Katherine the Great
I like to think of myself as a storyteller. Mostly I tell stories about knitting.

The Iditarod ceremonial start was Saturday at 1pm (Texas time) and I was on a wine tour of the Texas Hill Country.

We hit Becker – nice selection of local products.

had lunch at Inwood Estates Winery & Bistro (We were going to sit outside, but it was too windy. A huge umbrella blew up and almost killed me. True story.)

checked out Torre Di Pietra Vineyards – which I didn’t love (There was a shop cat and I’m ALLERGIC.)

swung by Grape Creek – classy joint

and finished up at Fiesta Winery – yummy sweet wines.

rocking chair

rocking in a chair on a porch at Fiesta Winery reminds me of my Grammy’s porch growing up. Love!


So, I didn’t get very far in the Iknitarod Saturday. (my goal is to knit the owls sweater – my first adult sweater – by the time the last musher reaches the finish line in Nome) I did attempt a German twisted cast on after my gauge swatch and when the tail wasn’t long enough, I decided to try again Sunday.

Sunday –
cast on 2. German twisted – wasn’t crazy about how it looked.
cast on 3. German twisted – started knitting the rib and didn’t love how that looked
cast on 4. tubular – have 102 sts. need 108. merciful heavens!
cast on 5. tubular – finally have 108 stitches. time to hit the hay.

Monday –
I worked on the ribbing. The darker edge looks amazing! I tried it on. FRACK! It’s too small. I can get it on, but even having never knit a sweater before, I know the stitches are not supposed to be all stretched out like that. This is the part where I learn what is meant by an inch or 2 of ease.

On the upside, I do not love the waterfall look of the Tubular cast on. German Twisted it is.

Tuesday –
I tried it on again in case I was just fatter Monday or something. No such luck. It’s too small. I took a picture and ripped it out.
Owls Sweater

Then, I took a break because well, I needed a break. My first sweater is kicking my arse. (calling it my 24 hour break)…probably a little early to take my 24, but there you have it.

Wednesday –
cast on 6. German Twisted – tail too short
cast on 7. German Twisted – (going up 2 sweater sizes and down one needle size) BINGO! (I hope)

The trail has been ROUGH for those running the Iditarod so far. I am consoling myself with the fact that at least I don’t have any actual bruises to show for my rough Iknitarod start.

To see what others are working on, check out:
Tami’s Amis
Small Things (I just started reading Wheat Belly – it is actually about modern/hybridized wheat and gluten vs. ancient wheat and has been interesting so far.)
Frontier Dreams

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I knit my fingers to the bone on Sunday. Now, I like to be careful with marathon knitting. I try not to do it often to avoid repetitive motion injuries and all that jazz. But one time a year, I give into the competition of the Iknitarod and go for it. I take breaks and stretch my hands and things, but it’s a lot of knitting for about 10 days. I’m not sure exactly how many stitches I knit on Sunday, but it was a lot. Then, I hit the hay. That’s when things got interesting.
(dream) At night, I am walking home through a seedy part of town and a gentleman was giving everyone batons (and by baton, I mean tactical baton, not high school twirling baton). Everyone was taking them and continuing on their way as we all knew there was some kind of crazy dangerous killer in the area. Why we knew this and were still calmly walking along, I cannot fathom, but it’s a dream. Go with it. Fast forwad a couple of blocks. Generous Baton Guy had looped back and was approaching us again. This time, however, he was throwing full-sized saw blades at us like they were Chinese throwing stars. I blocked one with my baton and I don’t know if it ricocheted or another one appeared, but a saw cut about halfway through my hand as I caught it. Now, I’m not going to pretend to be some kind of weapons expert, but if a saw blade is being thrown at you, for the love of all that is holy, do not try to catch the thing. Avoid it at all costs. Hide behind a car. Duck down very small so it will go over your head. Do whatever you can to get out of the path. DO NOT try to catch it. Again, it’s a saw.
It seems that I was in shock because my hand did not hurt that bad and I was pleased to have caught the thing. My very next thought in this dream was, “damn, I’m not going to be able to knit tomorrow.” My hand is nearly in two pieces and I’m thinking about how soon I can get back to knitting. Ladies and gentlemen, you might have a problem if…..
Hitchhiker 42
the rest of the story: I think I had a hand cramp and my brain was working it into my dream. My hands both feel fine now…..and I think we can all agree that the hitchhiker shawl has kind of a saw feel to it.

Ps. I’m working on point 42 and the Iditarod winner should be pulling into Nome sometime tomorrow. Mush!

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This is my second year to participate in the Iknitarod. You may recall last year’s effort. The goal of the Iknitarod is to pick a project and start with the mushers and finish before the last Iditarodder crosses the finish line (and the red lantern is awarded). I cast on for a hitchhiker shawl Saturday March 2 with the ceremonial start as planned, but it was a near thing.
I knew that I was knitting with sock yarn and have a wide variety of sock-sized needles. What I neglected to realize is that socks are knit more tightly than shawls. I really didn’t need a gauge, but I didn’t want the shawl too big because I’m hoping to get all 42 points of the shawl out of the one of a kind yarn I’m using and not have to bind off with fewer points. So, a gauge it must be.
Rat on a stick! 3.5mm are too big. I will knit another gauge on 3.25mm needles. Um, yeah. I need to be knitting with 3.25mm and I’m smart enough to realize I do not to want to use 3.5mm and try to knit REALLY tightly when I’m already deadline knitting (I have my moments.). So, I dump needles all over the guest room bed in my quest for 3.25mm needles longer than the dpn’s I’ve used for the gauge.
Addi clicks start at 3.5mm and go up.
Straights that I’ve purchased begin at US6 and go up.
My circular needles are smaller than 3mm and larger than 4mm. Great. Who is running this outfit?!? oh yea, me.

Then I recall that my good friend, Sam, bought an arseload of needles at an auction and was kind enough to share some with me and I have all those in yet another needle case. WINNING! There’s a nice slick pair of 3.25mm Susan Bates straights to get me through the weekend ’til I can hit a LYS in town Monday and get some circs. I was able to avoid a broken sled and pulled out with the other teams after all. Crisis averted.
Now, I’m 1/3 of the way through the race. Martin Buser has had an amazing couple of days and I’m pulling for Aliy Zirkle (in 2nd Tuesday night).

Ps. To see what other folks are working on, go check out Tami’s Amis.

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