Saturday, March 22, 2014

The System "Mostly" Works...

With back-to-back-to-back meetings on Friday, I didn't meet with my usual knitting peeps. Instead, I played a rousing game of "let's herd cats" with a diverse group of people who try to share the same mission but appear to now have vastly different views on how to accomplish that mission.

That being said, I was only subbing for the president of this group. Next year, I'm in charge. Thank goodness that this didn't happen while I was president of the other "herd of cats" - the women's group I've belonged to for about 10 - 12 years!! I don't think I could handle it. 

I may have to take up drinking or cussing. 

Essentially, we have a local organization that's faced with a lot of new challenges. Part of it comes from a change at the top of the organization, another part from a bad case of "Founder's Disease," and a final part comes from situations outside of the organization over which we have no control. 

I finally got mad enough to say, "It's this way. Change or die. We can either move forward and grow or we can take the key and toss it in the canal on our way out as we lock the door of this place." Needless to say, I got a sour-faced stink-eye from some of the Founder's Disease folks. 

Tough. In this particular time, moving forward and changing is imperative. Absolutely IMPERATIVE. We just can't sit and "do it the way we've always done it" -- that's the most prominent indicator of a bad case of Founder's Disease. This ailment is always fatal to an organization. Always. Both in the non-profit and for-profit sector. I've seen it happen.

Anyway, after that, I came home, made and drank about 4 cups of tea (not all at once) and just couldn't face anyone because I felt like a wrung-out washcloth. I needed tea, sympathy, my dogs and knitting. Not necessarily in that order. 

So I sat. And worked on this...


Kid #2's afghan is underway!! It was underway a while ago, but I screwed up the lace. (Note to self: STITCH MARKERS!!!) So I had to frog and re-set 249 stitches. Hey, it's an afghan.

Start of the ripple
The pattern is a lovely Ann Norling called Ripple to Knit & Crochet. You can find it at your LYS, or here at Jimmy Bean's - one of my favorite online shops! I'm using Caron's Simply Soft, which I wouldn't normally. But I figure that Kid #2, while he absolutely knows how to care for the nicer yarns, would be ok with the acrylic. The colors are an homage to his university. He picked them and I asked if he wanted great swaths of each or if he wanted tighter stripes. So every 2 pattern repeats, I will switch colors, ending with the grey. Fingers crossed, it'll all work out that way. It's "knit till it's long enough" so it should be fine. And I have scads of this yarn. 

What I like about this is that the pattern gives you size variations from crib size to afghan size. There are 2 styles of each, knit and crochet. The one is soooo similar to what my granny crocheted. One day I'll attempt that, in a baby blanket. 

The other thing is, there's a chart for each one so you can knit with yarn from 4 different gauges (from DK/Sport up to Chunky) and it gives you everything: how much to cast on, how much yardage... And the pattern I'm doing (Style 1 in the knitted version) is really easy to memorize.

Having said that, use stitch markers on the lace bits. Seriously. You don't need a life-line, but when, just say, your crazy-mad, puppy-brained Siberian Husky thinks she's invisible and tries to pull a Ninja move of ever-so-gently removing a grey skein from your bag while you are knitting with that skein, you might get a tad distracted... Stitch markers at least allow you to frog back to the last pattern repeat. 

If I'm not sick of it, I could potentially make a matching pillow. We shall see what's left. 

Yarn & Notebook
If you all recall (and you probably don't - that's ok), on my Ravelry page, I have a jewel-toned afghan that I did in Simply Soft. It's here - see "Baby Afghan" at the bottom. Or just go look for me at Riverknits520 (there's apparently another Riverknits there...) - anyhow, that one was crocheted, and I used the leftovers for some amazing baby hats (also on that project page). 

The yarn is nicely soft, drapes very gently and I just like the way it feels on the needles. I'll go ahead and block this, even though you know acrylic "is what it is" - just so perhaps the points and the y/o sections pop a bit. 

As always, I'm using a project notebook. And an index card, this time. I don't want to have to flip back and forth to check my pattern and row count. And for the life of me - I have 5 katcha-katchas and I can't use them! I keep forgetting where I put them and then when I do use them, I find it cumbersome. A great idea, but obviously not in my knitting wheelhouse. 

Oh - oh!! Handy Knitting Tip!!! I brought this to work today (It's a Saturday. I'm bored.) and I thought I'd forgotten said stitch markers.  Thinking fast, I realized that in our big supply cabinet, we had a small drawer full of rubber bands. Some of them were about the width of a dime, which would work!! Problem solved! And anyway - who can use a dime-width rubber band??? 

So if you have a project you're working on at lunch and you need stitch markers, rubber bands work nicely in a pinch. 

The System...

My system of "a project a day" is working sort of. Since I didn't meet up with the Peeps, I figured I'd just keep plowing away on Kid 2 Afghan. Thursday was technically Afghan day. Friday is Blue Baby Jacket. But I was on a roll. And today is "free choice" so I figured I'd just get a whack of it done, so that at least he sees progress. 

It was supposed to be done for high school graduation. Then he never left home through college. So now, it's "when you buy your house." Which hopefully will be this year or next. He's saving like a mad squirrel and we hope he finds what he wants. 

So while I deviated slightly, it seems to be working in that I can at least get a few hours on each project. And rotating keeps me from getting "Start-itis" and adding to my already-bursting WIP list. 

Random Picture...

Well, this will be a shorter entry, obviously. I was hoping to perhaps get a nice shot of some robins. My assistant came in on Thursday griping about how "at least 8 or 9 robins" decorated his car... So I figured our field next door ought to attract its usual number of the birds. But so far, nothing. And the weather report says that we will get more snow this week. Mother Nature is seriously annoyed with us for screwing with the climate!

Anyway, here's a shot that I particularly like. Mostly because I have a healthy sense of irony.

This was taken on the bus trip my mom and I went on. This one was on my camera, but I actually took one with the Big Camera and I entered it in a contest. Title? 


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