Archive for the ‘Central Park Hoodie’ Category

The Curse is Lifted. Possibly.

July 5, 2007

I am trying to overcome this paranoid feeling about this sweater. Sure, I had to rip it out far more times than is reasonable for what is actually a pretty basic sweater. Sure, by the time I finished the damn thing I was thinking very dark thoughts about it every time I picked it up. But that doesn’t mean the finished sweater is cursed, right? Right?

Fortunately, it’s ridiculously fucking hot right now, and there’s no way in hell I’ll be wearing this sweater any time soon, so I’m hoping that by the time it’s actually wool sweater weather I’ll be over my suspicious feelings towards the sweater. After all, it is quite a nice sweater. Despite my concerns about fit, it fits really well. (I kept reading that it ran small, so I was a little paranoid.) The sleeves are a bit excessively long – someone please remind me to stop lengthening my sleeves. Yes, I have long arms, but they are in proportion to the rest of me, so if I knit the right size I should be fine. All of my sweaters have too-long sleeves. I really ought to knock that off. But other than that, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, curse aside.

The photos aren’t really a good representation of the colour – I need to sit down and fiddle with the camera and try to get a photo that actually shows the colour. It’s a really bright, vivid, kelly green. Very spring-y. Good thing I finished it in the dead middle of summer. Go me!

The photo shoot for this was pretty brutal, even in the shade. Jamie was full of heat induced sloth and didn’t even get out of his lawn chair to take the photos. (The bastard was sitting in the yard reading Harry Potter and drinking lemonade when I got home from work. Have I mentioned that I HATE living with two teachers in the summer time? Lazy bastards. I am full of raging jealousy pretty much all the time.)

Anyway, here it is!

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The sleeves rolled up look is probably a more accurate representation of how I will wear this sweater 90% of the time. I hardly ever leave long sleeved things down around my wrists, whether they are sweaters or shirts or whatever.

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Oh, and the cables up the hood? It totally worked. Woohoo!

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Raaaaah! It is finished! Finally!

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Specs: The Central Park Hoodie from KnitScene, as seen on many blogs.
Yarn is Cascade 220 in a green colourway that I forget the number of. I had a cone of it (that I got in a swap – thanks, Trillian!), and I have no idea how much of I used, because I just wound off reasonably sized balls and used them quite randomly, so I have half-balls of leftovers all over the place and a chunk still left on the cone.
Needles: Size fives for the ribbing on the body, size sixes for the ribbing on the sleeves (don’t ask – part of the curse!), and size eights for the body itself. I mostly used my Denise needles, but I did some of the ribbing on my Addi Lace needles.
I knit the largest size and used one needle size larger than I needed to get gauge, since I’d read so much about the sweater running small. I’m happy with how it fits. The button band is a bit gapey, but that’s not due to fit, it’s just due to blocking, so I’m going to re-block the button band at some point. (Maybe.)

This is my fifth sweater of the year. I’m not quite keeping up with the sweater a month thing, but I’m not doing too badly! Certainly better than I was expecting. I am not knitting a sweater at the moment, although I reeeeeally need to get going on another baby sweater for a rather impending baby. I’m not convinced I’m going to make it to twelve, but I am knitting sweaters for myself, and that’s what I wanted.

Next up? General knitting-wise, the Mystery Stole is taking up most of my knitting time at the moment, with forays into Rachel’s neglected Cure socks when I can’t concentrate on my knitting enough to knit lace. (ie at all the parties I went to last weekend.) I do need to whip out another baby sweater, and start another blanket.

But my next sweater? Oh my god, I can’t wait for this one. I’m going to knit the Natalie Coat from Big Girl Knits in beautiful, beautiful Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton. (It’s cotton, not alpaca – the company is called Blue Sky Alpacas.) I have been wanting that yarn for soooo long, and when I saw it on sale I could no longer resist. I have it in the absolutely delicious Tomato colourway, and it is the nicest yarn ever. I can’t wait to knit this pattern – I love the pattern and the yarn, and I think the combination is going to be kick-ass.

Hopefully this one won’t be cursed.

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Cursed

June 23, 2007

I’m starting to get a bit suspicious. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say life was out to get me.

