Monday, April 30, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

I celebrated my birthday last Friday and though it was low key I did enjoy receiving these flowers from A and the A's as well as a great little book from my good friend C (she of the Beach Escape fame,) and a lovely chocolate cake with cherries on top plus a full round of "Happy Birthday" at Shabbos dinner.

C knows I love words; I have been subscribing to AWAD for years now as well as Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day and I just subscribed to the Oxford English Dictionary's daily word. Can I take a moment to rhapsodize over the OED. It was the one thing I actually asked for as a university graduation present and though it has been sitting at my mother's for the last 10 years I think of it often. I have the compact edition which means that 20 volumes have been reproduced micrographically, into a single volume. Nine pages of the original fit onto just one and it comes with its own magnifying glass that you place directly on the printed page. It was indispensable when I worked on Hamlet at the San Diego Rep. (End of OED rhapsody!) My new book is terrific. It takes every day phrases and gives the history of how they came about. Take, for instance, High Jinks, which my good friend S is always clamoring for. When someone is having High Jinks they are lively and excited; having a good time. High Jinks can be traced back to a popular dice game found at the decadent drinking parties in the great houses of Scotland in the late 19th early 20th century. Amongst the book's categories are: Money (or the lack of it), Food for Thought, the World of Books and That's Entertainment. All topics I can relate to! And what did I give myself? I cast on and finished half a sleeve for my Capecho! Don't feel bad if you missed out. You have another chance. You see my birthday was 9 Iyar, and thanks to having my feet in two worlds, I get to celebrate it all over again on May 11!

Before we get to the Capecho saga, yes I am afraid it has become a bit of a saga, I'd like to mention the indefinitely stalled Clapotis project. I have been dying to make Clapotis since I first saw it and after trying out some swatches I knew that to get the drape I would have to use either the Lorna's Laces it calls for (now there's a birthday present!!!) or something similar. When we had our knitting event a few months ago I bought a skein of Silk Rhapsody. It was a splurge, I know, but I HAD TO HAVE IT. So after agonizing over what to make with just one skein I decided to use it to start Clapotis. Below you can see how far I got with a single skein (I made the scarf a bit narrower than called for) and a close up of the dropped stitches. So what's the hold up? I'm not sure I love this colorway enough to invest in buying 1 or 2 more skeins to finish this up. So if anyone has any ideas besides a simple shawl (not me style) of what to do with this, let me know.
Here's another Argosy. For those of you keeping score, this is #5. I modified this one, making it 9 blocks wide, as opposed to the original 5. Once again I used the Lanas Stop: Yes Please in color way 207. This is the colorway I used for my sister's. This is a surprise gift for someone but since the sun is coming out in full force I won't be passing it on quite yet. That should keep the mystery going. In the meantime, I have decided that while the original is a bit narrow, the 9 repeats is a bit wide for me. So that takes us to Arogsy #6 for me and back to colorway 208. It will have a s 7 block repeat and I will give my mom the thinner one.

I can't say enough about this Lanas Stop: Yes Please yarn. The self striping colors are great and it really lends it self to lace work. So far I have used 4 colorways to make Argosy, Midwest Moonlight and Lacy Ocean. I have one more colorway at home. This time a rich burgundy blend. Any pattern recommendations?

And now to Capecho. Here is a the completed back, just waiting for sleeves and collar. And indeed have begun the sleeves. In fact I have finished the left one, twice. Huh? Well despite that fact that I made the pentagons larger to make the overall size bigger, my arms aren't that big so I went for the printed XL instructions, added a couple more inches for length, bound off and sewed it up. The sleeve was huge! So I ripped back to where the sleeve decreases started and continued the pattern 4 more rows following the L directions and of course, disaster. The whole thing pulls up too far so the underarm doesn't work. After completing it twice I have come to the conclusion that I should follow the XL instructions but will try changing needle size when I get to the plain ribbing. And all this will be done on the right sleeve because I am not about to rip out and restart the left sleeve AGAIN (at least not until I see this thing with both sleeves in. Then of course I will rip away...) This way I will be able to compare and see where I am going wrong. I have to admit I have been worried about the over all size for a while now. It just seems so, SO big. With one sleeve in I see that it is taking shape, another reason to leave it in temporarily and put in the second. Across the back it seems fine but the neck line seems to go on forever. I will just have to take it on faith that when the collar goes in all will be fine. And if not, take apart the whole thing and start over! (Oh, I hope not!) There is no other way to fix it. The size of the pentagon is based on the CO stitches, you can't make it smaller without starting over. I have started casting on the right sleeve so we'll see where that takes us. In the meantime, I will leave you with this shot of the left sleeve just to give you an idea of what the jacket will look like. I think I will extend the sleeve yet another inch or so.

And on a final posting note, I am tré s excited about the new Arietta cardigan that just went up on Knitty. I will wait until I get to the US this summer before putting in my order to KnitPicks!


Leslie said...

I have been in love with Capecho since I first saw it on the VK cover. You have my full attention, and I'm looking forward to how yours comes out. So far, it's beautiful, but confusing to me in how it all comes together. I was wondering if the pattern could be altered to add one more row of the circles to make it a wee bit longer, but I don't know.

Tante J said...

Thanks Leslie. Nora says in the directions that additional pentagons can be added for length AFTER the sleeves go in. I am considering doing the same. The knitting goes pretty smoothly and as I said, I am taking it on faith that with the collar in place it will all come together. Here's hoping!

Tracy said...

Hi Jessica,
I saw your post on the mod list and followed you here. I haven't made the capecho, but here is a link to a blog of someone who has.....

Now I'm off to explore your blog!

Tante J said...

Oh Tracy. If only I had found that link myself. You have taught me an invaluable lesson. From now on I will make sure I read how other people are doing before I embark on a project... Thanks so much

Ayelet said...

Eek, I just saw this post! Happy happy happy (very belated) Birthday! :)