Getting Back in the Swing of Things

The past week or so has been a bit of a blur, hence the radio silence.  I started my LAST GRADUATE CLASS EVER last week, and the thing is a beast.  It’s a course usually taught once a week for 12 weeks condensed into 4 times a week for 3 weeks, but with the same amount of homework.  Yes, it’s as nuts as it sounds, but the speed of it makes it so I haven’t had time to get behind or even procrastinate!  The point is, knitting and other nice things have gone to the wayside for a bit.

I did buy yarn for an ambitious cabled sweater project for Nate.  He came with and we designed our own blend at Yarnia, a super cool custom yarn store in Portland.  Nate knew he wanted purple–“It’s regal!”, he insists–and we played around with different colors and fibers to get the look we wanted.  We finally settled on two strands purple merino, one strand rich purple alpaca for some softness, and a tan-grey strand of merino for a bit of earthy contrast.  Regal, no?

I started a sleeve with enthusiasm, made it through one chart, and then got totally lost on the second chart.  There are some fiddly increases that have to be mysteriously incorporated into one hell of a cable pattern, the beginning and end of the rounds are a complete enigma, and I’m totally lost.  I’ve come to the conclusion that what I really need to do is to sit down and count, compare my stitches to the chart, see where the increases happen and how, and perhaps along the way pledge my soul to the devil in exchange for cable clarity.  I think I’ll start with counting and go from there.

In my frustration I started a nice, straightforward blanket to calm my nerves.  My grandma gave me a bucket of soft-yet-sturdy pink yarn for Christmas and I think this will be a cozy way to use it.  The wave pattern I chose is pretty, yet mindless enough that I can knit it in class and still make insightful comments about the merits of comprehensible input and differentiation strategies.  Maybe I’ll get an A in this class and have a cool blanket by the end of it!

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Sarahs knitting shawls: Turning off and finishing up

My friends can all attest to the fact that, in general, I am constantly on the go, running from one job, to class, to student teaching, to my other job, back home to catch up on homework and grading, a quick sleep, and back out again.  I think because of this perpetual frenetic train of DOING IMPORTANT THINGS, when I am faced with the reality of two weeks off with only vague looming deadlines I completely and totally TURN OFF.

Since Christmas I have basically done nothing but read (for pleasure) and knit (also for pleasure), peppered with some Netflix and back episodes of podcasts so I don’t have to knit in silence.  I have been the definition of a lumpy, lazy, procrastinator.  It feels wonderful.

With all this delightful turned-off time, I FINALLY finished my Light and Up shawl!!  I plowed through the second bit of lace the past couple of days (those long rows of yarn-over-knit-two-together took FOREVER), and then was faced with the decision of how to finish off.  I knew I wanted to add a little more lace, but after weighing my yarn, I wasn’t confident I could squeeze out another full 3 rows of eyelets.  I made my tassels first, just to be sure I could stretch this yarn as far as possible without sacrificing the finishing touches.

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Aren’t they cute?!?!  I wanted them pretty dainty, so I cut my own piece of cardboard, wrapped pretty lightly, then tied them tight with the same yarn.

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After the tassels were taken care of I decided to just add one more single eyelet row with a bit of stockinette for the edge, and then bind off.  Binding off always seems to take me ages, but I made it!  The thing is finished and it is glorious!!  Look look look!!

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I’ll wash and block it tomorrow, and attach the tassels, too (pics forthcoming).  I haven’t quite figured out where/how I’m going to spread this thing out while it dries.  Things are already pretty cramped in the basement (did I mention I live in a basement?), and I don’t think the boy’s parents would take to kindly to me sticking pins all over the guest bed.  I’m considering some voodoo revenge on a futon in the basement; the temporary spatial inconvenience might be worth stabbing back at that nasty mattress!

But I’m done!  Also, how Sarah-ndipitous that we both finished the same day?  With the holidays being so hectic, we Sarahs haven’t chatted in a couple of weeks, so I had no idea where her progress was until I read the post just now.  Bye for now, all!  School’s not back in session for another week, so I’m turning off again.