Those of you who have me as a friend on Facebook may have noticed a suspicious run of status updates last week. You see, I was trying to build a pyramid for work. (This is one of the many ways in which my job is both weird and excellent. I bet you don’t get to build pyramids at your job, do you?) Summer Reading Club starts today (hallelujah, I have the day off), so I was building the registration desk.

Now, we do have a good program room at work which is an excellent work area, but unfortunately it was booked a lot of the time over the past few weeks, so I needed a place to construct my pyramid. Luckily, the weather was excellent, and we have a delightful patio at work, so I headed out there for a few hours. I measured, cut, and painted the pyramid pieces, and then left them flat to dry for a while after carefully scanning the horizon for impending clouds.

I had been down at the desk for quite some time when somebody mentioned rather casually, “oh look, it’s raining!”

Shit.

I sprinted up the stairs and rescued the pyramid from the absolute downpour. Less than three minutes after I brought the pieces inside, it stopped raining and the sun came back out. Great. Only one piece needed repainting, though – the rest just had a nice weathered look that I convinced myself was authentic.

So the following Monday, I head back out onto the patio where the weather is again glorious. I repainted the one piece, and then drew bricks on all the pieces. While I was bricking the first side piece, though, a suspicious few drops of liquid appeared from the sky. Naturally, I panicked, but when I looked up, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Just a bird.

That’s right. A fucking BIRD flew by and POOED on my pyramid.

I came home from work in a bit of a huff and proceeded to pick up my knitting. I’ve been knitting pretty steadily on the Central Park Hoodie in the hopes of finishing it before the Mystery Stole Knitalong starts this Friday. And I’m pretty confident that I could have easily finished this sweater weeks ago if I didn’t keep fucking the stupid thing up!

This is not a hard sweater. At all. And I think that’s actually the problem. It’s SO easy that I don’t pay enough attention to the instructions, and am continually making stupid, stupid mistakes.

For example, I finished the back and one of the sides before I went to Cuba, so I didn’t bring them along so as to save space in my carry-on. Unfortunately, I had a little too much confidence in my ability to eyeball the cables. Yup. Every single cable cross on the entire right front was two rows too tall. I had to rip the entire thing out. Then, just as I was making good progress, I realised I’d done the ribbing wrong – where I should have started with P2, I started with K2. (Or vice versa – you get the idea.) I had to rip it out AGAIN. It took me three freaking tries to get the stupid section knit, but I finally finished it the other day.

I also had a sleeve done, since when I was on Jamie’s band trip I’d brought the wrong size needles, and decided I’d do the sleeve ribbing on a 6 instead of the 5 that the body ribbing was done on, since that would be easy to match on the second sleeve. (It was either that or have nothing to knit. I regret nothing.) So once I finished the accursed front piece, I happily cast on for the second sleeve, patting myself on the back for doing things out of order and avoiding second sleeve syndrome, which I often struggle with.

I was pretty confident in my memory of the pattern having done the front section three times. I knit happily along, and made it all the way to here:

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in just a few episodes of the Sopranos. (We started from the beginning.) I was doing great! No problem finishing this baby in time for the MSKAL!

Yeah. Until I realised that I was happily knitting the same as the front section. Yes, I had the cables in the right place, but guess what? Sleeves have increases.

ARGH.

You can see in that picture where I threaded my needle through to catch the stitches. (This is why I love circs.) Two minutes later, I had this:

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(You’ll note I’ve learned from the multiple froggings on this sweater to take before and after pictures for better sympathy on the blog, despite the temptation to just rip the damn thing out.)

Since then, I have reknit the sleeve, seamed the shoulders, and started the hood. But a moment ago, I discovered that the cables on the back aren’t supposed to continue on the hood. Which I, of course, have been doing.

Fuck it. I looked up the sweater on Ravelry, found that at least one other person cabled all the way up the hood, and figured that’s good enough for me. I like the idea of cables up the hood! I did it on purpose!  Somebody else did it!  (Thanks, Ravelry!  This is EXACTLY why you rule – so when you fuck up, you can go and find someone else who fucked up the same way.  Except this other person DID do it on purpose, therefore it’s not a mistake, it’s a design feature.)  

