Friday, December 05, 2008

Taking shape...

You can see the leaves and vines starting to show up on the Spring Garden Cardi at last:

I think the acupuncture might actually be helping a little. I'm still trying to keep it to a few rows a day until I'm over the flareup. But this is fun to watch.

I realize I should be finishing Rob's pullover and I must admit the reason I haven't yet is I'm SCARED. I'm nearly out of yarn. Now, I realize putting it off isn't going to make me grow more yarn, but I keep hesitating to face the music. However, I'd better finish it before the cold weather quits for the year — after all, I started it before last winter!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A brief Thanksgiving note

This Thanksgiving, just want to say that I am grateful for my blogreaders, perhaps even more so in the last few months as my postings have become sparse. You have stuck by me, always cheer me up in rough times, and share your wisdom, humor and experience generously. You guys are great and I can't wait to get back to blogging more frequently -- reading your blogs and commenting more often, too.

Hugs to you all.

For your entertainment, since I haven't been knitting (I have started acupuncture for the arthritis and nerve damage problems, though), here is a picture of me in 2nd grade. (I had glasses starting at age 4 1/2.) I was 7.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I know, I know. CRAZY quiet.

I haven't posted in ages. The reason is twofold: One, my job has jumped from your standard 40-45 hours/week sort of thing to well over 50. And as you know, I'm still trying to do a bunch of other things in my 'spare' time: mediation training, singing in a band, publishing a literary magazine, and doing Cog Sci research. Oh yeah, and knitting..

Amidst all this, we had a house guest (my aunt) for a few days, and then another (my brother) for a few days, and we helped my mom throw a 70th birthday party for my dad. And we have more house guests arriving for Thanksgiving. Great fun, but not conducive to blogging :-)

Then there's the other bit. Either my arthritis or the nerve damage in my arm (hard to tell) has been acting up this month, so I haven't been doing all that much knitting. The funny thing is that often knitting per se isn't painful, but everyday things like holding the handle of a teacup, or carrying a book, are, making me feel this weird reluctance to do any other 'hand' activities — even if those activities wouldn't hurt.

But the hand/wrist is easing, and I have done SOME knitting. And I'm still trying to finish Madeleine! Most difficult is the choosing of buttons. Here are the four options I was considering.

At first, I really thought I was going to choose the top coral ones here on the right, with the bottom purple ones as my second choice. I didn't like those little cut-lines in the top buttons, but I kept thinking they were the best color match. Of course, that was when I was holding up the buttons to the garment while they were still on their little white cards.

But when I took them off the cards and took these pictures, I realized the first ones weren't the best. I ended up picking the light pink ones on top here on the left. I sewed two on, realized button two was in the wrong position, cut it off again, and put the whole thing in a pile on the kitchen table — oops. I'm not terrifically fond of sewing on buttons. Must take it up again soon, before that baby outgrows the sweater!

I'm also back to working on this pink cardi for a friend of mine. It's made from this lovely, soft Jaeger Roma, which I have to really recommend for the pure heaven of the knitting experience. Plus I think it's going to make a really nice garment.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thank you so much for the advice!!

Haven't gone to get the buttons nor made the loops for 'em yet, but otherwise it is assembled, blocked and done. And a lot bigger than I had anticipated, as always — I'm infamous for making 6-month size clothing that is really closer to 18-month size. But wow! I'm so happy with it! And I couldn't have done it without you.

Here's a closeup of the neckline. Knittah and ampliflyer suggested picking up the stitches and either purling back or doing ribbing as an edging. What I did was pick up 1:1 stitches with a size 2 needle, knit 1x1 ribbing for a few rows, and THEN did 4-stitch i-cord. It still curled a little but blocked out great!

Here's a closeup of the bottom edge, where I used twistle's recommendation to knit a kind of gradual zigzag of stockinette into garter. This still flipped (and as you may be able to see, I didn't do a perfect job of knitting this zigzag), but it didn't flip as much or as hard, and a good blocking fixed it. Of course when it's washed by the recipient and probably hung to dry, I don't know what will happen, but I think it'll still keep the baby warm!

Thanks again for all the help. I'll hope to have a finished piece to show you in a few more days.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I got nothin' — so you get somethin'

I have done zero knitting this week owing to Jewish holidays, the Henry Rollins show (w00t!), and other nonsense — like going to see Roger Reynolds' Sanctuary Project tonight at the Salk Institute, which should be interesting.

