Madeleine

Madeleine Pattern: Madeleine, by Marta Yarn: Debbie Bliss Wool Cotton 203, a little under 6 skeins Modifications: Collar modifications like Colleen's, altered numbers to fit own measurements. Needles: US 4 Addi Turbos Date Started: July 19, 2005 Date Completed: August 15, 2005 Time: 13.5 hours for the back, 12 hours for the front, 1.25 for the collar, 2 hours of finishing (total 28.75)

Balance

Work is challenging these days. Deadlines are coming hard and fast, and I work with Wally from Dilbert. Bad day at work yesterday. I went to spin class, which was the beginning of the improvement for the day. It was great as usual, though Raven, my absolutely favorite spin instructor ever, announced she is moving. No date yet. I'm sad. My fabulous brother-in-law Ed had given me a suggestion that solved a problem that I was having with my cycling shoes though, so that cheered me up. Of course, when I got home, things got a lot better. :) I had hung out with Marisa for breakfast and some knitting on Sunday morning, and I had more time with her last night, as well as Miyon! The three of us haven't knitted together in forever. I probably should have been studying, but I can't tell you how much I needed some knitting time with friends. :) Marisa made me drool with the absolutely fabulous yarn she had from ArtFibers, and Miyon brought out Hudson. Here's a sign of approval: hudson That is a happy dog. She wasn't the only happy one - lookie! blocking Madeleine is blocking. The splotches are due to uneven dampness. I'm so excited - all the ends are woven in, once it's dry, I can wear it! :) I start a three day training class at work today. It will be challenging, but a welcome relief from the other stuff. It's all about balance.

Desperate times

I'm working more than usual these days. This isn't the end of the world, as this is the first project that I've worked on that they actually pay for overtime (I'm salaried). Still, it's difficult for me to find as much time to do what I need to do, which is to continue to exercise and knit. Luckily, with that whole class thing, I can multi-task. Last night I worked on Madeleine, and I'm about halfway up the front. As this looks identical to whatever halfway up the back picture I must have posted, I am now pimping my dog to make my knitting more interesting. Front I'm exactly at that point where I'm dying to get it finished already. I'm at that point with Harry Potter, too - I have 100 pages left to go, and I can't pick it up again until I know I can finish those 100 pages in one sitting without jeopardizing my sleep.

Halfway with Madeleine

Well, not quite halfway when you figure in a collar, but here's the finished back: back I'm going to hold off on blocking until the entire top is complete. The cables are much prettier when opened up, but it should do that naturally when I wear it. I'll only block them out if the top is a little too clingy. I actually finished this over the weekend, but just got around to posting it now. I didn't have class yesterday, and I have an exam tomorrow, so the front won't likely be started until next Tuesday. Actually, I'm going to try to make it back to the Grove for a knit night on Thursday after my exam (my current professor is awesome - this is the first summer school class I have had that I haven't had to wait around and then go back to class for lecture after an exam). Maybe I'll cast on for the front of Madeleine then. :) In the meantime, Soleil is running around with me and getting a couple stitches here and there and has grown to about 5-6" or so ( I really need to try it on soon), but for the most part I've been studying. Edited to add: This pattern is Madeleine, which I'm knitting using Colleen's collar modifications. I'm knitting with Debbie Bliss Wool Cotton, which I subbed for Rowan Wool Cotton. They're not exactly the same (despite having the same fiber composition, yardage, and gauge) but they're close. The Rowan is a little softer. I think the Debbie Bliss is discontinued (thus less expensive), but still available if you look.

Speed racer

After all of the work on Rosita with US2 needles, knitting with US4 needles for Madeleine feels like such an improvement. Of course, 2x2 cabled ribbing goes a lot faster than a 28 row, 24 stitch lace repeat. This is fabulous class knitting, and I love how there's noticeable progress after three hours (total time on this is about nine hours). I've just started the armhole shaping. back It's so nice to have knitting with no deadline! I'm going for sushi with Miyon tonight, but when I get home, I plan to weave in at least some ends on Rosita.

Real Madeleine Progress

After two unsuccessful class sessions with Madeleine, I finally have something to show. back I'm so in love with the wool cotton. Knitting this is just wonderful. The very cool thing is that after class, a woman came up to me and asked if cabling was hard. I noticed her watching me in class, but that's fairly normal (you can't KIP without people staring occasionally). I told her it was quite deceptive, and everyone goes "that's IT?" when they learn the techniques of cabling. She said that someone had told her that at a yarn store (she's been to a real yarn store!) but she hadn't figured it out by book yet. She does know how to knit and purl. So, I told her that during our break on Tuesday, I'll teach her to cable. :) I've been stalking my birthday present with bloglines (FedEx tracking). It should be delivered today! Just in time, as it is a space board and blocking wires, and I should be finished with the last sleeve cap of Rosita tonight. Now I don't have to figure out how to handle all of that on my floor. :)

State of Madeleine

Just a little sad: yarn In class, I knit up to the first cable repeat. Then, I decided that I really wasn't happy with the look of the tubular cast on with this yarn. I determined that the problem wasn't the particular technique, but the crossing over of stitches that must be done to achieve a 2x2 rib instead of 1x1 - it just didn't work with the crisp wool cotton. So, I cast on again with the long tail cast on. Then, I realized that my measurements just don't fit in the realm of one size for this pattern. So I did some math, and then cast on again. Except that time I cast on one too few stitches. I gave up, especially since I was in danger of paying way too much attention to the knitting and not enough to lecture. Class with no knitting was lousy - I knew I should have brought the Here and There Cables scarf as backup. I'll get Madeleine started again in time for Tuesday - I need to figure out how to handle the fluctuating stitch count with regards to the cable pattern. I'm tempted to take a page from Colleen's book (well, another page since I'm totally doing that collar) and treating the shaping like this. Though, I think I would do the increases on the edges instead of at the end of the cabling. Thoughts?

What’s that smell?

Oh, that would be me, with the Bengay. Let's just say there was a flaw in my gym plan where I went to Raven's spin class Monday and Wednesday, and did PiYo and lifted legs on Tuesday. Walking today is a bit of a challenge. Subsequent weeks will have Tuesday as an off day as a necessity (school). Thank goodness. Pass the Advil. I did cast on for Madeleine after I got home last night. I did the tubular cast on, which I had done before for York. I like the look a lot better with the worsted weight wool - I'm not sure it works well with the DK weight wool/cotton. cast on I used the Big Book of Knitting by Katharina Buss which covers the yarn over method of tubular cast on. I'll grab my Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley on my way out the door - maybe there's another way I could try in there. I'm kind of dreading my first day of class. I need more of a break. :(

Madeleine Swatch

I took a break from Rosita (well, I knit for 45 minutes on it) to knit the swatch for Madeleine. I'd like to have it cast on for my first day of class tomorrow. I have to tell you - I really like the wool cotton (I'm using Debbie Bliss, not Rowan). It's a little splitty, just a little, but the stitches are so crisp and pretty that I don't care. It's a great yarn for cabling, I think, since it has a bit of give from the wool, but the definition of the cotton. I took a macro shot before the sun came up, so the color isn't the greatest, but here's the swatch (I might add, the biggest swatch I've knit in quite a while). swatch The weirdness on the left side is just sloppy blocking. I want to use the tubular cast on for this one, so I'm going to have to cast on tonight so I'm ready for class tomorrow. Tubular cast on is not class knitting, though 2x2 ribbing with an occasional cable twist is.