Saturday, September 27, 2003
The luck of e-bay was shining on me and I picked up this Rowanspun DK in Lavender
to make the Elsebeth Lavold vest. Notice it's not grey? I love heathered purples and had one of those "aha" moments when I saw it. And the price was considerably less than I would have paid locally. (Canada must have huge import duties on British yarns. This particular yarn locally is about $10.25 US ($13.95CDN), but retails for $7.95 in the US, and in Britain it's about $5.60 US--what gives?) I don't care, it's paid for and on the way.
I've been churning away at the mystery project--when I have enough done I'll reveal it for comments/kudos/critiques because I'm 99.9% sure the intended recipient doesn't read this and I want to show it off.
Friday, September 26, 2003
I got back into my thesis groove and I'm feeling good. I devised a plan to write some easy stuff every day, and then research the harder stuff after that. This way I have some definite progress--written pages--and I feeling like I'm getting somewhere. Today I'm off to the library for some more sources that I must have and then I can get back to the hard stuff and get it out of the way.
To celebrate I started this:
It's a sock for my son Xander (short for Alexander) who's been asking me to knit for him. It's so sweet when he asks "Is that for me?" whenever I'm knitting. Now I can tell him yes. (They're made with Regia Mini Ringel, colour 5211.) I love doing kids socks--48 stitches around and a foot 6.5" long--nice and quick. And yes, my almost-three-year-old has huge feet (size 12) for his age; I might not like making him socks when he's a teen, mind you, he might not want to wear them either.
I even did a few rounds on my mystery project and I'm hitting a groove with the two-handed fair isle technique. It's still not perfect, but I'm starting to like it more and if I keep practicing I might someday make something from here.
Thursday, September 25, 2003
Figuring it out
Not much knitting yesterday because Craig and I got to go out. We walked in our neighbourhood, went to the Book City and had a coffee, but it was nice to have leisurely time together.
I did buy the latest Knitter's, and before you question my taste I'll tell you why. First, I've discovered Elsebeth Lavold and I'm in love with her work. She's featured in the magazine and there's a pattern she designed for this:
I'm not much of a vest person, but I love these cables. I'm searching out the right yarn in the right colour for this one. I think with a black turtleneck and jeans it could look fab. Maybe in a dark red. My first thought was light grey but I'm trying to stretch my wardrobe colours. Maybe something tweedy too. I would love to hear suggestions.
The magazine also had some good instructions on entrelac knitting (though for a very ugly pattern). I had already swatched this in anticipation of my Noro 1 book arriving:
But I didn't like the look of it. It's in stocking stitch and the pattern in Knitter's is in garter. I suspect that my
kureyon coat is in garter too because the diamonds are more symmetrical. And, I realized the pattern is called Garter Coat (duh!) I didn't think entrelac was done in garter (double duh!) That little revelation made me happy because I was worrying about my coat plans. Now I can re-swatch in garter and see what happens.
And, I finished my cashmere scarf. I love it. The flash photo doesn't show off the colour well (or the yummy softness!)
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
So I started yesterday morning by casting on and doing the ribbing for one of the front panels of my must-have cardi. Then I was off to Yoga and down to work. I worked dilligently for several hours and then, due to a software glitch that I am yet to understand, I
lost all my work! And I'm still feeling bitter about it. It was just notes on a book I was reading, but still.
I was so pissed off I couldn't work anymore so I decided to swatch and try entrelac knitting. With the clear instructions from Debbie Bliss' How to Knit I've started a nice swatch and should have the technique down when I get my pattern book for the Kureyon Entrelac jacket (I desparately await the letter-carrier every day!). I'll post a picture of the swatch when I get it done.
Then, I decided that while the kids played, I would finish my cashmere multidirectional scarf. I'm on the last triangle and am anxiously examining my dwindling yarn. Will I have enough? Do I have to frog back one wedge and work it again? I won't have a fringe as planned but that's not a big deal. And one other thing, the dye is staining my finger so I'm not sure about the stability of the colour. I didn't swatch or wash (it's a scarf after all) so I'll just have to see what happens when I wash it.
Then, I remembered I need to work on my mystery project. So I did a few rows. I shouldn't do fair isle when I'm tired. I had to undo a bit of it since I messed up the chart, but it's all fixed and I'll try to work on it a bit everyday so I can have it done on time. My two-handed fair isle is still slow because I can't seem to keep tension on the yarn in my right hand, but it's looking good. The mystery will be revealed when there's enough of it to be seen.
So I worked on four things yesterday. How's that for being indecisive?
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
I finished the back of my Must-Have cardi last night, and stayed up far too late to do it. It will have to be blocked well for the width, the cables must have squished it up. I'm really happy with it, and stole some time this morning to cast on one of the front pieces.
Then I realized September is almost over and I have something else in the knitting basket to finish. I have done almost no work on the birthday surprise mystery project for my friend, who's birthday is in the beginning of November. I have to get going on that tonight.
I did get a lot of thesis work done yesterday and that made me feel a bit less anxious. Though the anxiety is good--it makes me work.
Monday, September 22, 2003
Learning New Tricks
This wasn't the most heavy-knitting weekend because I actually had a social life. I did knit with Amy and Kate on Friday night which was fun and chatty (I like anyone who talks as much as me!) But Saturday we had a million things to do, and friends coming for dinner so I only did a few rows.
Sunday I did get to sit and knit and I learned something new. I figured out how to cable without a cable needle. It's so much easier than I thought it would be. The idea is to slip stitches and pick them back up so the cable twist is made first and then the stitches are knit up. There are far better explanations here at Wendy's site and also here.
If you're into texture knitting I highly recommend using this method. No more hunting for the cable knitting, dropping the yarn while you put the stitches on the needle, picking up the yarn to knit the stitches, dropping the yarn to put the cable needle somewhere else. There is a lot of stitch slipping but it's faster--at least it feels faster.
Here's the result--I'm almost done the back:
I also got to see Once Upon a Time in Mexico last night with Craig. It was an okay movie--Johnny Depp was great--but we agreed we should have seen Lost in Translation instead.
I think my knitting progress is going to slow this Fall. Along with the thesis, I'm entering the time to apply for academic jobs which is no easy task. I'm starting to panic about the process. I had a solid academic career in the making until I had the kids. I knew that my desire to mother my children my way meant that I would be making career sacrifices and I don't have any regrets, but now that I'm trying to update my C.V. that I haven't touched since 1997 I see all the holes (no scholarly publications, only 4 conference papers, no new committee work, slow progress on my thesis...) and am freaking that I may have closed off a tenure-stream position.
I sincerely think hiring committees in my discipline (Sociology/Women's Studies) will understand the demands of mothering and graduate work, but I still think there's a super-woman mentality among older women academics (and lots of male ones) who feel they had to make sacrifices in their careers and they're not super willing to concede that mothering in the first few years is a demanding job which might affect one's scholarly progress. I'm not saying I need special consideration, but recognition that my academic path is a bit more meandering and that's okay. I know there are Universities out there that do recognize this--I just have to find one that wants me! And, I need a subtle way to account for this in my application package.
Oooh so much academic angst for a Monday morning. I best get to my thesis to alleviate some of that.