SO! Make a comment and tell me this: what would you do if you unexpectedly had an afternoon off work — or, if you're retired, an extra 4 hours in your week — but no money to spend on it?

I'll draw a random comment from all those received by 6 p.m. PDT on Tuesday night, and the winner will get my Spring/Summer 2008 copy of knit.1, featuring "natural knits", some cute amigurumi animals, and other stuff. I've read it a few times now, but don't want to keep it.

The photo below is from our road trip this past summer. We went to Salt Lake City, and saw this unusual sculpture on a city street near the Tabernacle.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Not the achievement queen this week

Partly it's the Jewish holidays, partly it's a flareup of some hand/arm problems, but mostly I think I'm spending way too much time surfing the Web and not enough time knitting.

I appreciated all the suggestions on the curling edges. I'm trying them and we'll see what happens. I want to get this matinee coat done SOON before the baby is too big for it!

Speaking of which, I finished (finally!) sewing the buttons on Meghan's cardigan:

Yep, I went with the gold ones in the end. A tough call, partly made because of the ease of buttoning these. It'll be interesting to see, when I make a blue one of these with the same yarn, how the wooden buttons look on it. I think they'll both be nice.

I also made myself a washcloth using Tunisian honeycomb stitch. I make a couple of these a year, because I use them twice a day and they do wear out. Just standard dishcloth (Lily Sugar 'n' Cream, in this case) cotton and a size G Tunisian hook.

I love honeycomb stitch. Tunisian fabric is thick and stiff, and with the honeycomb texture it makes a wonderful scrubby washcloth. Tunisian crochet, especially with cotton, is kind of hard on the wrists, though, so I'm glad it's done.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Garter-stitch bottom edge?
Flips up.
i-cord inner band?
Curls in (you can't even see it in this picture, it's so curled. It's on the right edge here).

Advice? I know there's a couple of ways to knit applied i-cord. I used the way where the stitch you grab from the knitted garment is actually knit together with the last i-cord stitch. I know you can also pick up a loop of working yarn with that stitch and then do the k2tog, which might change the way it lies. You can also do it from the back (but I think that looks sloppy, and it flips to the front). There might be other hints...

Baargh. This is SO close.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Madeleine is getting close!

I'm pretty excited about this. I did go a little longer than your typical matinee coat, because I loved the look and feel I was getting:

That's still on the needles, so you see a bit of a 'bloomer' affect on the bottom that won't be in the completed coat. Unfortunately, when I bound off, the bottom set of garter stitch flipped up. I tried knitting one of the garter stitch rows with a smaller needle and binding off with that needle, but it still flipped up, so I ripped all 6 rows and am redoing them in a smaller needle. Crossing my fingers it won't flip this time!

After this comes attached i-cord on the front opening/neck, and then something exciting with buttons. And blocking. I'm excited about all of it.

My sinus infection is not so exciting. I'm on triple antibiotics now and still have a dratted sinus headache. CT scans next week. I'm taking everything at about half speed.

Monday, September 15, 2008

You win some — I win some!

Thanks for all the great button comments. I am still not sure which one I'll choose for this green cardi, I'll be making a blue baby cardi as well (same yarn) and will likely use whichever buttons are left on that!

I used the Internet Random Number Generator to figure out who won the contest for a copy of Yarn Forward, and it is Jae! Jae, if you'll drop me a note with your address via e-mail to valerie [at] grasslimb [dot] com, I'll pop it in the mail to you. Congrats on winning my first blog drawing!

And I won something too — I won one of the prizes in the recent Mainely Rat Rescue fundraising contest. It's a set of rat hammocks. I don't own a rat, but perhaps you do and would like these hammocks? Please e-mail me at the address just noted if you do! I'd like them to have a good home and they sound like great fun for some ratties.

The baby for whom I'm knitting Madeleine (note: the baby, to my knowledge, is not named Madeleine) was born a few hours ago, so I'm knitting like mad. Nothing to show yet, so here's a wildflower from this summer's trip, from Grand Teton National Park.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Decisions, a drawing, and ethnobotany

So, I dunno. I'm leaning towards the wood-grain ones (I think they may actually be plastic, since I only buy washable buttons for baby things) rather than the gold ones, but what do you think?

I'll do a drawing from everyone who expresses an opinion about these buttons by Monday afternoon 6:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time; the winner gets a copy of the first issue of Yarn Forward, a British knitting magazine. It has a lovely design in it by Ysolda Teague, among other things (remember, I recently knit a beret of her design) — but nothing that I personally plan to knit.

