Tuesday, February 28, 2006

pure gold



well, maybe we didn't exactly make it to the finish line but i think that the wonder girls strode hand in hand into the olympic stadium and took our own sort of gold medal. the one where you realize that some of the those projects that you tuck away 23 years ago are actually finishable, that however hard 19 pages of pattern looks to you in the beginning that by taking step by step, stitch by stitch you can make something really beautiful, and when 14 cables for every row seems unbelievably f*%!ing hard and painstakingly slow but actually makes something unbelievably cool.
ladies, we did it.
i'm holding my tiny cable needle above my head.
(soon to be brought back down to finish said cables, but...details.)

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Here is a photo of Men's Argyle AFTER I cleaned up the tangled mess -this was taken last weekend. PLease be assured that the photo is of the inside of the sweater.

Cheerio!

YES,YES,YES!!!

YES,YES,YES!!!

I'can t believe it-I just cast off the last stich on the front of the Men's Arglye. Tonite I'm taking a break & knitting socks-but early tomorrow I head back to the sweater & do the neckband & tie in the ends. I'm celebrating with a nice smooth glass of Scotch.

facing facts

just like sasha cohen knew as soon as she landed on her tush that she was not going to be a gold medalist, i'm starting to face the fact that i will not finish rogue by the 2pm deadline tomorrow. i've made peace with this and will move to the sidelines gracefully to cheer on my fellow knitting olympians as they race for gold.

maybe four years from now, i'll get to be one of those human interest interludes: "charis flamed out early in the 2006 knitting olympics, after tackling a pattern beyond her normal degree of difficulty. but now in these 2010 games, she's back and ready to finish what she started four long years ago."

don't read too much into that last statement. even though i will not be finishing rogue by 2pm tomorrow, i do plan to finish it at some point before 2010 (like december 31, 2009).

on another, non-knitting topic, does anyone else think that dick button is the biggest jerk EVER? i mean, that's great, dicky, that you won a medal back in 1948. but does that really give you license to rip apart every skater that sets foot on the ice? last time i checked, these people were OLYMPIANS which means, even if they don't perform at their absolute best, they're still better than 99.5% of the population. at least scott hamilton is there to balance out the commentary. jeez.

The finish line is up ahead

Don't have much time to post because the finish line is up ahead! The Men's Argyle is so close to being finished. Plans are to sit by the fire & knit,knit,knit! I' at the neckline-about 2 inches to go & then knit the neckband, then sew it together & then weave it all of the damn loose ends. Gotta run the yarn is calling me. No time for photos-maybe next week.

Friday, February 17, 2006

slainte

thanks to charis...i HAVE PHOTOS. when i was taking these photos. i noticed how wonderfully irish-like i will look after i finish my cables. it looks quite aran sweaterish and it's a wonderful green (the photos don't do the color justice). so...while charis is sipping on scotch, i will have a belly full of jameson or guiness, sure to fill up the green cables.
me dear cables:

and a horrendous upclose pic. don't look too close, you might find some cable forwards where some cable backs should be:

scotch and golf

i am an incredibly loyal reader of the new yorker. it is my all-time favorite publication, i eagerly await its arrival each week, and i would lovelovelove to write for it one day.

occasionally, as a subscriber, i get invited to these "events." the invitations are always a little vague, and it's never really clear what the event actually is ... so i've never gotten around to going to one. on tuesday, however, i got an emailed invitation to a night of "humor on the course," an event co-sponsored by the new yorker and glenlivet. again, very vague, but i surmised that the evening had something to do with scotch and golf. (i'm very quick, you know, can't get anything by me) i immediately called my friend dan, one of the biggest fans of both scotch and golf that i know, and we decided to attend.

we had no idea what to expect. we certainly did not expect what we found:

a large empty warehouse space converted into on one half a men's club-style bar, replete with big comfy leather chairs and on the other half a nine-hole golf course (albeit a short golf course but there were sand traps and water hazards).

everything was free - the scotch, the golf, the shrimp (oh yes, they had food too). AND we got a gift bag from the new yorker that includes the latest issue and a book of golf cartoons from the new yorker.

