Sunday, August 12, 2012

Closing Ceremonies

 We all remember the immortal words of Kurt Gowdy.  Or was it Jim McKay?  "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat."  Can't you see that poor immortalized slalom skier plunging through the turnstiles?  Ouch!
  Well, these past two weeks have not quite been thrilling or agony, but I'm so glad I competed in the Woolympics, albeit by myself!  I finished the border of the angora shawl, calling Finishing an event unto itself.  I'd say I scored high marks.  I give myself a silver, because of the missed turn on one corner, but good time on the completion.

The agony of defeat would be the realization that I didn't have enough yarn to finish the silk shawl, and it was a closeout.  Not sure how to finish it, but it will definitely not be done in the next hour.  I gave it my all, but my math skills caught me up short again.  Oh, well!  It'll make a cute scarf, won't it?
As any great athlete will do, I've already planned my next goal.  I'm working on a square shawl that starts on four double point needles.  A bit tricky to start, but once I got past the first couple rows, I fell in love with it.   The instructions on the left are daunting, but I was getting the hang of them until I decided I didn't like the second pattern.  I found some interconnected hearts by another designer in another lace book and have started them.
  The next summer Olympics in Rio will need something very special to challenge me.  This is the summer of lace, but who knows what I'll fall in love with by 2016?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day Nine, Small Success

 Because I worked Thursday through Saturday, long and arduous days, I didn't have a chance to work on my Olympic events.  But this morning, I realized I had 1 1/2 rows left plus the bind-off of the white shawl, and I sat down to knit like the wind.  I finished, though I'm not very happy with the way the bind-off binds.  When I washed it and blocked it, I stretched as hard as I dared to get the binding to match the border lace.
  There are a couple of mistakes, silly ones.  I didn't notice that one of the markers for the corners was missing, and now one of the corners doesn't, y'know, corner!  It rounds its way around the bend.  The shawl is also smaller than I'd like, even though I added one entire pattern repeat to the pattern than it called for.   What are you gonna do?
  I do love the shawl, as one can love one's first born, and am impatiently waiting for it to dry so I can try it on.
  This morning, I had a busman's holiday, making doughnuts from 6 am to noon, for GULP, for our first-ever brunch.  I made three doughs, forming the sourdough doughnuts into balls and sticks.  The sticks were supposed to be filled with blueberry jam, but after making the jam, and making the doughnuts, I realized I didn't have any piping tips to push the jam into said doughnuts.  I dusted them in vanilla sugar and called it a day.
  I didn't take my camera to brunch, thinking that one of our members likes taking the pictures best, only to find that he was sick and didn't come.  I only have the doughnut photo to show you.  Please have a towel ready, so as not to ruin your keyboard.  They were delightful!
   And now it's back to the couch to assume the knitting position.  I must finish the orange silk shawl before the closing ceremonies!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day Five, Dreaming of Gold

When I was young, I dreamed of being a gymnast, like many girls.  I practiced routines in my back yard, over and over again.  I dreamed of being "discovered," like a movie star, but this time for my amazing hand stands!
  Alas, that dream never materialized.  And due to NBC's awful Olympics coverage, I didn't get to see much of team USA's dream coming true, either.  They managed to stretch out the gymnastics all night, well past my bed time.  I would have liked to have seen other gymnasts perform, too, rather than have NBC select what I get to and don't get to watch.
  Isn't it amazing how gymnasts bodies have changed since Olga Korbut and Nadia Comaneci?  Those girls are buff!  And what about the swimmers?  Even the women look like they could bench press an Escalade!
 But I digress.  My progress is measurable, at last.  On the left, you see how the whole shawl fits on one circular needle.  I was worried about it being crowded, but it's not at all.
  On the right is the pattern for the edging highlighted by being draped over my faithful Olympics partner, the remote control.  My fingers are getting a great work out, but really, who wants over-developed muscles in their fingers?