(I'll be passing on a few other magazines and books over the next few weeks. I'm paring down a bit to make room for the books and magazines I do use.)

One of my blogreaders asked what ethnobotany is, presumably because I list it as one of my interests. Ethnobotany is the study of food, medicinal, clothing and other plant uses by various cultures. I am in particular interested in the use of desert plants by various Native American cultures of the southwestern U.S., but I'm always on the lookout for ethnobotanical information when I'm travelling, as I find it fascinating.

For example, take the U.S.desert plant commonly known as creosote bush (Larrea tridentata). This very slow-growing plant that reproduces by cloning is responsible for the characteristic "wet pavement" smell of the desert after it rains. Over 40 chemical components have been extracted from this plant, some of which may have verifiable medical properties; it was used by the native tribes of the area for everything from glue and firewood to an analgesic, anti-cancer, antiinflammatory and antibiotic/antiviral medication. Other desert plants, like the flowers of the chuparosa and ocotillo plants, were used to make "soft drinks" and were part of the extremely varied diet (over 300 documented items) of the Cahuilla Indians.

Er... anyway, you get the idea. :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Setting in sleeves is the greatest...

No, it's not. It's a big pain. But it's a great way to start feeling like you're actually knitting a garment, rather than a pile of scraps with a million bits of string hanging off 'em:

That's looking at the back, of course; the front won't get edging until the skirt is finished, so it looks like, well, a pile of scraps with a million bits of string hanging off 'em at the moment.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Where does Napoleon keep his armies? *

So I did it — I reknit the sleeve a fourth time. Actually, to be fair, after two reknits, I knit a second sleeve, compared it with the first sleeve, and decided to reknit that first sleeve for a third time. But somewhere in there, there are four sleeves.

Here's why:

I decided that the sleeve would look more balanced with just a bit more of the darker color/lace section and less of the lighter color. For reference, the lighter one is Sundara superwash sport merino (sadly no longer available) in Cantaloupe; the darker one is YoYo superwash merino in La Nouba.

I'm really pleased with the sleeves now and I think I'll seam them in before I knit the "skirt" of the coat. Then it's on to the neck/"buttonband" edging — which will be applied I-cord.

Meanwhile, Trellis is done except for buttons and labels!

It's incredibly soft and cushy.

* — in his sleevies!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Me and my mathematics

I love knitting math. I realize that's geeky, but I really get a buzz off trying to figure out how many stitches, rows, increases or decreases I need to make to get the result I want. I think it's good mental exercise, and it's very satisfying.

Only problem is, math doesn't love me so much. I make a lot of mistakes! Fortunately I'm not so miserable about the frogging, otherwise I'd be sad. In my case I think "measure 85 times, then ask someone else to check your measurements, then cut, then redo it because even after all that you messed up" should replace "measure twice, cut once."

Here's some of my notebook for Madeleine, the little matinee coat I'm making for a certain baby about to be born in Cornwall. You can see the original design sketch (I'm no artist, sorry!) at the center bottom, and lots of figuring on the other sheets. With lots and lots and lots of erasures where I had to re-figure. And some cross-outs.

Even after redoing my math a few times, I found a number of things went wrong when I tried to make the sleeve:

1) I simply screwed up, and used the desired # of rows for the wrist-to-armpit length as the desired rows to the shoulder. Whoops.
2) I forgot to account for the fact that the paired increases I use tend to shorten the fabric in that location (underarm, in this case).
3) It turned out that, knitting in the round, my stitch count per inch was only a teensy bit smaller than when knitting flat — but my row count was way different.
4) Also, I may have accidentally used the measurement of the hypotenuse of a triangle for the measurement of the opposite side.

So this was my first sleeve. Whoops. A fine short sleeve (and yay, I did a pretty darn good job shaping the sleeve cap) but.. not really the long sleeve I was after. Tee hee.

I knit a couple alternate sleeves to the armpit, one (the upper) in the same US #4s/3.75mm I'm using for the (flat-knit) body and one (the lower) in US #5s/4.0mm. The gauge difference is subtle, but present. And I like the fabric on the #5s better, so I'm sticking with that for the arms. (Also, these ones are the right length.) Just have to knit a sleeve cap and redo the other arm now...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Finishitis, Startitis

I'm simultaneously eager to start new knitting projects and eager to finish off old ones. So I'm trying to alternate. Today I made the final push and finished off this little Trellis cardi, for a friend's baby daughter. Doesn't look much like the 6-month size pre-blocking, does it?

