to be a lot of fun!

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I'm really doing this....

Yes! I am...and I have signed up to knit a pair of red socks. The deal is that I owe our roommate a pair of red socks...but, I'm not a good sock knitter. I have only knit two pair of socks since moving here to NH in November 2004.

And, knitting socks is a huge challenge for me. I don't get those double pointed needles at all! So, I am trying to make my way with these socks using something called the "magic loop" and knitting the socks on one circular needle. The problem is I am still getting confused and for me to finish a pair of socks is challenging...but, I am GOING TO DO IT!

And, with Team NH behind me anything is possible...

Live Free or Die Trying

Well, here we are, one day away from Opening Ceremonies. I'm Jo and I'm competing for the USA Sock Team in the Toe-Up Socks event. I've never knit toe-up socks and had to train thru a bunch of patterns before deciding to wing it and write a pattern as I go. I've been knitting socks cuff-down for a couple of years but this is only the second pair of adult-sized socks I've tried. Knitting under a deadline is a challenge, too. So there are my challenges. Toe-up. Adult-sized. Under a deadline. AND...write the pattern as I go. OK, the pattern writing part isn't that tough, they are only socks, after all. The socks will be for my youngest son who has HUGE feet! He chose the yarn himself and he's very excited to be cheering me on to victory in the Knitting Olympics. I'm off to swatch and warm up my knitting muscles! Please pop over to my blog to read about my Olympic Training and I'll be posting there with photos about my progress.

I look forward to seeing what events my teammates are competing in and getting to know you all. Good luck to all my teammates! We are a small team but we can win big!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Welcome, Team New Hampshire!



Finally, a blog of our very own!