Either that, or I’m cursed. Stupid sweater.

Progress

April 30, 2007

Well, I survived chaperoning Jamie’s band trip.  Barely.  I came to the conclusion some time on day two that I’m too old for that shit.  Or, more specifically, I’m too old to be all “woo band trip!” like the kids all were, but too young to be totally accustomed to getting no sleep like all the parent chaperones. 

I had all these grand plans to blog from the trip, and take photos of my sock around town, but I just didn’t have the time nor the energy.  Which is too bad, because Banff was beautiful until yesterday, when a massive snow storm hit.  Freaking Alberta.  I also had grand plans to get some work done, but there was not a single solitary place that I wasn’t surrounded by several dozen and usually several hundred teenagers.  I am very happy to be home where the only noise is the clock ticking.  (Well, and the neighbour a few doors down absolutely SCREAMING at her child.  I went outside to take photos for this entry and I felt like I was intruding onto a very ugly situation.  It was quite uncomfortable.)  There was just constant, constant noise for four days straight and it was exhausting. 

 Fortunately, despite the endless melee, I did have quite a lot of knitting time.  I packed the same three projects that came along to Disneyland: the Gryffindor socks, the Mountain Peaks Shawl, and the Central Park Hoodie.  Poor old Mountain Peaks once again got completely ignored – I swear I will make some real progress on that thing one of these days.  Central Park, however, was much more successful, and yesterday on the bus I finished the back.  Hooray!

Central Park Back

I cannot for the life of me get a decent photo of the colour. It’s a really bright, bold green, very springy and cheerful and apparently very trendy, because I got a ton of compliments on it from the kids on the trip. (The pattern also got major thumbs up from them.)

Most days, though, I didn’t bring my backpack into Banff, so I brought along trusty Gryffindor for my daily knitting. These were also a huge hit with the kids, who were very impressed at the idea of Harry Potter socks. Who knew my knitting was so cool?

As you can see, good progress is being made and I should finish them pretty soon and be able to go back to Rachel’s socks. (sorry, Rachel!) (memo to self on Rachel’s socks – 64 stitch cast on with a decrease down to 60 over the course of the leg.)

Gryffindor Progress

This didn’t get brought along, as I was close enough to finished that it wasn’t worth hauling, but here’s a sneak peek at the body of a baby sweater that I finished last night. It’s the Daisy pattern from Knitty, and it’s not for the next baby in line but I needed a change of pace so I started in on this. It’s a super cute raglan cardigan, and I really like the pattern. Seed stitch edging, raglan sleeves – pretty straightforward and adorable as well as gender neutral – all good things. I need to get some good buttons for it.

Daisy Body

I’m already halfway through the first sleeve. Ah, baby sized things, how I love you.

So here’s my challenge over the next few weeks. I leave for Cuba in 18 days. I plan to bring my shawl and a pair of socks along with me. Before I leave, I’d like to finish the baby sweater (no problem), the Gryffindor socks (should be manageable), and the Central Park Hoodie (unlikely, but it’s good to have goals). I need to finish up the transcribing I have to do, buy a bunch of stuff for Cuba including a new bathing suit, and clean the freaking house. In 18 days. Care to place any bets?

Luckily for morale, the weather has majorly improved, yesterday’s mountain snowstorm and the crapload of rain that was waiting for us in Edmonton aside. Not only is that actual green grass in those photos up there, but the tree next to the garage? Looks like this.

Spring

Hallelujah. I love spring.

The Gryffindor Sock’s Cultural Tour of Disneyland

April 10, 2007

I’m home. Sigh. I had all these plans about blogging while I was gone, but (a) the wireless was REALLY inconsistent in our room, (b) I was really freaking tired whenever I was in our hotel room and was usually asleep, and (c) I was barely in our hotel room. We also didn’t take very many photos. (I know. It was weird, and I’m a little annoyed – I have NO PHOTOS of Jana and only one of Ben. But they have a few photos, so I’ll get those from them and will put them up at some point.) Some days we didn’t want to haul the camera around, and Jamie forgot it once, and Jamie usually had the camera and isn’t an obsessive photo taker of people like I am. Anyway.

