Saturday, September 5, 2009

Update, with pictures

Rick and his folks and the girls are all off to the farmer's market. What does this mean for me? A little window of knitting internet time. Heh.

Before I get to the knitting (and there are updates on two projects, but not the third; I keep forgetting to take pictures of those socks, drat it), a quick update on the work situation, under the heading of "adding insult to injury". I went in yesterday morning, knowing that it was a furlough day for administration and staff, but that classes were still being held. (As a side note, the administration was extremely cranky that faculty wouldn't just be good and take our furlough days every other Friday so that our schedules would match up with theirs -- an excellent example of an administration-centric view of things. Faculty pointed out, however, that some folks teach classes that meet once a week, on Fridays. Were they to take furlough on nine of those Fridays -- in a fifteen-week semester -- the integrity of the class might be compromised, no? The administration grudgingly admitted that this might be so.) I have not planned to take most of my furlough days on Fridays, thinking that since I have to be on campus for meetings two Fridays a month, it might make sense to have office hours every Friday. I'm going to have to rethink that plan.

I arrived to find my building locked down tight. I could get in, of course, but my students most definitely couldn't, unless I'm harboring a lock-picking master criminal in one of my classes. I was then informed by a maintenance worker that the ventilation was going to be off in the building for the day because (and I quote) "no-one is on campus today". Well, except for, oh say, students and faculty. Who, apparently, don't need air to work. I can only assume that the air was left on in the (hopefully unlocked) classroom buildings. But it's pretty clear that I'm not going to be able to work comfortably on admin/staff furlough days unless I and my fellow faculty members manage to convince someone that when we're on campus that means that there are, in fact, people on campus. One step at a time, right?

Meanwhile, I continue to knit. I got the replacement yarn for that light blue that was bothering me in the Elektra sweater, and I am happy happy happy. (See why I keep knitting? I'm so easy to please.) Here's what it looked like before:
Not awful, but not quite right. Here's what it looks like now:
Much better. The new yarn is a handpainted yarn, and the colors are like jewels. They tie everything together, imho, perfectly, and I get just a little bit giddy every time I knit a row. That's how I was feeling about all of the other colors, too, so I know that I've got the right one this time. (Also, I think it just makes that darker blue pop.)
I can now continue with this jacket, which is a good thing; since it's a garter stitch sort of thing, it's perfect for meetings and soccer games.

In other news, the other night I was looking at the Urban Aran cardigan (yup, that's what that lovely golden-greeny sweater is going to be when it grows up) in that admiring way that we sometimes do (you know I'm not the only one), only to discover that I'd miscrossed a cable. Three times. What's up with that? (There on the left. Don't pretend you can't see them to save my feelings; I know they're there.)
(Also, forgive the bad photos here. I finally found time to do this last night and knew that if I waited for better light conditions so I could photo-document the process more nicely, I'd never get this job done.)

So I knitted my way back to that panel, and dropped those ten stitches back down to the lowest of the miscrossed cables. This was the first time I've ever done this with cables; but I figured it couldn't be different in principle from doing it in non-cabled knitting, right?
The nice thing about doing this in wool is that the stitches didn't go running away far past the point that I wanted them to. They waited patiently for me to tease out each row and then sat nicely while I put them all on a needle. Tilly found the whole process fascinating.
(Rick's comment: "You're going to have a dog nose in that picture." Dude, do you think I missed that?)

After that, it was a matter of treating each ladder of yarn just like I would the working yarn in my knitting. I knitted up each ten-stitch row, one by one. (As an aside, this is one of those places where I find that being able to hold the yarn in my left hand -- I usually am a thrower of yarn rather than a picker -- is extremely useful. Somehow I can't seem to do this with the working yarn in my right hand.)
I do this with either dpns or circulars (circs in this case, as you can see; one size smaller than the ones I'm using to knit the piece, just so I have some wiggle room). Then I can work each row from the front side, and not have to worry about turning the work over and purling. With a pattern like this that's only worked on one side, that gives me a "resting" row of knit stitches to even out the tension a little bit as I work my way back up the piece, one ladder at a time. (I'm not sure how clear that is, as I'm trying not to blather on and on; I'm sort of assuming that you all know how to do all of this already and are thinking, yes, yes, get on with it already.)

At the end, I had this:
It needs a bit of finagling to make everything even and neat again, but blocking will take care of most of that, and I can always tease at the stitches a bit with a needle if necessary. (Actually, after I took that picture, I sort of pulled at it and poked it a bit, and the left side now mirrors the right almost exactly; blocking should take care of the rest easily.) The main point is that all of the cables are crossed in the right directions this time, and that I can now work on this again.

I need to start dividing up my knitting time more evenly between these projects, in fact, given when I'd like to be wearing each of them. My thought was that the aran might be nice for going to Ohio at the end of October, and that I'd like to have Elektra done by the end of November in case I end up going to present a paper at a conference that's happening then (the paper's been accepted; I just don't know if I can reasonably afford the trip right now). So I really ought to be working more on the Urban Aran than on Elektra.

