Friday, February 12, 2010

On your mark...

Tonight's the night! The opening ceremonies for the Games start here at 6:30 pm; we'll probably be a bit late with the start, but we'll be watching them, and I'll be casting on. I've been clearing the decks this week, in a lot of ways, getting things off of my various to-do lists. The chapter that's been hanging over my head is due on Monday, and although I'm still 800 words over the target word count, I think I'm going to call it good for this first round; bibliographies and abstracts don't count, right? (The real answer is: yes, they do, especially bibliographies, but I don't want to hear it.) I keep thinking that I could ask for a two-day extension and finish it up during my furlough next Wednesday (shhh, don't tell the state), but the fact of the matter is that it's really close to being done, and I have three more deadlines coming right up after this one, so I really should just send that off so I can work on other things on my furlough day (shhh, don't tell the state). Or maybe take a nap. We'll see.

In knitting news, I finished the babushka (don't blame me, I didn't name it) during a budget forum yesterday, and promptly put it on (it was chilly in that room). I've been wearing it non-stop ever since, and the way I'm going, I doubt I'll ever block it, since I don't want to take it off. I'll get some good shots of it someday, but for the moment, these will give you an idea of what I'm talking about.
This is a fabulous little scarf, because it's so light, but the seed stitch makes it very insulative. It feels like wearing luxury waffle weave. It's a very long half-oval, which is a shape that I am more and more taken with. It can be worn like a scarf, because it's long enough to do the multiple-wrap thing, but it can also be spread out across the shoulders like a shawl. It's a scawl. Or a shawrf. Either way, I like it. I might even consider knitting another one of these, seed stitch notwithstanding. And in spite of the second-to-last row, which took me (I am not exaggerating here) three hours of meetings, and two hours of knit night to finish. One row.
To recap, this is the Silk Alpaca Babushka (Rav link), knitted out of Jade Sapphire Silk/Cashmere 2-ply on size 5 needles. I used about a skein and a half of the yarn, and am contemplating what I might do with the rest. I wonder whether I'd have enough to hold it double to knit myself a small pair of mitts? That's what I'd like to do, so we'll see.

Meanwhile, tonight I'm casting on for the Knitting Olympics. I'm even officially signed up, if you can believe. Four years ago, when Stephanie last did this, I was barely a knitter. It would never have occurred to me to think I could knit anything in two weeks (I was just out of my "three years per project" stage). And now I'm taking on a challenge. I'm going to knit Anne's henley (it's the purple one in the bottom left corner of that top shot), in the Grandma's Blessing yarn that I was showing off the other week. I'm not promising I can get it done (I just realized that I'm going to be out of town for the entire last weekend of the Olympics, oops), but I am going to give it my very best shot. I've swatched already (the rule count swatching as "training").
And I am thrilled to pieces with the combination of colors and stitch pattern. I am going to get a good shot of this if it kills me, sometime during these next couple of weeks. It reminds me of granite (I should mention here, lest this be misinterpreted, that I adore granite -- the rough, mountainous kind, not the polished kitchen kind -- and that is exactly what this is like).
I really love it. So, the project is Anne's henley, knitted in Chris' Grandma's Blessing, which I think we all know is just about my favorite yarn ever. You can do anything with this yarn (and I pretty much have): socks, sweaters, shawls. Lace and cables. Talk about a workhorse of a yarn. And Chris dyed this up to give me for the Olympics, which makes it that much more special. She's taking on a challenge herself during these next two weeks, and is going to knit Flyingdales from A Fine Fleece, out of Abundance; we both promised we'd do something with cables together, and I think we've got some fun patterns chosen. She's promised to share pictures, so with luck I can share that, too.

So that's it in knitting news. We just took the kids to see The Lightning Thief, which they absolutely adored. I thought it was fun, although (natch) not as good as the book, and I was a bit disappointed with the sword fighting. I do love me a good sword fight scene (perhaps a legacy of that short stint on the college fencing team?), and these were a bit stiff; everyone was telegraphing every move they made and watching anything but each other. Ah, well. You can't have everything, and the hydra made up for a lot, not to mention Uma Thurman as Medusa. Very nice casting.

So now we're heading out to have an early family Valentine's Day dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, and then it's off to the races.

12 comments:

Rachael said...

I love the babushka! Have fun with your olympic knitting, I just cast on myself - tho I am not ambitious as you are - go you!

Rachel said...

Good luck with your Henley, it is a good Olympic challenge even if the busy last weekend will prevent it being finished on time :)

I love your babushka and what's wrong with the name?

twinsetellen said...

The babushka is fabulous - that ruffle, despite that long last row, is just the finishing touch.

And good luck on the Henley. I've got my money on you, though you may cut it close to make it interesting, I suppose. I'm taking on fairly small challenges this year, but I suspect they will be challenging enough.

Miss 376 said...

Babushka is beautiful, no wonder you don't want to take it off. I wouldn't have believed that you had been knitting for such a short time. Enjoy the olympic challenge

Lynne said...

The telecast of the Winter Olympics started here at 12.30pm on Saturday so that tells you what a difference in time zones we have!

I have decided not to knit in the Olympics (SP-M's or Ravelry); I really don't need that kind of "pressure" right now! I wish you good luck and will be an interested spectator, as I will be with some of the sporting events.

Anonymous said...

The scarf looks very comfy . . . and the sweater is also neat. I am doing the Firebird socks by Tsarina as my knitting olympics project. Her socks are insane if gorgeous . . .

Also, congrats on the chapter!

Take care.
Sarah/Scienceprincess

Mary Lou said...

I love the babushka. And yes, i do giggle a bit when I say it. Good luck with the henley. I am not participating - I have enough pressure to finish some stuff, so I'll sit on the sidelines and cheer.

Alwen said...

That's a very classy look, whatever you name it.

I used seed stitch as a wide border on my neck-down half-circle Pi shawl, both on the edges and the bottom. It really finishes it off nicely (and doesn't curl!)

KnitNana said...

Babuska is so cool (ok, warm!) and I just love your Olympic Challenge. The swatch is beautiful, and I agree rough granite beats kitchen granite all to heck.
You go, girl!!!
(((Hugs)))

Wanderingcatstudio said...

The babushka is beautiful!
Swatch looks good too. I'm cheering you on!

EGunn said...

Oooh...good luck! I love the color and stitch combination in both pieces. Can't wait to see the henley!

Bea said...

I love babushka! Lovely, even unblocked. Did you know we've been knitting about the same amount of time? I was going to be participating in the olympics, but I"m having trouble picking a project...so it would really really have to be speedy!