Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Math Saves the Day

{Yarning along with Ginny}

Is there a better way to spend the first minutes of the morning? Kids all asleep, some dark roast coffee and a little easy stockinette on the current sock...

I've been trying to get back into my own school year schedule for the last 2 weeks and it has been hard to get up at 6 a.m. again, but the sock is helping I think.

I shared pictures of my Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan progress on Monday, and while I'm a little farther on sleeve #2 than those photos show, it's really only a few rows farther. With school year life trying to get going again this week, I haven't had time since Sunday to knit much on it. But I do want to make something clear- for all my complaining about the sleeves, the sleeve issue is mine and mine alone- this cardi is a *wonderful* pattern. It is well written, I'm loving the shaping, and I can tell this is going to be a sweater I wear frequently. Every time I try it on to check sizing I'm reminded of how this sweater is exactly what my wardrobe needs right now.

I'm now at peace with the sleeves. I think I have figured out what my sleeve issue is on every single cardigan and sweater. FINALLY- right? It pretty much comes down to my state of mind:

In my brain I expect sleeves to just be super easy "round-and-round" knitting. I feel resentful when sleeve decreases require me to pay too close attention to the shaping, because that's not "round-and-round" knitting.

I know. There's something wrong with my brain, because sleeves really are easy and really are mostly simple round-and-round knitting aside from decreases every so often so that you don't end up with a gigantic swinging sleeve. I seem to have problems with either zooming past the decreases or checking the row count constantly to be sure I haven't missed the decreases... and that is my major annoyance.

To solve my mental issue I calculated how many stitches I should end up with, before switching to ribbing for the cuffs and knew that I would need to decrease every seventh row. I ended up clipping a pin to the row where I decreased and then I was able to fairly accurately eyeball when I'd gone about 7 rows. I'd count how many rows I'd gone since the decrease and usually came out to 6 or 7 and then go on my merry way with whatever needed to happen next. I felt much less restricted and the whole thing felt like it moved way faster, when in fact nothing had changed but my perspective on the subject.

I may have also bribed myself by saying again and again: every time you decrease you have 2 less stitches to knit around. Not sure why that was motivating, but it was and it worked.

Part of my new mornings with my coffee and sock knitting has been reading The Joyful Christian by C.S. Lewis, one reading each morning. It's a good start to the day.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ellie's Place

Ellie made a little place for herself a few weeks ago- the ledge of a window in our dining room. She can see outside, there's a place to set her bowl, and her little baby dolls can come along with her.

She babbles and plays on her own here at all times of day, but particularly when I'm working in the kitchen. She's always a little miffed that I won't let her sit on the open dishwasher door, so she heads to the window sill for an acceptable toddler-sized seat.

Monday, September 2, 2013


We spent our lovely Saturday doing a little bit of what everyone wanted to do. We hit the farmer's market in the morning and picked up some wonderful peaches and really yummy blueberry and key lime jam. The boys also spent some of their hard earned cash on marshmallow shooters at one of the booths.

We made and ate all our meals together and got a head start on breakfasts for the week (banana muffins and some peach and blackberry crisp- perfect to add to our yogurt!). We made it to the pool before it rained, we had a family movie night, and I got to knit for all of Ellie's nap and most of the evening after dinner.

You'd think after knitting for a good 4-ish hours for the day that there would be massive sleeve progress, wouldn't you? I mean normal people would see progress, but not me. No- I hit the dreaded "I'm doing all this knitting and it's just not growing like it should!" stage. Seriously I held up the cardigan and stared at it and stretched it and then went and put the silly thing on and really really really that sleeve was only to my elbow.

After all the children were into bed my husband asked what my plans were for the rest of the evening and I sort of just spilled my knitting woes all over him. He knows enough about knitting to
listen to me when I really need to vent, but not so much as to truly commiserate over the situation.

He very kindly told me he would happily let me continue knitting for the evening and get in some gaming time if I needed to keep working on this cardigan. What a generous offer, right?

Fine by me. I really felt like I needed to keep pressing forward because any moment I'd realize I'd actually knit an octopus sleeve and rip back to the proper length and the sleeve would pretty much be done.

I told him I felt like I needed to keep moving forward but if the frustration level with the sweater continued to rise I'd scrap my knitting plans and join him.

Then the conversation that brought everything back into perspective (as spouses are wont to do):

Me: I just feel like if I don't keep working on it tonight that the sweater will win. If I keep going I might have a chance to win this.

My darling husband: Honey, there is no winner in the sweater war. If anything there's a loser and I think we both know who that would be.

Loser of the sweater war.

Not me.

I finished the sleeve decreases on Saturday night and then the 2x2 ribbing on sleeve #1 on Sunday afternoon as well as starting the second sleeve. I realized briefly that I'm going to need my long Addi cable available for knitting the button band on this cardi, and recognized the fact that that particular cable is in the Cerus Scarf I cast on about 2 weeks ago. Looks like a little game of Needle Shuffle is coming my way.

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