Middle

I’ve been splitting my time between my Rocky Coast cardi and my Hudson Bay crib blanket, depending on how much effort I feel like making (and that includes which one doesn’t need another ball of yarn wound before I can start). Rocky Coast is past the infernal yoke increases and into the body, and the blanket is just miles of garter stitch, and neither photographs well at this stage. I still love the Organik yarn, but am finding that it felts to itself pretty easily. The first three skeins weren’t so bad, but the fourth one from last night was constantly resolving into a tangled mess. Let’s hope it’s a fluke.

Something always needs to be wound up, and both of my boys are unnaturally fascinated with the swift and ball winder. The five-year-old likes to use the winder for its intended purpose (and I’ll let him, though I watch to make sure he doesn’t wind it around the gears–that wouldn’t stop him), and the toddler likes to sit on the floor with it and turn the crank just to see the spindle twirl. I may yet turn them on to knitting, though I confess I’ll be just as happy if I only get them as far as winding skeins into balls for me.

I’ve given up on the ladynovels for this month–the nice thing about them is that if the current crop stinks, there will be six more on the first of the month–and gone back to Miss Silver. The second one was great, and the third, Lonesome Road is turning out to be just as riveting. I stayed up too late reading and knitting last night, and I’ll probably finish it tonight. The irony is that I got into them for the knitting, after the Miss Silver article in the Piecework literary knitting issue last year, but there isn’t a whole lot of knitting in them. They’re just good mysteries with occasional tantalizing glimpses of what the Miss Silvers of the world were knitting in the 1930s. It’s a nice bonus, though.

And this is why you shouldn’t read (anything distracting) and knit.

So last night, in a fit of optimism about my ability to finish a warm sweater before the weather turns, I cast on for the ubiquitous Rocky Coast Cardigan. I would like to take a second and gush about how much I love Coastal Knits; it’s been a while since I fell in love with a pattern book and this is just so charming, and I want to make everything in it (and/or go hiking; whichever). I have the nice Organik yarn to make it, and I had the needles all ready, and because I have been knitting long enough to get cocky about these things, I cast on and off I went.

Until–and I must be fair, here: there is nothing wrong with the pattern at all–I realized as I was working along yesterday morning that I no longer had a symmetrical number of extra stitches on either side of the shoulder cables. That is bad. It means that somewhere in the first couple of repeats, I was zinging right along and forgot to do one of the mirrored increases. And in fact, I forgot it twice. I would love to be able to say it was because one of the shorter members of the household caused me trouble, but the truth is that I was knitting while reading a serial novel of the sophisticated woman-of-the-world variety, and I may have…forgotten…what I was doing. The sad thing is that even as far as they go, this wasn’t a particularly good one, and still. Forced to frog the thing because there’s no non-obvious way to make up for missing two increases several rows back, and I cast on again and have nearly gotten to where I was when I went to bed. Oh, well. I am being more diligent now.

Slight digression about trashy literature follows:

Lately even my brain-candy ladynovels are leaving me cold, and I think it’s because I’ve overdosed on the three most prevalent varieties: hot cowboys, hot soldiers, and hot wealthy Manhattan power brokers. They are also disproportionately set in the south or midwest, probably owing to a bigger audience there. I’d complain about being underrepresented, but a) New England does not have a reputation for being inherently sexy; and b) there was one about this so-and-so Cape Cod family, though I maintain that taking wealthy power brokers and putting them on Cape Cod instead of in Manhattan does not make them not wealthy Manhattan power brokers. Nevertheless, Massachusetts girls need love too. Ladynovel authors, take note. If I only messed up a couple of increases, the book wasn’t that good. If I knitted in stockinette for six inches and forgot to cable altogether, there’s your RITA award. Bonus points if you manage to include a knitting heroine without being patronizing.

Mneh.

I’ve been in a knitting slump ever since I finished the BSJs. It’s not that I don’t have anything to do, and not that I don’t feel like knitting. I just seem to think about knitting and then reject the possible projects one by one on the basis of not having the mental energy to deal with them. For example, I got some Shibui Sock to attempt the Absinthe socks again (first try in another yarn came out too small), and I looked at the pattern and at the unfinished too-small sock, and thought about whether I could realistically make them to fit me at all, and what could I do to make that happen, and then…mneh. After that, I took up the lanternfish amigurumi, which needed to have its belly grafted. Did that while I saw Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight, then looked at the next direction: pick up for the lips. Pick up? Mneh. Futzed around on Rav for a while until the movie was over (what’s up with the sudden shift in tone at the end? I love Dame May Whitty, but that was weird). Decided that “mneh” is meant to be halfway between “meh” (don’t care) and “nah” (not going to do it). I care, but I’m feeling lazy.

In a final, heroic, last-ditch effort to get knitting something, I wound up a ball of Cascade 220 and cast on for a Hudson Bay crib blanket for the baby. Then I happily garter-stitched on it for over an hour, and am feeling better about things. I’m having trouble relaxing lately. I will, for example, now spend the next hour trying to fall asleep, and once I do, being tense and unhappy until it’s time to get up, which I also will not want to do. At least it’s my weekend. I’m going to relax if it kills me!