Thursday, December 01, 2016

Sanity Check

Those of you who are parents know that the love you have for your children seems endless. That's certainly how I feel about Rainbow. She is my one and only, and even when she's having a tantrum and driving me crazy, I love her more than anything. Sometimes this love drives me to do crazy things. Like knit her a sweater on size 0/2.0 mm needles.

Let me back up a bit. You may remember that I'd declared my intent to knit her a Dancing Leaves Cardigan for the Gift-a-long using a couple of gradient mini skein sets. The pattern calls for starting with a size 0 needle and then moving to a size 2/3.0 mm. I had to go down to a US 1.5/2.5 mm needle to get gauge, but I don't own anything smaller than a 0, so that's what I cast on with. I've now worked on this sweater for two evenings and only finished about a dozen rows.

I don't have an issue with using needles this small per se; I regularly use size 0 needles for my socks, for instance, and I can churn those out pretty quickly. I think what's tripping me up most here is the chart; it uses symbols that I'm not used to and also multiple symbols for the same stitch (for instance, one symbol might be used if a stitch is knit on RS rows and purled on WS rows, and an entirely different stitch is used if the stitch is knit on both RS and WS rows). As I've knit more, I've definitely gotten a bit more familiar with the symbols and haven't had to stop to check the key as much, and the good news is that once I'm past the yoke, the rest of the sweater is just stockinette, so I'll be able to fly (slowly) through that. I am hoping that I can get all the cabling work done before we leave for vacation so that I won't have to try to make sense of tiny charts while I'm knitting poolside.

Rainbow's Eiswasser is moving along slowly as well, and I'm inching closer to the end of the 1x1 ribbing.

I think the forward movement on this project will be a lot faster once I get past the brim. I am a fast knitter, but all the moving of the yarn back and forth really slows me down, and the kicker is that my knitting time on this has been really limited because I can't knit on it when Rainbow is around. I've planned for this hat to be a Chanukah present for her, and fortunately the holiday falls rather late this year (the first night is on Christmas Eve), so worst case scenario, I have until New Year's Eve to finish it.

One thing I neglected to share in my last post is that I did finish one gift for her. She had asked me not too long ago for a cowl like the rainbow brioche one I made for myself several years ago, so I got out some brightly colored handspun and knit up a quick one for her:

This is just simple brioche stitch worked over 80 stitches on size 7/4.5 mm needles. I opted for a closer-fitting version for her rather than an infinity cowl for safety reasons, but this is tall enough that she can scrunch it down, fold it over, or even pull it up over her head and ears if it's really cold. The yarn, BFL from Gale's Art in the colorway Crayon Box (a MDSW purchase), was a delight to knit with, and it's made me want to spin up some thicker yarn. In fact, I might do just that with the All Spun Up merino I picked up at Indie Knit & Spin earlier this month, which hasn't yet made its way into the stash.

Finally, I got some exciting news the other evening. On a whim, I'd entered the SSK lottery a while back, figuring I wouldn't get it but it couldn't hurt to try. And guess what? I got a spot! I talked it over with the Mister, and he told me I should go (I suppose it's only fair, as he goes to fun places on work trips all the time), so I've confirmed my spot and sent in my deposit. I will have to book a flight once the date is a little closer (Southwest does fly direct, but they don't have flights available yet for that far out), but it's actually happening! I am really excited because I've never been to a retreat like this before, and the teachers who are lined up are amazing. It will be a bit of an adventure -- I think the last time I traveled on my own was back when I was in college or grad school, and I've never been to Tennessee. There's still quite a bit of time until the event, but I guess I should start my yarn fund now!

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