Sunday, January 17, 2010


It has been a wet, windy, chilly-for-supposedly summer weekend in Wellington. Not the greatest weather for entertaining a 9 year old boy, but perfect weather for knitting!

Hunter arrived Friday night and Dad and my step-Mum took us out for tea, then it was home to bed for Hunter and a little bit of knitting for me, the end result of which was I reached the 2 inches of ribbing I needed before I could move on to the stripes . Saturday, Hunter and I went to the Pompeii exhibit at Te Papa which I enjoyed but he got a bit bored of. We wandered around Te Papa a bit and went for our customary visit to the earthquake house (you stand in a room and an earthquake is simulated - every time we go to Te Papa Hunter wants to go in it, I said to him, 'You know, real earthquakes aren't fun - there's been a big one in a place called Haiti and lots of people have been hurt and died' and he said, 'Yeah, I know'). Then we went to the supermarket and bought the necessary supplies to make real fruit smoothies with ice cream at home in the blender my flatmate got for Christmas. After the amazing smoothies, Hunter played on the computer a bit and I decided to tackle the next stage of my hat which involved a row of knitting four and 'making one'.

Stitch n Bitch explained how to 'make one' very very clearly. It helped that I had learned how to do a bar increase from YouTube when I was in the mood for learning something new a while ago because it meant I already knew how to knit into the back of a stitch. I practiced 'making one' on my practice knitting (when I was learning the bar increase I did so on the needles and really cheap wool I bought when first learning to cast on and start knitting again, I've left the knitting I did when learning the bar increase on those needles so I have some knitting to practice anything new I need to learn on before I do it on 'the real thing' - in this case the hat).

When I felt confident with the 'make one' I decided to start - however, the row of increasing was also the first row in blue and required me to change to the #5 needles and I got quite stressed out trying to decide if you just add in new wool on circular needles the same way you do straight ones (YouTube was no help), trying to decipher the pattern's hints for carrying the colour you're not currently knitting with up the back of the knitting (I still don't get what they mean but have been doing my interpretation of it and it's working out fine), and trying to knit onto a new set of needles all at the same time. But I took the plunge, added in the new colour the way I learnt to add in a new ball of wool to my scarf and started the 'k4 m1'. By this time Guy had arrived and a new personality of mine reared its stressy head. It's called 'Fiercely Concentrating Cherie'. Fiercely Concentrating Cherie will announce loudly that she is doing something VERY complicated and needs to CONCENTRATE and NO ONE must speak to her while she is doing it. Not to ask what she wants on her homemade pizza; not to be told that we need to leave to catch the bus to the movies soon. Not for ANYTHING.

And it was while I was overtaken by this personality that I turned 112 stitches into 140. It took me FOREVER because I would get confused as to whether it was time to increase or not, or I would mistrust my counting to four and go back to the start and count out every 5 stitches to make sure I was doing it right. When I finally finished and had 140 stitches (it was touch and go for a minute there, I counted 3 times and came up with 139 but realised that was because I hadn't done the very last increase to make 140), I found I had left a ridiculously short tail where I'd added my new colour in so joining this colour in the round (I figured you join a new colour in the round the same way you join the knitting in the very beginning in the round) would be a
bit difficult. By this time Guy and Hunter had their coats on and we really needed to go, so I put down my knitting, breathed deeply, inhaled two pieces of pizza as I ran out the door, and luckily the bus arrived just after we did and we made it to the movies on time (just as well Hunter and I had bought the tickets earlier in the day because the lines were so long we wouldn't have otherwise).

It was during my extreme concentration time that I figured which was the 'right side' of what I was knitting. It's the inside. Good to know.

Fantastic Mr. Fox was fantastic! I laughed a lot (as usual: loudly, embarrassing both Guy and Hunter); Hunter really enjoyed it but I think a lot of the humour was appreciated more by the adults. It was a wonderful adaptation of a book - not wholly faithful to the book as Hunter pointed out but it retained the humour and the key aspects and added in some nice sub-plots. I loved George Clooney's voicing of Mr. Fox and Meryl Streep's Mrs. Fox. We spent the way home practicing the whistle and tongue click that is Mr. Fox's trademark.

When we got home I continued my knitting, first joining the blue in the round by trying to felt my very short tail to the working strand of wool and knit the first stitch with that. It seems to have worked okay. Since then it has been simply knitting all the stitches in one colour for 2 rounds and then changing to the next colour for 2 rounds. I have to do this until the piece measures 7 and a half inches from the bottom. Here's how it's looking so far. I'm pretty proud!

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