Monday, January 23, 2012

Rib and Welt Madness

I am trying to get my blog in before I run off for the Eastside Knitters' Guild Meeting.  Or what I hope will be the ESG meeting.  When I attended the last real meeting in November, they were unsure if they were going to continue to have the meetings at Crossroads Mall.  I haven't gotten any emails or messages on Ravelry, so I am going up at the meeting time (well a bit before to eat), and seeing if they are there.  If they aren't, then I will have to contact the president and find out where in the heck they are.  You notice I don't bother to check before... Well, I always put stuff like this off until the last minute.  If I have an extra drive up to the mall, oh well.

On the Needles, Hook, Sewing Machine

I only have knitting to up date today.  

I currently have 4 things on the needles. 

I have received the final clue of my  Bláthnat socks, the mystery sock for January in the Sock Knitters Anonymous Group on Ravelry.

The 4th and final clue has the feet portion and the toes.  
Here are the socks up to the heels and gussets:

It really looks like pewter in this photo.

I am making good progress on the baby kimono:
It looks huge.  It is the 6 month size, and I have checked and rechecked with the standard size chart from the Craft Yarn Council.  It seems like it is miles and miles of garter stitch because, although it is for a baby, I'm using sock yarn.  Maybe the next one will be done in sport weight...

I have started a new cowl.  I joined the Beginning Lace Knitters Group on Ravelry.  I had so much fun and learned so much making my Advent Calendar Scarf that I want to keep going with the lace knitting.  The first KAL (knit a long) monthly project had already started, so I decided to do the begining beginners KAL which is this really beautiful cowl called the Horseshoe Fern Neckwarmer by Sue Grandfield.  It is knit in worsted weight yarn, so is a super fast knit.  The only worsted weight I had in my stash was some Wool-Ease, and although I think that makes sturdy sweater yarn, especially if you are wearing a shirt underneath, I wouldn't want that around my neck.  I'm using some Berroco Comfort in which is 50% Nylon and 50% Acrylic.  It is really soft feeling, and although it doesn't stretch much, it is ok.  There is no name for the color but it is a very pretty turquoise blue.  A bit darker than this photo shows:

I'm still not quite sure what I will do with it as my daughters and I don't like turtlenecks, so I don't think either of them would like it.  Also, it's a bit too feminine for the boys.  I have 2 nieces who live in cold climates, and one of them might like it, or I will donate it to one of our local homeless shelters.  The pattern is very easy, and it is fun to knit but not challenging at all.  Next month I am going to do the real KAL challenge for this group and grow in my ability to make lace.

My final project I worked on this week is the sweater I am making.

Rib and Welt Madness

I am knitting a sweater for a guy I met playing an on line game, an MMORPG (massive multi-player on-line role playing game) in game speak.  Yes, I am breaking just about every rule of not knitting for others.  Yes, I am knitting for someone I have never met, who I have no idea if he will truly understand and appreciate the time (and money - though the yarn wasn't that much), and in a way, breaking the rule of MMO's where I am making something for a guy I met ON-LINE! 

This guy, Lewk, as we called him in our game, and by "we" I mean my kids and me, is a young soldier based rather near us, but we have never met him IRL  (in real life). [Gamers use many abbreviations since most of the "chat" is typed while running and fighting game monsters or other players. ] We all just loved playing with him and chatting with him.  He is sweet and funny and fun.  When we learned he was in the army, as are many gamers, and headed to Afghanistan, we worried.  So, when he saw the socks I had knit for my kids and siblings posted in Facebook (did I mention that our family's relationship with him progressed to becoming Friends in Facebook?) and he said, "Mom, will you knit me a sweater?  It's cold in Afghanistan,"  how could I say, "No." 

So, I'm knitting him this red sweater from a pattern from Vogue Knitting, Very Easy Knits:  The Best of Very Easy Very Vogue.  The pattern has blocks of texture patterns.  There are only 3 patterns:  a block of Stockinette, a block of Broken Rib, and a block of Rib and Welt.  There are no charts, just line by line directions.  I find this super confusing because the blocks have a different number of repeats,  and I just can't seem to remember which number line I am on.  Why I think this would be different if I had a chart, I'm not sure, but maybe because I really like the "picture" of the pattern a chart gives.

I am about 2/3 finished with the back.  Switching from block to block keeps this sweater from becoming boring, but for my short-term-memory challenged brain, makes it difficult for me to memorize the pattern.  I needed to understand the patterns, not memorize them, and finally, finally, I think I've got it.  I can actually look at the last row, and know what the next row must be.  I don't fully trust myself, and keep checking the book, but I'm right now, every time.

I really like this part of knitting.  The part where there is variety, but I can listen to a good podcast, or watch TV (really listen since I need to look at my knitting), or relax into meditation.  I rarely knit or crochet for myself (Blàthnat socks my first), and I love to think about the recipient.  I think about how happy Lewk will be with his hand crafted goody, but mostly I think about Lewk, and how crafting is such an expression of love and friendship.  How I worry for him.  How he is cold.  How he is far from home in a dangerous place.  And how, although this rib and welt pattern can't protect him from the madness of war, he will know that our family values the fun kid we met in an on-line world.

I am about 2/3 finished with the back:
 Can you see the pattern?  

That's all for now.  Have a great week.


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