I got my second Secret Pal package last Thursday! Whooo hooooo!!!!! What goodies lay in the box for me?
Let's see... there's sock yarn in that picture. Knit Picks Sock Garden yarn in the Geranium colorway. I'm so excited to knit with this yarn! But I have to finish... err... ummm... other things (the shawl, the socks for my niece Grace, my Trekking socks... oh, so many projects!) before I start a new pair of socks. Also in the picture you see some lovely knitty note cards, a pair of size 7 dpn's (which totally came in handy), some point protectors (why, oh why, did I not have these things before last week?!?!), a Book Lovers Kit with a nice bookmark in it, and CANDY!!!! Who doesn't love candy??! I gotta say, though, that I had to really be careful with the candy. I started Weight Watchers last month, and I've lost 16 pounds!! YAY ME! However, since its Weight Watchers, and NOTHING is forbidden from the diet, I had to plan the candy into my life. I'm still working on the chocolate heart, but those M&M's were gone in a day.
I also received this in my SP Package
I love this book, and I *almost* broke down and bought it two weeks ago, but I knew that the Knitting Olympics were coming up, so really, no point in having a new sock book, right? Well, I'm glad I didn't buy it for myself, because my AWESOME Secret Pal got it for me! The only socks I've ever knit from a pattern were the Jaywalkers, so I'm excited to try an actual sock pattern. I'm tackling the Baby Cable Ribs as soon as I can... and I'm probably making them with my nifty new sock yarn, too
Thank you so much, Secret Pal. All of these gifts mean so much to me!
I haven't posted in about a week. I'm sorry for that, as I left my blog in a slight ciffhanger, however, thanks to the help of my fellow Knitty Meetup-ers, I was able to fix the shawl! Mostly, they provided moral support, as the dropped stitches weren't nearly as bad as I thought they were. Turns out, I just dropped a few stockinette rows. Six stitches, each dropped to various lengths, but they were pretty simple to pick up. It looks a little wonky, but whatever, its fixed.
Sarah K. (who does not have a blog, but NEEDS one to showcase her beautiful work) helped in the greatest of ways. She untangled the ball of yarn my cats got hold of.
All the Meetup ladies were like "Your cats did THAT? And you didn't kill them???!?!?!" I honestly did not. I don't even think I raised my voice. Tweed looked a little guilty the morning I found the shawl lying on the ground, so I glared at him a bit, and told him not to come near me. But after that, I really wasn't that mad. Dude, cats are supposed to play with yarn. The playful times are what makes having them around so special. And anyway, how can you be mad at faces like this??
And finally, to clarify, I worked my booty off during the past two weeks on this shawl, but I honestly think I could have gotten more done. There were days when I really only did knit one row. And days when I couldn't knit anything. This was my first lace project, and I got VERY far into it (3 pattern repeats of 20 stitches each), but I didn't finish. So, I really don't think that I should get one of the Harlot's gold medals. As much as I covet one, the fact that I could have done more hinders me from takign. I was still a Knitting Olympian. That's important. It means that I took it upon myself to challenge my knitting skills - to see how far I could go. I've knitted lace like nobodies business these past two weeks, but I didn't give it my all. I've gotten very comfortable with the current pattern I'm using, and I think its very cool to see the pattern grow. However, I also learned something very important about myself (as I'm sure many knathletes and athletes alike do) - I'm not a big fan of lace knitting. It really doesn't "do it" for me. I still have about half of the shawl left to knit up (possibly just a quarter) and I'm BORED with the pattern. For some reason, straight stockinette socks get me going more than lace does. I'm hoping that the magic of blocking changes my tune.
This morning, after waking up a half hour late (thank you, Nyquil), I noticed a mess of what looked to be string lying on my floor. Where would string come from? And then it hit me! In a rush of panic I followed the string out to the dining room, and there, in all its former glory, lay my shawl. Before I went to bed last night, I wasn't feeling the greatest, so I took some Nyquil, and apparently passed out. I'm not used to keeping my door open at night and letting the cats roam free (this is a new thing, as my roommate just moved out) so I didn't even think of putting up the knitting somewhere the cats couldn't get to. They succumbed to the temptation, and played with the shawl. I think that they were more interested in the ball of yarn attached to the shawl, as the shawl wasn't TOOOO badly damaged. But, in all reality, it was damaged. There are about six dropped stitches.
I am not 100% sure what to do. I don't know that I can pick those stitches up in pattern. Some are simple stockinette, but others involve yarn overs and slip slip knits. I have no idea how to recover those kinds of stitches. One option would be to just pick up purl stitches along a backside row. The other option would be to rip completely and start over. Another option would be to just rip... no starting over. And then buying my best friend something lovely for her wedding. No clue what I should do right now. I do know, however, that I do NOT get a medal in the Knitting Olympics! Unless... unless... If I persevere through this, and somehow continue knitting on the shawl through Sunday, I will consider myself a winner. But if I give up, I'm not getting a medal. There is no way I'm finishing this by Sunday, but if I can fix it somehow before then, I'm good to go.
I'm actually handling this quite well. I thought about crying a little, but I think all the alcohol in the Nyquil is making me numb. Or maybe it just hasn't hit me, yet. Either way, not a tear has been shed. And I haven't threatened to kill either of the cats - though I did tell them that they weren't my favorite people and I locked them out of my room while I got ready (I took the shawl in there with me, though. I even brought the shawl to work, so that it wouldn't be alone with the shawl killers)
If anyone has any advice (or hard liquor) for me, I'd appreciate it!