it was amazing. we also made friends with the marketing woman, and she said we can back any night next week. genius.

needless, i haven't made much progress on rogue.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

picabo

charis - thanks for the shout out. i just WISH i was hiding away and knitting away on cables and racing secretly towards the finish line, just like picabo. steadfastly sticking to my training regime, getting enough sleep, eating the right diet, stretching and flexing the approproiate muscles and tendons involved in my event. instead of picabo - i'm acting more like bode miller, drinking a few glasses of wine every night, picking up the cables every once and a while and expecting a clean sweep when i just haven't trained. when i tire of cables, i put them down. hmm. this doesn't sound like a true olypmian.

and then when i DO get on a roll - i start swapping the C4B with a C4F.

BUT i have great plans for the coming weekend. in the spirit of past presidents (not current one) i hereby annouce that i will pick those needles back up, finish the back of this sweater and just keep.moving.forward....

twist-a-licious

so far, my plan to ignore the mis-twisted cables is working. i've even shown the fledgling sweater to two people, and they didn't notice a thing. (in the spirit of full disclosure, one of those people was my slightly drunk-at-the-time, non-knitting boy ex-roomie, and the other, while a knitter, is a very, very new knitter. details.) in addition to ignoring the glaring mistake, i've also made some good - and correct - progress on rogue. i'm on round 48ish (i could say for sure if i wasn't too lazy to get up out of bed and check ... in my defense, it's freaking freezing in san francisco right now and my house has no heat) out of a total of 88 for the body.

for awhile i was in love with my cables, but that love has been slowly morphing into a love-hate thing. my last knit stitch heading into each cable panel was getting super loose, and it was really bothering me, so i started doing this trick/technique where you bring your yarn up between the needles instead of down on your first purl stitch after a knit section. does that make any sense? it makes that switch a little tighter. so it's getting better, but there's a whole section that's a little wonky.

overall, i think i'm getting a little faster at the pattern. not necessarily fast enough to finish by the 26th, but faster.

in other, breaking news, the top question of the day is: where's maggie? maggie made a quick break from the gates at the beginning of the games but has been knitting on the down low for the past four days. she could be planning a sneak attack on the front of grace, or she could have gone cable-crazy and made an abrupt mid-olympics event switch to join the u.s. curling team. we'll be sure to keep you posted - whether it's with knitting or with curling, we're sure maggie will be gracefully triumphant in her dash for gold.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

misery

i'm literally running out the door to meet friend's for dinner (a sort of anti-valetine's day celebration, if you will) but i just discovered that i have made (insert dramatic music here) a mistake.

i'm not sure why i'm surprised. i should be thrilled that i made it through the first 30 or so rows of the pattern without a mistake. but still.

anyway, back the mistake ... i have mis-crossed my cables. i was supposed to do cable 5 left and i did cable 5 right (or maybe it was the other way around, i dunno, clearly having some trouble with the whole "chart" thing). i didn't even realize the mistake until i was another 5 rounds past it.

i just couldn't face ripping back those 5 long, long rounds of 180+ stitches each in superduper clingy wool. so i forged ahead. i thought about doing all of the cables backwards, but wasn't sure how that would work out later in the pattern ... so i'm just going to pretend that's the way it's supposed to be. and everyone else out there is going to have to help me out in this delusion and pretend that's the way it's supposed to be too. that means if you've seen another rogue with cables neatly crossed in the right direction, and then you see my rogue - i don't want to hear it.

sigh.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

keeping on keeping on

we're coming to the end of day three out here on the west coast, and much progress has been made. some of this progress is good - i've made it through 24 rounds of the pattern, cables and all. i'm actually pretty pleased with how my cables are turning out. i don't know that they really deserve a 10.0, but for my first attempt, they're not half bad. see for yourself:





well, bugger. i feel like you can't see the cables at all in those pictures. so much for my digital photo abilities ... i'll try to figure it out tomorrow and will hopefully have better pics soon.

