Saturday, 7 September 2013

Around and Around...

I blocked the Rams and Yowes blanket last week.
'Tis a thing of beauty, if I do say so myself.
 I have picked up the stitches around the edges for the garter stitch border. The way the pattern is written, I was to pick up each stitch along each side. However, as stitches are shorter than they are wide, many people who followed the instructions were dismayed that the border was rippled, particularly on the sides. Garter stitch is also very stretchy compared to the stranded knitting of the body. Some suggested going down a needle size for the border. However I stayed with the same size (3mm) needles.

Normally, when I pick up stitches along the front of a cardigan for a buttonband I pick up 3 and skip one so I used this technique on the sides of the blanket and on the top and bottom, I picked up every stitch but on the first knit round, I knit 2 together every 5th stitch.

To do the garter stitch edge, I knit one round and purl one round, increasing one stitch on each side of the corner stitches on the knit rows, creating mitred corners. Every 2 ridges, I change to the next darkest colour. I'm on the sixth or seventh colour at this point.

The 'natural' colours of sheep's wool have very funky names: (from light to dark) white, gaulmoget, katmollet, mooskit, shaela, sholmit, moorit, yuglet, and black.

Once corner is a little wonky but it was too fiddly to rip out and fix so I will be doing some trompe l'oeil duplicate stitching to fix it once I'm done. This is one of the non-wonky corners.
Once I go through all 9 colours, I'll do them in descending order decreasing on either side of the mitered corner stitches. Then I will knit the last row picking up the purl bumps on the back of the blanket from the first row of border stitches. This will create a double thickness of the border and when I pick up the purl bumps, I'll also conceal any yarn ends.

There's one more step; that is, an i-cord edging all along the outer edge of the blanket. A good final blocking will smooth everything out (fingers crossed).

It's been perfect knitting (700+ stitches per round) for my bingeing on the entire series of "West Wing" DVDs. I've spent the entire summer reserving the disks at the public library, picking them up, watching them, returning the disks and reserving the next ones. Last night I watched the last episodes of the seventh and final season. Each season had about 21 episodes so that was over 150 episodes in all! Nowadays, there only seem to be 13 or fewer episodes in a season.

I could really tell the difference between the first seasons that Aaron Sorkin wrote and the subsequent ones after he left the show. It seemed to lose its way somewhat but I found the last couple of seasons which dealt with the election of the new president (after Bartlet's 2 terms were ending) to be quite interesting. It was pretty idealistic for the two election committees to keep with the squeaky clean ads and no 'mud-slinging'. Nowadays that is certainly not the case. "West Wing" is also quite the contrast from the Kevin Spacey Netflix series, "House of Cards" based on the British series of the same name.

I'm also nearing the end of season 3 of "Breaking Bad" and have a couple more seasons to go. I have to borrow it from another town's library as there are at least 8 people ahead of me in line for the DVDs at the Whitby Library.

Now that video rental stores are finished, I'm finding the public libraries to be a wealth of resources. Since I do so much knitting, I don't take the opportunity to read a lot but have been ripping a lot of books on CD to my iPod Touch and listen to a lot that way. Today I vacuumed for much longer than I normally would because I was listening to Barbara Walter's autobiography, "Audition" all the while.

Next up on my list is Valerie Harper's autobiography, "I, Rhoda". I look forward to seeing her on "Dancing with the Stars" and sure hope she is well enough to make it pretty far. She was a dancer in her early career so it would be nice to really see her kick some butt in spite of the fight she is undertaking with her terminal brain cancer.

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