Tonight as Chris and I were making lunches for the boys to eat tomorrow and Chris was trying to talk me down from a full-blown anxiety attack about the boys' starting school tomorrow, we talked about Max starting kindergarten and what that was like (in a word--horrible) and why it won't be that way tomorrow. This led to that and the next thing we knew we were missing some friends of ours in Minnesota--they'd been our friends before we ever lived in Minnesota (they were friends of Chris', I really married into the friendship, but it worked out well for me) and they're just the sort of super terrific people that every couple needs. But they have a full life and we have a full life, and we just hadn't had a good chat in a long time. So I told Chris to go call them up while I finished up the vocabulary lesson I was working on. Two hours later, he's still doing that. I sat and listened in for a good portion of it, and then, feeling happy through association that we'd reconnected, I came upstairs to blog a bit.
I mostly worked today, but I got some vacuuming done (Gaye has loaned us her Kirby because she has two working vacuums and our one vacuum just doesn't get the job done anymore.) and caught up with the dishes and did a spot of knitting.
Now, I'm working on Orange Twist for Max. I cast on a week or more ago, but you know me, I get things done in spurts, so in the last day or two, I got about 5 inches done on the back. Enough for me to start feeling . . . suspicious about it. I added another inch to it today and finally got out the measuring tape. It wasn't going to work. At the rate Max is growing, I need a minimum of six inches of ease, and the more, the better. If I knit it another whole size too big, it might fit perfectly by the time I'm done. So I was going to have to rip back. Before I did, I was trying to decide how many more repeats to add in order to make things the right size.
At the same time, the pattern is rather . . . simple. And to make matters worse, it goes from a simple rib to an even simpler mix of stockinette and a right twist cable. You don't even need a cable needle for it. You just knit into the second stitch and then the first and then pull them both off the needle. That's it. So I was kind of thinking, "You know, as long as I have to pull this out, maybe I could add a couple of more interesting cables to this."
Well, months ago, on a whim, Charlotte sent me a copy of Viking Knits.
Viking Knits is like an Advanced Placement knitting pattern book. The author just goes ahead and assumes you wouldn't be tackling this stuff if you hadn't already mastered every other cable pattern in the Universe. No hand holding in this book. If you have to knit in the round, she won't bother to remind you to be careful not to twist when you join. You'd better have figured out all those basics before hand. And the wacko symbols in the charts? No legend. She breaks down and gives you a legend in the back of the book, but I think she expects you to commit it to memory and never look again at it.
At any rate, there are some lovely cables (seems like you really shouldn't even call them cables, they are just above all that) in the book and I found one that I thought would work with the pattern, so I pulled out some leftover blue in the same kind of yarn that I'm using for Max's sweater and swatched a bit. Having confirmed that they'd work together, I recharted Orange Twist--first, to work it so that the main body of the sweater is done in the round. It's a boxy design and there's no reason not to do the body together until the armpits. I added seam stitches to each side and ran one each of the fancy Viking cables up each side, about three inches in from the edge. The center portion will be "plain" Orange twist (the stockinette & right twist pattern) and hopefully the end result won't be so weird he'll refuse to wear it.
I printed out my pretty chart and cast on 244 stitches. By the end of the day I've got a little more than an inch done. I'll take pictures when I'm out of the ribbing and have the first repeat done.
Well, there. Chris is finally off the phone, so I'm off to hear all the news from him.