Catching up, carrying on

Home late last night, one tuckered knitter, and today I’ve made a vow to sit at my desk all day and get caught up on my work.  I love being away for events (especially since lately, I seem to go to great ones, Knit City was outstanding) but it sure throws off my my ability to get paperwork and desk work done.  Today I haven’t even put a sock on my desk – so that it can’t tempt me.  That’s a theme over the last little while.  Not casting on, or not having something with me so that I can’t cheat.  It was part of my plan for this last weekend, actually.  When I was packing to go, I deliberately underyarned myself.  I had the toe of a sock done, and knew that I’d crush the rest of the sock on the way there, and sure enough, by the time that Saturday rolled around, I had finished them.

socksdone2 2014-10-07

They’re a standard toe up (which isn’t very standard for me, but the yarn called for it) and a Men’s medium, and will go straight into the long range planning box.

socksdone3 2014-10-07

That’s pair #11 for this year, and it’s only the 7th of October, so I’m feeling like a superhero. (Note to self: it is when you are awash in confidence that things start to go wrong. Don’t let your guard down.)

(The yarn is Must Stash – Dark Side of the Moon. Out of stock at present, but back soon, I’m sure.)  Sam thoughtfully modelled them this morning before she headed out.

socksdone 2014-10-07

So, when I was packing, I knew those would be done fast – and I thought about putting yarn for another pair in the suitcase, and then I looked at the little baby sweater that’s got a deadline breathing it’s hot breath on my cheek, and I didn’t do it.  I went with just the sock, and the sweater, and I thought that would force me to work on it. I was almost right.

sweaterfloor 2014-10-07

The sweater (Minni) just needed a graft down the side, and sleeves, and then a band round the whole thing, and I keep using the word “just” but the truth is that this sweater is knit on 2.25mm needles, and it’s probably about the same work as a full size adult jumper. I keep letting its size fool me, and that’s a mistake. That’s how you end up with a deadline too close, so was trying not to underestimate it. The sweater – besides being a lot of work, is at this point, rather a lot of boring work.  I practically weep tears of ennui when I think of it, and since I usually knit to relieve boredom, rather than create it, my usual motivators aren’t working. What I needed, I knew, was no choice.  If it was my only knitting, I would have to knit it, because….well.  I have to knit.

That night, when the sock ran out in the hotel room. I turned my eye to the sweater, heaved a sigh of regret, and picked it up. Then I turned for the sleeve needles, and after a fruitless search, realized I’d forgotten them. The plan was crap. I had a whole needle roll, chock full of every size of DPN that I didn’t need, and not a single right one for the sleeves. I made it through that evening somehow – without any knitting (and without ending up in prison) and the next morning I was the first person in the marketplace, hunting up a set.

sweateronesleeve 2014-10-07

It occurred to me later, too late really, that my sock needles, the ones that I’d just finished using, were TOTALLY THE RIGHT SIZE. Panic does terrible things to a knitter.   I also managed somehow, to force up the will to not have the new sock yarn I bought wound up – even in the face of an offer from someone to do just that.  I’m proud of that moment.  Now I’ve got one sleeve done, and I need to do 130 rounds for the other sleeve, and then the bands, and a little making up, and that’s doable. As long as I can avoid casting something else on, this should be easy.

I’m thinking about putting the ballwinder and swift in the car and having Joe hide it from me for a few days. It might be the only way.

Time Lapse V.4

Just a little time now, before I head to the airport in Vancouver, and fly for home. Quickly then, I give you the story of Friday (and Saturday morning) in sock pictures. Toronto to Vancouver.

Torontosock 2014-10-06

Coffee at home.

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In a taxi.

yyz 2014-10-06

With the Inukshuk at the airport.

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On a flight.

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Waiting for the Canada Line Train.

skytrain2 2014-10-06

ladiessock 2014-10-06

Laura Nelkin, Kate Atherley, Indigodragonfly Kim.

ladiespumpkin 2014-10-06

What else should you do if you find a pumpkin coach?

cocktails 2014-10-06

At a Tempestuous Affair.

done 2014-10-06

(PS. The yarn for those socks is Must Stash – Dark Side of the Moon. I think it’s sold out at present, but check back, I’m sure it will go on preorder again.)

A sad knitter story

Here’s something that almost never happens.  I’m leaving for Vancouver (Knit City yay!) in the morning, and I’m ready. No running around to do, no last minute handouts or tiny balls to wind, my clothes are clean, I’ve hemmed my new jeans (sure, I’ve hemmed them three weeks after I bought them, but I’ve hemmed them) the house is tidy (enough) I’ve even made a quick run to the grocery store to make sure I don’t leave Sam with an empty fridge. (I think that last one was particularly generous of me.) I’ve got a bit more work to do, and there’s the perennial problem of the inbox, but mostly I can see a little room in this day coming my way, and I’m pretty excited.  I am bound and determined to get the body done on the Minni sweater before I head out. That’s 12 more very long rows, and then a long grafting job to join the two sides, and that seems reasonable, doesn’t it?

