Will I make it to the end of my KOTOTW journey by the end of 2012? Still too early to tell.
But at least I lived through my big presentation at the RE institute and lived to tell the tale (PHEW!) There is no feeling so wonderful as stepping off the stage and realizing that your speech went just fine, all of your nightmares about (a) the audience falling asleep; (b) your being struck dumb and unable to speak; (c) your accidentally saying something that could be taken as a double entendre and would forever be associated with your name; or (d) you completely blew it, didn't come true. I had to give an hour-long speech on the legal aspects of senior housing and the challenges Minnesota (and the US) would face in housing the coming wave of baby boomers; I think it helped that I added lots of photos. Ironically, one slide that I debated cutting was the most popular. I put up "then" and "now" pictures of Mick Jagger and Steve Tyler and asked people to "guess who is the baby boomer":
(Answer: Steve Tyler. Mick Jagger, born in 1943, is actually a member, ironically, of the "silent generation"). I then pointed out that a characteristic of this generation is that they don't realize they are old yet. And that the haircut doesn't actually fool anyone...
Anyway, back to knitting! As all of the KOTOTW knits that are left to finish are not portable, I've been getting some side projects done during my commuting. I noticed Nathan had grown out of his beloved Caboose hat (Caboose is a character in the web series "Red vs. Blue," which is sort of a soap opera based on screen shots of the game Halo), so I made him a new one:
He agreed to model it this AM while still half-asleep as I had made him fresh popovers with honey butter. I started out by measuring a swatch of stockinette, and then measured the circumference of his head. I downloaded a cross-stitch alphabet from the web to do the letters, and knitted the cap in the round, switching to dpns for the decreases. then, I picked up from the cast-on row and knitted a lining, starting with about 3" of ribbing to make it fit snugly, and knitted an entire cap again to tuck inside. Finally, I sort of backstitched from the inside around the edge at the bottom to make the crease. If I were to make it again I think I'd make it a bit longer to cover more of his ears, but he says he likes it as it is.
Then, I finished my Shibori Sheer Scarf from the Shibori Knits book by Gina Wilde. I made it less long but wider than the pattern instructions. It is made up of alternating 6-row stockinette stitch stripes of Rowan Kidsilk Haze and Scottish Tweed 4-ply; not so much a pattern as something to keep your hands busy when your mind is miles away. Instead of felting it, though, I think I'll use it unfelted this season and then felt it in the springtime when I wash all my winter woolens.
Renay and I had another "knitting night of 2" early in the month; I think the crowd is struggling to find time to get together. Karen is busy with two girls in college, the end of the work year is challenging some of us, and life is just too busy. We really enjoyed our quiet evening, though. She never ceases to amaze me with her prolific knits. It occurred to her shortly before Halloween to make something Halloweeny, and she whipped out this wonderful bat shawl:
People are truly amazed at her creative talents at her new job at the Minneapolis Park Board. She now has some of her quilts hung on the wall and is getting inspiration from the lovely parks in the city (we have a truly wonderful park system, and lakes - Minneapolis is just a gem of a city.) She has jars on her desk of colorful beans she grew this summer, and is making presents for people's babies... oh, yeah, AND she is completely and masterfully organizing more than a century's worth of completely messed up real property records to get a handle on what the city owns, what they lease, where they have easements, where they have granted easements - they are lucky to have someone who sees a challenge this enormous as both intriguing and satisfying. It is like a jigsaw puzzle it could take your entire life to solve. (I wish they had room for two attorneys - we both LOVE this kind of stuff, title geeks that we are!)
She took some pictures of me in recently finished KOTOTW gear. Here is the Fiesta Skirt - I don't know that these are the most flattering photos; I am overdue to lose about 10 pounds. Anyway, the skirt is sort of hitched up in the front, but you get the basic idea:
So, where are we on the remaining 5 KOTOTW projects?
Well, the Lisbon Lake Jacket - still sadly neglected. I have 4 days off for Thanksgiving, and if I have time besides the housecleaning and making turkey dinner for 9, I'll get going on those sleeves and finish it up...
The Andes Tunic Vest:
The back is done, and maybe a third of the front:
I was hoping to make great progress on this one this weekend; I took Friday off for a colonoscopy (oh, the joys of turning 50...). but it was a bit rougher than I thought (apparently I'm especially twisty inside), so mostly I've been trying to sleep. But there is still this afternoon! I LOVE the colors and the gentle sheen of this cozy yarn (Berroco Peruvia); this was also one of the pieces I liked the best way back in 2010 when this all started and Nicky let me try on all of the pieces from the book, so I'm really looking forward to wearing it.
The La Paz Scarf and Cap:
I couldn't resist starting this (which may be why I'm not finished with the Aztec Vest, hmmmm). As you can see, my color palette is somewhat more muted than the one on the KOTOTW book. The scarf is Fair Isle knitted in the round, so you are always on the front (by far the best place to be when doing Fair Isle, imho - no wonder those Fair Isle-rs figured out how to do steeks!). Once you get going it is addictive - you keep going to see how the next stripe will come out. The entire pattern repeats a bit more than 4 times, reversing and going in the opposite direction down the chart instead of upwards at the midpoint, so that the butterflies will be striped in the same order as they hang around your neck. Really fun to knit - I'm looking forward to making the stuffed balls that decorate the ends of the scarf. The hat is kind of wacky, like a stocking cap with a knot tied in it and a smaller ball on top.
The Great Bear Zip Tunic:
So that just leaves the Great Plains Blanket Bag, which I haven't started yet. But I'm sorely tempted. I'm thinking I'll get the Andes Tunic Vest done first, and then the Scarf and Hat, and then the Great Bear Zip Tunic, working on those acursed Lisbon Lace sleeves meanwhile, and finish up with the bag only when everything else is done. It is now November 18 - will I make it to the finish line in just a month and a half????? Who knows? I'll sure try!
Have a wonderful Turkey day!