Monday, May 29, 2006

I'm still here

I don't know if it's seasonal or sweateral, or the root canal I had a week ago, but I've just been too blue to blog.

I've taken this sweater front to this point

at least three times, and the Curse of the Yarn Over continues to plague me. For those of you who think I'm just being weirdly obsessive, look! It so shows. Ripping doesn't bother me, as a general rule, but I'm about to reach my limit.

You know what? I know I'm reasonably intelligent, and I know that this is a simple (like falling off of a log simple) lace pattern. Yet I've redone and redone and redone this yoke until I'm afraid I'm going to fray the yarn. This is supposed to be my easy, take everywhere project, and I'm turning it into Rip Our Your Hair central.

And, dang it, I want this sweater. It's soft, it's drapey, I can just imagine it snuggled over a tank keeping the freezing summer breezes of the bay area off of me. Arrrrgh.

Last night I sat down and did a few rows, checking carefully every single time, and when I found a mistake, I declared it bedtime.

Jen, you and your spouse are welcome to come and get the tour. It won't take long and I'll let you guys gather eggs and smoke the bees and see if you can find the queen. On second thought, maybe you should wait until you've really decided about children. Mine can have, um, effects on that decision. Both good and bad, I hasten to add. For instance, if you saw this:

You might think you wanted a lot. Since our wonderful friend came over and taught her, I figured I was set for yarn for the rest of my life. She started asking about planting a dyer's
garden. But then Andrew went away, and many tears were shed. Do any of you know how to avoid over-twisting the roving before it gets pulled onto the flyer? We're ruining gobs of fiber trying to learn how to draft and hold it and ye gods it's frustrating. And you can so stop snickering, Jen, it is too really hard. I'm still in awe of Those Who Can.

And anyhow, after a day of doing some work (I teach online college classes) and some kids and some gardening -- mostly battling the evil incarnate Bermuda grass invading every part of my all of 6,000 square foot lot -- and some cleaning and not running, alas, and some knitting ripping, well, I haven't felt like I had much to say. I'm a little better now.

So some garden pics just for fun. Feel free to go elsewhere if you're not thrilled by unusually badly aligned plant closeups!

If you got this far, you can probably guess that I love fancy lettuce (those were Freckles or Amish Speckles, Little Gem Romaine, Red Oak Leaf, and maybe Lollo Rosso -- I lose track, but they're tasty), that we're going to have tomatoes soon, that if Thing 2 doesn't eat them all before they ripen, we may get one plum and some raspberries, and the chickens are wondering about when the grapes will come due.

So now I'm thinking about Yarnmonkey's Knitting World Cup, since soccer rules supreme here, and what I'm going to knit. I do know one thing.

No yarn overs.

Added later: It appears I've been channeling the good folks at Rowan. Look at this! Seed stitch borders? Check. Flower embellishment? Check. Adorable baby girl? Check. Either great minds, you know, or I'm susceptible to some forces out in the universe that guide pattern choices. I've not seen this picture before tonight. Weird.


Rain said...

I hope you get the sweater sorted as it's a great colour and will look gorgeous when finished.

The garden looks like it's really coming along.

I can't wait for the World Cup either.

amy said...

I get a weird thing when I click the word channeling in your "added later" comment. I also can't get the rowan link to take me to a pattern. I'll have to try it in explorer.

we're living parallel lives. I've ripped out my nephew's vest-which-became-a-sweater at least 5 times at various places. I'm learning a lot, but the birthday *was* yesterday... oh well.

Brittany said...

About the spinning thing...

You want to make sure that you use your front hand to pinch off the twist and prevent it from entering the drafting zone before you want it to. It looks like your daughter's left hand is in front, so that hand should be controlling the twist, and the right hand should be teasing the fibres.

If you're just learning, you also might want to double-check that you're on the largest whorl. You don't want the flyer spinning too fast otherwise the twist will be building up too fast and you'll end up with really kinky yarn.

If you have a drop spindle handy, you might want to try on that first. It'll allow you to practice drafting without worrying about the feet and about too much twist building up.

I hope that helps! Have you tried looking online for videos too? I know there are some somewhere.....

meredith said...

hey there - no help for the spinning (good grief - you garden, knit, spin AND raise 4 kids! i will never again complain of not having time to do anything!)
for the yarn overs. i need more details and maybe i can help. also, sometimes the yarn overs look wonky as they are being knit then find their shape in the blocking. i'm in the middle of a very lacy scarf full of the YO - so if you can put up with the pain of explaining what's going wrong i may be able to offer a few words of advice.

Stefaneener said...

Um, Amy, the first link should take you to a post that starts with the baby's Easter sweater. Scroll to the top. The second one doesn't work, I'll admit. It's in the one pound patterns -- a little baby sweater in a lovely deep pink.

Meredith, it's not the yarn overs per se. I know how to do them. I just drop them or lose count and put them in the wrong place. It's so very clearly operator error.

Brittany, thanks. I am hopeless at the drop spindle. Can't make it spin. At least with the wheel I can use my feet. We'll just have to practice. Both Thing 1 and I are a little high-strung and it's frustrating for us. We'll get there, or we'll make Andrew come over again!

aurora said...

Wow, your lovely springy garden makes my pathetic frost-covered one feel a bit jealous.

Is the spinning picture at your place? It's a great shot (and I love the wallpaper).

String Bean said...

Could something be wrong with the pattern? If in doubt (or just wrong...) try again!

How did you get so many pictures into your post? Blogger only ever lets me post 5.

Nice chickens.

bfmomma said...

I can't get the sweater link(s) to work either... :(

And your garden is beautiful... I"m SO jealous!

I despise YO's, so I can't offer any advice...

K said...

Your garden is fab! I filled in my 9x12 pond with the intention of making it into a veggie/flower garden. I have one petunia plant in it and a bunch of weeds! So I am quite jealous! LOL

No advice on the yo's. I see where you went off track and it would drive me nuts too! You are just gonna have to gut it out like the green sweater!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Jamie, Pancake Goddess's oldest, MOST LOVED SON. *shifty eyes*

I was wondering if your daughter "thing 1" is going to start blogging?

I would love to trade comments with someone my age.

Thanks! ^^


jen said...

I probably won't be much help for the spinning (and YES that photo made the option of procreation look a lot more appealing.... I can breed yarn slaves! I can have a basement full of little spinners!), but the only advice I can offer is slooooow down the treadling. That way the twist won't go crazy and she can learn how to gradually speed up her drafting. Once the drafting is down pat, the yarn will make itself.

I am drooling over your produce.