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Monday, March 17, 2008

Vest progress

First I want to thank everyone for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers, in email & comments to my last blog post. I appreciate it, and it is in some ways reassuring to know that others have also gone through this before, and that a successful pregnancy can follow.

Mini update. I just discovered that my appt next week on Friday with Dr H had to be rescheduled because she'll be at the hospital (on call? surgery? I forget what it was), and so my appt is the following Friday in April. Dr H only works part time, 2 to 3 days out of the week, so it is difficult to get an appt or get rescheduled.

I haven't been online much lately, I've just been in my own little world. I've started to learn Mandarin (Chinese) because it is the language my in-laws speak. I'm sure Miss M has picked up on some Mandarin during her visits. I'm also teaching her a few words here and there. It's cute when she says things in Mandarin, even if she mispronounces them. It is definitely not so cute when I mispronounce words.

I've been distracting myself with this little word quiz site, FreeRice, which donates 20 grains of rice for every word you get correct. So far I have donated 28,220 grains of rice. Not a whole lot when you think about how many grains are in a bowl of rice. This site can be amusing for the logophile. Although I find it addictive, I'm also disappointed at the number of words I don't know. I've only made it up to level 48, and I think there are 55 total. One neat little word that popped up on the quiz is "flocculent". :-)

If you're interested in words, here are some books that can be fun to browse through:

Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words by Josefa Heifetz Byrne. My copy is from 1974, back when many paperback books were small (and this one only cost $3.50 back then). I'm not sure why books have gotten wider, taller, and thicker over the decades. My book is definitely showing some wear. The spine has split apart, and the middle section/pages of the book has completely separated from the book. I have to be careful not to lose any of the pages. She updated the book some number of years back and renamed it The Word Lover's Dictionary. I can't seem to find either at the bookstore, so they are not easy to find. I would like to get a new copy.

Peter Bowler has a series of word books, the first is The Superior Person's Book of Words. There are two follow up books to this one. I have never seen any of them at the bookstore though.

One book you will find at a bookstore today is Barbara Ann Kipfer's Word Nerd. It's worth a perusal the next time you're camped out at the bookstore.

Flipping through books like these is easy and fun. It's definitely easier than dragging out the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Mine seems to gather more dust sitting on the shelf.


We celebrated Miss M's birthday. At 3 yrs, she definitely gets the birthday concept, particularly the presents and cake. I haven't sorted through all the photos yet, I'm waiting to get the photos from my inlaws' camera so I can amalgamate them with ours and then go through them together.

Miss M colored Easter Eggs for the very first time today. Ok, it's been decades since I last did this, but those Paas coloring kits seem a whole lot fancier than I remember them to be. They come in so many flavors now! I chose a simple one for Miss M, the Zoo-Fun flavor, just 6 colors and stickers for her to decorate with. That should be plenty for a 3 yr old.

I had forgotten what it was like. It wasn't as fun as I imagined it to be. There was too much waiting involved. Drop the color tablet in a bit of water and wait for it to dissolve. This takes a while, and it must seem much longer to an impatient 3 yr old. Then you add more water, and drop an egg in. Now what? You wait. And wait. We distracted Miss M by having her open one of her presents, her first Playdoh. She had lots of fun with that. Then we came back to the eggs. You take them out and wait for them to dry. Sigh, more waiting. Finally, after lunch, we get to decorate them with the stickers. The photo above shows the first 6 she did. Yes, the green one is cracked on top, she dropped it. Oops. A few more eggs are bathing in some colored water, so she'll have some more to decorate later.


Ok, I guess I should have a little knitting content in this blog post ...

