Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Travails of Travel Knitting

My initial objective was to finish the yoke of the Wild Apple and get started on the sweater body on the trip to Madrona. I had hours of uninterrupted knitting time on the way out and back, and bits of time during the trip. So I wound up a couple of extra balls of the main color and set out. The yoke attracted a lot of attention on the plane and in the airport. People were fascinated by the colors.

Now, I knit everywhere. I rarely encounter comments on my knitting. Maybe I am so absorbed in it that people don't comment. Sometimes I get into long conversations with folks but mostly I don't get comments. This yoke generated comments. People walked over to ask what it was and to see pictures of the finished product. Sadly, I had none. I got as far as round 56 or so - the last round that used color #60. I ran out of it with 6 repeats to go to the end of the round. There was no way out except to put it away. I knew I could get more yarn from Solveig but not while I was travelling. I emailed her, she replied she would send it but my knitting plans were all awry.

Fortunately, I was at Madrona. It has a market! And I had taken a number of fine gauge needles with me for the Wild Apple. So I bought the Shibui sock yarn which I had meant to try anyway. I figured that I could always use some more socks and it was good to have a project in my back pocket even though I had brought an emergency knitting project. Which knitter doesn't? And I moved on to the emergency project I had brought with me - a double-knitted headband.Two years ago at Meg Swansen's Retreat 2.75, M'lou Baber had done a workshop on double knitting and given us the pattern for this headband. M'lou is the most amazing double knitting wizard. Schoolhouse Press is publishing a book of her designs which you can see at the link above if you scroll down. I started it in Berroco Ultra Alpaca (yummy!) but had not gone too far into the design. On a whim, I packed it for Madrona thinking I could finish it there if something happened to the Wild Apple.

As you can see, I finished it on the trip. I can vouch for the durability of this yarn. That cast on edge was ripped out and re-used at least 6-8 times and was looking bedraggled when I cast on. But it is fine in the finished headband. The first couple of rips was due to not figuring out what pattern I was actually knitting from two years ago and making the headband too big. Then my tails were too long or too short. I am a perfectionist when it comes to the length of the tail and I cast on anything at least 3 times. The side I plan to use is above.Here's the other side. The snowflake doesn't look as nice done in red on black. But the entire thing feels very lovely. Of course, since I returned, I haven't had a chance to wear it.By Sunday, as I was travelling to the Bay Area from Madrona, I was done with the headband. I cast on for the sock on the flight to San Jose. Here's the sock as it was when I returned. But I could have finished the heel. I am only half way up it. What stopped me? This little thing down below. My needle snapped. Now Knitpicks sends an extra needle with their double pointed sets. But it was not in my carry-on bag. So I had to wait till I got home and dug the extra needle out to continue.
Since I got home, I haven't knit much. I got the yarn from Solveig and am working on the Wild Apple. I am in the middle of round 61. 10-ish rounds to go. There are 71 in the chart. But with 400 sts on the needles, each round takes some time.


Lorraine said...

If you call KnitPicks, they may send you a replacement needle. I have the whole set of Harmony socks needles and had 2 defective needles. They sent a set of 6 in each size.

Jaya said...

Hi Lorraine! Nice to 'see' you!

I did call Knitpicks but they won't replace the broken needle till I break another. They said that since they ship 6, they won't ship a replacement till I'm down to 4.

vanessa said...

wild apple is gorgeous!