Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Knitting and Nailbiting

I can count on one hand (with fingers left over) the number of times in my life that I’ve actually had fingernails that were long enough and in reasonably good-enough condition to actually get a manicure. For decades I was a nailbiter, exacerbated by the fact that I have a milk allergy, which was just the excuse that those little appendages needed to break off in odd moments where no one in their right mind would have access to an emery board. That meant I simply had to bite off the offending area, which then caused stress that gripped me until I chewed the whole damn thing down to the nub. Damn weak fingernails. Tried everything – vitamin e, that “strong as nails” stuff, even had acrylic tips for a while after my wedding. But I tell you, there’s one sure fire way to get nails that work: Get knocked up. Works every time. (Remember I said I could count on one hand? One finger for each kid, folks. The acrylic tips from the wedding don’t count.)
Given the stress and strain of waiting until Thursday to find out what I’m having, it’s amazing that I haven’t chewed these nails off. I’m terribly impatient, and it’s killing me. My husband and I have even postponed our naming discussion until the big reveal. He says it will help us better focus the discussion and maximize time (he’s a techie, LOL) but I really think it’s to avoid stressing me out further. Like I said, it’s all I can do to not chew, chew and chew some more.

One thing for sure about these talons: I can’t let them go much longer though, or they’ll start to interfere with the needles.

Speaking of needles, I have a few things going.

First, there’s Basil the Wonder Blanket.

A few words about Basil. This is a Smith Island Pattern Factory opus, an absolutely dreamy baby blanket with a simple motif and has knit like a dream. Once the code was cracked, I was off with this and I’m now sitting on the edging. I’ve had it in my head that I would wait until we found out whether we’re having a boy or girl before starting said edging, tailoring it accordingly, but then it hit me that I absolutely LOVED this minty green. In fact, the nursery theme that I have in mind is primarily green. So in my haste to not only make something that matched but also work with what I already have, I opted for the green (which is one of my all-time favorite colors anyway) and started the contrast last night.

But I’ve reached my waterloo, I swear. This happened with Parthenope. It happened with the pi shawl way back when. Some edgings are just plain evil. They team up with the rest of the pattern to have you move along quickly and easily with yarn overs and lacy patterns that just go so fast you can’t believe it. And then you hit a speedbump and you’re right back to plain old knitting. Problem is, for some reason, that’s taking me a LONG time. Plain vanilla is screwing me up. It will happen though … I’m just impatient. And it’s taking all of my willpower at this point to keep going and not put Basil in the knitting basket with Parthenope (who is still two rows away from a bind-off).

Speaking of plain vanilla, I started a sock a few weeks ago (again, is it the plain vanilla that’s getting me and impeding progress?)

It certainly isn’t the yarn. This is Socks that Rock, people. It will happen, I know, but it’s a little frustrating. But, like most cases of Second Sock Syndrome (read the Harlot’s new book if you want specifics on the strains of this condition), it will pass with time.

I’m also moving furiously in the Land of the Knitted Burpcloth. I snagged some Plymouth mercerized cotton at the LYS the other day, and it seems one hank will make a decent sized shoulder cover. I have lunch plans to get more. Burpcloths seem to fit the bill for quick and easy knitting and all moms know you simply can’t get enough of those.

I’ve also been spinning.

Merino/tencel top from Vicki and Kendig Cottage. It's spinning thinner than it looks. I finished one bobbin a few weeks ago and Navajo-plied it … turned out great. But then I got to thinking … Geyl is on my list to start soon and I have a lovely green varigated Koigu for the main part … but this “Peacock” colorway might be perfect for the edging … so I’m going to do the other four ounces this thin and do a two-ply instead of the Navajo ply. I might have enough. I was going to use mill ends for this, but then this green Koigu jumped out at me and it seems perfect. There’s other Koigu in the stash that will work for the edging if the spinning doesn’t work out … and if it doesn’t, then someone will have a beautiful Peacock scarf this Christmas.

Then I’m on to another project … “Flair” by Wendy at Knit and Tonic. Problem is, I’m planning on spinning the yarn for that, too. At our January spinner’s group, I picked up about 20 ounces or so of a luscious Oreo-like yarn – you remember, that absolutely delightful wool that I spun with great zeal last fall. The pattern calls for about 750 yards of worsted, and I can do that. It’s a cute little swingcoat that will be perfect for those chilly fall days. I’m going to make the sleeves just a little longer than the prototype, though that’s my only foreseen modification to the pattern.

Two days until the reveal. And then comes the anticipation of waiting for MS&W (and the big yarn diet).

Will the nails survive?

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