Saturday, January 06, 2007

Sanity Restored

Yesterday was NUTS. First the weather went mad. We woke up to three or four inches of snow (where did that come from??). Snow continued to dump, and the roads were slippery and treacherous. Half of them were snowy-slushy-slippery, and the other half were packed snow-icy-slippery. I had to be at my counselling appointment by 10:30. I left in plenty of time, but the trip there was nasty. It got to the point where I was nearly late, and I could walk faster than the line of cars was moving. I pulled over about three blocks before my destination and walked the rest of the way. Meanwhile, slushballs (rain mixed with snow) the size of grapes pelted me all the way there.

Why do I go to counselling? Oh yeah...because I am nuts.

After that (and feeling a bit worn), I had to run a bunch of errands because my dear Miss H was having her girlies over for her birthday party. Nine girlies for the evening, six of them sleeping over. I went to the dollar store for glow necklaces. I dropped off my prescription for assorted anti-insanity medication that I take. The drugstore told me it would take an hour. Fine. I had to go to the bank because my ATM card had decided to spaz out too. Then to a mall. Then back up to the grocery store. Then to Dairy Queen for the ice-cream cake, and finally...(it was now three hours later)...back to the drugstore to pick up my scrip. isn't ready yet, I was informed. It will be about half an hour. Despair must have showed plainly on my face and in my voice as I said, But I've been out for five hours. I'm soaking wet. I have an ice-cream cake sitting in my car. Pleeeease. They had it ready in five minutes. Bless their pointy heads.

I have to add to this that every single time I stepped out of the car. Every time. I stepped into six inches of rain soaked slush that went up over my hiking boots, soaked my socks, and drenched my jeans (seeping nearly up to my knees after hours of this. It was like walking in slurpee, with slurpee falling down on my (sadly hatless) head. Drivers were insane. Trees had fallen down across roads, and accidents everywhere.

Don't forget the nine screeching, bouncing girlies who showed up at six to eat pizza and ice-cream cake, and popcorn and pop and licorish. Then the six who stayed over for the night and got very little sleep. I slept. I had my prescription, remember? Evil laughter. Now they are gone, and sanity has been restored. And knitting. Today, I don't have to go ANYWHERE. All that slush and gunk has frozen up into huge icy ridges all over the roads. Did I happen to mention the violent windstorm last night?

A few people have asked for reminders about the pattern I used for the side-to-side cardi. I got the pattern from the Debbie Bliss pattern book for Alpaca/Silk yarn. It is a lovely collectin of patterns for aran weight yarn. I have me eye on several of them and couldn't resist this book. Have you crumbled yet, Bets?

The pattern is called "Lara" and I knitted it in Gedifra English Tweed (70% merino, 20% polyamide, 10% angora). I thought I'd need eight balls. I bought nine. I used just under seven (800 meters) to make the smallest size (34/36). Leftovers...hmmm...hat? Scarf? Mitts? English Tweed gave me about 17 st = 4" on 5mm needles.

The pattern is clear and very straightforward. It is all knit in one piece. I enjoyed knitting this piece and could see doing a second one some time. The pattern doesn't include buttonholes, but you could certainly add them in. The sweater drapes nicely whether it is pinned shut or not. It has a bit of a kimono feel when hanging open. The English Tweed has nice drape. I like pinning mine shut to show off some shaping and that big pewter-coloured pin I used.

The bottom edges tend to curl, but they are easily blocked into shape with pins while drying. I was happy and comfortable in the sweater all day yesterday (worn under my warm wool pea coat). So at least that part of me was warm and dry yesterday.

This morning I finished a sock!! I always get excited when I finish a sock. It feels like such an accomplishment every time. Not that I've made that many. I made two pairs of slouchy socks in chunky weight last year. Then I made one single sock in an aran weight yarn and hated the way it looked (the colours), so it is doomed to eternal orphanhood. I made a pair in DK weight sock yarn last summer, but my mom made off with them. Recently I made one long knee sock in the fall (needs a pair) and the cream and orange pair I just finished on Christmas eve in DK weight. This is my first sock in a finer sock weight on 2mm needles. It fits perfectly. I used Fleece Artist merino, and I love watching the colours change.

I've cast on my second one right away. Unlike sweaters (I can have ten or more on the go at once), I only want one sock on needles at a time. as long as I have one cast one, I will work on it off and on until it is done.

I like making plain socks with funky yarn. I really like this pattern pamphlet called Socks for the Whole Family by Michele Wyman. It is a pattern that has columns for every gauge of yarn, and every size from toddler to men. You just plug in your gauge and follow the column that matches.

And finally...back to the kitchen sink. I've decided the next finish-up project for 2007 will be the Everything But the Kitchen Sink Sweater I began before Christmas. I'm working up the raglan shapings for the front/back and then on to the sleeves. Hmmm...those socks have a lot of the same colours as the sweater. Funny how that happens.

Oh yes! Points to Trish for her attempt at new vocabulary, but "skookum" is an adjective and is never pluralized (unless you're using it as an endearment like diddums).

Acceptable uses:

Hey, Trish, that's a skookum shawl you knitted there!
What a skookum deal you got on that cashmere yarn.


Anonymous said...

I just love learning new words! I'll have to throw "skookum" around this weekend, to see what kind of rise I get from folks. Good job on the sock, Jayne! That Fleece Artist is some nice yarn, isn't it? Oh, and did you get the Gedifra from Elann?

jayne said...

Hey, Trish.

No, I got the Gedifra from Urban Yarns in Vancouver. It was listed at 13.88 Cdn down to 5.83. I couldn't resist.

Urban Yarns does mail order, but you might want to see if you can find it in the US if you're interested.

It sure does seem like a yarn elann might carry. I will be excited if I see it show up there.

I got the Fleece Artist from Urban Yarns too. It is yummy.

Let me know how "skookum" goes. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Hey-I found something for you, oh, you that likes to write...look at the storyteller's design challenge-


Anonymous said...

Ha! Great post. I loved your line that finally got the drugstore to serve you immediately: "....I have an ice-cream cake sitting in my car. Pleeeease." I'll have to keep that one in mind in case I need it in the future.

I always enjoy your sense of humor about insanity, the meds, life, knitting, etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jayne!

I've been catching up on your blog and am also getting myself up to date on the other Elannites. You always have a good read and its fun to see your progress. Your DB cardi turned out wonderful on you.

I will soon update my blog. I've been knitting a project and once I get through the first skein I will post the WIP. I've been thinking of you as I knit this one. You'll see why. =)

See ya later!

Grace Yaskovic said...

I love the sweater and that you look marvelous darling in everything you knit, and the sock is cute too!!! My friend from the ISE #3 scarf exchange is knitting me my first pair of hand knit socks ever, I can't wait, AND Why are you having our weather??? It was 73 here today and still nary a snowflake to be seen, we have flowers blooming out there and slept with the fan in the window all night!

Vamanta said...

Poor Jane! That day would have done me in big time. Xanax for sure. You get a big gold star for being Super-Mommy-Above-and-Beyond-the-Call-of-Duty.

Really cute socks. I love knitting socks, typically on sz 2 US needles but I use 2 circs finding them much easier. However I don't own a pair of socks. (Another "weird" thing for the next list.) Fleece Artist makes such wonderful yarns. I love their BFL wool. So soft. I buy mine from a gal here in the US I met thru ebay.

I'd love to see a photo of your sweater closet/drawer someday, which is no doubt stuffed beyond capacity with all your handknit sweaters.

BTW by the time you hit our point in life, if you're not nuts, you're not breathing.