So, that's the knitting update. In other news, it looks like today will be a beach day, and tomorrow is a get-together barbecue day, so our Labor Day weekend is starting to fill up. I hope you all get to enjoy yours, too!

20 comments:

FUZZARELLY said...

You did a great job with the tinking and re-knitting, and yes, wool is so very forgiving!

Hope you have a great weekend; I am here getting ready for my trip!

And just for the heck of it, Hugs!

Wanderingcatstudio said...

When I have a knitting issue like you cable... it goes up to Mom to fix it and re-knit me back to the point I left off on... I don't even attempt to fix it. I especially hate ripping back lace.

Alwen said...

As fiddly as it is to fix something like that, I find the satisfaction is great after I finish!

I see what you mean with the blue - the other color seemed to glow out at me much more instead of flowing.

Miss 376 said...

Rather you than me! Well done on getting it all back on track. Enjoy your holiday weekend

Willow said...

Yes, the new colors look much better. Isn't it interesting how changing one color makes all the others look better too? Teamwork! Which sadly seems to be lacking at the university level. The Prof's admin seems to be a bit better at teamwork than yours. I can't imagine.

The fix on the cables turned out well. Your dog seemed to be able to sniff out the problem. Is (s)he a candidate for training as a dropped stitch sniffing dog too? Think of the exciting career opportunities.

joyknits said...

Way to go on the cable! Blocking works wonders :)

KnitNana said...

I'm laughing at your assumption that everyone can do that. Nope. I can on stockinette. And sometimes on very simple other stuff, but lace (no, please, no - give me a lifeline!) or cables (ROFLOL!)?

I agree on the color choice - that is MUCH nicer! (and so much more you)

Have a great weekend...
(((hugs)))

Rachel said...

Much better (the new color of course)
and a great fixing job!

Mary Lou said...

Nice fix - it is easier to do holding the yarn in the left hand for me, too.

Your tales of furlough fairyland sound like satire and would be much funnier if they weren't true. I have friends who teach and the whole administration vs. faculty conflict mystifies me. Why is a university there in the first place? Arent' students and research the focus? Crazymaking. Mindless knitting will be getting a workout methinks.

Helen said...

Administration are idiots. You're too nice to say it, but I'm not. Oh, and they're selfish too. I'm glad you had that mistake in your knitting to take your mind off it :)

Rachael said...

Fabulous fix!

I have to agree with the administration usually being idiotic. I love policy rollouts that actively impede the student's ability to learn - and trying to explain why this is bad for the students is even more painful b/c how can they not get it???

I feel for you, what a rotten situation.

Stell said...

Very brave .. although we both know that you could do that - drop a complex cable and knit it back up successfully . I'm still reeling from the fact that you are 'not to be there teaching and meeting' every 2nd Friday - and the blunt reality of the situation. I can't imagine how you are finding that .. still you do have your knitting, and your students.
take care ...

twinsetjan said...

The new yarn truly is perfect...well done! And well done on the rework of the cables too. I have found myself doing way too much sectional reworking of late -- to the point where that ladder yarn feels natural! And yes, blocking will take any remnant of distortion away.

EGunn said...

That new blue is just perfect. Definitely worth the wait.

It would be hard to miss that nose!

Good luck with getting unlocked doors and air in your building. Classes, but no people...doesn't say much for the administration's views on students, does it?

gwen said...

Thank goodness for involved cable rescues. Took my mind off your administration troubles!

Bea said...

Wow. That's just crazy about the buildings.

I'm impressed with your tinking and rekniting skills. The cables look awesome.

AlisonH said...

They. Did. WHAT?!? (Love the knitting, proud of you for not doing terrible things with those pointy sticks at the people who...well, never mind.)

Hip Mountain Mama said...

Wow, great job!

twinsetellen said...

Everyone has pretty much said what I wanted to say (stoopid administration, clever fix, great color), but I have to put a big hurrah in for Tilly. Her picture made me snork out loud. (Yes, that is a word.)

RobinH said...

Wow! That sweater is gorgeous- I just love the color. I feel your cable pain-- A sweater or two back, I managed to reverse an entire cable panel (way, way down in the sweater). I dropped the panel and reknit.

I stay on the same size needles though. And interesting that you find it easier to reknit continental- possibly because the yarn is so short? (I find everything to be easier continental, but that's the way I learned...I can knit English style but I don't bother except to do two-handed colorwork.)

And while the whole furlough situation sounds really aggravating- I bet your administration is trying to save electricity by having whole buildings shut down. Any process that uses electricity to move heat around (like AC) is a real power hog, and it srsly adds up. The factory I work at consolidated shifts this year because of business being slow, and it winds up that it's cheaper to pay a little overtime than it is to have the equipment on for a whole second shift.