Monday, February 27, 2006

Post-Olympic Debriefing

Nope. I'm not done. In fact, I did not knit a stitch on Sunday, the final day. It was Jodie's birthday and I spent it with her.

Rogue: Well, I'm at row 24-25ish on the Bloody Hood of Doom. The rows are short...but I have to pay attention virtually every row for cables and WS/RS issues and it is exhausting. Then I peeked ahead at some of the other Roguers...and saw the grafting of the cables. I grew faint of heart right then and there. I've bookmarked a tutorial on grafting the hood, and when I get to that point I will wait until the house is quiet and sit at the computer and graft it step by step. Then it will be on to the sleeves and finishing. Did I "win" Gold? Nope, but I'm very pleased with my progress nonetheless.

Lots of movie watching this weekend...The newest Wallace & Grommit, The Man, Desert Hearts, King Arthur, and O Brother Wherefore Art Thou. The music of the latter was the music of my mother played bluegrass/gospel/country incessantly. Sometimes I just can not listen to it...but I truly enjoyed it in the movie.

Wallace&, I love 'em, but this was not my favorite.

The Man - Not a "great work" but silly and made me laugh a lot.

Desert Hearts - This is an old lesbian favorite that I had never seen. Again, was okay. Some lesbian culture icons just don't "do it" for, uh, a lot of the Indigo Girls stuff...Ani I can take it or leave it.

King Arthur - Jodie and I are both huge fans of all things King Arthur/LOTR/fantasy type stuff. This was a very different take on the Arthurian legend. Violent and bloody, but good.

O Brother - Funny...but the music really did it for me.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

What Hedrick and I have in common...


Did you watch Greg Hedrick in the 6 mile speed skate last night? Here is a guy who watched the last Olympics from Reno or Vegas or some such place, played blackjack and thought to himself, "Why aren't I there?" So he did something about it...changed sports from inline skating to speed skating and four years later...he is an Olympian with a Gold, Silver AND a bronze. Last night was the most exciting moment of the Olympics that I've seen so far...He was obviously fatigued but kept on...when he saw his competitor about to overtake him a few laps before the end, despite his fatigue, he said..."oh no you don't! You're gonna have to work hard to get past me!" and he took off and won Silver.

So what do Greg and I have in common? I'm pretty damn tired from my Olympian effort, that's what. But, I'm not giving up. There have been some points lost during these Knitting Olympics...but a lot has been learned.
  • Neck cable point inside out - Lesson learned: Trust my instincts
  • Mis-crossed cable on one side of body - Lesson learned: EZ's advice about "admiring" your work frequently...I could have tinked back and dealt with this easily if I'd been watching my work...instead, I didn't see it until a day or two (and many hours of work) later.
  • Shoulder seams look a little "beginnerish" - Lesson learned: Cut myself some slack. I gave myself a load of grief over this one, till I realized, hey, this is the first time I've ever gotten this far in a sweater, the first time I HAVE seamed the shoulders, so duh, it IS beginnerish.
  • Day 15 and sweater not done, nor will it be by closing ceremonies - Lesson learned: Rogue was definitely an Olympian challenge for me. I have continued on despite my falls, double-instead-of-triple jumps, and imperfect landings. I have gotten farther on this sweater in 15 days than I have in months of working sporadically on other projects. The ultimate lesson: Knit on...despite your projects imperfections...Knit on.

Today at 7 a.m., a little over 24 hours from The End of the Olympics, I am about to start row 9 of the hood. I have some concerns...when I hold it up, the sweater looks long and skinny, weirdish. I'm holding out on that point till the sweater is blocked. Overall, I'm very happy with my progress and send out huge kudos to Steph for beginning it all in the end. Non-knitters may think we're crazy, hon, and hell, we ARE....but we are a breed apart. And in my book, that's a good thing.

Friday, February 24, 2006

It won't be noticed on a galloping horse, right?

Last night, I bound off the left shoulder of Rogue. Again, the "hide the wraps" thing eluded me, and I was too tired to go searching on the web for info on I just did it my way. Does it show? A little, but not bad.

Then I spread it out to admire it...and realized that yes indeedio...the neck cable is a little wonky....because the "point" of the cable that winds up around the inside out. Yup...So....the cable just sort of appears out of nowhere to climb up the side. To rip it would be to take close to three days work out....and I don't have the heart for it. Kayla would probably not even realize it has a problem. Yes, I see it...and it bothers me, but I feel like I have to keep on. Not because of Olympic deadlines, but in the effort to finish it at all.

In the past, I would have shoved it in a bag and that would have been the end of it. In fact, that is the EXACT same thing that happened with MY Rogue... when I realized I had done part of the cable inside out...I lost all interest in it. True, I didn't care for the thiness of the fabric, but I was furious with myself for making such a stupid boo-boo.

This time, I said, "oh well. Finish it anyway. won't be perfect. So what?" Better to be done and not perfect than never finished. I also realized that when I got to that point of the cable on this Rogue, I felt really confused by the whole WS/RS/Chart crap.. and I tried to do what I thought was instructed rather than following my instincts. I think the instinct was correct when I look back...So, I learned something.

