WIP Wednesday.

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).

Mitten

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.

Behold:

IMG_2262

Perfect. (I am using only three colors, though.)

Tuesday night I started the colorwork.

IMG_2261

and knit on it while Smokey watched The Good Wife

IMG_2263

and it was good.

IMG_2267

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.

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0 Responses to WIP Wednesday.

  1. Amy says:

    I share your uneasy relationship with gravity, ever since Holli caused me to fall on my head and get a concussion. Stupid dog.

  2. tinebeest says:

    Wow… that is some ice storm report. Barefoot? I wonder if the socks would have give you any friction? Probably not.
    Nice mittenly knitting, too.

  3. Gillian says:

    That ice is pretty scary. Glad you’re safe. I don’t know if I could have done the barefoot thing.

  4. Yurp, life in Wisconsin. Or Life in Minnesota. Meme chose meme chose, as they say in French (that may mean “go have some tea”; my French is notoriously weak). So far we’ve avoided all that, being way down south, but it’s coming, oh yes it is. We in Madison tend to import our weather DIRECTLY from the Twin Cities, sooner or later.
    Those mittens are fanTAStic! Ever since managing the Mason-Dixon wonky dishrag I’ve thought about going in for color-change lessons….I love some fair isle but put it together with microsurgery. STAY SAFE! (Gravity + me…same thing too.)

  5. “…and we all fall down’.” Sheesh! Maybe you need to carry with you larger needles…like ski poles to dig into it and pull yourself across. Glad you made it sans injury.

  6. Erika says:

    Ice storms are so terrifying! When I was growing up in Alaska I had these slip-on cleat thingies you can buy for your shoes. It’s the only way to walk on ice! (And I do mean the ONLY way.)

  7. Mary Lou says:

    I just looked out the window. I’ve heard that wool socks work on ice, but have no personal experience. Glad you made it in one piece.

  8. Bullwinkle says:

    Yikes!
    But I’m sorry, BAREFOOT??? My tootsies would have rebelled. I would consider crawling. You’re closer to the ground and don’t have as far to fall 😉
    Excellent mittens – love the color work.

  9. Vicki says:

    Ah, winter! We are having some snow right now.

  10. Chris says:

    Ack!! My Reynaudey feet would’ve fallen off!

  11. Yikes! I was on the edge of my seat for this post. I was sure you were going to say that you fell and broke about forty seven different bones! We might get a little ice tomorrow night, but nothing on that level. Good idea to stay in and not risk another trip out there!

  12. =Tamar says:

    Eek. I would have crawled. I guess it’s too early in the year for the community center to realize they should have allowed people to stay overnight. Ice is an emergency in my book.

  13. Angie says:

    Oy, barefoot! I am putting on an extra pair of socks for you right now…..

  14. Jocelyn says:

    This is one of the best descriptions of that kind of ice that I’ve ever read; you completely took me there with you. I’m more someone who drops to her knees or rear end and just drags herself across the worst patches. Do you have any Yack Trax or Ice Bugs, btw? Life changing!

  15. gayle says:

    Oh, I was holding my breath through the whole post – I was so afraid you had fallen again!
    I’ve done the barefoot-on-ice thing, too. Not fun, but beats the hell out of a bunch of broken bones!
    Yak Trax. Only way to go. Though mine are usually in the car when I’m in the house, or vice versa…

  16. soxanne says:

    oh. my. god.
    I’ve been extra careful because of last year’s wrist but I have not (and hopefully will not ever) gone barefoot in the ice.
    Don’t really know what to say. Just OMG.
    Love the mitts, btw.

  17. elizabeth says:

    That sound so scary! I can’t believe you walked across ice barefoot. I would’ve cried.

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