Fortunately, the first day I was there by myself, which left lots of time for a cultural tour with the Gryffindor sock! As you may recall, my first pair of Gryffindor socks for my sister went on a Cultural Tour of Britain last summer, so I decided that my own pair would be perfect to take to Disneyland. (I’m not knitting many socks at the moment, so I need to get these started so I can have them for a Harry Potter intensive July.)

Let me set the scene for you. On Tuesday, I got out of bed at 5:50am in order to leave home at about 6:20 or so for an 8:00 flight. When I opened the door to take a photo for the blog (even at 5:50am I’m thinking of you!), this is what I saw:

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Yeah. We had to have the plane de-iced before we could take off, so we were a bit late leaving and arriving. Fortunately, the flight was excellent. I had my own personal TV, so I got to watch The Holiday, which I LOVED. I knit on my Central Park Hoodie, which I’d packed as my secondary plane knitting. However, it was too early and I was too sleepy for Mountain Peaks, so I got all the way to the decreases on the back of CPH. Once we got to LAX, my luggage arrived fairly quickly (I’d tied some extra CPH yarn on the handles for easier recognition, since it’s such a bright green), and I was off to catch the shuttle. Which unfortunately took a while, but eventually I made it to my hotel, where I checked in, dumped my stuff, changed my shoes, grabbed my sock, and headed to the park.

The yarn I left in my main pouch of my purse, and the needle I tucked into a well-hidden part of my purse. I’d heard conflicting things about knitting in Disneyland (the official word is “sorry, no,” but as I quickly learned nobody actually seems to give a rat’s ass.) I had a variety of plans for how to get around this, but nobody even blinked at it even when they laid eyes on it, so my carefully planned subterfuge was totally unnecessary. Upon our arrival in the parks, the sock stayed in my purse for a while. After all, it wasn’t even in sock form yet, so it felt it should keep to itself for the first few hours.

The parks were really busy, so I got a fast pass for Buzz Lightyear and headed to California Adventures, where I rode Soarin’ Over California (one of my favourites, but the sock is apparently afraid of heights so it stayed stowed in the underseat compartment.) in the singles line, where I only waited about 10 minutes as compared to the 100 minute wait in the regular line (and man, was that satisfying!), and then we headed to Grizzly River Run where we both got wet. The sock was only a little damp thanks to my very reliable MEC bag, but it was still quite disgruntled. Fortunately, it was really warm that day and we both dried off quickly.

After that, I got another fast pass in California Adventures and headed back over to Disneyland. I went to get in line for the train, and when I realised how slowly it was moving, decided it was the perfect moment to cast on for my sock. I had a convenient spot on a bench, and made excellent progress on the cuff while chatting with two little girls who liked my green toenail polish. (I got a pedicure in anticipation of wearing sandals a lot.) The train finally showed up, and I went and got a fast pass and rode a few rides. I ended up waiting for the train AGAIN at the Toon Town station, by which point I managed to finish the cuff. (That was seriously the longest wait of the whole trip. For the train!)

After I had some dinner, I had a bit of time before my fast pass was valid, so the sock and I went on a photo shoot. It was hilarious. I couldn’t believe more people weren’t giving me weird looks, but I guess I’m still not the weirdest person in Disneyland.

Our first stop was a visit with one of my absolute favourites when I was a kid – Mary Poppins! I happened to see her and Bert show up, so there was virtually no line to see them. I wasn’t really bothered enough to wait in lines for characters, but with no line, I couldn’t resist…

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(As always, click on photos if you want to see larger versions.)

They were very nice and I actually had quite a good chat with them. They were very accomodating about the sock.

Next, we went to visit several other characters, but in a slightly different form.

There was Pluto

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(and unrelated to the sock, I hope you’re appreciating the difference in weather, here. Flowers! Warm sunny weather! I weep, I weep. It’s still snowing here today.)

Dumbo

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Minnie

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and Ariel.

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We then wandered over to the castle, where one of the Disneyland photographers kindly took a photo of us, again without blinking. All of this nonchalance about a person taking photos of a partially knit sock really makes me wonder what kind of weird shit they get asked about on a regular basis.

