Friday, June 15, 2012

Still a bit stalled

Look!  Another post!  Looking ahead at my weekend, I realize it's probably now or never.  Younger Daughter turns eleven today, which means a small slumber party - we're taking what Older Daughter used to call a "giggle of girls" out to the movies, then pizza, then sleeping over (four in total, including Younger Daughter, so not too bad at all).  Tomorrow will be recovery time, and then on Sunday, there's a feis in Orange County.

I can't believe it's been eleven years since Younger Daughter was born.  I lay in bed this morning, at 7:30, thinking that eleven years ago at that time, I had just gotten to the hospital, and the nurse had just called my doctor, and I was just hearing her say, "If you want to see this baby arrive, you need to get here now."  She did (barely), and Rick caught the baby, and we had our second daughter.  She was late, and when she decided it was time, she came fast and crazy and she made us all happy, and come to think of it, that pretty much sums her up.
She's my girl with the grin, and I just don't have the words to say how much I love her.  It's a big couple of weeks for her - she turns eleven today, and then next Friday, she's done with fifth grade, and leaving the little Montessori school where she's been for the last ten years (and yes, this is a huge change for us, too!).  She's ready for the change, but a bit scared, too, and that seems exactly right.
(That's her, with her sister, as Cheshire Cat #3 in this year's school play.)  She's going to do just fine.

I'm still plugging away on the last of the really big hanging projects for work.  I'm making progress, but all of the writing that I'm doing seems to be totally sapping any creativity or decision-making ability that I might possess, so while I'm dying to cast on for something new, I can't seem to commit to anything.

So I did what any knitter might do in a moment of ditheringness; I cast on for a washcloth.  I should note that I have never in my life knitted a washcloth.  I wung it.  It's a miracle that I even had cotton in my stash, but I'd seen some tempting little cakes of yarn when I was in Santa Rosa a few weeks ago, and decided to buy a couple, so I used one of those.
Not even marginally exciting.  But satisfying.  This yarn is actually something I'd read about and wanted to both try and support, which is why I grabbed it when I saw it.  It's Be Sweet Bambino Taffy (in the French Revolution colorway); it's a cotton/bamboo blend (70/30), 100 yards to the cake, and I used almost all of it.  I cast on 90 stitches, then mitered away, decreasing on either side of the center until I had nothing.  I left the last stitch live, then picked up stitches all around the edge and knitted a row before casting off to get the red border.  I then cast off all but the last three stitches, and knitted a length of i-cord.  When I'd had enough of that, I looped the i-cord over and knitted it to the washcloth, then knitted those three stitches together, and pulled the end through, and bob's your uncle - washcloth! 

The yarn comes from a women's cooperative in South Africa (that's the link to their site above), and it's a really lovely soft yarn, with some thick and thin that adds an interesting texture.  I didn't block the washcloth (which could also be used as a small kitchen hand towel - and might be), figuring it's going to get wet soon enough, so I'm not sure how much the stitch texture might even out once it's been through the washer.  The one thing that surprised me, and that I'm still not sure what I think about, is that the color changes do not come about because of the dyeing, but because one color of yarn is knotted to the next.  I chose to just knit along and incorporate the knot, but I suppose, if one didn't mind dealing with ends, one could also unknot the yarn and start a new color.  As I said, I'm not sure what I think about that - I think that, if I'd known, it wouldn't feel like a big deal, but it somehow came as a surprise. 

So, that's my project for the week.  I'm still plugging away sporadically at the sweater about which I cannot yet post.  The yarn for that one (Mary Lou asked last time) is Fibranatura Flax, in the Wild Lime colorway.  I say again that I think it'll be a really wearable sweater, once I get through it.  It's just the yarn that's killing me.  I'm seriously tempted to cast on for another little sweater, something summery and short-sleeved, like this one, just to take the edge off.   I may even have bought the pattern.  And I do have the yarn.  I have eight balls of the off-white Plymouth Yarns Vita that I used to knit this hat, which I think would work well.  It's finer than the yarn used in the pattern (the pattern yarn says to get five stitches to the inch on size five needles, while the Vita gets five stitches to the inch on size sevens; so I could just use size sevens, in theory, and get a more open fabric).  I'm dithering.  In the meantime, I may cast on for a pair of these socks, from the latest Knitscene Accessories.  I'm not sure that I'll like the slouchy thing as much on my legs as I do on the model's, but they're appealing to me, and right now that's more than I can say for many other projects.

I guess we'll know by next time whether I succumbed.


Wanderingcatstudio said...

Hope she has a fantastic birthday! (I was a late but fast baby too!)

Brandi Schoch said...

What a lovely time for you both to remember and what a great smile!

Anne said...

I love those June birthdays -- we have two -- do you think the children of academics might be statistically more likely to be born in June??? Congratulations to you both n the day, and on the momentous end of elementary school!

I know what you mean about antidote knitting. I've been making hexipuffs along with Color Virus, I mean Color Affection, which is taking me longer than it took any of the thousands of other folks who also made it.

Jane said...

We all need a bit of simple knitting from time to time. I like the way you've mitred the cloth, adds more interest

Anonymous said...

What a great picture of YD! Love her smile.

Cinnie is a cute, versatile sweater.

Mary Lou said...

I just finished another drop stitch summer scarf in Picoboo cotton bamboo blend for Frogtree. It's very soft and drapey. I haven't seen the Besweet version. I do like supporting ventures like that. Good luck with the final wrap ups. I think our brains need relaxing knitting sometimes. At least mine does.

Willow said...

Happy happy birthday to Younger Daughter! I hope she had a lovely and special day.

The comfort knitting is just so -- comfortable :) Occasionally we all need to indulge.

I have found a super simple little sweater knit and I'm on my third one: Liesl by Top down cardigan in all feather and fan pattern.

twinsetellen said...

Happy, happy birthday to YD! No wonder she got the Cheshire Cat part - such a wonderful grin. I am loving watching these young ladies grow up - 11 is so different from the little girl I met through your blog years ago.

EGunn said...

Happy birthday to YD!

I'm glad to hear that your work projects are progressing, though it is a bad sign when they start to sap all decision-making from everyday life (isn't it amazing how well they do that??). A washcloth seems like the perfect answer for the time being.

Lynne said...

A belated happy 11th birthday to Younger Daughter.

I think I would have been surprised about the knots too!

And as you can see, I have caught up with all your posts from March to June.

Lori said...

SO MANY reasons you left me grinning with this post! That smiling daughter, so beautiful; you "wung" it that's priceless; casting on a new sweater "just to take the edge off." Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter, and to you for having the responsibility for the birth part of the day!

AlisonH said...

Happy Birthday late to your daughter! (Wow am I behind.)