In happy news for me...a child support check is coming. I shared I've been under some stress....well, part of that was that child support just mysteriously stopped about 6 weeks ago. Child support constitutes about 1/3 of my income and when your budget has no room for error...losing 1/3 of your income sucks. Now, mind you, Prince Charming continues to owe $28,888 in back child support and is about as reliable as a pet chicken. In fact, that deficit of child support for YEARS is part of what has lead directly to my dire financial situation today.

For several years, the state of Oregon wrote him letters. "Mr. Smith, you have 30 days to pay child support, or we will take action against you!" Three months later (and no child support), another letter would go out "Mr. Smith, you are in danger of getting in trouble with'd better send some child support...or else!" They did that for three years...they did not garnish his wages. They did not suspend his driver's license. They did none of the things they have the power to do. I had numerous discussions with employees of the state of Oregon, the most memorable for me was the one where the woman says to me in a very condescending tone "Mrs Smith...we can not just harrass him if he's a little late!" I said, he hasn't made a payment in TWO YEARS! She replied "well, he DOES have rights you know!"

In direct contrast, when he moved to Massachustes...they wrote one letter "Mr. Smith, you owe $35,000 in back child support. You can not have a MA driver's license until you start paying. As well, we are garnishing your wages. If you quit your job, we will put you in jail."

God bless the state of Massachustes.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Slogging Ahead

Oh....This must be the spot I hit with the first Rogue that got me so confused I ended up stuffing it in a bag.

Last night, I made it into the neck cabling, and got thoroughly confused. It's that whole "WS" "RS" thing and charts...suddenly at around row 16 or 17, I realized...I was on the WS when I think I'm supposed to be on the RS...I finangled around....and now I think I have it right...uh...maybe. I'm forging ahead regardless. The cables appear to be coming along the right way...but frankly I'm not sure. Kayla will love it regardless of wonky cables and that is what counts for me today.

Another little "detail" that came along...the part where you "pick up and hide wraps as you bind off" part. That was another moment of...oh yeah..I had a problem with that last time....Did I do it correctly? I somehow doubt it....but the yarn makes it less conspicuous and I can live with it.

Will I finish by the Olympic closing ceremonies? Highly unlikely, but I will finish it!

While out at the local Michael's to use my 40% off coupon to buy a pair of Clover circs in a size I don't own...cause you of these days I might NEED it...I stopped dead in my tracks...because they now carry Paton's Classic Wool. My. Absolute. Favorite. Basic. Wool. No other shop in town carries it...and there it was....I drooled. I fondled a little. I did not purchase a single ball...but it has been on my mind ever since....

Must. Remain. Strong.....

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Last-Place Olympian...

I checked out (here, scroll to bottom) some of the other knitters working on Rogue for the Olympics....And I think I'm in last place. There are Rogue sleeves being blocked, Rogue Hoods being cast on and finished...and I haven't hit the neckline...tho I hope to do so today.

Now halfway through the Olympic time period...I have serious KADD (knitter's ADD). The aforementioned dance student's baby has arrived...and I long to cast on with some cushy, soft, colorful yarn.

Also par for the course...I am wanting to buy yarn. I am commited to knitting down my stash...but having to move and pay the evil state over $1,000 in taxes...I cannot afford yarn.
But I want to buy it just the same. I've been strong however, and resisted.

When I think of character traits, self-discipline is not one I could easily label in my personality. As I grow older however, I'm working on changing that. The difference between my knitting and the knitting of those I admire is just that, self-discipline. They finish projects, even when they become bored with them. They rip out when necessary and continue on. Yes, a few of their projects end up stuffed in bags just like mine....but overall they persevere and FINISH.

So, regardless of the inclination to say "oh I'll never finish....why not cast on for a baby sweater?" I WILL finish Rogue. I may not finish it in the Olympic time period, but I'll finish it before I cast on for another project.

Added later: I got an email from Margene congratulating me as a winner in her birthday contest! I can honestly say, Margene is one of the knitters I admire most. Her knitting inspires me, and her blog often makes me think about my knitting. Thank you Margene! I really needed a lil' sumptin' right now to perk me up...and a prize, well....that does it!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Time's a'tickin....

Seen the countdown clock over at Yarn Harlots? Makes me even more sure I am not going to finish this thing, but I've been working on it anyway.

Working on my third repeat of the body, where you knit rows 33-38 six times. So far, both times I hit the cable row...I forgot it and had to tink back to the side cables and cross them. Three balls of yarn gone. My plan of carting around the sleeves and knitting them when I had time? Nice plan, not working.

Part of it...I'm sick. Not sure if it's a virus...or stress manifesting itself. Likely a little of both. I feel achy...and cranky....and like my head is full of cement.

I do have a couple pics to prove I'm knitting tho. Taken with daughter's cell phone, so they are not exactly high art, but you get the can see them here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Color Me Done

You know it's Monday when:

When you get to work and after searching for your key card to open the door, you realize it's inside on your desk.

