Friday, February 26, 2010

the finish line looms

I was just informed that there are 2 days left in the Olympics and in the Olympic knitting challenge.
The shawl may end up finished on time but I figured that the shawl was going to be too simple so I took on Cat Bordhi's "Stained glass" socks from "Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters". Not as simple as I had expected. I misread the instructions, lost my place in the chart (a few times) and a handicap in the form on one 15 month old grandson was tossed into the equation.
Now said grandson has been tossed into bed for a much needed nap and I'm bloggingworking on finishing sock 1. Knit faster and blog later Grace!

As far as the achilles tendon problem is concerned, I finished with physiotherapy, can't seem to be able to wear my hiking boots without causing a lot of pain to my right achilles, and am finally going to see a massage therapist. My G.P. seems to be somewhat clueless about this injury. She didn't examine it, merely whipped out her referral pad and asked if I'd like to see a physiotherapist. I went back to my G.P. a few days ago and informed her that things were not improving, as in I cannot wear my hiking boots, and she suggested I hike in runners. Ummm, not doable since most of the hikes involve rough terrain. She did say that if I were to "do real hiking", then I may need hiking boots. Duh!
At the end of the visit she again whipped out her referral pad and offered to send me to a massage therapist. Grumble, grumble, grumble!
Pictures of the finished shawl will be posted before the closing ceremony as proof that I was able to complete what I had intended to do.  Next time no second guessing.  I'll finish the object I had set out to complete and then, time allowing, add item(s).

Good luck all knitting athletes!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A gorgeous day... again

Spring appears to be arriving early this year. Now that I have said this publicly we are likely doomed to snow.
The days are growing longer; aconites, snowdrops, and crocuses are blooming, and it won't be long before our winter sweaters are put back into their vacuum sealed bags until the fall.
P is still off work due to a back injury. An MRI showed some bulging disks and arthritis. He's determined to get 100% recovered and back to work though.
My achilles tendon is not fully recovered yet and I'm considering giving up on physiotherapy and trying massage therapy instead. A fellow hiker who had also injured her achilles was very pleased with her massage treatment and only missed about 6 weeks of hiking. P did point out that my friend stopped hiking as soon as she hurt her achilles while I kept on going for another 2 months or so. Initially I didn't really mind too much but the weather is getting so nice that I don't want to sit at home while P goes hiking without me.
For the past few nights the neighbour's dogs have been barking constantly. It appears that a momma racoon and her yearling have decided to visit our area and this morning they didn't get to their home on time, possibly because a dog scared them into a tree. One of our neighbours was out with his camera early this morning so I headed outside with mine.

The neighbour who's tree they were in took his dog inside for the day and finally somewhere around noon they shuffled off home. I'm sure that they'll be back tonight.

For the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics I decided to complete a baby shawl which was started by my SIL's mom before she passed away. I agreed not to cheat by looking it over before the opening ceremonies on Feb. 12th.
Once I did look I figured that it would be too simple and ALMOST added a second project to the Olympic challenge. I swatched, and then sat with the partial shawl in my lap. The pattern didn't make too much sense to me so I put it down in frustration, looked at things again, compared the partial project to the picture and scratched my head. No matter what I did I could not see how this mass of white fingering yarn would end up like the picture in the book.

From "Beehive for Bairns, vol. 2. Page 21, Knitted shawl"

Non-plussed I picked up the needles and started working on what I thought was the right thing. After 6 rows it didn't look too much better so I put things away again, had some wine, ate dinner, and picked it up again. Until today I had been swatching, unravelling miles of yarn and threading dropped stitches back onto yarn holders.
Finally tonight I had an "ahah" moment and realized that Nettie (my SIL's mom) made an error. The shawl has a garter stitch centre which is shaped like a diamond. It is starts and ends with 3 stitches. Once the centre is done stitches are picked up from one side at a time and worked up to form a trapezoid. Once one trapezoid is done, 23 stitches are cast on and then peaks are knitted, using the 23 stitches plus one stitch from the top of the trapezoid. Yeah, you have to be here to visualize this. Once the peaks are done the remaining 23 stitches are put on a holder until the next trapezoid is done. Then the stitches on hold are used to work the next group of peaks on the second, third and forth trapezoid. I'm confused too as apparently Nettie was.

Instead of using the stitches on hold, Nettie cast on 23 stitches each time she finished a trapezoid. So, I could now either sew the cast on and bound off peak sections together or I could rip 3 of the trapezoids and re-work them correctly.
Any helpful suggestions are most welcome.
I'm also quite curious as to the publication date of this booklet. I did try to google for this and one source said this particular booklet was printed in 1940. A second source said that is dated to the early 1960's. Either way I'm considering copying out the pattern in modern terms for my own use, along with some clearer instructions.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Knitting Olympics returns

Wow! The Yarn Harlot has decided to host the Knitting Olympics again. I had been waiting for this since it would not be the same to join the Ravelympics.
I considered making the Knitpicks "East meets West" bag my Olympic project but I have a shawl which was started by Nettie Brozuk before she passed away. Her daughter asked if I would be able to finish it for her and I shelved it because it had started to unravel and I was a bit intimidated by it. I'll have to swatch and it will definitely be a challenge for me. In the spirit of the games I won't start swatching until the games start next week. Even if I fail to complete this on time, I'll give it my best shot.

Winter seems to have decided to skip us this year. It has been unseasonably warm and there haven't been too many days where it has fallen below zero degrees Celsius. I don't mind too much though.
Due to an injury to my achilles tendon I had to pass on the Outdoor Club of Victoria's 5 day outing to Mt. Washington. I was quite upset about it but going there and having to spend time sitting in the condo while others skied or snowshoed wasn't my idea of fun.
Physiotherapy seems to be going well and I'm currently walking for about 40 minutes each day, depending on how much pain there is. I've been doing my prescribed exercises faithfully twice each day as well. I can now squat much deeper and I'll be able to do a 30 minute trial hike next week, providing it is fairly level ground without too many hills.
P is also nursing an injury. He hurt his back in the fall and after going to a physiotherapist without seeing too much progress towards his recovery, he started seeing a chiropractor. I'm still not seeing much progress but P can notice. A CT scan showed 3 bulging disks and some arthritis. He is now scheduled for an MRI on Monday. I'm hoping that he'll recover soon.
In my spare time, of which I have quite a bit now that I'm not permitted to hike, I've been learning new methods of sock knitting from Cat Bordhi's books "New Pathways for Sock Knitters" and "Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters".
On most Mondays my daughter comes to visit with her son who is a bit of a tornado. He used to be content with playing in one place in the living room. Once he became more mobile the rest of the house was his playground. He has rearranged our dvds and found the cookie cutters in the oven drawer. He also found where the plastic containers are stored. After he leaves with his mom the house looks like a disaster area with plastic containers, cookie cutters, and toys everywhere. Despite all that we love him dearly.