Friday, May 30, 2008

Are We Sick of the Icarus Yet?

I blocked the shawl yesterday when I got home from work before cooking dinner, bathing a cat, and running out to go to our class. In my excitement, I completely forgot to take a picture of it unblocked, and really wanted to take picture of it while it was soaking in the sink, but at the time Mr Kiwi and the camera were not home and it had to be done quickly so I could finish the remainder of the above list.

Since we have moved to a house with no carpet, I can't sit down and pin the shawl to the floor. That's what beds are for; beds with pillow top mattresses. I started to pin the length of the shawl with blocking pins, but after doing only half of it, I decided it was a stupid idea since it would be faster to just thread in the blocking wires, pin it in 4 places and then move on to pinning the peaks. I'd also avoid unwanted scallops on the straight edge this way as well. Unlike last time, once I got the wires in I only had to pin the shawl once since I followed the directions on binding off in the loose way they directed. I am pretty impressed with the size and am also glad that I spent a whole day ripping out those 14 rows since 1. I have a few yards of the ball left over, and 2. it seems to be the perfect size. Mr Kiwi was not exactly thrilled to come home from work to a frantic me with a wet shawl pinned across the bed, however when we got home from class at about 10:15pm he was a good sport and quickly hot some pictures before I ripped all the pins out and passed out on the bed.

Speaking of pictures....

This shawl was really pushing the deadline. I knew this was a busy month and that I would cut it close, but due to some unforeseen events it took about a week or two longer than I had anticipated. The point however is that I will be wearing it to the wedding tomorrow, and may get some good shots of it in action. I am very proud of this shawl, and am excited about getting to wear it out!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Icarus Complete!!

Well, almost. I still have to block the shawl, but as of this very moment it is completely bound off and waiting to be soaked and stretched. I still have to figure out exactly how I am going to accomplish this since my oh so convenient carpet that I used for blocking is non existent in the new house. Looks like I might have to lock the cats out of the bedroom and block on the bed.

Last time I updated, I was excited about only having 24 rows left; ie Chart4. I forgot that there were also 4 rows of edging that had to be done. I also surprised myself in that I did complete all of the charts by the end of the Memorial Day weekend. The 4 edging rows were not very complicated at all, and went by pretty quickly... as quick as that many stitches in one row can go.

Hooray! I made my deadline! I finished only 3 days before it was "due" and am pretty proud. This means that I can begin knitting other items, perhaps baby related. I think I need a few small projects after those 2 huge shawls in a row.

Again with the excuses: moving, unpacking, yadda, yadda.. pictures will be posted eventually.. I promise!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

More Icarus

I am starting Chart4 of the Icarus Shawl. Only 24 rows left to go! If I complete 4 rows a day, I should be done Thursday night. However, with work and evening commitments, I am not sure I can get those four rows every day, so luckily with the long weekend I can hope to get most of it done this weekend in time to wash, block, and wear it on Saturday.
I don't think I'm ever going to knit on a deadline again. Too stressful!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Icarus Update

And we've moved! We are now settling into our new house and are happily procrastinating unpacking all of the boxes. And we have had internet at the new place for about an hour and a half now. But this is not the point of the post.

This is an update on the Icarus that I am so trying to complete (less than two weeks!) for the wedding. I had previously thought that it wasn't going to be big enough and decided to add an extra repeat of Chart1 before doing the partial chart and diving into chart2. While I was working on the partial repeat AFTER completing the extra repeat of the chart, I decided that no, this was now going to be an Icarus blanket, not an Icarus shawl. And we don't want that. During the move, I managed to hurt my hips to the point where I could NOT remove myself from the couch without shrieking in agony (no lie) so I spent most of my time working on the shawl/blanket. It was during this time that I decided to rip back the 14 rows needed to undo the extra mess that I had created for myself.

Ripping lace is not entirely straight forward. If this was anything else, I would have slid the stitches off and started pulling, confident in my abilities to sort it out in a timely manner. The size lace weight yarn I am using and the Yo's next to ssk's and k2tog's made it so that I really didn't want to just rip and hope. Of course, being the cocky knitter I am, I had no lifeline. So what am I to do?

After doing one row, I decided that tinking was going to take waaay too long, and seeing as how I have a fast approaching deadline this was almost certainly not an option. I tried about 10 times to thread an afterthought lifeline, but alas the YO's, ssk's, and k2togs made it almost impossible to see if I was picking the right stitches. Solution? I decided that tinking back every 5 stitches out of 12 was better than tinking all those 12, so I thread a lifeline through the 7 plain knit stitches and skipped the pattern part. I dropped the knits and tinked back on the pattern, making sure not to drop anything vital. This ended up being much faster and successful than my alternative, and had I known in which box or bag the camera was in, I would have taken pictures of the before and after shots.

I am happy with the decision since I know the size will be what I want, but the only thing that makes me sad is the time that I spent doing all those extra rows and then having to undo them. I could have been getting it right the first time! Oh well. I am now almost finished with Chart2 (only 2 more rows left!) and will soon be moving on to Charts 3 and 4. I'm estimating that even if I power through I'll still be cutting it close and may finish May 30th. Today is the 20th after all... I only have 10 days left to work on it before having to wear it on the 11th day.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Knitters' Baby Shower

Last night was my last Thursday night knitnight group for a few months. My birthing classes have been so (in)conveniently scheduled for 7pm on Thursday nights in San Francisco, which is the same time as the knit group meets. The wonderful knitters threw me a baby shower since I won't been seeing them much before the baby is born. On the MFA group on Ravelry they kept a post going communicating with each other planning last night, and I was forbidden to look at it. I behaved and didn't click it until I got home last night.
It was a wonderful event with some delicious cake, fruits, and drinks. I received a beautiful blanket of 16 knit squares that the knit nighters each made. It was beautifully peiced together, and each sqaure was very pretty and interesting. With some of the left over yarn RevKnits made a cute little hat. AuntieJojo gave me a set of 5 cute onsies, VSkiver gave me a little washcloth square that matches the blanket, Ms.Crafty knit a beautiful little sweater for the baby, Suzanne gave me cute little bootees, and Aliflo gave a cute monkey comfort blanket. (I think I am remembering everything; I don't have my cheat sheet on me!)
Everyone put in so much work to throw such a fun party, and I appreciate all those wonderful people have done. Lynitter did an excellent job coming up with little games to play (even though we kept getting distracted by knitting and yarn to focus on racing to get the games). The "guess the size of the belly" game with the yarn was amusing; I decided to play as well, cutting my own string after everyone else had. All but two people overestimated my belly size; even me!
It was such a fun night, and thank you all so much for planing this out. You are all so wonderful, and the next time I'll see most of you is the knit in public day!
Of course because of moving to a new house this weekend, as of tomorrow I am going to be out of internet and won't be able to post any pictures of the event. I do hope a certain someone sends me photos so I can post some up here, but it will certainly won't be a speedy process.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Suffering Knitting.

I know, I know.. I haven't been updating. A lot has been going on here; we are in the midst of packing all of our belongings to make a move from our crummy apartment to a slightly less crummy house. Work has also been more stressful than I can summarize, and my knitting has been suffering. I've had less time to knit with everything going on, and am starting to feel stress about making my May 31st deadline for the Icarus shawl. I'd take a picture of the progress, however the camera and computer that it hooks into are already packed up.
We're moving on Saturday and won't have internet for a while, so my updates are again going to be pretty sparse, unfortunately. But hopefully my knitting will pick up and when I do get a chance to post again, there will be many pictures and fun things to write about