Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hot Hot Hot

After spending so much time in the windowless cave I call an office I usually like to spend my weekends outside. It doesn’t matter much what task I turn my hand to as long as it’s under the sky instead of a roof. But for the last two weekends it’s just been too crazy hot.

So last weekend I finally finished up with the crocheted edge on my Surf cardigan. It was tough to stay indoors in the AC, but every time I stuck my nose outside it nearly melted off my face. (Some will say, “It’s not the heat. It’s the humidity.” Well we’ve got that too! I’m fortunate to have the AC, but nothing beats getting outside.) This weekend I’ve blocked Surf and plan to put on the fancy handmade glass buttons I’ve selected for it… indoor tasks all.

It will truly be amazing to be done with this project. The creative effort goes back to before I started working on PaintKnits TM. I originally wrote the software specifically to create something truly different with this Fiesta Boomerang yarn in the colorway Surf. Things have dragged badly in all of my knitting projects thanks to the chemo drugs. I was actually getting close to wondering if I’d ever finish anything. Now this one will be finished for me to wear to Rhinebeck in October.

I’m even making some progress on my double knit vest, although I’ve discovered yet another challenge in the technique. Once I started incorporating color changes into my swatch I realized that it’s extremely difficult to keep track of whether a stitch is paired with the one before it or after it. Yikes! Turns out that that’s really important to the color work. This poor swatch is turning into quite a mess! Here are my latest mistakes.

I’m having trouble accepting that the dark side can be right while the light side is wrong. Each block, dark and light, should have four stitches. See how the middle block has switched to five light and three dark in the top photo, but in the bottom photo all’s well? Double knitting is definitely very freaky!

My only idea for dealing with this trouble is to populate the knitting with a ton of stitch markers so that I’m never far from figuring out whether a stitch is even or odd. I’ll try it on my next swatch. I’m pretty close to being ready to knit a swatch in my pooling stitch count to confirm that the gage matches my PaintKnits model. Let’s hope I can do a better job on this next swatch. That’ll clear the way for casting on the actual project.

Beyond the swatching I’ve continued sketching color patterns and think I’ve finally got one that I like. It has large color areas that will show off pooling, no diagonals to conflict with the pooling, and enough color area size variation that I hope it won’t be mistaken for intarsia or Fair Isle. In my rough sketch it actually has sort of a Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass feel too it, (IMHO). I still have to work out stitch counts and shaping details to match up with the pooling I want, but suddenly the project is starting to feel real.

There’s even been progress on PaintKnits LLC. This weekend I finished the last LLC activities having to do with New York State. There are still a bunch of not so fun things that have to be taken care of, but the creative parts of this effort are coming back to the top. I’m thinking about a logo and also about what I want the website to be like. I’ve even started learning some html for fun at the W3Schools website. (Some may question my idea of fun, but I really have no trouble admitting that I’m a geek at heart.)

Overall that’s an amazing amount of progress for me. And look! I’ve even managed to blog about it!

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Love the Surf Cardigan - and can't wait to see the PaintKnits in action,