That Ripping Sound You Heard

was me tearing out both of the sleeves on the Quidditch Sweater, which I was expecting to assemble and finish this weekend. When I laid it all out and did a quick check, I discovered that the sleeves were not wide enough at their widest point, not just by an inch or so (which the 2x2 ribbing would have "forgiven") but by . . . more than a couple. So then it was pick out the cast-off edge and rrrrrrrip, roll it back into a ball, and repeat with second sleeve.

Sorry DD#2. :^( My best guess now is Christmastime. I've got too many things to finish for school for the rest of today to even get started on it. But I will work on it in the coming weeks--one sleeve at a time, methinks. Even though there are great reasons to do both at the same time, I want to focus totally on what I'm doing and not have to fight the tangling separate skeins. No one can say I don't learn from my mistakes.

I've been working on a few other things that I'll show ya--
A 99 yd. skein of handspun becomes a neckwarmer--originally got this from Yarn Rescue. So pretty.

Here's a skinny scarf I'm doing in 1x1 ribbing with a skein of Colinette Cadenza that I got awhile back somewheres. It is so dang soft that I can hardly believe it's merino wool. Superwash too, if that turns out to matter to the recipient.

I can't get the color values right on this one--think watermelon, in a tweedy melange. This is Rowan Soft Tweed in Bramble. I used Yarn Harlot's One Row pattern and it's just so squishy. Sort of looks like a pink waffle from a distance! It's not long but widish, so that the recipient can wear it like a bit more of a wrap.

Here is the beginning of a dwarf--can you see the future red and white striped stocking cap? and a brown fuzzy beard? He will also end up with boots and arms if you were worried.

And here is the latest in stitch marker serendipity. These are sometimes on clothes nowadays, to pin the manufacturer's tag to the label. I started to collect them, as they open just like a pin does and can be used for marking right side or as stitch markers. They are about an inch in length. Cool, no?

In other yarn news, I bought two skeins of laceweight cashmere about three years ago from someone on eBay, to put away and use when I was a better knitter. What I didn't realize was that I was going to need to be a better general-all-around-person because I have been so frustrated. I was trying to knit with them, held together, skeins kept separate, but they were previously wound when I received them and I think something went amiss in the winding because tangletangletangle is the name of the very frustrating game. I have resorted to breaking the yarn at a few moments but mostly am just trying to persevere to the point where I have one ball wound with both strands. One of the skeins would happily let me finish out this process in ten minutes, but the other is a devil. I have thought of giving up more than once, but if I just come back to it when I have a little time, it is actually coming untangled. And I am becoming a better general all around person. ;^)

Now my plan is, when I get the #%?!* yarn rewound properly, to hold it with another yarn yet again and knit with them together, since the laceweight x 2 still doesn't do it for me. While I love the softness of cashmere, I think it needs to be married to something equally soft and almost as thin, so that it can be interesting to look at as well as soft.

In Hummingbird News . . . a few have come around this past week, when it's not raining, and I've seen at least two females and one male. No pics this time though.

In Cancer News . . . DH is traveling for work in the Far East, and he has his first post-chemo scans 12/15 or so. So we are doing our lives and focusing on what needs to be taken care of now, and will find out the status of his tumor growth when the time comes.

Happy knitting, all.

The Past Few Weeks

So I've been thrilled by Obama's election to the presidency. Someone made this last summer--a gorgeous scarf. Ain't it purty!Waa-hoo! What will it be like to have a president with an intellectual edge? I can hardly wait.

I've been watchin' the hummers watchin' me.

Knitting up Paco's scarf to keep him warm if he needs it.
Visiting Sonoma with our friends Greg and Connie on a weekend that couldn't possibly have come in the middle of November.
Autumn sure looks picturesque here in NorCal. We were at a Wild Pig party at the Michel-Schlumberger winery. The pork was OK, but the 2007 wild zin was even bettah.

