Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Six weeks of nothing

I spent 3 of the last 6 weeks on the road, one week in Wales for holiday, then two weeks in Boston for work again. None of these weeks really gave me a lot of knitting time.
I did manage to go whale watching with the New England Aquarium and see lots of whales on the weekend in Boston (Minke, Fin-backed, Humpback and Northern Right (wow)), so that was a good non-knitting weekend. For once I decided not to spend a day staring at the walls of my hotel room and managed to get into Boston via hotel shuttle, commuter train and subway both weekend days. It's not easy to get anywhere from Waltham if you don't have a car...
I did manage to scuttle into
Windsor Button at some point intent on buying a 3.5 mm Clover bamboo circular (which I did) and I also picked up some Lion Brand Micro Spun in Ebony and Mango. I've been looking for something to knit EZ's garter surprise baby jacket with, and this seems like a pretty good choice: soft and machine washable and dryable. The pattern originator might shudder, but I'm not sure about the combination of wool and babies, and machine washable at least is a must.

bee stripe swatch

bee stripe swatch neat edge

bee stripe swatch messy edge

I'm not happy about the edges, particularly the side I'm changing the yarn on. I think I'll be ripping back this swatch and trying the method recommended on Nona Knits:
"On every row, knit into the back of the first stitch and then slip the last stitch purlwise with yarn in front. Tersely for your enjoyment. First stitch -> ktbl. Last stitch -> sl wyif."
Hopefully I can find some way to anchor the yarn I'm carrying as well. I hate messy edges.
While in the US I ordered a couple of books from Amazon: Fiona Cooper's
Rotary Spokes, a novel I read years ago and have always wanted a copy of, and Debbie New's Unexpected Knitting, which I've had my eye on for some time, and would cost me approximately double the price to buy in Britain.
Unexpected Knitting, not surprisingly, contains a lot of unexpected knitting. It is also unexpectedly practical in tone, and also unexpectedly large: we're talking a quarto hardback (in public-librarian terms). I do want to knit EZ's baby surprise jacket, but now I also want to knit the baby tam jacket. Stocking stitch in the round! In a cardigan! With no steeks! The coolness is deep, yes?*

Meanwhile, I have continued to struggle along with Clapotis. I am now up to 15 repeats. Yes, I know you're only supposed to do 13, but I'm knitting on 4 mm needles, not 5 mm, and with a yarn which is, on average, finer than suggested. I may be able to block the hell out of it, but I don't want to be too vicious, as parts of this thick-and-thin yarn are (I think) laceweight cotton. At 15 repeats it is only just over 5 feet long, and I like my scarves/wraps at least 6 feet.
The first ball did the increase rows plus 5 repeats, so I think I will try for 4 repeats and the decrease rows on the last ball (so I don't get my knickers in a knot about running out of yarn - can't stand anxious knitting). I'm nearly finished the second ball now.

Clapotis at 15 repeats

* If you are familiar with the game I-Ninja, this should be said in the same tone as "The blade is cold, yes?"

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