This is purportedly a knitting blog, right? So I should show you what I'm knitting, right? Right!
I am in the midst of the inner mittens of the Diaphonous Mittens. I worked on them in the car on the way to the baby shower on Saturday (1.5 hours) and on the way home to the south Minneapolis house afterward (1.5 hours) and on the drive back to Wisconsin on Sunday (2 hours; we stopped for breakfast and I knit in the restaurant).
I decided I wanted to put some colorwork on the inner mitts so they wouldn't be boring when I wasn't wearing the outer mitts. But I really had no idea of what colorwork pattern I would use; when I got to this point on Mitten #1 I stopped, put it on scrap yarn, and cast on Mitten #2.
On Monday I reached the same point on Mitten #2, and that night's bedtime reading was searching through Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries to find The Perfect Pattern.
Perfect. (I am using only three colors, though.)
Tuesday night I started the colorwork.
and knit on it while Smokey watched The Good Wife
and it was good.
Let me explain my choices. From what I have picked up about these mittens, having a yarn with some silk in it helps them grip the steering wheel when driving; it seems counterintuitive to me, but apparently having some silk is less slippery than having pure wool. The light and dark blue-gray yarns are Knit Picks Gloss sock yarn, a 70/30 wool/silk blend that was in the stash. I had bought it on a whim, just to see what a sock knit of wool-silk yarn would be like. (Haven't made the socks yet, but I don't think I will use enough of the yarn in the mittens to short the socks.)
Stay tuned to see if the non-skid silk thing is true…
* * * * *
Minnesota and Wisconsin got hit with an ice storm Saturday night. We knew that freezing rain was in the forecast when we left for the shower/party, but what are ya gonna do? We didn't want to miss the Liberian experience.
When we walked out of the community center where the shower was held, the sidewalks were dangerously glazed with ice. I avoided the sidewalk in favor of walking on the dirt or the grass and managed to get to the car without falling.
You may remember that I have an uneasy relationship with gravity.
The side streets were also dangerously glazed, but the main streets weren't too bad; Smokey drove at a safe and sensible 10 – 15 miles per hour and we were fine. Until we came over a slight rise at University Avenue and East Hennepin and found that the slight downhill grade… was pure ice. He managed to brake and skid the car over to the snowbank at the side of the street without hitting any of the cars stopped at the light, but the next car after us was going slightly faster. That one bounced off our car (no damage, hurrah), hit the car diagonally in front of us, and glided around the corner to a safe stop. The driver, a youngish man, was very shaken by the experience. "I'm not driving any more tonight," he declared as he got out of the car and walked away.
The trouble was that the sidewalks were equally dangerous. As we drove past the fraternity and sorority houses by the University, I saw couples returning from dates, the females in high heels and absolutely unable to move. Their dates had to pull them up the tiniest incline, say, the entrance to an alley.
We thought we would be okay once we got onto the interstate to drive back to WI, the major highways probably having been salted and/or sanded as soon as the icing began. When we got to the intersection with I-35W, however, we saw that patrol cars were waving cars off the interstate; I-35W north was closed.
So we drove to the house in south Minneapolis, which took as long as it would normally take to drive back home to Wisconsin. The Minneapolis house is on a hill, and we parked heading downhill because we knew if we parked heading uphill we would never get the car out in the morning. This meant [cue menacing music] that we had to walk across the street to get to the house.
And the street was sheer ice, and, oh, did I mention it is a hill?
Knowing that I couldn't make it across the street — even standing still in one place was not safe, I would start to slide downhill anyway — I took off my shoes and socks and crossed that ice-glazed street in my bare feet. It may have helped slightly, but it was still an almost impossible task. And cold. Did I mention I was barefoot?
On Sunday morning the side streets were still horrendously slippery, but the freeway was open and in reasonably good condition. The drive home was uneventful until we reached our driveway, which was ice-glazed and — of course — downhill. When Smokey stopped the car after creeping down the driveway at what seemed like negative speed, it continued to slide toward the Aveo parked in front of the garage. Luckily, we stopped before hitting it.
And then we crept into the house and didn't leave again until Monday afternoon, amen.