Saturday, January 26, 2008

Traveling pitfalls

There are alot of upsides to traveling however, one of the downsides includes a mental conversation that goes something like this:

"That Lopi book, let's see....I can picture the cover...I cast on in Buffalo; made color copies of the chart; then the sleeves in Michigan....I don't remember having the book in Missouri...I thought I left it in Wisconsin...why can't I find this? Did it fall behind the sofa in NY? It should be right here. But..."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Felici Pebbles Finished.

A little bit of January success.Felici Pebbles for The Adored One.
I used WendyKnits square toe cast on, worked the pattern from Ann Budd's sock book - crossed cables, following the formula from Crazy Toes and Heels.When I washed them they stretched out immensely. Yikes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sometimes Centered isn't the same as Balanced.

So I was reading a "heated discussion" over on Ravelry and it gave me some things to think about. All along Ravelry has been saying it would be open to the public. Personally I was picturing something along the lines of the Yahoo Groups, you would need an account to be a part of it vs say, Knitters Review where you can read but not post without an account. So the storm was created by the clarification that "open" means "Open to the Public, all and sundry". Wow. For a while people forgot to use their inside voices. It brought up several interesting points about public and private selves.

Several people will be changing their id's because they are too close to "real". I could do this, there aren't many with my name out there, but I am enough of a wallflower that I don't see this as an issue. I guard truly private information and keep myself to myself. So that stays.

The bigger issue is Ravelry has several very private boards where people have formed support groups, have come out, have said all manner of things they do not want people to hear.

This is were the whole thing becomes sticky. On the one hand, it's nice to think that we could stagger into the LYS KnitNight and bash our boss. However, you run the risk that the boss' brother's cousin's niece will be there...hear into the evil empress at Dairy Q and repeat it. You on some level know that. I think that is why TAO bears the brunt of so much of my frustration. He isn't likely to meet the boss somewhere and say "Oh, you're the one with the intelligence of a domesticated turkey."

So the common sense answer is "Don't post what you wouldn't want to see on a billboard on the way to work."

At the same time I empathise with the people who have formed close knit groups, who enjoy the easy camaraderie, who unburden themselves to a friendly face they may never see. In today's society most of us work so much and are so fractured from our families that friendships can become quite dear. Even online I run my usual modus operandi, I listen to alot of casual friends and only really talk to a very very few. Having grown up in a "don't tell" environment and currently working in a travelling position where every 3 months you essentially have to polish up for a new job I can see how people become isolated. Even though I personally don't interact in these groups I don't want them to lose that. It's also a shame that we still live in a world that people have to worry about backlash from their sexual/religious/political choices. After all I hate pink, that doesn't mean I think stores shouldn't sell pink stuff to people who like pink.

At it's core, Ravelry is a fibre arts site. Private groups may have to wander off and form their own email lists. But that doesn't mean you can't meet great people at the virtual LYS.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

At Least It was Me

Curse words!

For the 2006 winter season I made TAO a sweater from Shamrock. No mean feat since he is 8 inches taller than me but we have the same inseam. Oh, and he body builds so his bicep is the size of my thigh, and the shoulders required oodles of short rows otherwise the sweater gaps.

I felted the confounded thing! It now fits, well, me. So I am going to have to revise my knitting project list to include a make up sweater for him. Frick'em, sock'em, ruff'em.

At least I ruined it and not him.

So, I will be placing an yarn order when I get to the new assignment. Now where are those 10.5s and the worksheet I used to design that?

Friday, January 18, 2008

A break from packing.

In order to gain perspective I did indeed take a break from packing to feed the gargantuan amount of stitches from the current row of the Gathering of Lace Feather and Fan Shawl onto a lifeline. It was very helpful to see it spread out and converted it from an amorphous jellyfish into something lacey and lovely. At the same time it’s disheartening to realize that one row currently is equal to 14 rows on a sock. And that each continuing row will only get larger. Sigh.
While I was at it I pulled the Malabrigo vogue cardigan out of its project bag to see where I really stand. I think this one will stay in Wisconsin while I go to the Pacific Northwest.