But never fear — blocking works miracles and this ultra-soft merino sweater is pinned down in my study right now, getting ready for autumn weather. I'll show you a post-blocking picture in a couple of days, when it's dry.

Yet another upcoming new baby prompted a little design work. I'll show more when I get a bit further, but here's a taste to whet your appetite:

To make it even more wonderful, this will be knit from both Sundara and Terrible YoYo yarn. Both those gals are awesome dyewomen with great senses of color, and the yarn just glows in my hands. It is a serious pleasure to knit with.

I'm still ill — a couple of errands were enough to do me in, today. So I'm just sitting on the sofa and knitting. I figure at least I'm being productive.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Lousy immune system...

I'm sick again with a sinus infection (yeah, the sort I wasn't supposed to get anymore after my surgery three months ago). So I'm a bit mopey and feverish. It's cooling down now (it's evening) and I'm feeling a little less hot and horrible, so I thought I'd write a quick blog entry.

I haven't been knitting much, but in an evening and the following morning this weekend, I knit a chemo cap for a friend. The cap needs to be blocked — well, first it will be carefully cleaned, AFTER I am well, to remove germs — but here it is in its crumpled state, modelled by Elmo:

Specs: Chemo Hat from Knit Picks, knit with just under 1.5 skeins of Shine Sport using US #3 needles. It's amazingly soft.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Admittedly not doing much knitting

Our house guests flew home a week ago, and so far all we've seemed to do is work on cleaning the house. We got the downstairs carpets shampooed and are currently working on the upstairs ones. We have another house guest arriving Friday, and I have commitments Monday, Tuesday and Weds. nights, plus I'm singing in a wedding in a couple of hours, so the craziness clearly hasn't ended. And who am I fooling? Around my life, it's always crazy, so I can't use it as an excuse TOO much. I did manage to knit a gauge swatch this weekend, though I haven't blocked it yet.

Some trip photos were asked for, so here are a few to start you off. First we have wild lupine at the top of Mt. San Jacinto (~10,000 feet). We took the aerial tramway up and hiked around a bit. This is in Palm Springs, CA:

One of many great views from the top:

Cholla at Joshua Tree National Park:

And a genuine "one-armed bandit," found in a diner in Searchlight, NV (I didn't try playing it, though):

Tomorrow night I will be conducting a mediation (parent/teen conflict — that should be interesting), Tuesday night I have band practice, and Wednesday night is my mediation class. Lots on the boards! But I'm attempting to take one day at a time... and hopefully will have some actual creative blog content soon ;-)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Whoops! Sorry I vanished

Sorry I worried a few folks. We've been travelling for a couple of weeks with our summer house guests, my mother-in-law Verna and Rob's childhood friend Brian. We went many places in the West, including Joshua Tree, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Zion. And I did knit on the long road trip, though not so much as you might think, because I've been fighting crampy hands and arms lately. Still, I've accomplished a few things:

The Very Berry T-Shirt is done except for Kitchenering one underarm, and then blocking. I managed to do one Kitchener seam in the car, but decided against trying to do the other one with so many distractions.

I made some progress on a cardi for Elinoire. This is the Spring Garden Cardi from Kirsten Cowan's Irresistible Knits, being knit in the fabulously soft Jaeger Roma (and yes, it's reverse stockinette, I didn't photograph it inside out). The only problem is that I've hit a big error in the pattern — the instructions for the shoulder cap are completely wrong — and there appear to be no published errata. I've written to the publisher to ask about it, but I am sure I can recalculate the shoulder cap if I need to. Just lazy!

Finally, I completed a gorgeous beret, Gretel by the beautiful Ysolda Teague. The pattern costs a small amount of money, but it's way worth it — Ysolda's patterns are top-notch. It's not blocked yet, but here it is pre-blocking:

What have you all been up to?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Some assembly required

As you all know by now, I rather like mattress stitching. I even don't mind weaving in ends — I find it kind of meditative and calming.

What I don't like is sewing sleeves into armholes. It requires counting, and contemplation, and while I don't mind those things, it's hard to do them unless I'm all alone. Especially in the summer, I don't get any alone time except in the toilet (don't have my bathtub easily available in the summer, either — not that you can knit in the bath). And I don't know about you, but I don't knit in the toilet.

So my finishing slows way down when I get to this stage. But fear not, Meghan's cardi will get done! Before she gets too old for it, hopefully...

