Blogsam and Jetsam

Flotsam is the part of the wreckage of a ship or its cargo found floating on the water. Jetsam is cargo or parts of a ship that are deliberately thrown overboard, as to lighten the ship in an emergency, and that subsequently either sinks or is washed ashore. This is my personal blog version of the above. Loot freely.

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Location: The Hinterlands, Upstate NY

I'm annoyed that the world is going crazier faster than it used to be. But it's interesting to watch.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Just Knitting... if that bores you, click away now. Otherwise....

They came they came THEY CAME! My new patterns, that is.

Last night I was knitting on my Holiday Sweater and had just decided that it really ought to be a Holiday VEST what with my new hotshot patterns coming and all when I realized "Hey, nobody's checked the mail yet today!" I went out to the mailbox and was vaguely disappointed to see no actual BOX but encouraged when I saw a big Priority Mail cardboard envelope addressed to me. Then the lightbulb clicked on: "Yo Doofus...'book' in the knitting world doesn't necessarily mean 'something with two hard covers'!" Sure enough, the Priority Mailer had the loot: Dale of Norway Kids "book" #136 was actually a magazine and the Wintergarden pattern was several sheets of paper* sitting on top. Of course I had my greedy paws and eyes all over them even before I'd finished walking back down the driveway.

The testimonial on the KidsKnit website about the Wintergarden pattern being easy to follow is true. I read over it murmuring "oh wow" and thinking "this is gonna be GREAT" even while realizing it was also going to be the most technically challenging thing I've knit to date. The pattern was printed on glossy paper and the charts were all of a decent size and full-color and the text was beautifully clear. Made me feel really good (and also like I wished I had already ordered my yarn.)

Then I turned to the Dale book. The cover picture was beautiful and the Norwegian was interesting (I figured out the word for "machine-washable" right away) but BOY was the pattern intimidating! It had been translated into English but the text was smaller, the design seemed not quite as well-explained and ohmigawd there was only ONE chart and it was in monochrome. All those little black symbols were definitely going to be challenging. They also instantly explained that part of the Yarn Harlot's book where she mentioned "what you thought were all large dots (dark blue) are actually interspersed with small dots (light blue.) This means you have entirely missed the light blue." Hmmm.

When the "Oh wow" turned to "Oh man..." HBF gave me the Inquiring Look.

"BOY am I glad I decided to do THIS one [gesture to Wintergarden] first since THIS one [gesture to the Dale book] is REALLY intimidating. These are going to be the hardest things I've ever knit!"

"So they're definitely orange, not yellow?" (NB: This is a Worlds of Warcraft reference.)

"OH yes..." says I while wondering if I've bitten off more than I can che--I mean knit.

"Well then you'll get skill points for sure!" His vote of confidence was exactly what I needed. He had no doubts whatsoever in my ability to create those fabulous things pictured in front of us.

I had doubts and plenty of them. But then I remembered another great line from Yarn Harlot (or rather her subway companion) "So you just makin' loops in layers, den it's a sock!" and tried to focus on the fact that no matter how hard the thing looked, I was going to be "just makin' loops in layers" only with two colors instead of one.

Except for that steeking thing.

THAT still worries me deeply. Fortunately even though the Holiday Sweater is definitely going to be a Holiday Vest now it will still need its front cut open and some armholes cut in it--probably this weekend. Good: a chance to practice panicking. This whole cutting-up-the-knitting thing is angst-inspiring. Yes I know people do it all the time and have BEEN doing it all the time but that's what they said about sex and that was pretty intimidating the first time I tried it too. I'm hoping I'll like steeking as much.

I know what I definitely will like is the chance to follow a pattern that I know works. I've discovered over the past few months that although my knitting skills have increased tremendously over the past year or two, my designing skills leave quite a bit to be desired. Although I like just letting the yarn do its own thing I've had some pretty mixed results that range from "wow I need to do that again" to "you knit WHAT?!?" with the balance tipped toward the latter. Even before I fell in love with "Boo Bug's Sweater" and subsequently Wintergarden I had decided I needed to work exclusively from patterns for a I can try working COMPLICATED patterns too.

After all, I do want those skill points!

My only regret is not having brought the patterns with me to the office so I could order yarn during business hours TODAY. Such a shame that I need to leave early because Eldest has sports tryouts....

*clipped together with a cool blue-and-white striped paperclip; I found it so much more charming than boring metal or a staple.


Blogger JoVE said...

I've not seen steeking compared to sex before but you might have a point.

October 26, 2006 4:40 PM  
Blogger Jeri said...

Oh, dear! I knew I shouldn't have read your blog this late at night. I immediately had to order the Wintergarden pattern. That is the most beautiful sweater I've seen in ages! But such a tiny gague! LOL. I'm up for it...after the 2 other sweaters I have on needles, of course. Thank you, SamD for the enticement....and I'm hoping to find out if steeking is better than sex. LOL...

October 29, 2006 11:57 PM  
Blogger SamD said...

Well now I've gone and started something, haven't I?!?

October 31, 2006 3:08 PM  

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