When you realize that because you are a moron who cannot apparently add, you are overdrawn.
When you go out to get in your car at lunch time, you see your keys locked in the car on the driver's seat inside....and naturally, that is your only set.

This is just a small sampling of my life, currently.

Olympic knitting: I'm at row 35 of the body, and I bit the bullet and made the kangaroo pocket. The pocket, it wasn't hard. Picking up the stitches from the back in a straight line to continue the body of the sweater...that was a new experience. After trying several times to successfully to achieve a straight line, I went to the original Rogue KAL archives and got some ideas. What finally worked was taking a piece of white yarn and using a tapestry needle to thread it through the row I wanted to pick up. I could then SEE where I was going.

Still not feeling the love for this yarn...but also remembering that after soaking and blocking it could become the yarn of my dreams.

I have a dance student ready to have a baby any minute...and I am having ADD thoughts of "I wonder if I could start something for her AND still do the Rogue for the Olympics..." I've restrained myself, so far.

In other news, it is official. We have to move. I could go on and on about how stressful this is for me, but if you've been around Sahara Knits long, you already know it. If you're new, I'll spare you just this once. Suffice to say I've had a headache for four days solid.

Friday, February 10, 2006

All For The Glory....

So, yeah. Tonight is the Olympics opening ceremonies.

I have prepped:

I purchased the yarn.

I swatched. I washed and blocked the swatch.

I have informed family of my Olympic intent and said as tactfully as possible "I'm going to be knitting. A Lot. Don't bug me."

I've hit upon the idea of having a sleeve with me at all times as my "to go" knitting...which will work only if I have an extra needle in that size, which I am doubting. Note to self: When you get home, start digging. Second note: Jodie will have your head if you spread your stash and needles all over again, don't do that.

How confident am I that I can actually "win" a gold for the US in this event? Uh...well. Not really at all. But it's supposed to be fun...and a challenge, right? And I am quite convinced now that lacking "the love" for this yarn, it won't get knit at all unless I Just Do It. That actually is quite a motivator for me.

The other major motivator is that I have had a hard time finishing projects begun for Kayla. Yeah, she's gotten some hats and scarves....but the socks I started for her fell by the wayside. The poncho also fell by the wayside. This really, really needs to get finished.

Lastly, a perk of having Mary home living on my couch is she can take pics with her camera for me. I'm going to try to keep a posting pics of progress to egg me on.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

No Knitting...Still

Busy, Busy and then...busy. Haven't knit a stitch in a few days. Makes me very cranky.

What have I been doing?

Working...a lot.

Helping Jodie get her ducks in a row for her candle business...making business cards, various flyers and handouts, etc.

Actually watched a DVD this week, when I had a few spare moments - "Crash". coworker went on and on about what a great movie this was...and don't get me wrong, it is a great movie...but it is also VERY INTENSE. This is not a "let your hair down after a shitty day" movie. Just before watching this movie, Jodie's car died in the middle of the street (fuel pump kicked the bucket). The same day, the landlord told us they are considering either raising the rent, or selling the home. Either way, I'm screwed there. The SAME afternoon...19yo daughter lands back into the nest...broke...trailing trauma drama all over the place.

So we watch this movie...and not to spoil it for those who haven't seen it, but when the little girl runs out to leap on her Daddy to protect him...Both of us screamed "NO!" at the top of our lungs and burst into tears. We just couldn't take it.

Through her tears, Jodie turns to me and says "I want you to kick *coworkers* ass all over the place for telling us to see this movie!!!"

Olympics are coming, and I'm waffling. I am not feeling the love for the naturwolle. I keep reminding myself, this is NOT for me, I didn't choose it, I don't have to like it. Maybe, in fact, this is the only way this sweater will ever be knit...under pressure!

Monday, February 06, 2006

No Title Today

I don't have enough oomph in me to even think of a title...and I have no knitting to report either. Mostly just effing busy....but wanted to put out there that I am around...I am reading blogs a little...I just have nothing blog-worthy.

Excited to start Rogue for the knitter's olympics...tho, I've been so busy this week I can't imagine how I'm going to finish it, but I don't care at this point...

I did discover that with "rabbit ears" on the TV...I can get NBC and therefore I really can watch the Olympics! Yay!

That's it, end of boring post. I do, however, have a "question of the day":

If you have teenaged you color your hair? Cause, I gotta tell you....Every encounter I have had with my 19yo in the last month has led to me actually FEELING the hair on my head turning gray....She is a lovely, talented, wonderful girl....who is driving me crazy with really poor choices...Like...she can barely pay her rent, but her friend got a new car and so, well of course she wanted a new car too....and so what did she go out and get? A 2001 RED Mustang. I could go on and on about why this is a really poor choice on her part...but what also kills me, is why on earth is anyone financing her? She can hardly support herself. She has been offered so many credit cards it boggles my mind. There is just something so wrong with the picture of credit availability in this country that I can't begin to express all it brings up for me.

Lastly, there is that piece of "I've talked to you 1,000,792 times about getting in over your head...why don't you listen to me?" No, I haven't said it....but I have sure thought it.

Lady Clariol....take my gray away.