22 August 2007

Kill my left hand... please.

I finished the sleeves of Kidlet's sweater earlier today. Now I'm snuggled in a big chair at my favorite lesbo-friendly coffee haunt with YouTube in front of me, needles poised and watching demos of backwards knitting (see this video and this other one). I have made only a dozen stitches and feel absolutely uncoordinated. This modest effort took me FIVE minutes. Looking at the 130+ remaining stitches in the row, I have a choice: bite the bullet and spend a frustrating hour or so pushing through the learning curve (with questionable tension), or bag the idea and flip the durn sweater over. Hmmm. I think I need more caffeine.

21 August 2007

Hiaitus, then progress

The recital came and went smoothly, the school year ended, summer lessons started, and now summer is almost gone. It all flies by so quickly!

Kidlet has officially seen my stash. She routinely plays with the skeins and balls I keep in two baskets in the LR, and at one point this summer she noticed the zipped bins under my bed. After a volley of questions I slid them into the light of day and showed her the contents. Her eyes grew wide as she said, almost reverently, "Meema, that's a lot of yarn!" Yup. The next day we returned to Mommy's house (J, my ex, Kidlet's birth mother), and she proclaimed, "Meema has yarn under her bed! Lots of yarn!" Apparently this is not the age for secret keeping.

I took Kidlet to my favorite LYS to choose yarn for her sweater (I really had no decent cotton in the stash - it's mostly wool). She hadn't been in a yarn shop yet, so I prepped her by saying they "have much more yarn than Meema does." We walked in the door, and I almost heard the thunk of her jaw on the floor. Tee hee! I steered her to the sportweight cotton, and she was drawn to the Reynolds Cottontail (a cotton/microfiber blend). It has a really nice hand and good drape, but the LYS isn't carrying many colors. We came away with a powder pink, chosen by Kidlet to go with her puddle shoes (Crocs), as well as a white/pink/orange colorway of sock yarn to coordinate. I'm not recalling the brand, but I'll add the info when I start them.

I've finally started Tater's Cotton Cardi
, mentioned in a previous post. My knitting has consisted of wool almost exclusively since last October, so I'd forgotten how fussy all these cotton plies can be. That's my only complaint, though. It's a pretty well-written pattern, and did I mention how I hate seaming? Cheers for top-down raglan shaping! I'm at the second sleeve's pattern stitched cuff, and am a short evening away from joining the fronts and back for the body section of pattern. I will post pictures of my progress (and maybe a gallery of FO?) when I get the chance to figure out how/where/etc. Methinks I want to learn backwards knitting for the non-pattern row, instead of purling the width of the sweater. Why is it that knitters do almost anything to avoid purling?

On another note, J and I are once again working at the MN Renaissance Festival
. I think this is my sixth year of selling men's costuming. It's a lot of fun, even though it is essentially retail. The caveat is that at a RenFest you can be rude to customers, and they like it - nay, they expect it! It's "atmosphere," or "charmingly being in character." I'm never overtly rude or crass, just very matter-of-fact and unapologetically honest. This was the opening weekend of seven, and if you are at all aware of the weather up here, it was a soaker. It rained all day, both days. They closed the festival mid-day on Sunday for fear of deteriorating road conditions. Next weekend looks much more promising.