I've also started Carson's birthday T-shirt. My niece turns three in under a week, so I need to hustle. Fortunately the Very Berry T (same great pattern as last year, larger size!) is a quick and easy knit. I want an adult version :-) Anyway, I'm making progress quickly. The yarn is Berocco Nostalgia and the needles are U.S. #6:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What I'm up to...

You might be wondering what happened to Rob's pullover, a.k.a. the Secret Yarnination. Well, I got to where I had to unravel the first of the three sleeves (the one that was too short) and when I did, the yarn was, well... "kinky" is probably too gentle a word for it. "Permanently molded into stockinette" is what I'd call it.

I used my swift to wind it into a skein, which I carefully tied and took off the switft. Then I hung it up on a ladder in the garage, using a bag full of soda pop to weight the skein down:

That yellow bag on the blue hanger is full of soda pop. :-) The yarn is that magenta skein on the pink hanger.

Then I sprayed it at intervals with water in a spray bottle, and let it hang for a few days... took it down and wound up a ball from my newly straightened yarn.

I wish I'd taken a 'before' picture, but you can kind of tell what it used to look like by the little piglet-tail there, the bit that never got weighted down.

So soon, soon, I'll return to / finish the Spartan Pullover!

Meanwhile, I've been knitting like crazy on that little green baby cardi I showed you last time. And my mother-in-law arrives on Saturday morning for her 2-month stay! We'll go pick her up from Los Angeles, leaving at 4 in the morning (ew).

In sadder news, I slammed my US #5 Addi Turbo in a car door.

It was bent at a 90° angle when it first happened. I straightened it out; it works okay, but it's a little rough. I need to polish it up with some jeweler's rouge or something. It'll probably break at some point, but for now, I can still knit. Whew!

Monday, June 09, 2008


I ordered some wonderful thangs from the Terrible YoYo's Etsy shop last week. One item I can't show because it's a gift, but here's most of what showed up on my doorstep:

The key point here is that the only thing I ordered in this picture was the beautiful yarn. The rest was little goodies sent by Alyson to help cheer my surgical recovery. What a sweetie! There is chocolate-scented cocoa-butter-and-beeswax body balm... absolutely STUNNING stitch markers (like fine jewelry!)... a lavender sachet (the better to protect my hand knits, of course)... and, to top it all off, Devil Duckie tissues ("Just in case," Alyson said). Anyone who's been in my house knows I am a big Devil Duckie fan, so these were perfect.

Anyway, Alyson is Da Bomb, so go to her Etsy store and order the heck out of her stuff :-)

And so was the yarn. I had vaguely thought, from the photo on the Web site, that it might coordinate with the Sundara Yarn in Cantaloupe I'd bought a year ago. And yes, they coordinate beautifully.

Not only that, they knit up to the same gauge (should be 6 spi with US #5s, but since it's sloppy ol' me, it's 5 spi with US #4s) and they look lovely and subtle together...

I only had 450 yards of the Cantaloupe. Now I have a total of 700 yards and can probably make a little vest or even a short-sleeved sweater for Carson if I work fast (she is growing like a weed). Yay!

In other news, I've started Trellis for a friend's new daughter. I'm making it in the 6-month size because she probably won't use it until autumn. This is di.vé Zenith on US size 6 needles.

It's a fun knit. The Zenith is very splitty but knits up super soft. I think the baby will like this little Aran sweater.

In health news, I'm improving daily, though I've contracted an unrelated little bug, so it's back to the doc tomorrow. But, I'm sure I'll be 100% in no time!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Made it!

Made it through the colorwork, that is. I finished up the Fair Isle section of the Spartan Pullover:

The rest is extremely smooth-sailing stockinette. I bet I finish in a week. Then I have to even out all these stiches... and block.

To those who thought the back side looked nice and even, that's because I didn't show the first and last rows, which are a bit messed up:

Of course, I can adjust those, because I still have loose ends of yellow yarn I can snug up a bit before weaving in.

Speaking of yellow yarn, there's quite a bit of this (Dune) color left. It's 66 gm, enough to suggest that I'll have plenty of the Madeira to finish the pullover, which is good (I was a little nervous, especially what with making the arms extra long for my dear gorilla, er, husband).

I'm thinking if there are enough leftovers I'll either make mittens or fingerless mitts. This yarn is very soft and very warm.

Reversai is also coming along. I'm really amazed at the coolness of this pattern. Dig the cubes!

I'm off to go see Indiana Jones — second day out of the house! w00t!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Socks and hats and work, oh my!

