my excuse to talk about knitting, cats and life in general

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Long Distance, Please

I've finally managed to order the Bohus kits this morning. Since someone managed to get our credit card number last year, we're even more paranoid than usual, and that's saying something. As a result, I made my first international telephone call. I don't know why I was so nervous, maybe remembering when any long distance call was *really* expensive. I wasn't positive that there would be someone who spoke English, either. But everything was fine; the woman who answered the phone spoke English but she gave me to a British woman working there. So I've given them the card number and soon my two Bohus kits will be coming my way. Yahoo!!!

But ... it won't get here in time for the Knitting Olympics. So plan B is now plan A. I received my kit for Rainbow Mittens from Lucy Neatby at Tradewind Knitwear Designs in Nova Scotia. It's really neat. The cuffs are rings of reverse stockinette in all the colors of the rainbow. The body of the mittens alternate a checkerboard of the base color (navy) with the same rainbow colors, changing the rainbow colors to get stripes. I've knit socks, but not in fairisle, so fairisle mittens should be a decent challenge. My friend Peg reminded me that the Knitting Olympics were supposed to challenge me, not drive me crazy. But as my ex-brother-in-law Marty used to say, "That's not a drive, that's a putt." My discretion is rarely the better part of valor, but fate has saved me from myself and I'm doing Rainbow Mittens.

Since swatching is "training", I naturally wanted to start training right away. Problem. The yarn, from Shelridge Farms in Ontario, comes in hanks. I do own a swift and a ball winder, from back in my machine knitting days, but they, like the rest of the knitting machines and accoutrements, are still in storage. Peg has a swift and a ball winder. Great! ... no, not so great. It's 6:15am and I really don't think they'd appreciate an early morning knock on the door, even though it's a work day. Rats. That means I'll have to WAIT. Noooooo... Aha! Turn the pages back and hand wind the yarn! So that's what I was doing in front of the SAD light this morning. The skein was draped over my knees and I wound off the cherry red by hand. The ball is really round, not like the cylinders the ball winder makes, and it's even looser. I learned that you *never* make a tight ball when winding yarn; it takes a lot of the life and spring out of the wool. Very bad.

I cast on 20 stitches and started a circular swatch on the no. 3 needles they called for. Hmmm... this doesn't look like the right gauge. They want 21 sts to 4 inches. That's just over 5 st per inch. No, 7.5 sts per inch sure isn't right. So I rip it back and it's time to go out to my physical therapy appointment. I've got biceps tendonitis, but I can't remember what I did to cause it. Nonetheless, I'm going to work hard to get it gone, so I don't have to play injured. I'm just stupid, no, stubborn, no, stupid AND stubborn enough to do that.

Now that I'm back, I'll start swatching, again. I hope it won't take too long to find the right needle for gauge. I suppose I could re-chart it at my given gauge... No, Peg would kill me.


Blogger Whit said...

Hey, I'd love it if you'd come join my Olympic Team - Team DPN!!


3:54 PM  

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