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We also saw some REALLY cute ducklings in the moat. They were teeny!

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(I do have better photos of the ducklings but they don’t have the sock in them. They kept swimming away if I was juggling the sock and the camera, so I put the sock away for a few minutes to take pictures of the duckies.)

Around the side of the castle is Snow White’s wishing well, and the sock wanted to make a wish. Luckily, I had a quarter.

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So the sock got to make a wish. (And although you can’t see them, there are other people around the wishing well. Didn’t even blink at a ball of yarn and a sock holding a quarter while someone took a photo.)

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Next, the sock decided to storm the castle!

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Unfortunately for the sock, I’m pretty sure that door is fake. So the sock decided instead to fulfill its lifelong dream of being a princess.

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(No, I didn’t buy my sock a tiara. I took that photo in the store. Although it does look awfully cute, doesn’t it?)

Perhaps then, if it has managed to become a princess, the sock is the rightful ruler of Britain!

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Nope, doesn’t look like it.

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The sock decided another route to fame and fortune might be more successful. Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me? M-I-C-K-E-Y S-O-C-K!

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No? I don’t think they’d embroider Mr. Sock on the back of a pair of ears even if I had been willing to purchase it a pair. (Which I did not.)

Perhaps, then, the sock could get a few tips about becoming invisible from the master! Can you spot the sock?

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Anyway, the sock decided to abandon fame and fortune and concentrate on the rides. It thought about the teacups

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but eventually decided to start with Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters!

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(I know, it’s an awful picture, but the line was moving really fast and it is HARD to take a photo with one hand while holding up a sock with the other and moving up a ramp while also trying to listen to your instructions for defeating Zurg!)

The sock got its own blaster

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and in the photo you can email yourself, the sock is heavily featured, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be working right now. (Seriously, the sock was doing the blasting in the official photo.)

Next up was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Since I’m such a fan of it, the sock was determined to ride despite the fact that it clearly wasn’t tall enough.

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But it managed to smuggle itself in inside my purse. It put down the lap bar

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but it clearly wasn’t doing much.

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So the sock rode in the little pouch for loose objects. It still seemed to have a good time.

We went back to the hotel at that point, and although we went back in the evening, I didn’t take any more photos, since it was dark and really crowded. The sock did get to ride Pirates of the Caribbean (where flash photography is prohibited), Space Mountain (where I was too busy going “wooooo!” to take the camera and sock out, and it totally wouldn’t have worked!), and wander around, although unfortunately the fireworks were cancelled that night. We had a good time together! I got quite a bit knit.

Unfortunately, after that first day, I wasn’t by myself anymore. (That part is not unfortunate – although I had fun by myself, it was a lot more fun with the others there.) However, I didn’t have nearly as much time to take sock photos the rest of the trip. The sock did make one final appearance in the Lego store, though!

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That was on Saturday night, and you can see how much I accomplished. I only knit in line for rides, and then on the shuttle to and from Universal that day, and by that point I was almost finished the gusset decreases, which I finished in the shuttle to the airport yesterday. I knit Mountain Peaks on the way home, since I didn’t have a tv this time and could concentrate on the shawl. The CPH and Mountain Peaks were on Denise needles, so I knew they’d get through security, but on the way home I risked my KP Circ for the sock. I made the airport party in Vancouver wait to make sure the sock made it through ok, but nobody even looked twice. Disneyland over 5 days, going in and out multiple times a day, Universal, and three airports – nobody even blinked. The only time I got any sort of remark about it was the flight attendant leaving LA who made me put it away until the seatbelt sign was off. All in all, it was a very successful knitting trip.

And a very successful trip altogether. We had a great time, did lots of fun stuff, enjoyed the weather (although it went down hill the last few days, it was still SIGNIFICANTLY better than here!), ate some very tasty food, and all in all had a fabulous time. Dear Disneyland, I miss you already. Love, Sarah.

Good thing it’s only six weeks until my next vacation. So what does one knit in Cuba?

"That was nice," said Plop. "What’s next?" *

March 25, 2007

First of all, thank you for all your nice comments on Rogue! I am very happy with it myself.