some progress has been ... less good. that would be the progress i'm making towards being a totally reclusive insane person. it was 70 degrees and sunny today in san francisco. did i take advantage of the weather? no, i did not. i sat on my couch, and knit, ALL DAY (which is a little embarassing to admit because based on the progress some other rogue knitters are making, i should probably be farther along than i am given the number of hours i put in today. sigh.). my roommate gave me some strange looks and made several comments about how nice it was outside. i just muttered something about cable 5 twist 3 backwards upside down and sideways. after that, he snuck out of the house and hasn't been seen since.

i was feeling a little guilty about sitting inside on such a day. i was trying to self-justify in various ways - i mean, i'm from connecticut, if i still lived there i wouldn't be able to leave the house! but then i realized what it really came down to and i said - out loud (see earlier comment about becoming reclusive and insane) - "real olympians make sacrifices. i can too."

oh charis.

death to twisted stockinette

day two of the knitting olympics. day one for charis (because i'm the world's biggest slacker and just couldn't get around to doing anything on the official day one). what i've learned so far:

1. i hate twisted stockinette stitch
2. fighting with your yarn and your needles while attempting to execute twisted stockinette stitch over the course of several/many hours will make your hands hurt. a lot.

but with my "forward progress at all times" motto in mind, i pushed forward and made it through the hem-facing. gooooooooooooo team charis! i'm now into the main bit of the body and am two rows in on the cable repeat. those first two rows were easy. the rows look like they get progressively harder. given my "sleep is always more fun than swearing at your cable needle" motto, i gave up and got in bed.

under the new, complex, multi-part knitting scoring system, scores for the day are:

rogue: 36.7456
charis: 28.765

that wraps up today's portion of the competition. tune in tomorrow for more, exciting developments in the rogue/charis face off. back to you, bob.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Wonder Girl Knits

The Argyle Combined Event

My event has begun and so far all is well. i started my argyle event last night. spent most of the opening ceremonies tying up loose ends. You would not believe the mess I was in. I guess I need to explain...my Olympic Event is to FINISH the Men's Argyle sweater that I started for "my guy" in 1983!! I discovered the neglected knitting bag in the attic and decided this was to be my challenge. So after many hours of untangling yarn, tying off loose ends & enlarging the chart so I could see it I have finally begun to actual KNIT! I'm sitting here watching the Nordic Combined Event and have completed two rows. The sweater is a beauty-it's a good thing "my guy" didn't gain any weight over the past 23 years.

Also wanted to let everyone know I had a great time last Monday night with some very talented ladies-I'll blog more about that later-need to knit now-but I can say that one of those ladies was THE HARLOT and we can't thank her enought for this KNitting Olympic Experience.

let the insanity begin

here we are, day two of the knitting olympics ... and i'm already behind! aaah! somehow, despite the fact that i've known the knitting olympics were starting at 2p yesterday for, oh, about a month, i forget to get the needles i needed. whoopsie. but i made a frantic run to the store this morning and got all the necessary supplies. so a mere twenty-four hours after the official beginning of the k.o., my personal insanity is beginning. bring. it. on.

i'm not sure why maggie thinks we can hold out on the drunken knitting olympics until day 7. at the rate i'm going, i'll be there by tomorrow.

more later. right now, i need to figure out what twisted stockinette stitch is.

Friday, February 10, 2006

you know the knitting olympics are getting out of hand when....

well feel free to come up with your own answer for that one.
my answer: The Knitting Olympics Drinking Game

C'mon Charis, you know that's going to be us around Day 7.
So with needles raised, we're off.
What have I done yet? Well, I finally bought the needles for Grace. And more cables needles because those things are so darn small that I already lost the first couple that I was using to swatch. This could be interesting folks...
I might take a nap to prepare for a late night of knitting.
How is everyone else doing?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

woefully behind

as february 10th looms large, i have to admit that i am woefully behind on ... well, on almost everything. i have not finished the following items:

1. the skinny sweater
2. my brother's scarf
3. the wedding blanket
4 & 5. cute baby brady's sweater (i gave that two numbers because it's barely even started.)

i did manage to finish one thing:

matt's hat (i'll post a picture later ... my digital camera is momentarily misplaced)

however, the recipient of my knitting largess has decided that he doesn't really like the hat all that much, he can't exactly put his finger on why, he just doesn't like it, thanks but no thanks, can i have another please?

