Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grand Canyon trip 1

Traveling-in-vehicle sock project
Knitting?  Not so much.  I have returned from a wilderness experience of rafting through the Grand Canyon gorge, 280 miles, rapids, camping, and all the niceties that entails.  Hiking a bit (not nearly as much as many of the others), 18 days, 16 people, none of this pansy commercial stuff, we carried, hauled, cooked, cleaned, and were sun-treated.  The end result?  What a place.  What a time!!  No communication with anyone else except a brief call home to leave a message on Day 7.  On that same day I sat down at a real table and wrote/sent a few postcards to be carried out by pack mule.
So many stories:  So I'll start with day one (because I'm sure I took more pictures that day than any other).
Loaded and ready to move
Friday afternoon we arrived at the put-in ramp at Lee's Ferry, Arizona.  Camped nearby on the river's edge and after morning Park Ranger briefing, we were off.  I mentioned to some that I didn't row.  Yet there is a picture of me at the oars.  It wasn't that much.  Fifteen minutes, maybe twice.  One of them was on day two through a little rapid-like thing and the water felt like a brick wall.  I'm pretty sure that if my rower fell out, I'd have the adrenalin to get the boat somewhere useful, but I didn't need to test that fact.

Click here for
Grand Canyon pictures:  Day One

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Summer Knitting!

It's not really summer, but I'm happy to say, "I'm ahead of the game!"
Not only do I have the next 2 months totally planned, with a trip west, a trip east, and a wedding in between (north), I finished a tank top... Yes!  Something that can actually be used in a few months.  Not for me, but for my daughter, so it's going in a suitcase at the end of May.
I love Elsebeth Lavold patterns.  Yes, they are not very user friendly, but once you've done a few, you catch on.  First off, she doesn't explain details in her patterns, so you HAVE to read her general instructions tucked away in the back of her booklets.  (I have several of the Viking Series.)  The one thing that makes it work is using the correct yarn--her yarn products.  They are pricey and aren't always available, but ... worth it!
It's nicer on bare skin, but the white helps to show off the lace leaf pattern.  The front and back are the same with "interrupted" ribbing.
I was unsure about the length for the straps so I was generous.  The needles show where I had to rip back which brings me to one of those head-scratching directions.  At the top shoulder bind off, there are instructions to make short rows.  I nodded and accepted the need to possibly slope the shoulders from arm to neck, but when I knitted as told, it looked and felt like I was knitting an upside-down U.  Oh well, I say as I blindly follow directions.
It wasn't until I ripped back that I found the reason:
The lace was creating a concave shape (left) and needed filling in to be straight (right).  Brilliant, I tell you!! I didn't discover it until this point.  In fact, as I contemplated "sewing" the tops, I had thought that I'd do a 3-needle bind off without the short rows. When I started ripping out and saw what it looked like, the short rows made sense.
One general modification of the pattern:  I knitted in the round up to the armholes.  And added a faux seam (1 purl stitch) on each side.  
Hey!  This may be my first "sweater set!  It's the same yarn as Pas de Valse.

Pattern: Audrey by Elsebeth Lavold from Book Four: The Sophisticated Lady Collection  Yarn: Silky Wool by Elsebeth Lavold, DK / 8 ply 45% Wool, 35% Silk, 20% Nylon, 192 yards / 50 grams


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