Saturday, November 15, 2008

My first hat!

I hope my MIL likes it. I love it.

and now the REST of the story

So I told my friend this story and she almost had a heart attack. Me? I really didn't think anything of it...

So back to talking about stitch markers. When I was making my hat, I used a stitch marker for the first time. It's just a round little circle that you move from one needle to the other as you knit in the round so you know how many rows you've knit, etc.. Easy, right?

Well I was on the bus knitting away on the hat. Knit, knit, knit. Knitting in the round goes FAST, people. I'm sort of shocked how fast. Anyway, I got to the point where I was starting a new row and I moved the stitch marker over to the right needle... except I didn't. The marker fell. In the dirty bus. In the evening.

Now these buses can end up being extremely crowded, depending on what time you catch it. This was one of those, and I had someone sitting next to me. I tried to look as best as I could for the marker, but there wasn't a lot of wiggle room. Shoot! I had really just gotten started. I was bummed, because I was making such good progress on the hat, and bus time is my knitting time.

I tried to think of an alternative. I didn't have paper or other string in my purse to use instead. I thought, and thought. Then I remembered that I read that Crazy Aunt Purl used some childhood ring as her stitch marker. "Ah Ha! Look at how smart I am!"

So I took off my wedding ring and put it on the needle (this was the point in the story where my friend was horrified and sure that I was going to say I ended up losing it). I wasn't worried. I just knit away, happy for my solution. I was proud I had come up with something so I could keep on knitting. So I knit for the rest of the ride and had perfect timing - we got to my stop just as it was time to move the stitch marker (ring) to the next needle. I took the ring off the needle and put it back on my finger. Wah Lah!

I walked into my apartment building, strutting and thinking that I was just TOO COOL and TOO AWESOME.

Fast forward to the next morning, when I go to the bus stop, still smirking about how smart I was the night before. I boarded the bus, took a seat, and immediately started knitting again. I did about 20 stitches, and my smile faded. Oh crap. OH CRAP. I had forgotten to get a stitch marker, and had just continued knitting on my own in the morning.

That was neither cool nor awesome. In fact, it was pretty dumb. There was a work around, but that'll teach me to get too cocky when it comes to knitting!

Keep on knittin' (and stop struttin')!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bits and Pieces...

So work has been.... crazy. Usually I use knitting as my way of relaxing when work is crazy, but it's been so crazy that there hasn't been all that much relaxing. I still knit on the bus on the way to work, but really that's about it. I even had to work some of the weekend, but let's talk about more interesting stuf... knitting!

Last weekend one of my knitting pals came over for a yarn, fondue, movies & wine. We had a grand old time, and since she's an advanced knitter, I asked for help with starting my hat. I hadn't knit in the round before, and I definitely hadn't made a hat. She introduced me to something I hadn't done before: gauge. For scarves and even baby blankets it isn't necessary, but for something you're really going to wear (unfortunately) you need to make sure the gauge is correct.

So I started according to the needle size the pattern called for. I knit four inches and then showed it to my friend, so she could measure. Well. Apparently you aren't supposed to knit every row when you're doing gauge. You're supposed to do a row of knit, then a row of purl (aka stockinette). CRAP! I undid the whole mess, and started again. When I was done doing stockinette for four inches, I handed it over to my friend again for the second measurement. Nope, not right. I needed to use smaller needles. I had started with 11's, so she suggested 9's. I gave it another whirl. Take three and...Nope, not quite right. CRAP AGAIN! This was getting old, fast, and we were almost through a movie and a half! I tried 8's the next time and... success. Finally. Thank God, or I would have stuck a size 8 needle in my eye and cried. Now we could focus on what the real goal was - learning to knit in the round (and use a stitch marker). We had enough time for like two rows and that was it, but it was enough. In the round is easy peasy so far.

And boy do I have a story about stitch markers...

Keep on knittin'