Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Can't blog, too busy knitting!

I've been in a bit of a blog slump lately.

Which is funny, because there's lots going on.

I've been knitting away on Margot, and she now has about 26cm of one sleeve (not certain if it's a left or a right, the pattern is completely reversible, so I guess it depends on which way around it is when I go to put it on). This is more sleeve length than is called for in the pattern but I've decided to make the sleeves full length.

After getting that far, I decided to enforce a go-slow on Margot for a bit, for a couple of reasons. One, I've found that knitting with the 30cm circular needle I'm using for the sleeve is hurting my dodgy wrist a bit so I'm trying to only do a couple of rows at a time, a couple of times a day. Two, and this is the more important reason, it suddenly occurred to me that my little sister is due to give birth to her first baby in about 15 weeks, and I didn't have anything finished for the little munchkin.

It was clearly necessary to redo the knitting plan and to get a move on.

New plan:

1. Dig the hibernating Little Petal out of the pile and sew on the remaining sleeve and buttons. I started this some time ago and put it aside when I started Margot. It is now all done, but is in desperate need of a good blocking. This is the 3-6 month size and I only made a couple of mods - I knitted the body in one piece rather than three, and did the skirt about 1cm shorter than called for in the pattern as I was concerned about running out of yarn. I didn't measure the leftovers but there wasn't much left. The scans are strongly indicating "little girl" at this stage, which is a good thing, as the Little Petal is unfussy, but in my opinion very girly.
Little Petal
2. Start a Felix's Cardigan, a Ribbon-tied Wool Vest or a blanket. I didn't start the Felix as I didn't have enough of one colour of superwash wool to do one in. There will probably be enough left over from Margot, but I'm not entirely certain and I don't want to run out later when I finish Margot's sleeves. I'm waiting on needle tips for my 40cm Knit Pro cable so that I can do a Ribbon-Tied Wool vest in the round, so I dug out the BWM Denim Cotton 8ply that was meant to become a dress for my (other) neice and started a Pinwheel Baby blanket.

Pinwheel Baby Blanket

I'm using my KP Harmony/Symfonie needle tips for the cotton as I suspected that the yarn might feel a little bit slippery on the Options nickel tips.

It's a pretty simple pattern, more or less - increase 10st in every second row, knit until your hands drop off, or something like that. I worked out that the minimum diameter I want the blanket to have is 1m. I'm getting a row gauge of 3 rows to 1cm, so every 3 rounds gives me 2cm more on the diameter of the blanket. It's deceptive at the beginning because it seems like you're getting heaps done, but then you realise that the rounds are getting larger and larger, and over time it feels like you've slowed to a crawl even though you're still knitting the same number of stitches.

So despite the really exciting nature of the recipient of the blanket, I realised that I was in real danger of losing momentum on the project due to the perceived lack of progress. My solution was to devise a small excel spreadsheet to work out how many stitches in each round, how much I gained in diameter with each milestone, and, calculated on number of stitches, the percentage of the minimum size I have completed. It's made it a bit of a race with myself - how fast can I get the next milestone completed, and it means that even on days like today when I didn't feel like I got much done, I know I did about 3%, and that the blanket is 28% of the minimum size. Since I only started on Saturday, I don't think I'll have trouble finishing by the due date!

Work is very busy at the moment - one member of my team is on two weeks leave, and we're lending one member to another team, so that leaves me, our remaining normal team member and one person we're borrowing as backfill for the person we loaned out. The borrowed person was off on carer's leave today, and is inexperienced in some of the systems we support anyway. Added onto that is the fact that it's performance review time so we're all needing to do our self-reviews on top of the ordinary workload. I see the point of performance reviews, but I hate doing them. I'm more in favour of continual feedback to my team so they always know how they're going. I'm always put in mind of all those report cards at school - "Alexia is a conscientious student and a pleasure to have in class", or the report I got for Textiles and Design in year 7 (and I'm paraphrasing from memory here) "Alexia seems to be an intelligent student but has no aptitude for this subject". Note: they didn't teach knitting that year!

So I will apologise now if there are few posts in the next couple of weeks and if what I do post is rambling, sparse or nonsensical. When work becomes a big mountain of stress, like it is now, I tend to get a bit tired and grumpy, so it's probably a good thing that I have my knitting to restore my sanity!

I hope things are less stressful for you at the moment, or at least, that you have knitting or something else to take your mind off it!

1 comment:

  1. Awww.... Little Petal looks gorgeous!!!
    I wish I could get a handle on circulars, every time I have tried, the stitches get caught betwen the "needle" and the "tubing" and I get frustrated and give up
    You make it seem so much easier