Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I Can Knit for Miles and Miles

The prospect of a 9 hour road trip may seem daunting to some people but those of us who knit often look forward to these situations with glee. All of that time on the wide open highway, zooming along with nothing to do but book some major time with your front-burner projects. At least this seemed to be the plan for my recent family trip to Quebec to visit my mother in law. Highway 401 is the only main route connecting the Toronto area to Eastern Canada - specifically Montreal. Our plan was simple: rise early (4:00 am), make it through Toronto by 6:00 am and through Montreal just after lunch arriving in the mid afternoon. The evening before my husband said to me "I have a bad feeling about this trip". He didn't have any feelings of danger, just something wasn't right. Our first set-back occurred when the alarm clock failed to go off and we awoke at 5:00 am. OK, no biggie - we're an hour behind. As we entered Toronto, the news announced that the 401 was "closed from Belleville to Napanea due to a protest". This little glitch forced us onto a two lane highway for the next 3 hours along with about 5,000 of our nearest and dearest friends all fighting their way around the blockade as well. Bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic doesn't bode well for knitting so it wasn't until we got back on track that I actually had a chance to embrace the needles. After landing in Montreal at 3:30 pm (on a Friday afternoon of a long weekend) we staggered into my MIL's house 5 hours late. Here is my MIL with Butch and Sundance and moi.

I took about 50 projects with me which was a good move because at one point or another each one of them pissed me off enough to warrant a time out. Having plan B and C and D and F allowed me to move onto something else. Without further ado, here are my vacation knitting projects and their current state of completion.

I wanted to take Maritime with me since the stockinette, two-colour pattern is perfect for travel knitting but I'll be damned if I can find the rest of the yarn! I've clearly tucked it somewhere but heaven knows where. This really frosted my cookies and I vow tonight to find the rest of that yarn. Send a search party if I don't come back from the yarn closet.

The third Rockin Sock club shipment has arrived and I'm still on the first pattern (Inside Out in shade Monsoon). I'm not a seasoned sock knitter so, things take a bit longer for me. I was so pleased when I turned the heel and started on the leg portion...until I got to the cables. I ripped this baby back about 3 times. The 5 x 5 cross cables are a bit too meaty in my opinion for a sock. I'm not sure how it'll feel on the leg. I'll make these according to the pattern but I'm not totally sold on it yet.

I had a few glitches with the Bonsai tunic. The pattern tells you to decrease for the v-neck every 4 rows a prescribed number of times and then every fourth row one last time or not depending on the size. From there it's every 6 rows. My size dictated that the last 4th row decrease be ignored and from there decrease every 6 rows. What they meant was, pretend you did a decrease but don't... do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. Then, do 6 rows and decrease again (10 rows total). What I read was, dig in to the 6th row decreases after the last completed 4th row decrease. This meant I was running out of side stitches faster than I should have as I did the binding off for the arm hole. After a few hours of scratching my head and looking at the photos in IK (which are quite detailed for this pattern), the light bulb went on. I'm back in the game and even managed to work on the I-cord belt on the trip home. Some knitters who've made Bonsai have left the belt off but I love how it looks.

The Roundabout Leaf Tank is also the perfect low-maintenance traveling project. I got a bit done on this and I'm onto the third front strip after which I begin to decrease. Roundabout and I are still fast friends having had no arguments this trip.

I've also joined the Mystery Stole Knit Along. This is an on line group run by the author of the Pink lemon twist blog. She designs a shawl and posts clues once per week which direct participants to the next piece of the pattern. You don't get to see the finished product until you or someone else has completed the shawl. I love the unknown aspect of this knit along. I find it more exciting to be led with an element of surprise and it doesn't concern me at all that the end product won't be beautiful. This designer turns out great stuff and in my opinion if it's a shawl and lace, it's pretty hard to really screw up so I'm sure I'll love it. The suggested colours are black or white. I'm using black Zephyr silk and wool with #8 beads that are smoky grey with flecks of copper and gold.

I'll leave you with this picture. My MIL is also a knitter. A very different kind of knitter. Her projects are small and very functional. Her claim to fame are these two tone slippers. She churns them out and has an inventory to give to people to wear when they visit, protecting her hard wood floors that gleam. She let us take these with us when we go home. In true Quebec fashion, they are brightly coloured but boy do they wear like iron.

So in the end, I did get some quality time with my projects but it is good to be home. Now, where the hell did I put that Rowan 4 ply cotton for Maritime......


vanessa said...

butch and sundance have FABULOUS smiles!

hope you find your mia yarn, that is so frustrating.

where did you get your zephyr?

May said...

Nice projects going, Michelle! I was looking for an easy going and pretty pattern and the Roundabout Leaf Tank seems just right. Thanks. BTW, which yarn are you using for the tank?

Dr. Steph said...

Ack! Those slippers. I definitely had some of those.

Phentex right? Do they still make that stuff?

Romi said...

I'll be doing some serious in car knitting tomorrow! I can't wait. :g:

You all have great smiles! :)

sarah said...

Too funny, I had just been thinking this week about making some slippers to protect hardwood floors (and keep off the chill!) - your mother's are lovely!

Jodi said...

Your MIL's slippers are so cute! Do you know what pattern she uses?

MX said...

Love those slippers. IS there a pattern?
Just found your blog and can't wait to spend some more time here...