I seem to be working on my Mom's vest for forever, it certainly feels that way. I finished the back section of the vest, you can see most of it here. And then I was humming along with the left front section, which you see above, until the piece measured 10 inches long. This is where I need to start the arm hole shaping. Having knit the back section, it made it so much easier to know exactly where to stop for 10" length. With the yarn substitution (lighter than yarn for pattern) and the way I knit (which is not to gauge cuz I still haven't figured out how to do that), I just had to knit until I got to the Third Block, 4th repeat. In other words, stop after working the 16th row of the Third Block, or in other words, Row 4 for the 4th time. (Each block is worked for 5 repeats or 20 rows)

Ok, now I sat down to try to make heads or tails out of the arm hole shaping instructions. The vest pattern is here, and it says:

AT THE SAME TIME, when piece measures 10" from beg, shape armhole and neck as foll: Next row (RS) Keeping pat as est, bind off 7 sts, work to last 3 sts, k2tog, k 1 (neck edge). After 3½" of Third Block pat has been completed, rep First Block and Second Block pats each for 3½", dec 1 st at armhole edge every other row 7 times; AT THE SAME TIME, cont to dec 1 st, 1 st from neck edge every 4th row 11 more times -- 21 sts. When 3½" of last Second Block has been completed, bind off all sts.
Since I knew (1) exactly where I stopped before starting the armhole shaping, (2) that I needed to work 20 rows for each Block (to get the 3.5" I need), and (3) that I need to work up to 20 rows of Block 2 before bind off, I decided to jot down the Block # / Row # I need to knit going forward from this point until bind off row, noting decreases where they need to be done. I did this for the Back Section too, cuz I apparently can't follow the block pattern AND remember where to do the decreases otherwise.

So here is how I worked it out:

17. Block 3, Row 1: BO 7 ... K2Tog, K1
18. Block 3, Row 2
19. Block 3, Row 3: SSK ...
20: Block 3, Row 4

1. Block 1, Row 1: SSK ... K2Tog, K1
2. Block 1, Row 2
3. Block 1, Row 3: SSK ...
4. Block 1, Row 4
5. Block 1, Row 1: SSK ... K2Tog, K1
6. Block 1, Row 2
7. Block 1, Row 3: SSK ...
8. Block 1, Row 4
9. Block 1, Row 1: SSK ... K2Tog, K1
10: Block 1, Row 2
11: Block 1, Row 3: SSK ... (this ends the "dec 1 st every other row 7 times" part)
12: Block 1, Row 4
13: Block 1, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1
14: Block 1, Row 2
15: Block 1, Row 3
16: Block 1, Row 4
17: Block 1, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1
18: Block 1, Row 2
19: Block 1, Row 3
20: Block 1, Row 4

1. Block 2, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1
2. Block 2, Row 2
3. Block 2, Row 3
4. Block 2, Row 4
5. Block 2, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1
6. Block 2, Row 2
7. Block 2, Row 3
8. Block 2, Row 4
9. Block 2, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1
10. Block 2, Row 2
11. Block 2, Row 3
12. Block 2, Row 4
13. Block 2, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1
14. Block 2, Row 2
15. Block 2, Row 3
16. Block 2, Row 4
17. Block 2, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1 (this marks the 10th time of "AT THE SAME TIME, cont to dec 1 st, 1 st from neck edge every 4th row")
18. Block 2, Row 2
19. Block 2, Row 3
20. Block 2, Row 4
then Bind Off noxt row.

Do you see the problem???

I would only work the neck edge decrease 10 more times instead of the specified 11 more times. I haven't yet decided whether to go ahead and knit it this way, leaving 22 sts on the needle before binding off (instead of the specified 21 sts). Or whether I should work the K2Tog decrease in the bind off row ... is that even kosher?

I'm feeling unmotivated again...


4 stitch(es):

B Kipfer said...

Thank you so much for mentioning my book, Word Nerd. Sincerely, Barbara Ann Kipfer

Anonymous said...

My one day future in-laws also speak mandarin. At least I can understand about 80% of the conversations if I concentrate! My boyfriend gets about 50-60% of the cantonese or toi-san wah from my family. I think it's easier to go from cantonese to mandarin than vice versa. Good luck! I definitely need help with my chinese overall.

Anonymous said...

I often use as a good online source of new and used books. Don't get discouraged with the vest!

hakucho said...

An easy and no waiting involved way to color eggs. Mix vinegar and food coloring (dropper type) with vinegar and then use a q-tip or even a paint brush to paint the eggs. They really come out pretty in a modern art sort of way. My boys always loved this method the best. Now they are too old to be bothered :(