If that’s accomplished, then I can work on the sleeves while I’m away (not on the flight though, I save that for socks) and I’ll be onto a part simple enough to manage most of the downtime that I’m away.  I can’t see a world where I come home with this done on Monday, but I should be a whole lot closer, which is fabulous, exciting news – because even though I started this little sweater in “lots of time” it turns out that I’m made of crazy, and now the deadline is rather soon. Totally soon. I love this project, but damn it all to moths, it’s a lot more knitting than I thought.

I know I just said that I’m knitting socks on the plane, and the sweater while I’m there, and that I absolutely did just say that I can’t imagine there will be enough knitting time to finish the sweater, I am still hunting around the house for another project to take with me. You know how it goes. While it’s super unlikely that this will be the weekend that I suddenly knit eight times faster than I ever have before, and there’s not really even a remote chance that I’ll be separated from my stash for longer than I expect, and even if that happened, I’m flying to Knit City, home of a very, very nice marketplace chock full of yarn…

I still feel like taking out a little yarn insurance isn’t the worst idea I could have. You know. Just in case something bad happens – and sometimes things do.  Can I tell you about my sister-in-law, Kelly? Kelly lives in Madagascar – at least for now, and just as you’d imagine a super hot country off the coast of Africa to be, it’s not a huge knitting place.  Kelly, though, is a knitter, and her whole family still lives in Canada, and so as crazy as it makes  her look to the locals, she knits up a storm.

kellysknits 2014-10-02

That’s a selfie Kelly sent me today – she’s knitting Encompass, which I’m sure seems completely lunatic to the locals. A chunky cowl? Hard to explain in a place with no winter.

Kelly makes a pilgrimage home once or twice a year, and while she’s here she does (imagine this) all her yarn shopping for the upcoming twelve months, and brings home everything that she’s knit since the last annual wool fest.  Over comes a years worth of knitting, packed up, and back goes a years worth of yarn.  Intense, right?

Now imagine this.  Kell packed up all the beautiful things she’d made – and on top of that, she added in all the things that my niece Kamilah had knit in the four months she’d been visiting her mother there. (Isn’t that sweet? A 21 year old I taught to knit when she was tiny, knit… like.. half this stuff.)  She put it all in one suitcase together.  What had they knit?

2 Tamas

1 Quince and Co spring jumper and beret

1 Tokyo hoodie (Quince and Co, again.)

2 vintage style baby bonnets.

1 Small Thing sweater

2 Beyond Puerperium sweaters

1 Limepop sweater

A hat for Lou, and a few more things she can’t remember.

Everything was finished, except for the sleeve of Limepop. (You may be gathering that Kelly has some time on her hands in Madagascar, and you’d be right.) It’s all grey too – because that was all she had. She packed all of that into one bag, and started the trip home.  She went from Antananarivo, to Johannesburg, then London, then finally home to Toronto.  She arrived… and (deep breaths knitters, this is hard to hear) the bag didn’t.  She had three pieces of luggage, and two arrived, and the one with all the knitting was AWOL.  All of it, gone.  Now, Air Canada is usually pretty good about luggage, and stuff usually isn’t totally lost, it’s delayed.  A tag comes off, something – and somebody finds it, and matches it up with the baggage description, and you get it back.  I mean, sometimes it takes a while, but you get it back, and this is what Kelly has been thinking, except for now it’s been 60 days, and things look very grim indeed.  Kelly’s been phoning and checking and ever so nicely bothering them, but it turns out that one knitter’s treasures are a drop in the bucket when it comes to Air Canada’s luggage hunting abilities, and so we’re going to kick it old school.

I’m throwing up the knit signal for Kelly.  If you work for Air Canada in any of those cities (except Antananarivo- Kelly’s looked there herself) then we’d love your help. The bag looks like this:

kellysbag 2014-10-02

Except in that picture it looks purplish, and really it’s grey and black. It’s a Mountain Equipment Co-op Fasttrack 70L.  It’s bag tag (if it still has one) is SA771262, and the name on the bag would be Kelly Dunphy, or Ben Chapman.

I know there’s not much hope, and I know that Air Canada has probably done all the reasonable things that the do to find bags, but c’mon. This is one whole year of knitting – and there’s no way to explain to them the degree of loss. If anybody knows anybody who knows anybody who could help, we’d be so grateful. That’s a lot of presents and hard work to lose – not to mention the investment of time and yarn.

Go forth and hunt, my knitters, and thanks for the gasp I heard over the internet when you read that it was all gone. I bet it made Kelly feel way less crazy.

PS. You know how they don’t let the Queen and the Heir travel together, or the President and the Vice-President? I’m going to start thinking that way about my knitting. Split it up. Safer that way.