Friday, July 27, 2007

Last Minute Prep

We’re not so much Martha Stewart types at our house. We don’t mind impromptu gatherings, family dinners or even hosting Christmas dinner. But we rarely throw parties because, frankly, it’s a heck of a lot of work! I’d much rather party at somebody else’s house but sometimes you’ve just got to offer to hold an event or feel like you’re not doing your share of the entertaining. So we’re having a party tomorrow for our new son-in-law’s 30th birthday. For about 20 people. We have a fairly small house and only one bathroom but we do have a large room-sized deck and extra grassy area beside it. That works really well if the weather holds. So far the report is a mix of sun and cloud and a high of 23 C. which is just about perfect. We’re going to try to barbeque a turkey. It’s been lurking in the big freezer since New Year’s so it really needs to be eaten and since it’s about 6 kilos, we need a crowd to help! I’m also baking the birthday cake: deep dark chocolate with chocolate frosting. Special request of the birthday boy. Do wish us luck, hey? We’ll need it!

Meanwhile, I spent this morning (when I could have been cleaning the house some more, but who cares) knitting on my Hepburn Cardi. Am I the only one who starts on the sleeves instead of the back? Why start on the largest piece when you can start on the smallest? I also work on both sleeves simultaneously on the same circular needle. That way the increases and decreases are done on the same rows and they automatically match. I usually do the same with the fronts, just working the decreases on the opposite sides. If I position them left and right as they would be when assembled into the sweater, I can immediately tell if it’s going to work properly and fit correctly. The back piece comes last instead of first as pattern-writing convention would have it. I’d go all the way and put it together with the fronts to eliminate the side seams but the whole thing would be too big for my needle’s cable. 245 stitches is a lot! And no, I’m not going to go buy another 2 sets (3mm for the rib and 3.25 for the main body) with longer cables. These are truly great needles but they are pricey! This is where the Denise needles shine. You can make the cables as long as you like with the connectors. However they don’t come in sizes smaller than 3.75mm. And I do like working with the brass Addi Lace needles. Just not enough to buy ones in sizes I already own but with longer cables.

There is an inherent danger in working the sweater in this order. I could run out of yarn while knitting on the largest piece, the back, where it’s much harder to fudge things without major frogging. I’m pretty sure I have enough yarn, but it’s hard to tell for absolute sure until I finish. There is no way of finding more since this stuff is ancient. (Even the store I bought it at no longer exists!) So I’m going by the yardage specified in the pattern and as we all know, that information is not necessarily accurate. I have about 1-1/2 lbs of yarn that measures about 1500 ypp on the McMorran yarn balance. So that’s around 2,250 yards give or take. The pattern calls for 8 – 220 yard/100g skeins which equals 1760 yards. So the math tells me I have enough. But I don’t trust numbers. I’m going on faith. Brave, eh? So far it took me most of the morning to get one 12-row pattern repeat past the ribbing. Am I a slow knitter or what? There's not even enough to show off yet.

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