Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Change of plans

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

I can no longer say, "My four year old", because I don't have one of those any more. My dh totally accepted and conquered the challenge of creating a pancake shaped like the number "5" (and all I had to do was clean up everything afterward :-) He did a nice job, don't you agree?! Breakfast in bed for "my five year old".

Well, chemistry is taking up a lot of time which could otherwise be spent knitting. That doesn't stop me from knitting, but it is very slow-going. Last year, in September I started making the Hardangervidda sweater which I finished in time to give to dh for Christmas. This year, I picked a straight-forward stockinette sweater using luscious yarn (so, so soft), and I'm not sure I'm going to finish in time -- same gauge, much simpler design, very little "finishing" work -- I just don't have much time for it. ...And, the added detail that I think I'm going to start the whole thing over. Take a look at this photo:
I'm very concerned about the bottom folding up. The yarn seems very light, and I thought the hem would add a bit of weight, but it doesn't seem to be enough weight to get it to lie flat. Perhaps blocking it will help in the end, but with wear, I'm concerned that the bottom edge will still turn up. I do have a provision so that I could thread some elastic through the casing formed by the hem, but the more I think about it, I just don't really want to do that. And so, I decided to start on the second sleeve (first sleeve is about 1/3 done), except use K2P2 ribbing at the bottom edge instead of a hem, to see how it behaves. So far, so good....so, I might just cast on for the body of the sweater again, starting with a couple of inches of K2P2 ribbing, and compare it with the hemmed version. I hate it when this happens, but the "nagging" voice in my head which has been getting louder that's saying, "it's going to turn up, it's going to turn up, etc", must be put to rest...so better to cut my losses now if there is a way to make it which I'll be happier with. Any words of wisdom out there? I'm all ears! This is a dk weight 100% alpaca yarn.

Anyway, both kids are enjoying school. My 5-year has been reading for a couple of years, as he picked it up on his own, and has been reading chapter books (Magic Tree House books) lately. His preschool teacher wasn't aware of that, so when he brought a toy over to her and showed her the words on the toy that said it was "made in China", she thought perhaps he was just guessing about that and by coincidence happened to be right. Later that morning, he read something else in the classroom, and she realized that he really can read. He's still very fixated on where things are made, especially how many of our products are made in China. I might have shared this story with you already.... He told me one day that there must be a LOT of people living in China. I asked him why he thought that. He said, "To make all of that stuff."

Car is in the shop today, getting new tires put on it. The current set have gone almost 75,000 miles, and it occurred to me that that is a lot of miles for a set of tires. One of them has a slow leak, and when I bent over to check what psi to inflate it to, I noticed the tread looked pretty low. Then I checked another one, and it looked the same. Then I realized that it's still the original set of tires, and instead of having the slow leak fixed, we really should buy a new set. So, yippee -- new tires. How very exciting. For piece of mind, though, the money is well worth it. Now, if I could only have the repair shop figure out why this vehicle keeps dying on me. Only when the engine has recently been sitting for a long time (so it is back to ambient temperature), and only if I don't really give it enough gas as I'm starting from a stop or completing a turn. The man at the car place says he believes me that it happens, but yet (and of course), they aren't able to replicate the failure. Perhaps if he had been with me when it happened twice as I was trying to get out of a parking garage yesterday...

Anyway, beautiful day here today! Truly God's country! Have I mentioned that I love fall?

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)


Marie N. said...

I love that pancake! We just may be copy cats around here when my son turns six. Pancakes are his favorites.

Marie N. said...

I can't be helpful with suggestions about the hem turning up, but I agree with you about cutting your losses and starting again. When you've gone through the effort you want to enjoy wearing it!

Cindy G said...

What a delightful birthday breakfast. Hooray for Dad! and the birthday boy, too.

It way a glorious day, wasn't it?

Sus said...

The pancake is fabulous! What a great dad for taking on that challenge. And an awesome mom for cleaning up the mess. ;)

Aren't kids amazing sometimes? I love the way their little minds work.

No knitting advice -- sorry. But I totally understand the 'no progress due to schooling' thing.

Linda L. said...

Hi, Laura - lovely yarn, it looks positively scrumptious! Almost as yummy as the pancake.

As for the hem, do you use a provisional cast-on and then pick up the live stitches and knit them together with the "front", or do you sew the hem down? I do the former, and found that if I used a much bigger needle for the connecting row (like up to a US10 from a US8) the looser stitches hang better and the hem is less likely to flip up. I figured this out with trial and error, so perhaps you could try it on a swatch and see what works for you.
Hope that helps!