Monday, April 10, 2006

First (real) steeks

So, before I enter into this diatribe, a disclaimer: I have cut my knitting before. My attempt at resizing Asana for a new gauge didn't work out fabulously well, so I ended up using the cut & sew method of resizing. That said, I haven't done any traditional steeking before. With Asana, it was a case of "well, I still have enough yarn left over to make another one, so what the hell." With Snowflakes and Arrows, it was fate. And man, how cruel Fate can be.

You see, I knitted up a lovely Snowflakes and Arrows, with Kim's very helpful advice from the knit-along, and adding my own side-seam-area decreases:

Working some lovely snowflake fair isle, if I do say so myself:

And then, about 14 inches into the center-front opening, I cut two and a half rows of steek, instead of the center purl bumps of steek:

The word panic took on a new meaning last night.

I promptly re-crocheted to re-secure the cut portion, and I think it's going to be okay, but MAN was that stressful. I knit most of this vest in a foreign state, commuting 500+ miles without my husband of 9 months, and sometimes under adverse circumstances (including a lovely bout of stomach flu).

So while the $12ish that I spent on the yarn for this is utterly expendable, quite a lot of who I am as a person is woven into this thing. It contains me panicking when I realized how much more of my time my new job takes vs. the very loose 10-6 my previous lovely and fun but not long-term-challenging job required of me. It contains me realizing that most of what was making me sad was the fact that my husband wasn't waiting for me at (my temporary) home. It contains me realizing that, even though I wouldn't be doing anything even remotely resembling my job title for a good 6 months, the technical writing that I'm doing now is helping to keep afloat a company that pays 100% of my healthcare costs, whose owner says good morning to me every single day, and that gives me a supervisor who tells me at least once a week how happy he is that I took the writing burden away from him.

For that reason, I really, really, want this vest to survive, so it can be a tangible memento of a difficult but still useful and positive time in my life. I rediscovered knitting in a similar during a really really hard time. Its place in my life has grown beyond occupational therapy, but every piece I've made is a record of who I was at the time, and a reminder of what I can accomplish. Including getting through a botched steek, I hope!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

SP7 revelations, Snowflakes and Arrows

SP7, my very first round, is over. I still can't get over how much fun it was. It was like Christmas, except with less time pressure. Even better, I got to shop for another knitter, and have another knitter pick out wonderful things for me!

Here are my SPs:

Spoilee: the charming and talented Paula. She knits some fabulous socks, takes beautiful nature photos, and had the perseverence to reknit her Seamus THREE TIMES until she was happy with it!

Spoiler: the thoughtful and psychic Rainy. She is also a belly dancer and serenity fan, and did a fabulous job of making me feel special, encouraging me, and making me squeal like a 2nd grader at her own birthday party.

Strangely enough, I think I actually ran across Rainy's blog during SP7; I think I linked there from Atla's blog. Atla is a member of the, ahem, Tubey Knit-Along I'm running.

In other news, I've reached the snowflakes portion of the Snowflakes and Arrows vest:

I love fair isle, although the snowflake chart is a little tricky to follow. This pattern is pretty cool, but FULL of mistakes. If you are even thinking of attempting it, you may want to check out the knit-along, where Kim posted some solutions.

Now, for no particular reason:

The Yarntainer, which my wonderful husband saw, realized would be useful for knitting, and bought for me without any hinting or prompting whatsoever: