Friday, September 14, 2007

Slow Is As Slow Does

Have you taken Yarn Harlot’s sock knitting speed test? I get 38 sts in 1 minute on average. That includes moving from one dpn to the next too. I figure I’m on the slow side but by no means the slowest in the world. But that’s only because I learned how to knit Continental style in my 20’s, otherwise I’m much slower when using the English method. The fastest speed I’ve seen recorded is Hazel Tindall’s amazing 255 sts in 3 minutes. That’s 85 per minute for those fellow math-challenged types. (I had to use my calculator.) More than twice as fast as me. I bet there are other speed-knitters out there who just haven’t been clocked yet. I make up for my deficits by a dogged persistence. That and a few good brain cells have helped me overcome a lifetime lack of physical prowess.

Said persistence has been sorely tested by my beginning the Icelandic Lace Shawl yesterday. It seems I somehow picked up 2 stitches when I changed colours and knit the first row of its new pattern. Do you know how hard it is to count 339 stitches over and over? I had used stitch markers every 20 stitches when casting on but once I got the first row knitted, I took them off. Now I’m tinking back Row 6 while replacing the stitch markers. It’s quite tedious but I’m hoping it will give me a clue as to where the extra stitches came from. If they’re still there when I reach the beginning of the row, I plan to do a little surreptitious decreasing rather than start over. But we’ll see how that goes. How can this relatively simple project be so aggravating?

The new fall issue of Knitty is out today. It was a bit late due to Amy’s bout with a gall bladder that tried to kill her. She’s feeling much better now and has made her usual magic with the magazine. Go see! I’ll wait. As long as it takes…

Some nice stuff in there including cardigans, socks, lace and the cutest little critters called woodins, including their own little stump (with mysterious eyes) to live in, by Anna Hrachovec of Mochimochi Land. Note that trolling around Anna’s blog can seriously eat into your time. Plus it’s a little hard on the smile muscles. Her Flickr site cracked me up completely — I’m still wiping tears from my eyes from laughing! I just love that combination of cute and slightly sinister. Is it just me? Having been born in a pumpkin patch just after Halloween could have done something to my brain, ya know.

Oh, speaking of birthdays, a very Happy Birthday to my Darling Daughter who’s turning 35…er, 3 + 5 = 8, yup, 8 today! See ya tomorrow at the wild party…er, joyful celebration!

Hope you get well soon, Susan! BTW, T-Man doesn’t care if the house isn’t vacuumed and the dishes aren’t done. He just comes home from a hard day at work and quietly does a whole mess of yard work, and cleans the catbox which generally makes me feel somewhat guilty for sitting around knitting all day. This is particularly galling when I screw up said knitting (see above) and end up with nothing at all to show for my time. Except a crabby disposition and an inability to listen to a recounting of his workday while I’m trying to count up to 339 for the 5th time! He went and got me a pear cider out of the fridge and left me alone. The perfect husband. Unfortunately we haven’t perfected cloning an adult human male.

1 comment:

owl knits said...

I feel your pain. Why is it that the beginning of any project with more than 40 stitches cast on is so fraught with disaster? I'm up to row 20 on the Icelandic Shawl. I have stitch markers (which change with every pattern row) for each pattern repeat, and I carefully do the math for each row before I start to knit. This sytem seems to help, but I still have to tink back several rows to correct something in row 15. I think those who knit lace may not have an "accuracy gene" but they definitely have a "persistance gene."