DNF is not an option

In the Olympics as I've learned over the last week and a half, DNF stands for Did Not Finish. It's got to be pretty heartbreaking as an athlete to see that on the standings, for whatever reason, when you've worked so hard to get to that point.

It's cheesy, but makes me think of one of the last scenes in the film Cool Runnings, after the Jamaican bobsled team has wiped out on the track, and together the four teammates walk the rest of the way down the track, carrying their sled over the finish line (in typical Disney-fied, Hollywood fashion).

I'll be the first one to admit that starting over is probably a pretty gutsy if not stupid move at this point. But I also have to agree with Lara (who commented on my previous post) that to "just go with it" on a project that uses such beautiful yarn would be sort of sacreligious. I was prepared to continue until I ended up four stitches short on my latest round, with no idea where the heck they went. Clearly the fact that I've been concentrating to the point of causing severe muscular tension and ensuing headaches isn't enough and I need to pay attention more to what I'm doing. But hey, as the athletes would say, "no pain, no gain".

Next Olympics, someone remind me not to select a project that has lace in it. Just sayin'.

In any event, not being able to figure out where I'd gone wrong, and really wanting to do a good job with the projects from Whimsical Little Knits in the Miko Challenge at the Purple Purl this year, I decided to cast on from scratch tonight, after re-learning the provisional cast-on from a Lucy Neatby tutorial on YouTube. I'm now 14 rows in again, with another 6 to go before the lace starts. It's going to be a race to the finish.

I'm sure the Olympians wouldn't have it any other way.

 

There's a mistake in there somewhere

But I'll be damned if I can figure out where I made it.

Actually, I think it somewere in the 4th row or something, which is kind of a pain in the butt. What has happened though, is that I've ended up with two more stitches on one side of the centre stitch than the other, so the work is starting to get a little lopsided on one side. Gah! Since I'm not quite sure how to fix it, this means I'll be ripping it back and starting over.

Tomorrow.

I'm going to chalk up this little hiccup to my lack of sleep this week and hope that if I restart with a clearer brain it'll be much easier.

Julie & Julia for knitters

I had originally re-started my blog as an opportunity to explore the myriad of projects that I seem to have on the go, the result of a lot of start-itis and ability to be seduced by the thrill of starting a new project. The idea was also to see if I could finish any of them, not necessarily start more.

Of course, me being me, I find it only too easy to be inspired, and captivated by the enthusiasm of others as they start new projects too.

Which brings me to the insanity that is Miko, one of the purveyors of my favourite LYS, The Purple Purl. Over the holidays she saw the film Julie & Julia, based on the blog (and book) by Julie Powell. Miko (being Miko), decided wouldn't it be fun to do something similar, but with knitting? And the next thing you know, she's issued a challenge to PP regulars via the shop's newsletter and Ravelry discussion board. The challenge being that you must knit your way through a book (or magazine) of patterns, starting February 1st, 2010 and ending on January 31st, 2011. Daunting, no?

A few people started talking about it and getting excited, and jumping on board with various knitting books and strategies (i.e. opportunity to learn new techniques or work one's way through a favourite designer, etc) and I confess to having been so caught up in the relative novelty of the idea that I even went so far as to buy the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume One: Knit & Purl with the misguided enthusiasm that I could learn new stitches and improve my knitting by knitting all 200+ swatches in the book!

I quickly realized with abject terror that knitting 200+ swatches would mean a lot of straight knitting for the most part five days a week on something that I might tire of very quickly without leaving a lot of room for other projects, in spite of the variety of the different stitches. A different book for another time, methinks.

Not to be completely waylaid, I've settled on a book that has been part of my knitting stash for a while, the delightful Whimsical Little Knits by Scottish designer Ysolda Teague. There are ten projects in total and all are relatively small and present enough challenges to keep up my interest. It will also be an opportunity for me to work through some of my yarn stash yet not break the bank if I decide I have to have something new for a project.

Wish me luck! My yarn is wound and I'm ready to cast on. My first project will be Ishbel, which I've been wanting to do for a while now, so it's a nice one to start with. I'll be knitting it in Lobster Pot Yarns' 100% cashmere 2-ply laceweight from Purl Soho in the colour Boiled Lobster. Progress pics to come as soon as I'm able.