Sunday, December 17, 2006

2 here, 1 to arrive later

The house is starting to feel more lived in now. We picked up 2 of our children at the airport Thursday night. The plane was delayed because of fog here. The flight was scheduled to arrive at JFK from London around 10:30 -- but the estimated arrival time was changed to just before midnight. So, we drove to JFK's terminal 8 and timed it so we would get there just as they were clearing immigration and customs. When we got there, we were surprised that less than a dozen people were waiting for an international flight. Well, we stayed in the lounge for a while (over half an hour) and visited with a lady who was waiting for the same flight and had been there longer than we had. Finally, I walked over to the AA desk and asked when the flight was going to arrive. The lady said it was arriving at terminal 4 since the international portion of terminal 8 closes at midnight (the immigration and customs people stop working at that terminal then). (As far as we know, there were no announcements to that effect. If I hadn't asked, we would have been there for a long time.) So, we drove over to the other terminal and arrived about 15 minutes before our children (home from college) came into view. We didn't get home to NJ until 2:30. But, at least, the traffic was good.

I'm starting to knit a scarf for my other DS's girlfriend. She's arriving here the day after Christmas. I'm using my usual scarf pattern, which my DD likes. My DD has the three previous scarves I made with the pattern. She says it's so soft. It's also very easy to make. I'm using a navy colored worsted weight yarn and size 7 needles and cast on 30 sts because I wanted to make it a bit wider than the other ones I've made. After starting it, I wondered about my directions for the slipped st edging. (I didn't know the "correct" way to do a slipped st edging back then. I hadn't realized there were so many online resources. So, after trying different ways of doing one, I settled on slipping the first st with the yarn in front.) It gives an edge that faces out instead of lying flat as the usual edging does and which I like better than the usual one.

Monday, December 11, 2006

a version of Smock

I'm happy. The version of Smock that I'm making is turning out nicely -- after a couple false starts. Here is an in-progress picture. I think I stood too close for the flash on the camera. The hanger turned out white instead of a light brown. The smocking is turning out well. The biggest difficulty is counting to 6.
For the sweater, the first decision I made was to use a garter stitch neckline instead of a ribbed one. (I think it looks nice with this sweater.) I also decided to make it into a top-down raglan with a k3 raglan seam. My false starts relate to the type of neck. I started it with a boat neck and then decided that I really didn't want the front of the sweater rubbing against the front of my neck. Then I restarted it with my usual crew neck pattern (which I keep changing). Then I thought "why am I doing it this way?" So, I frogged it back to the neckline and proceeded with a new plan (which is slightly more pleasing to me than the old one). Details are in my other knitting blog.
-- When I get around to it, I'm going to change the directions for the men's v-neck tweed linked to in the side-bar of this blog to reflect my change of mind regarding how to make a crew or v neck. It's just a minor change. I decided to start wrapping and turning with the backmost sts of the front raglan seams instead of the middle.

I'm happy because the children are coming home over Christmas break. Two of them are coming home at the end of the week. The other is coming here Christmas eve. Plus, a very good friend of his, whom we all like a lot, is coming the day after Christmas. It will be nice to have a full house. (We'll be having other friends of the children coming by as well for a brief stay. None of them lives in NJ.) I don't know how my mom, who is living with us, will take the change. But, I guess, if I write it all on her calendar, she'll be ok with it.
On another note, I finally got up the courage to wash my KP shine worsted pullover. It came out wonderfully. It was damp dry coming out of the wash machine. I then decided to try putting it through the dryer. It came through all of this with flying colors.

Friday, December 01, 2006

alpaca/wool blend

The yarn I bought on ebay from MysticInca is really nice. Contrary to my usual practice, I even swatched it (5.5 st, 9 rows per inch with a size 3 needle). I first washed it by hand in cold water. The gauge didn't change much (6 st, 8.5 rows per inch). Then I hand washed it in hot water and soap. The st gauge didn't change, but row gauge did, but only a bit (6 st, 8 rows per inch). Then, because I had always thought that wool shrank, I put it in with my regular laundry on a warm setting. The gauge stayed the same from the hot-water wash, and there was minimal felting, if any. The only thing all the washing did that I could tell was make the fabric a bit thicker.
So, now I'm considering making Smock out of the yarn. As I'm basically incapable of making a pattern as written, I'm making it in the round, from the top down, as a raglan, with a garter stitch neck. I haven't gotten to the point in Smock where the smocking begins -- so I can still change my mind. The smock pattern begins on the sleeves at the elbows and a bit under the armholes on the main part of the garment. The fabric feels a little too flimsy now, but I have great hopes that after washing it will be less so.
On another front, I accidentally put my v-neck in KP Swish into the wash with my regular laundry. I didn't notice that I had done that until I was getting clothes out of the dryer. Luckily, there was minimal shrinkage. Though, next time I use Swish, I'll use a size 7 needle, as recommended.