In keeping with the Socks from Stash group I did finish the first of a pair for TAO. Sadly I do not feel the love with this project and am not looking forward to it's mate. I have been fiddling around with a different new technique for 2 at once socks, but find that to be even more annoying than just having to keep good notes for a second sock. The switching back and forth converts it into a finicky little chore instead of a soothing and calming rosary. I like learning new techniques though.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

That's right I was supposed to Resolve something for 2008

Samuel Johnson, who repeatedly records in his diary his vow to “avoid idleness” and “rise early,” is a sometime patron saint of resolution-makers.
He notes in his diary: “I have now spent fifty-five years in resolving; having, from the earliest time almost that I can remember, been forming schemes of a better life. I have done nothing. The need of doing, therefore, is pressing, since the time of doing is short. O G-D, grant me to resolve aright, and to keep my resolutions"

1) Years ago I made a list of things that I could do when I’d had a bad day. They were all free and most did not involve consumption of food, although a few did consume calories. I think it’s time to pull that out, dust it off and refresh it with what fits in the current life plan/car.

2) Getting out of groups and forums that I don’t actively participate in. I can always stop by and browse but it can feel pressured to see a long list of Unread post and bloglines. This includes uninstalling computer programs that aren’t needed. Going through my organizational software and cleaning out contacts, duplicates, etc.

3) The flip side of this is being more actively involved in groups that do work toward my goals. Stash Knit Down, Mission Possible 2008, and Socks from Stash are friendly examples. And because they don’t have a crushing goal or deadline, I am more inclined to succeed. This also includes being more open to other people and reaching out for support and friendship more.

4) Organising projects by complexity and materials. A little Zen knitting, a little focused knitting, some lab coat pocket knitting. Packing a few extra patterns in case I change my plans.

5) Knit for charity

6) Finish uploading my Stash to Ravelry by the end of January 2008.

7) Keeping my focus on Enough. Really, how Much is enough? How much is variety? Can you fill variety without having to Own it?

8) Getting a real grip on my UFO's and frog what isn't working.
Somethings that are working are:
Elegant Ewe Thanksgiving Shawl - knitpicks Bare – Self Dyed with Jacquard dyes.

Lacey Hug me Tight – Knittery Cashmere Sock in Moonlight

Ene Scarf – Claudia HandPainted Silk 20/2 in Woodland Moss

SWS Clapotis – about 60% done, languishing in a bag

Vogue Cardigan – MMMMalabrigo – This was tucked away because it wasn’t portable and I’ve just overlooked it, as one does with frozen veggies in the icebox.

Feather and Fan Shawl – this is beautiful and lovely, yet right now feels like slogging through wet snow in a windstorm, perhaps I need to string it on a big cord so I can lay it out and instead of thinking it’s just an orange jellyfish I will once again see it as shining lace.

Felici Socks – I enjoy the pattern and the yarn, but it’s on certain sized needles that I only have in DPNs and the current assignment is not lab pocket friendly. (I actually fear that had I access to sharp pointy sticks I might leap on someone gouging fiercely.)

Because work has been so grinding I have recently found myself in a Cast on mood, looking for something glorious and new to distract me. So there have been several things that have been cast on, inches worked and then ripped.

Mission Possible 2008 includes pulling older yarn from stash and doing something Pro Active with it. If you don't you have to donate the yarn to a cause. I can live with that. I've also started posting WillTrade on Ravelry. I decided that from now on I am going to write the year I purchase the yarn on the label.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Begin as you mean to go on.

There are many interesting superstitions regarding the secular New Year. Among them is one that deals with setting the tone for the year. So on that note I allotted time for the seaming, finish knitting, and weaving in of Lillian.

At the moment I am glad this is a Spring sweater, because I currently think it looks like something they made the page wear in a cheap production of Camelot. And there were numerous errors in the pattern, and a spot of poor planning in which the sweater is offered in Small and Medium but only has one size sleeve. Most bipedal mammals that I know have arm sizes proportional to their torso, so bigger torso would lead to the thought...bigger arms. Oh well, I needed to firm those up anyway.

The yarn is Ole from StahlWolle a Pima and Merino blend. It's stash yarn from ??2000?!? and looking at the Web doesn't seem to be available anymore. Which is a shame because the yarn was the best part of this project. Springy, soft, not alot of pilling. Perhaps I should resolve to write the year on yarn labels from now on.

The pattern (in Medium) called for 10 25g balls of Laines du Nord Royal Cashmere for a total of 820 yards, But I did it for less than 690 yards, including extra rows for Superhero Boob Masks. Given that the suggested yarn retails at $19.95 american dollars a ball, I would hope that your LYS would take back the 2 extra that wouldn't be needed.

Long story short - done. Like it, but not enough to make again. Now I'm off to enjoy the superstition that says NOT to do laundry on the New Year.