As for the rest of my life, yesterday it was a baby shower for BFF Monica, who seemed to like the baby blanket ;^) (you can't tell it but she's going to have a little hatchling about Jan. 12):Work has involved a personnel crisis (now) resolved, always papers to grade, classes that go well, exams on which the students don't do as well as I thought they would, classes when we discuss a poem that kids "get" right away, meetings and more meetings, and one meeting or conversation after another with department members or administrators.

Fortunately there's time in the evening to watch John Adams with DH.

Am I knitting? Well, yeah, if it doesn't require my close attention. I'm making a "Bristol" a la Miss Woollyknits (thanks for the great idea!) with a skein of handspun that I got a while back from Lynnette at Yarn Rescue. Using the--get this--MISTAKEN RIB STITCH for the neckwarmer. I am nothing if not predickable.

More to come including pictures.

And thank you to those who have emailed me about the Santa Barbara fires, which are a few hours south of us, well beyond our region. The autumn always brings a spate of dry winds making the tinder go up in flames down south--blame Santa Ana winds. Here, in the SF Bay Area, we are all safe--at least until the Big One hits. ;^)

Happy knitting.

Not Nonpartisan Today

Please vote today. I like this candidate, but regardless, please vote. It's the gift of being a citizen in a democracy that you can have your say. Not using it is such a waste.

Reminds me of Mark Twain: "A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read." Same goes for political freedom.

All the Live-Long Day

"I've been working on a blanket just to pass the time away," which is of course typically avoidant behavior since I have work to do. And really that "working" was all done yesterday. Now I'm just blogging about this project, and after that I'll go back to working on teacher goals and student comments. NOTE: I doubt that you are reading this blog, BFF Monica, but if you are, stop right there. Go find something else to do. You have plenty on your plate, I know, since your play performs this week. ;^)


Ahem . . .
So my BFF Monica is expecting in January and I've been knitting on a blankie for the little guy (ultrasounds usually don't lie in this direction!). I've now got the blanket backed with polar fleece and sewn buttons on the PF side so that it will be nice and anchored when I sew the binding edge on. I also read up on doing this cleverly and found that many quilters/blanket backers glue the edges together before sewing the binding, so that it will not pucker or gather up weirdly. So I did that too. Now it's dry and I've trimmed the PF edge a bit so I can get around corners well. Last step will be to sew the sucker up. No, I forgot, the last step will be to wash it gently--I found a smudge on the ivory polar fleece after I'd already cut and pinned it, daggone it.

I hear the nursery is being done in a blue/brown combo, so this yellow/ivory blanket will not clash. The knitted side is one of those unbelievably soft boucle baby yarns, just done up in garter stitch since the lumpy bumpiness of the boucle doesn't lend itself to stitch definition. Here's a few pics of the process so far:

Knit mindlessly whenever there's time over several weeks. I don't know how many stitches I cast on or what size needles I used. Maybe 8s.

Cut polar fleece to match, pin down, and sew buttons to the polar fleece side. I chose matching ivory buttons, but that's just one way to go. I was proud of my ability to cut to measure, to fit it all together, and to measure for button placement, remeasure as I sewed, sew randomly from one end to the other so that it would be unlikely to pucker or pull, and then to trim a bit here and there for the final measurements.

I know--you can't see the smudge. But it's there and it's bugging me. Maybe I'll just spot clean it.

Then glue edges of the two blanket layers together and weight down to keep anything from moving around or shrinking up. The glue I used instructed the placement of aluminum foil along the glue edge but it was totally unnecessary.

Looks like a pale quesadilla, no? yum!

I'll post pics of the finished blanket, as well as the sleeves I continue to work on here and there. These require utmost attention because I am decreasing for the shoulder fit and don't want to get off the pattern. So . . . Singing Daughter, I know October has passed and we're into November now. I hope it will be done by Thanksgiving!

As promised . . . the finished blanket. Ahhh!