07 September 2009

Annemor #16

I had another trip at the end of August, a couple of days at my denomination's headquarters for a meeting. I boarded Plane #1 with Selbuvotter mitten makings in my bag: needles, pattern, unknown-brand variegated CC yarn (from the stash swap: I think it was Sweetea's?), and a skein of Blue Sky Alpaca's Alpaca & Silk, still in hank form. Fortunately, I had an empty seat next to me...

The flight attendant was completely fascinated by my yarn-balling activity mid-flight. She stopped and asked me what in the world I was doing. "Making a mitten," I responded. Of course! What else could I possibly be doing?

Anyway, by the end of Flight #1, I was almost satisfied with the length of the cuff. On Flight #2, I ended up sitting next to a colleague going to the same meeting, and he was thoroughly impressed with what I was doing ("You're using two different colors at once? Wow, you've got mad skillz. I don't think I know anyone who can do that." Um, you'd be surprised, friend.) and even brought it up two days later during the business meeting.

Once I got into the actual knitting of the pattern, I couldn't decide if I like the two yarns together or not. I'll keep going, I've only done about 8 rows of the pattern anyway, haven't even gotten to the thumb. But... the main color is kind of a weird wheat-yellow/celery-green, depending on the light (it looked really weird in the airplane light, above the clouds), and I'm not sure it's a pretty combination. We'll see. Since I've got so many projects in progress right now, it will probably be a while before I do any more significant work on this one.

04 September 2009

Three BSJs in One Week...

...AAAA-hahahahahaha! Yeah, that didn't work so much.

Husband and I took a long road trip the first two weeks of August. And when I say "long road trip," I don't mean New-England-long, wherein driving for three hours is "SOOO FAAAARRRRR!" No, when we take road trips, we take road trips. 2,800+ miles in thirteen days. VT-NYC-DC-ATL-DC-VT. A real road trip.

We stopped in DC twice, on the way down for several days to visit Knitting Queen and several college friends who live in the DC area, and then again on the way up because some of those same friends were having a housewarming party and it was a good chance to see even more people I haven't seen since college. And, of course, since we're all at that almost-thirty time in life, everybody's having babies. Three different couples in DC are currently pregnant or have just given birth. In fact, one of those three couples had their baby during the week of our trip.

Three babies = three Baby Surprise Jackets.

I thought it was an ambitious-but-possibly-reasonable goal to work towards making all three BSJs during the first week of our trip. And, y'know, if I didn't get one of them done in the first week, I could definitely work on it while we were in Atlanta, and then do the gifting on our way back home. Right? Right.


First BSJ (the red one) took three separate cast-on attempts, which was most of our drive through the Adirondacks. That's almost six hours right there. Of just casting on. I didn't knit in NYC nearly as much as I thought I would, and the ball of 220 Superwash got really tangled in my purse and took nearly a day to untangle and re-roll.

(I did have an enjoyable subway moment, when the two young women sitting across from me in the subway car eyed me with envy as I was knitting, and then turned their conversation to dreams of what they'd like to knit someday -- if they ever actually bothered to pick up the needles. It was quite a hilarious situation, but contributed significantly to a need-t0-unknit-a-few-rows moment, which then started the oh-crap-what-a-tangled-mess phenomenon. That's what I get for gloating.)

I finally made some good progress on the red BSJ as we drove down the Garden State Parkway to DC/Baltimore. Finished it in DC, except for the sewing-the-shoulder-seams, and promptly lost it under stuff in the back seat of the car.

The second (blue) BSJ, I cast on somewhere between DC and Durham, NC, where we spent the night with some other college friends. I did much of the casting-on and knitting-up so much better the second time around... except that I accidentally cast on 155 stitches rather than 160, and didn't realize it until I was halfway through. I was NOT frogging several days worth of my work at this point (there was still one more BSJ to go, remember!), so I just reworked the math and kept going. But the extra math meant extra thinking for every row (wait, do I increase here, or do I increase there? How many stitches am I supposed to have on each side of the marker? How big should I make that middle section whose stitches I pick up later? ARGH).

I did not finish the blue BSJ by the time we got back up to DC on the homeward stretch of our journey. I didn't even finish it by the time we got back to Vermont, because I insisted on driving the whole way from Philadelphia to Burlington (at some point, my need to be in control of the car trumped my desire to finish the darn sweater). I finished the blue BSJ about ten days after we got home, because I wanted the needles so I could get started on the sleeve of the Minimalist Cardigan -- the night before I was taking off on my next trip. I finished the knitting, but not the shoulder seams, about 1 a.m. With a 6 a.m. flight the next day. Sigh.

One more BSJ to go. I kind of can't handle it right now, though, and want to finish my Minimalist Cardigan first. Looks like I'll need to knit the third (green) one on size 8s rather than on7s, and send that one to the biggest baby of the three.

BTW, on size 7s, one BSJ takes about a ball and a half of Cascade 220 Superwash. At some point, I'll likely make a stripey fourth BSJ out of the remainders. In spite of all the pressure I put on myself to do a bunch of the same sweater again and again (which could easily lead to me hating the pattern), I still adore the BSJ and will probably make a zillion more over the course of my lifetime.