Sunday, November 13, 2011

So spake the blog

I don't know if you all realize just how much influence you have.  But by way of example, when you, with one voice, said that I should finish the Vancouver stole (using words like "beautiful", and "you should finish it"), I was re-inspired.  And so I have been knitting, exclusively and nearly non-stop during every spare moment (of which there have not been many, actually), ever since.  And at 2:00 am on Saturday morning, I finished the endless insane 390-kitchener-stitch lovely and well-designed tubular cast-off.  See how powerful you are?

And, as I was knitting along, thinking to myself that I really, really wanted this finished before leaving for Montreal (more on that later) on Wednesday, it suddenly occurred to me that I also wanted a matching hat.  I mean, we all know that the knitter's worst curse is the plethora of lovely but utterly mismatched handknits that we pile upon ourselves come the cold, but I wanted something matching.  (I should note here that I have been so crazy at work lately that 10-hour days aren't doing it anymore, which is why I haven't been blogging - when I have had a spare minute these last few weeks, it has been dedicated to Vancouver. Nevertheless, I wanted a hat.  Before Montreal.)  And Lori came through for me (without any prompting or knowledge of my need, which is impressive) when she posted about a pattern that she received for her recent birthday - the Hat for Eudora.  So I knitted one of those, too. I mean, what's one more thing when life is already bat-shit-crazy busy and fulfilling?

And, on Friday night, as I was plowing through endless rows of linen stitch followed by the lovely 390-kitchener-stitch cast off row (it is a really, really good thing that I think kitchener stitch is the best thing since merino/silk blends), I watched a movie that Helen had recently posted about: Crazy, Stupid, Love.  And she was right - I laughed out loud (which I don't often do), and I found the relationship between Steve and Ryan to be the most compelling and intriguing of the lot.  I liked that movie very much, and it certainly kept me happy during my 15th inch of linen stitch.

And aren't the results nice?

The difficulty with knitting this much linen stitch is that it essentially means knitting an entire stole in the equivalent of 1x1 rib.  Hard on the wrists.  Not to mention the sanity.
But so lovely.  To recap, this is the Vancouver stole, knitted out of Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL, in three colors (all on my Rav page).  I will say that it didn't block out to be as big as the pattern said (no, I didn't swatch, why do you ask?), but I think that it is a size that I will use a lot here, as opposed to just in very cold places.  It also drapes beautifully.  And the yarn was a dream to work with.  The three colors together also made me very happy - each of them set the other off perfectly. 
There's the tubular cast-off.  Which rather matched the tubular cast-on (I admit here and now that tubular cast-ons charm me to pieces; I'm prepared to use them on just about anything at this point).

The hat was also a delightful pattern - it knitted up very quickly (I did it all yesterday), and it's fun.
Do you see the nifty little welts on that side (hence the name - Eudora Welty, get it?)?  And it has a wonderful turned-up hem, in a contrasting color.
I may actually make another of these in the gray color from the shawl, with a blue turned-up hem, that's how much I like it.

In any case, they are done.  And I leave on Wednesday, and Rick's cousin is coming into town this evening for two nights.  So it's a really good thing that it's done.

I should also mention, in case anyone's worrying about the "real-world" side of this trip, that my conference paper is written, and the presentation has been prepared.  So it's not like I'm going to be standing up there solely on the strength of an admittedly-nifty but not very linguistic stole.  In fact, I probably won't wear the stole for my talk - that's what my handknit henley is for.  Now I'm just hoping that we don't freeze to death while we're there.  (I'm becoming rather a delicate flower when it comes to cold weather - when I had to get into the pool this last week and it was 43 degrees out, I confess that I griped.  Loudly.)

Anyone have any suggestions for things to see and do whilst in Montreal and Quebec?  Younger Daughter is coming with me, and I'm planning to enjoy some time in the city once my paper is over. 

Now, I just have to decide what knitting projects to pack...