well. i never. the INGRATITUDE.

however, given the other event looming large in my life - rogue & the knitting olympics - i might just have to accept being woefully behind for the next two weeks.

i'm apparently taking the same attitude towards rogue that i take towards many other competitive events in my life - don't train at all, it's all about forward progress, you'll finish it somehow. this has worked for three marathons. i have high hopes for rogue.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

on the road again.

and i think i can wait to get on the road. as charis mentioned, i was staying up in marin county last week and up in sonoma couty this weekend and back down to san francisco this week. a week's worth of clothes are backed into one backpack and yarn enough for two sweaters, one hat and one scarf are backed into the other three bags. and did i mention my spinning wheel? and the wool? haa. not only does trevor have a great amount of understanding for knitting talk - he also doesn't question me (too much) for carrying eighteen bags of yarn around with me while we are waiting to make a fulltime move up to sonoma county.

in other news...i think my spinning is getting better. i mean it's still a bit thick here and thin here, but overall i'm getting more even.
pictures? i just wish i knew where my camera is during all the craziness - supposedly packed away in a box somewhere which i will find in three months. my size 8 dpns? oh, they're right here.

and in better news - i made a decision on the Grace color:



I chose color 4007. I know it doesn't mean much according to this picture...but more wonderful cables of this to come!
We'll have to get SuperBon to post soon - word on the street is that she might be hanging with the harlot sometime soon. SuperBon??
Oh yeah - Trevor (aka. Kid Mohair, his new street name) is thinking about joining the Olympics as well. He was wondering if he could crochet? Is that allowed? Or is that the equivalent of the Jamaican Bobsled Team?

Friday, February 03, 2006

slow as molasses in january

finally, a day off! i know, i know - i'm a HUGE slacker for only working four days a week. but man, those four days felt looooooooong this week. being sick did not help the situation at all, especially since i couldn't call in sick to work because i sort of, accidentally, maybe called in sick the week prior when i wasn't exactly sick at all.

i realized that, in my speedy gonzales post earlier this week, i forgot to mention the biggest excitement of my whirlwind weekend in willytown. i saw superbon! i meant to call her for coffee, but then the whirlwindiness of everything just blew my plans away ... but she came and found me anyway! (those of you who haven't been to w-town will not understand how it could be that easy; those of you who have spent some time in w-town will understand that we probably would have seen each other even if we were actively trying to avoid it) sadly, i had left my knitting in the car, but superbon showed me the mittens pattern she's working on, and needless to say, i'm in awe. not just at the knitting, but by the fact that she is able to read the teeny, tiny, itsybitsy chart. anyway, it was great to see you, superbon! i can't wait until you're out to visit in april.

as i might have mentioned once or twice, i've been feeling a little sickly this week. i've also been dealing with houseguests who aren't mine. lucky for sick, cranky charis, maggie has been staying at a gorgeous, amazing place in marin and invited me up last night. we made irish beef stew (well, that was mostly maggie. i just drank the leftover guinness.), drank wine, and knit. trevor was there as well, and it is just absolutely amazing how much knitting talk the man can withstand without even batting an eye. he's a keeper, mags.

much progress was made on the skinny sweater. i have about 2 inches to go before i switch colors. i think. i mean, i have 2 inches to go if i'm making the front dark green part the same length as the back dark green part. but for some reasons the pattern tells me to make the front 3/4 of an inch shorter than the back. is there some advanced knitter reason for this of which i am unawares? the pattern is from a suss cousins book, and i've noticed a few, well, complaints about the accuracy of her patterns. so in the absence of any other direction, i'm going to assume the length difference is a mistake and knit the front the same as the back.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

zoom zoom

just wanted to post a quick note to let everyone know that i did make it back from my whirlwind trip to massachusetts (i'm sure you were all waiting with bated breathe for that one). however, due to a number of factors - jet lag, inconsiderate roommates, the weather, getting sick - i've done NOTHING since getting back except pretend to work and pretend to sleep (the inability to do real work is directly correlated with my inability to get real sleep).

in an attempt to get my life back in order, i have canceled my plans for the evening and plan to curl up on the couch with a mug of tea, my skinny sweater, and law & order.