Thursday, October 7, 2010

Instant Karma

I thought today's post would be a gifts-in-progress summary, but I haven't been able to resist the lure of the Shelter yarn.  So, let me just start off with a note to the Knitting Muses and Yarn Gods in an attempt to keep my yarn karma in good standing:  I did make progress on both pairs of gift socks I'm currently knitting, and I dug yarn out of the stash for some charity knitting.  I promise to work on them more this weekend!

This is what my kitchen table looked like last night after dinner:

I wanted the making of this sweater to be about the process as much as the finished product.
Well, I'm already learning new skills.  The gauge in my first swatch was off.  It was enough to effect the finished size of the sweater, but I was pretty sure I didn't want to change my needle size.  I looked at the pattern again and realized it is meant to be knit in the round and then steeked into a cardigan.  (Yay! No purling, and I get to use my new steeking skills later.)  So, I used the ever-handy Google and found these instructions for knitting a "fake" circular gauge swatch.  It worked!  My gauge is now spot-on, and I've knit the first couple of inches of the sweater.  The yarn is just beautiful.  More pictures to come when I get a little further along.

Meanwhile, let me tell you how the rest of my day went after my last post. . .I knew the universe would find a way to kick me in the butt after I talked up my good yarn karma.  It wasn't yarn related, but it was instant!  Right after I clicked "pubish post"  I went out my back door to feed our animals.  This is what I saw:

Half of our property, along with the rest of our rural neighborhood, receives flood irrigation every 10 days during the summer.  I thought we were all done for the year, so I was surprised to see that I would be wading to reach our little barn.  Feeling grateful for my water-proof muck boots, I made my way out.  First I gathered the chickens' food and water dishes that had floated away, and refilled them on higher ground near the coop.  I gave the sheep a treat in the barn where she was hiding from the water in her pasture.  Then I went to feed the pigs.  To my dismay, I saw that their feeders were underwater.  I was going to have to move the feeders to higher ground.  Before I could do that, I was going to have to undo the wires securing the feeders against the fence.  And in order to do that, I was going to have to get 2 hungry pigs out of my way. 

This guy is actually pretty tame but he does outweigh me,
and he's not shy when he thinks it's feeding time!

Fortunately, I had some old bagels and leftover fruit and vegetables to tempt them with.  Walking around the outside of the pig fence, I called to them so they would come eat their treats on some dry ground far away from where I would need to work on their feeders.  I knew it wouldn't take long for them to come back so I hurried into their pen, completely forgetting that the pigs had dug a deep hole just inside the gate.  Splash!  My right boot was full of water.  There was nothing for me to do but slosh over to their feeders and keep working.  I untied some wire knots, and tried to pull the feeder away from the fence, only to discover that my wonderful husband had also secured a 2nd wire at the bottom of the fence.  . . a 2nd wire which was now underwater.  Now with one wet foot, and my hands covered in mud, I kept undoing knots in the wire.  I was able to free up the feeder and move it to higher ground just as the pigs had finished their treats and were coming to investigate.  I rushed to get back out the gate as the pigs splashed their way toward me and guess where I stepped with my left foot?  You got it, right into the same deep hole:

With two wet feet, I finished feeding the pigs.  Then I calmly went back to the house, poured the water out of my boots, and found the camera. 

The great thing about blogging is that when the universe does decide to play a joke on you, there is absolutely zero time lapse between the moment when it is mildly frustrating and the moment when it becomes a funny story to tell.


  1. Oh Shannon - I'm so sorry that yesterday was the "wrong Wednesday" ! This wouldn't have happened! Just another funny story to tell : )

    I can't wait to hear about how to do a fake circular swatch - that will come in very handy. I've always just pretented like it wouldn't matter and then proceeded. Of course when I'm off and I have a sock big enough for Shrek, I can't figure out why or how it happened!

  2. At least you got a shot of that beautiful walnut tree : ) Did you have on a nice pair of your knit socks?

  3. Wow, farming is complicated and character-building!

    Thanks for the link re: the fake circular swatch - I was going to do one this week (having recently cheated with a flat swatch & learned the hard way that it really does affect gauge) - but now will do it this way.