You’d think that after finishing Rogue, my very first sweater for myself, a beautiful and flattering sweater that I love so much, I might be at loose ends for what to knit. Now, I do, of course, have about fifteen other things on the needles. Since it’s been a while since I posted about anything other than Rogue, a baby sweater, and sock pal socks, let’s have a bit of a refresher, shall we?

In the “slow but steady” category, there is the Mountain Peaks shawl, which I am knitting with the gorgeous hand dyed silk my sister bought me for Christmas. (Beth, you should know that any time I’ve mentioned that my non-knitting sister bought me hand dyed silk for Christmas to another knitter, they have been VERY impressed. And that’s before I mention all the other yarn! Even my stitch and bitch friends, who think it’s weird that I knit for you so much, agree that it’s a good deal when I get such things in return.)

Uh, anyway. Shawl. Last time we saw Mountain Peaks, there wasn’t much of it, but it was going well. It looks approximately the same these days, but with another repeat of the same chart. So bigger, but with nothing new yet. I’ll take a photo when something new is happening, because let’s face it – in progress lace photos are basically a case of “and here is a slightly larger blob.” The knitting of this shawl has been greatly improved by the arrival of my Magnetic Chart Keeper from KnitPicks the other day. I would like it a little bigger, but it’s still extremely convenient. I actually forced myself to stop working on this the other day because I want to have plenty of it to knit while I’m on the plane. Since I’m flying by myself, I think lace will be perfect. Not too heavy, but interesting. (Not that flying with Jamie would really interfere with that. He has this weird capacity for doing nothing and will sit on a plane for three hours and do nothing except look out the window and maybe look through the in flight magazine. Weirdo. Flying with Jana involves much more giggling, but we’re all on different flights for this trip.)

In the traveling sock category is poor Rachel’s Christmas socks. The first sock is actually pretty much finished (I should finish it and cast on the second one, because I keep not working on it so I don’t run out of sock in an inconvenient place.), and yet I still haven’t posted a photo. That’s because they’re always in my purse. Sorry, Rachel! They will be done eventually.

In the pretending May is still REALLY far away category is one of the ongoing baby projects. It is making good progress. Given that I just heard about ANOTHER baby yesterday (one of Jamie’s relatives), I should really get on this. Photos on this one will not be around until post-gifting, as giftees are reading.

Now, you’d think that would be plenty to keep me busy. Knit on the sock when I’m out, work on the baby project when I’m home, knit an occasional row on the shawl but mostly save it for the plane. No problem!

But there’s that pesky knitalong nagging at the back of my mind. I have a lead! It’s not the end of March yet and I’m already done three sweaters! There’s still hope!

So I had no choice. I had to cast on for another sweater.

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This is the Central Park Hoodie. I cast it on Friday night while I was (impatiently) waiting for Rogue to dry, which took FOREVER. If the outside was dry, the inside was damp. If I turned it inside out, the outside got damp again. Argh.

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(I’m just about to do the second cable.)

Central Park is from the fall 2006 issue of knitscene, making this the first project I have knit from a print knitting magazine. Previous to this it’s been online patterns or books. I’m knitting it in a very bright shade of Cascade 220. (I actually forget the colour, and it doesn’t have a label because it’s a cone. Ack!) It is a very bright and cheery green – I’d probably call it a Kelly Green. It’s knitting up very quickly – the advantages of size 8s after a sweater knit on 5s! I’m hoping to finish up the back pretty quickly and then tackle the front sections before I leave, but we’ll see how the week shapes up. I am pretty busy this week, so that may be a pipe dream.

Of course, the real question is…how much knitting do I bring to California? The shawl for the plane, and some socks for lines. But do I bring the sweater for back up mindless knitting?

Oh, the dilemmas.

*The title of this post comes from one of my favourite books of all time, The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, by Jill Tomlinson. It’s about a baby barn owl named Plop who is afraid of the dark. My entire family can probably recite a good 60% of it, and it’s a family classic. I highly recommend the audio book. (There’s also a decent but not quite as excellent picture book version, but the chapter book is better.) Plop is always hungry, and eats everything his parents bring him and follows it up with “That was nice. What’s next?”