Saturday, December 22, 2012

Yes, I am Alive


And well, and I have even gotten some knitting done. I did have a bad week with almost no knitting.  I was down in the dumps (mentally) and not feeling to hot physically (arthritis flare up)  I read about knitting, and swatched a bit, but didn't really get anything knit. In addition, I have been being a good friend to R.

Until last year, R was ox, an oak tree, a veritable 100 year shay. Since then, not so much. These past few weeks, he's been running (well, shuffling—since running, even walking is out the question) from doctor to doctor... Many days, too sick to drive himself. And even when he's up to driving, this is NY. Only on TV do you find a parking space outside the door. In real life, you park 1 or 2 (if you're lucky) or more blocks away—and he's just not been up to the 3 or 4 block walk.

So I've been playing chauffeur—and shuttling him to and fro. Dropping him off at the door, and then parking the car where ever.  I wait with him, and then pick up the car and drive him home.  There are more appointments next week--and the week after, and likely early in the new year, surgery.  It's all pretty serious, and scary.  R envisions himself as a superman--invincible--and being laid low--and the prospect of surgery doesn't fit his mental image of himself--and it scares him.  

Waiting around in the doctors office is good knitting time and reading time too—I have read some magazines I don't usually buy or read—Like Discovery, the Smithsonian, and New York. It also helped take me out of my self.  My health isn't perfect--but I am blessed--most of my health problems are very manageable, and while chronic, not too debilitating.

So my leafy green shell has seen some progress.  Back and front reached about 9 inches, and then I joined them (adding a few stitches at the underarm.  So now its a round, to two sides.  An inch or so more added, too which you can just see in this image-- a full pattern repeat (8 R's)--clearer on the right hand side (where the round marker is) than on the left.  When I joined into the round, I managed to transfer all the stitches to one needle.  At some point, I'll work them back onto to circ's--since that will make it easier to see the work--but I am not in any rush. 

I am working with both skeins of yarn. One round with ball A, one round with ball B— I'll keep at it this way till one of the balls is used up, then I'll finish the other. If the gods of knitting are smiling, by then I'll have 15 to 16 inches done. I'll finish up with skein 3—and reach my goal of 23 to 24 inches, for the finished length. 

I've measured other tops—and anything shorter than 24 inches long really feels too short.  Through truthfully, 24 inches long is really just the minimum desired length.    Even with the left over bits from the socks, I don't think I'll be able to get much longer than 24 inches. The other factor will be boredom, and the desire to have the top finished.. Even if I have yarn, it will be hard to keep going and going....  I'll keep at it as long as I can--and hopefully get to a decent length with just about every inch of yarn used up! 

I don't have anything to show for my swatching... but it's been fun. I want to knit a small triangle mini shawl scarf. But I hate them! Every row is longer and more tedious. I have one shawl knit crosswise—but I want something lacier—and most definitely one with a lacy bottom edge.

Solution? Start from the bottom up, and decrease every row—making things easier and easier.

New problem-- Making a nice lacy open cast on edge.(vs a lacy bind off edge) I could knit a cross wise band of lace (7 or so stitches wide) and pick up stitches from the lace band—but... I have been thinking and trying out some other ideas.

I think I have what I want... but it's a bit scary. I'll need to cast on about 1300 stitches to start! But by row 7 the stitch count will be down to more manageable 450 or so stitches.. Still 1300+ stitches is a daunting cast on!

I still haven't decide what pattern I am going to use for the body of the shawl—one problem at a time to solve!

And then there is the matter of socks. I haven't cast on for a new pair (yet!) The question is: do I want to have a shell, a shawl and socks—all being knit on sock yarn going at the same time? I don't think so!

So do I start on the mini-shawl? Or the socks? Or bypass both and make a hat? --I have been itching to make some hats...and I have some chunky yarn—a good change from size 2 needles! Plus hats (even on small needles) are quick to knit—and my plans are for worsted weight and heavier yarns.. super quick projects

My next socks are going have beading (not quick) and the shawl—well it will be easier every row, but I still will have a lot of work to get from 1300 or so down to 450—and 450 is no small matter—even if the count does reduce by 4 per row--those first 50 rows are still going to be long ones!

See—I really have been thinking about knitting! Mentally working out the details of what I want to do, and how I am going to do it. Now all I have to do is knit. To keep plugging away on my leafy shell, and get to work on something else—and to remember to tell you all about it!

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