Thanks for the nice comments about my colorwork. I guess we'll know how it came out when it's done, but it's definitely reassuring to hear the good words because it is scary as hell. And to make matters worse, I just ordered yarn from Webs to make my second colorwork project — a child's Fair Isle jacket. I must be nuts.

I finished the Ugly Socks! Really, that's not fair at all, because I'm sure I'll enjoy wearing them and the pattern (River Ripple by Michelle Ogden, from my page-a-day calendar) is a well-written one. Stats: KnitPicks Dye-your-own in Too Much Kool-Aid, US #2 DPNs.

Only problem is that there is WAY too much yarn left. Maybe I can mix it with some other scraps for a hat or something.

Regarding hats, just want to let y'all who like to do charity knitting know about the 100 Hats Project. A knitter named Kristy who is going to the Ukraine in September is hoping to take 100 hats to give to special-needs orphans there. Hats are fast, satisfying projects, they use up scrap yarn, and, as a bonus, you get entered in a contest if you knit one, so what's to lose?

(Plus I think I already have a few hats in my FO stash that need homes.. we'll see.)

Despite my 'finishitis', I did start a new pair of socks because I am back to wanting to have a sock on the needles pretty much all the time. There is just no beating the portability.

This is a new yarn I really wanted to try, and picked up in Berkeley at Stash Yarns on our trip. It's Crystal Palace Maizy, 82% corn fiber and 18% nylon elastic. Ravelry users have warned that it's really splitty, and it really is, but it's knitting up soft and yummy, so it may be worthwhile fighting the splits. I'm using the Reversai sock pattern because I was really impressed with Dave's UnReversais. Check out how beautiful his are!

I cannot even come close to gauge. No matter what needles I use for sock yarn, and no matter how thin the yarn is, I seem to get 7.5-8 spi. So I am using US #1s and knitting this as tight as I can and I'm using the "women's medium" (60 stitch) size. Let's hope! It looks okay so far. The color is a really dark brown, just gorgeous. I mostly wear black or brown socks during the week, so I'm looking forward to having socks that go with my work clothes.

After working from home for three days, I'm going to try coming in to the office tomorrow. I'm getting itchy feet. Staying home when you can't knit (during work hours, that is) is like being on a diet with someone dangling cupcakes in front of you! Might as well be out of temptation's way.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ugly sock almost has a friend!

Really, it's close — under 50 rows from done, now.

I'm really getting a bout of finishitis — I don't know if it's related to convalescing, or the feeling that I get to start my life fresh when I finally heal from this thing, but the fact that I have a good dozen or so unfinished projects is starting to get to me. Of course, I have the perpetual startitis too, and there are a lot of projects I can't wait to begin, but I feel like I want to have some of the old cleared out of the way first. Plus, I'm more behind on baby gifts than I want to admit. You know you're behind when you start the gift in the 1-year-old size.

I was working on Rob's pullover on the train. I had to start completely over on the body, and I had to rip back about half, fix errors, and lengthen one of the sleeves. Then I found errors in the other sleeve (I haven't ripped back yet but I have the errors marked with stitch markers). Then I restarted the body and knit part of the colorwork.

Only problem was, I didn't have the Internet, nor did I have a primer on colorwork with me. Remember, this is my first ever colorwork, and I hadn't even completely settled on whether or not I was going to hold two yarns in my left hand or one in each (I seem to be settling on one in each). So I didn't know which hand was supposed to hold my foreground color and which was supposed to hold my background color.

I didn't feel like waiting, so I guessed. Put the foreground in the right hand and the background in the left. I knit a while. It looked suspicious, but you know how we knitters just want to keep on going, so I did. Then when I finally got to San Jose, I asked my dear friend Mary, who's a knitting expert.

"Which hand do you usually hold your yarn in?" she asked. I told her I knit Continental.

"Then I think you have it backwards," she said. And then very kindly allowed as how it would probably be fine as long as I was consistent.

I knit on. About two more rows. But it bothered me. Rob kept telling me he didn't mind, wouldn't be able to tell.

I paused.
I looked out the train window.
I took a deep breath, and ripped it all back.

I've only just finished catching up to where I was.



Sorry about the color difference between the pictures — the first one is the more accurate. Anyway, hopefully you can see that the pattern is coming out slightly more defined now.

Here's the back, because people always want to see the back. I am going to great effort to try not to knit this too tightly — I'm using two circs when I could be using one, and I'm stopping and pulling now and then. It's possible I'm overcompensating, but I guess I'll find out when I block.