Monday, March 03, 2008

Is It "The Ides" Yet?

How quickly things change! It has been mostly sunny and very spring-like around here for a couple of weeks. Yesterday we got the majority of one side of the front garden revamped and composted. Today it’s snowing! Well, it actually rained all night which shifted into sleet this morning and now it’s turned to snow. Not sticking though and I doubt it will last long. At least all the hostas, perennial cornflowers, cranesbill geraniums, and heucheras that we dug up and replanted are getting well watered in. As long as they don’t freeze their little roots off first.

Meanwhile, I’m feeling very stiff but proud that I was able to keep up with the gardening. I may still be coughing some but my energy and stamina are nearly back to normal. Yippee! Today I’m relaxing after doing some exercises to try to mitigate some of the stiffness. Of course while we were working outside, the inside gets ignored. I need to vacuum the basement where the cats track their crunchies and kitty litter everywhere. I swear that area gets vacuumed twice as often as the rest of the house. At least. Messy old lady cats! Gotta love ’em.

I’ve been slowly — and I do mean s l o w l y — working up past the armholes of the back section on my Hepburn Cardi. No, I didn’t yet start another pair of socks. Maybe I’ll get the cardi done faster if I just put that off awhile. If I have enough light on my work I can knit even while watching TV because I have the pattern stitch memorised now. The reason why the knitting is so slow is that this is a combination of cable twists every 4 rows and a ribbed arrowhead lace pattern that has a 6-row repeat. It takes 12 rows total before the whole thing repeats. There’s a lot of stitch manipulation from knit to purl and back even on the wrong-side rows plus the cable needle (which I’ve gotten pretty efficient with). The yarn I’m using is a cabled 100% merino yarn and was coned for machine knitting. The cabled structure has three fine 2-ply yarns Z-twisted and plied again with a Z-twist and can be quite splitty if you aren’t careful. However I think the sweater will be quite nice and durable when it’s finally done. My samples got a pleasant matte surface with a slight nap when wet-finished. It’s quite resilient and stretchy too and the hand softened considerably. I hope it will be something that I will wear a lot.

OK, the snow stopped and we’re back to rain. It’s colder than it has been though and I’ve got my winter layers on again. The rain blew right through the bug screen on my studio window:

Glad I don’t have to go anywhere today.

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