I love Ravelry! Have I mentioned that before? Because of being diligent and inputting (is that really a verb?) projects as I begin them, I know that I started these 6-ply socks for John on November 28, 2009.
Last night, the first of the two socks was completed, all but grafting the toe, that is. The knitting of it, though, is finished. Thankfully, I had cast on for both socks at the same time or I would never have remembered that I'd used the tubular cast on for the first one. Here's the link to the tutorial for the tubular cast on: Ysolde Teague.
Now, because I did cast on for the second sock, I'll have something relatively mindless to work on while the football game is on today.
The little Selbu mitten is coming along nicely, too. I worked on it for a while yesterday, until my eyes started crossing. I'm really happy with the way it's knitting up and my tension is improving with every row.
I am finding, with these mittens, that the hand seems so long and I worry that they'll be way too long for a child, but once the thumb goes in, they do seem to balance out. Still, I look at the hand section, compared to the cuff and wonder if they'll fit right.
Speaking of cuffs, Tina mentioned in her comment that she thought the cuff on the Lilac mittens might be too loose to stay on. In my case, it doesn't really matter too much because my jacket has velcro straps at the cuff. My main concern is that the mittens are long enough to stay inside the cuff and these are definitely long enough. Once the velcro strap is adjusted, there's no way the mittens are coming off.
Sandie commented that each time she's tried stranded knitting, she's ended up with a tangle rather than an item. I hate to tell you this Sandie, but this is a great learning experience! I now know how to knit Continental (yarn in the left hand - picker) and British (yarn in the right hand - thrower); knowing that, I have one strand in the left hand and the other in the right hand. The yarns don't tangle this way; you don't have to twist the yarns together except on long floats. I catch them using the technique taught by the Philosopher's Wool Company (video here). It took a bit of practice, but it's a terrific technique to know, and it's a very good video.
For me, the hardest part about knitting with more than one colour is tension, keeping everything loose and even. I'm getting better, but there are still lumpy sections. That's what blocking is for. These mittens, like the red and white ones, are made with washable wool, so I'm thinking of just throwing them in the wash with the next load of laundry and then laying them flat to dry... just to see how they come out. I have a feeling that, with a wash or two, everything will even out.
Last weekend, I mentioned that John's Dad had been admitted to the hospital in Vancouver. He's still there, and will likely not be released. We found out yesterday that, for all intents and purposes, we're on a death watch. There was talk of surgery yesterday, but between John and his cousin, who has been visiting him regularly, it was decided that the surgery really wouldn't do anything to improve the quality of Tony's life. His breathing is still laboured and he's on oxygen, his kidneys are still failing and the prostate cancer ... well, it's prostate cancer. We also heard yesterday that he no longer wants food. When you put all of these things together, it really only spells one thing: it's just a matter of time.
John will be calling the hospital later this morning to find out what the nurses think; unfortunately, he has an appointment on Wednesday that he really can't get out of unless it's an emergency, so he'd like to know if the nurses think he'll hold on until then. If they feel that John should be there sooner rather than later, he'll head down to Vancouver sooner and beg off the appointment.
I'll keep you posted.