Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'm Slowly Emerging

When we last spoke, I had had a crappy-doodle day.  Although nothing else dramatic has happened since then, I'm not really sure how to describe this week.  The word maze keeps coming up but that's not exactly right.  I haven't hit any walls or been chased through the snow by Jack Nicholson. 

Maybe catacombs is a better word for it (although not the definitions with the graves).  Lots of twists and turns and I feel like I'm in the dark a bit.  But there are lights--in my mind they are very gothic torches--along the way.

So here's how it's gone:

1.  Big leadership change at work.
2.  Supposed to go to knitting group and cast on a Baby Surprise Sweater.
3.  Skip knitting group and knitting to go back to work and meet with our night shift.
4.  Deal with a bunch of other issues while I'm there.
5.  Home and crash.  No cast on yet.
6.  Ridiculously early meeting.  Bring yarn and needles to work just in case I have time.
7.  Meetings, meetings, meetings, meetings.  And not a knittable one among them.
8.  Home and cast on.  Knit some.  It's going. 
9.  Saturday morning wake up early early early.   Knock out a big chunk of the sweater while my HandyMan sleeps. 
10.  Lose a bunch of knitting time because BrattyGirl is bored and lonely and wants to have lunch. 
11.  Discover that the grocery store in a Hassidic neighborhood is paradise on a Saturday afternoon.  Very few people and lots of good food.
12.  Got the cart with the OUTRAGEOUSLY squeaky wheel.
13.  Home.  Clean.  Cook. 
14.  Sunday morning--see number 9.
15.  Clean carpets.  Not sure why but I found this oddly stressy. 
16.  More early days and late nights at work.  Some knitting but not enough.
17.  Had a "damn it" moment.  I can knock out a Baby Surprise with my eyes closed.  Realize that stressy=unfocused.

Am planting my ass on the couch tonight.  This sweater is just too magical to let it get under my skin.  I actually made up a line by line spreadsheet for the pattern ages ago so that I don't have to pay attention to anything but the pure genius of the engineering of this sweater. 

I'm aiming to have some photos up soon.  The yarn is a new one from Manos and I really like it so far (although I did hit a knot).  I'll report on it when the sweater is done.

My home computer is still crashed and I am too broke to fix it or get a new one right now so I'm playing "hit and run internet access".  Maybe some money will fall out of the sky!  Is that too much too ask for?


Renee Anne said...

I'm pondering doing a BSJ for a friend's baby...she's not coming out until the end of October and I've never made a BSJ. Could I finish? Perhaps...but...

I should finish Little Man's blanket before then. I want it done for his first birthday in November.

And Sweet Girl requested the Hippo from Itty-Bitty Toys and I haven't even started that yet...

Did I mention that I have knitting ADD?

Karen said...

I think we all have knitting ADD :) I definitely think you could finish BSJ by the end of October. It's not a lot of work. Some pointers:

1. Put a locking stitch marker on the right side. I find that garter stitch can be a total cluster f*&k trying to remember which is the right side.
2. Use two different colored stitch markers on the marked stitches. Using two colors is an added help in remembering whether you are on a right side or wrong side row. The directions say to pin it to the stitch but I find it a lot easier to put it on the needle. I keep the first and last group of stitches outside the markers and the center stitches (with the decreases and increases) inside the marker. So for example on the first row I would do this:

Row 1 K33 (place marker), k 1, sl1, k2tog, psso, knit 86, sl1, k2tog, psso, (place maker) knit 34
Row 2 Knit
Row 3 K32 (place new marker), k1(drop first marker), sl 1 k2tog, sl1 k2 tog, psso, knit 84, sl1, k2tog, psso, (take marker off), k1, (put marker back on, knit 32.

This sounds a lot more complicated than it is but once you get the groove down, it flies.

When you get to the increasing part, you do the same thing in reverse except you don't need the extra marker on the first increase.

If you are working from the original pattern, it is written really conversationally so it seems odd. But just remember that millions (literally millions) of people have made this sweater and they all did just fine. If you're not sure what to do, just do what feels right.

And, by the way, the sweater will fit the baby for a good long while so if you don't finish it by the due date, he or she will still wear it. The one that I am making is actually for a friend of a friend and it needs to be on an airplane to San Diego on the 29th. Otherwise, I don't get too crazy about it.

BSJ is absolutely brilliant engineering. My boyfriend was floored the first time that I made one. He's a sheet metal worker and was stunned that we both used the same math! So now, when we meet any of his other union guys, I get introduced like this "This is Karen. She knits. And you should see it. It's the same as what we do!" which is often met with some odd looks.

Lord, I hope this all makes sense. If you get stuck, just send another email or comment and I'll walk you through it.

P.S. Make sure you leave a few days in your schedule for walking around and pulling a really funny looking piece of knitting out of your purse, slapping it on a counter (anywhere and everywhere) and saying "Guess what this is". It's like the worlds greatest magic trick.

Knit on.....

Diane said...

Several years back, I made a BSJ from KnitPick's Andean Treasure; great feel on the hands, was that yarn! I don't remember too much about it anymore, except it was a lot of fun, never a dull moment, and that I, too, did what Karen did in her P.S.!