Sunday, May 25, 2008

Flying time

Time flies, they say, when you are having fun. But what about the situation where you don't have the time to do all the things you want to do because time is flying by so fast? That doesn't seem like fun to me at all.

I wanted to knit this week. Badly, really badly. But I didn't. Not a stitch. I came back on Sunday evening so Monday evening was taken up by grocery shopping, Tuesday with cooking and preparing dough for baking on Wed, Wed evening was just a mish-mash of drama, and chores. Thursday evening was a blur and so was Friday evening (actually I think I remember what I did on Friday). Yesterday I spent time shopping for flowers and working in the yard. All my annuals are planted. I planted dahlias, basil and marigolds in addition to the petunias, geraniums, hot peppers and rosemary I planted a couple of weeks ago.

I didn't even read a book this week! I feel as if the week has slipped by with no input on my part. It wasn't that it was boring or not fun. It was just going by way too fast.

I AM going to knit today. On Friday I met with a student. She has been struggling with lace but she has mastered it finally. It was a version of my Driftwood stole. I am so proud of her for her perseverance, her attention to detail and her love of learning.

I have put my garden photos up on Flickr. I thought this way you would see them only if you want to.

A lot of my bread baking this week was based on Artisan Bread in 5 Mins a Day. I can't recommend this book strongly enough for those who don't have any time to bake. There is an accompanying blog with a lot of answers and some new recipes. A lot of it is marketing but there are good tips there also.

Thank you Knitman for your compliment on the tree and the house.

Anmiryam, yes, it is the small things that make us feel virtuous. I am especially feeling good about my exercising. This is one of things that is making me have less time to knit though. In order to get up early in the am to work out, I have to get to bed early. Oh well. Eventually I will catch up on the knitting

Monday, May 19, 2008

Quick Update II

I was on the road yesterday so didn't post. I've been traveling a lot and that has limited my ability to take and post pictures.

I am almost done with the project for the book. I thought I would be able to finish it while on the road and even begin swatching for the VK cover sweater but that didn't happen. I still have a few hours worth of work on the project and then I'll be able to start on the VK sweater. I hope to have photos for you next week.

On a positive note, I have been extremely regular with my exercise program through all this. I am starting my fifth straight week of working out every day. In the interest of full disclosure, I missed 3 days in a row the week before last. However, I did an hour or more of gardening two days out of the three and one was my regular rest day. So I haven't done too badly.

For those who are downsizing, here's a little something: Skinny songs. I bought the album via iTunes and have been listening to it. The songs are set to catchy tunes and provide positive reinforcement and I am enjoying them. They did keep me from making bad choices at airports. I picked a salad instead of a sandwich for lunch one day.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Back to knitting

It is strange how one's mind perceives an activity as being interesting or boring at different points in time. Case in point: I would have considered bread baking really boring a year ago. I am currently knitting, gardening and baking. A year ago I was only knitting and knitting much more passionately than I am right now. A few weeks ago, my brain was classifying knitting as boring and requiring more concentration than I could drum up. Now it is acceptable.

I am almost done with one of the mittens. I had to do some ripping out as I am a perfectionist when it comes to published items. The ribbing is a 2x2 rib with an odd single knit thrown in. Those knits become very stretched out for me. Sometimes, it helps to wrap the yarn the opposite way after the knit st but even that wasn't enough for this ribbing. I decided to wrap the opposite way before and after the knit st and that seemed to help. But the biggest benefit was that I didn't accidentally forget that I wasn't doing 2x2 rib at that point. Before I started wrapping the opposite way, I was getting into a rhythm and happily doing 2x2 rib all the way around and then having to fix the error on the next round. Since the two purl sts bracketing the knit st were presented with the leading leg in the back, I had to work them differently and this made me less error-prone. So even if you don't need the lazy or Eastern purl for neatness, it helps to keep the pattern on track. I don't necessarily find that the Eastern purl makes the knit st all that neat but I leave you to judge for yourself. You can see the single column of rib in the middle of the photograph below.
Once the second mitten is done, the next item up on the queue is the cover sweater from the current VK. It is knit sideways across the more solid part and then one picks up and does the lacy part on top. I am going to make it longer and make the button band all the way down to the bottom. There are better pictures on Ravelry, if you are a member.
I am knitting it in Rowan Purelife cotton in Brazilwood rather than the Tahki Sky used in the magazine. Sky is a worsted weight yarn and I thought that was rather heavy for a summer knit. So I am going to make it in a DK weight. It will involve some recalculation of the st counts but it is a fairly simple shape so it shouldn't be difficult.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Quick Update

I don't have a lot to talk about this week. I have been knitting away on my IK book project. I am about 2/3 of the way through the first of a pair. Last night I realized the chart was different for the different repeats! I have to study it to see what I did wrong and it might mean some ripping out and re-knitting. So I am ignoring it today.

I have a new project. I am photographing my flowers and putting them on my computer as my screen saver. It allows me to look at my flowers at their peak despite the fact that I am not always home when they are gorgeous. I won't bore you with them though.

Just a quick correction in case anyone is confused: Arlene commented that she wished she had a redwood. My lovely pink flowers are not from a redwood which is an evergreen, very tall tree. They are from a redbud which is a rather small, deciduous tree. I have an Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) but there are other varieties of Cercis.

I hope to have more knitting news next week.