Saturday, November 05, 2011

Back - briefly.

Hello, I'm back. Did you know I was away? I can't recall if I said or not but Friday I was in warm and sunny Tauranga, just for the day. 1025 km away, up and back in one day, two flights there and two flights back. I'm away again next week, to Auckland this time, Tuesday and Wednesday - which would be neater if Bear wasn't away to Christchurch Monday and Tuesday. My Dad is coming to the rescue as the cubs are lovely and sensible kids but not old enough to leave on their own yet. I don't often flit around the country like this - but when I do I get a real reminder of how much weather patterns change in such a small country. Its November, early Spring here and in Tauranga it was very springlike, the students I was there to see all wore strappy sandals, the windows were open, the day fine and warm (by Dunedin Standards). Friday night I returned home to a much more chilly climate - and Saturday awoke to snow on the ground - all around! Today - Sunday it is much warmer, windows open kind of warm - but obviously winter is not ready to forget us yet.
I took along the Bigger on the inside sock, and worked it as I flew up and back. I made good progress, achieving the gusset increases, the heel flap and starting the leg. I would have made more progress if I had remembered to take a few stitch markers along. This yarn is dark, and I wanted the increases to run out from the sole (not towards the sole) - and that required keeping the increases next to the same stitch - not as easy to do without stitch markers. Discovering that I frogged back once and took a lot more care with placing the increases this time. I also wondered what would happen if I ribbed the gusset, so did that, I like the way the ribs sort of fan out, and may do this again. I had to do some quick calculations to make sure the leg had the right stitch count for the Tardis stitch pattern - turns out that after a day of flying I'm not so good at math, this also took me a few repeatedly  frogged rounds to sort out. Slipped stitched heel on this one - which pairs nicely with the ribbed gussets.

The other sock on the needles stayed at home, having achieved the same state before I left. This time I worked the gusset in reverse stocking stitch, and I like it. The little triangle of reverse stocking stitch pairs nicely with the ground behind the traveling stitches. Eye of partridge slipped stitch heel on this one. I'm thinking short with a fold down or a lace frill - what say you?
Finished object here - a wash-coth, in ribbed smocking. Rather nice I thought, and squooshy. The cloth is much smaller than I expected, smocking the rib pulls everything in quite a bit. I really would like to work this stitch pattern into a yoke of a little girls cardigan - as soon as I have a wee bit of time to work out how to increase for the yoke shaping keeping the pattern true. Any ideas?
Older cub is spending the day in the garage wood working, Bear is terrified that he will injure himself with sharp tools. Elder cub has not shown much interest in woodwork before, but has done several weeks of wood technology at school - where it turns out that they had to wear tough leather gloves whenever they used cutting type tools. To me that just seems to make the whole exercise harder and clumsier. I explained that snap-off craft knives are not the best for whittling wood, which is what he had been using - what do people use to whittle now that pocket knives are illegal to carry (at least they are in New Zealand). I've made it clear  that one keeps ones hands behind the blade, cuts away from oneself, and shown him how to secure things in the vice and where the tools are. He wants to make a wand a-la Harry Potter, and isn't to disappointed that we couldn't find a Yew dowel at the hardware store. He did have hopes of finding Yew - which I was pretty sure we wouldn't find.  I've left him with a rasp and a spoke shave to thin the end, sandpaper, and reminded him that he doesn't like blood and I don't like screaming so it would be best to avoid anything that results in that. I love that he wants to do things with his hands - love it.

take care -


Vanda Symon said...

Give him the sharp stuff, he'll be fine - Mr Twelve-year-old ha had lots of fun whittling wands, daggers, birds and boats out of wood and has thus far managed to avoid any spilling of blood. It is a lot easier if you have a vice, though. As for pocket knives - Leatherman multi tools are fancy pants pocket knives cleverly disguised as pliers!

Knitting Linguist said...

Good for Elder Cub! I love your advice, too - very sage, and exactly what I would have said (re the blood and screaming). A friend's son went to a two-week canoeing camp this past summer, and the rules were: 1) Stay safeish, 2) No dying, 3) Respect everything. Seems like a good life list of rules to me.

As for the socks, definitely frills, and I very much like the gusset experiments - it adds a lovely design element to each sock.