EDIT: By the way, the lifeline you saw in a previous post is no longer in the shawl. Smarty pants (that's me) thought she should move it last night, and took it out, not thinking to replace it before the Nyquil kicked in.
For instance, this morning, I woke up at 7 a.m. (I should have been up at 6, however, setting the alarm doesn't work if you don't turn the switch to the right spot), and I figured it would be a typical day at work. But around 9:30, I got an e-mail asking if I could go to Minnesota today. Since I didn't really have a (good) excuse to not go... I decided I should probably go. So here I am, in Minneapolis, and all I can say is... MALL OF AMERICA!!!! I plan on going tomorrow night... just for kicks.
Plane rides are great, if for no other reason than the knitting time.
You can't tell in that picture, but I got MASSIVE amounts of knitting done over the past few days. As you may recall, on Saturday, I knit ALL DAY, and I got 13 rows done. Now that i'm getting the hang of the lace knitting, things are picking up. I'm still dealing with 353 stitches in each row, but it doesn't look so dire now. On Sunday, I finished the first pattern repeat (20 rows in pattern, so I knit 7 rows on Sunday) and last night I was able to knit another 2 rows. But today, I got ten more rows done. So I'm almost done with the second pattern repeat. I think I'm only going to have to do about 8 pattern repeats, so I"m well on my way to getting this shawl done.
Isn't it pretty??!?!
I'm still holding to the original "I don't care if I finish this in 16 days" attitude, but it does look possible. On Saturday (I freaked out a little), I could have sworn that I'd be old enough to NEED a shawl before I actually finished this one. I think what happened to me was typical of many Olympic (kn)athletes... I slipped. And, for a moment, I let it get the better of me. But there's still time. And like Apolo, I can still recover.
My Mini-Jaywalkers are DONE!!! Done done done done!!!!
I think I did pretty well, considering I just started them two weeks ago. They were knit on size 1 dpn's, using Katia Mississippi 3-ply (terrible sock yarn, by the way, unless you are into cotton that has NO ease whatsoever). I still have to finish my other niece's pair of socks, but I'm not making Jaywalkers for her. I like the pattern, but this yarn is too hard to work with. I'll make a pair for me one of these days, but first I have to work on my Knitting Olympics project.
Yesterday, I finally (really) decided what I was going to knit for KO2006. It was all sort of up in the air until I found out that Paula had gotten in some yarn that I wanted to use to make the shawl. So I made a special trip out to pick it up, and got cracking on it last night. First thing's first, though. I needed to wind the yarn into balls.
I also cast on all 353 stitches last night. And I knit ALL DAY on my shawl. Wanna know how many rows I've completed??
Wait for it....
13. 13 lously little rows, and I've knit ALL DAY! I kid you not. This baby is going to take me a lifetime to complete. One row (and I admit that I made a ginormous mistake) took me TWO HOURS to knit!!! TWO HOURS, what with all the yarn-overing and the slip-slip-knitting... I'm going to have grandkids before its done. So I'm (again) revising what I consider my Olympic knitting... I really think that if I get as much done on this as I can, I'll have accomplished a lot. I'm making this for my best friend's wedding, and I really want it to be done by November. So the fact that I've started this is HUGE. And, since I need to really concentrate a bit on packing and planning for my move (and spending time with Chelsea before hers) I think my goal is going to be at least one pattern row a night. Every night. Until I'm done. And who knows?? Maybe I'll finish it before the end of the Olympics. Oh yea, progress pics are always nice
On a completely unrelated note, I bought a drop spindle!
I bought it last Sunday, at the Springwater Superbowl sale. There were a few other things that couldn't help but get snatched up:
To become a dop stitch scarf, holding together with Trendetter Dune (or I might use Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair.
To become a purse from Knitty.com
To become a pair of socks for me.
At the Superbowl Sale, I was fortunate enough to meet Rosanna (and very briefly Lolly and Jenna, whom I already knew, but whatever). It made me even sadder to move away without getting to know her a bit better, but I will totally be hanging with her at MD S&W (which I'm coming back for). Rosanna, Chelsea, and I went to Knit Happens, where we saw Holly and I got to meet Carol (the wine recommender). It was such a nice day. Add that to the awesome Knitty Meetup on Tuesday, (which I totally didn't blog about, but trust me, it was awesome) and I'm especially sad to go to Ohio, where I know NO knitters. However, I'm trying to rectify that. I signed up for the Stitch & Bitch that goes on in Akron, OH every Wednesday night. I can't wait to attend!! So. Excited!
So after seeing almost all of the blogs that I read today have one of these, I figured I would be a tool and follow along.
I present Sounds of Silence, by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. I realize that this isn't *technically* poetry, its a song, but that's just poetry set to music. During one of my first poetry classes my freshman year of high school, Mr. Barge (my English teacher) presented these words. He told the story of Simon and Garfunkel's "final" times together; that this song (and I am a Rock) were written during that time. For some reason, it moved me. I don't know if my life was especially tumultous at the time, or if I just felt the words. We didn't hear the song (and me, being the little small-town girl that I am had NEVER heard it up to this point) until after we read the poem, and I was drawn to tears that day. The song is not especially sad, but the words echo a hollow tune that forever moves me.
Hello, darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision
That was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
Beneath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed
By the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share...
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.
"Fools," said I, "you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows."
"Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed in the wells of silence.
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming.
And the signs said: "The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls,
And whisper'd in the sound of silence."