Monday, February 26, 2007

Despite trying a new sleep schedule

and I am, accordingly, exhausted, I have been more productive today than I was all the rest of the weekend. I read most of two articles, finally figured out the pattern problem with the lace shrug I was making, finished knitting it, grafted the seam and blocked it. I gave The Sweater a long-overdue wash and re-blocking, changed my sheets, did a load of laundry, had a Peer Counselor interview and bought groceries. I also watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica, made a swatch, cast on and knit half the hem for my mother's Dead Elmo Vest. (A few of these things will be detailed at length below.)

Here we have a picture of the lace shrug, hot off the needles and ripply and ugly and too small:

And here is a cuff, unblocked:

Blocking: the lace shrug and The Sweater; the silver thing is a ruler, for scale.

The same cuff, blocking:

I might add that the lace is considerably larger now that it's blocking (and will be once it's finished), due to lace's tendency to streeeeeeetch. I re-blocked The Sweater, not because I felt it had been too long since the last time my room smelled of wet dog, but because, despite the fact that it hadn't done this immediately after its first blocking, the edges had begun to roll and the first blocking, it seems, stretched the neckline enough that the sleeves like to slide off my shoulders. I've often seen knitted items blocked to make them larger, but I've never seen a blocking that made something smaller, so here's hoping this works.

Meanwhile, I'm knitting a new vest for my mother. This is a belated birthday/Christmas present. I got the yarn in the mail a week or so ago, but, due to my firm resolve to finish what I had started first, I made myself wait until the lace shrug was finished. The yarn is soft and furry, and it's primarily red, with some black thrown in. The red furriness inspired the likeness to Elmo, though I suppose the black means it's Elmo, but he fell in a tar pit.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Because idle hands

are the devil's playground.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Due to my inability to sit still,

the better part of my knitting is either done in front of the tv (or my computer, lately) or with a book propped open in my lap. This, coupled with my preference for the classic and understated, has led me away from complicated stitch patterns, away from lace and colorwork, cables and textured knitting, and has drawn me to long, (long!) stretches of plain, boring stockinette. (And, I should add, if I do pick up a project with a modicum of interest, usually some lace, my interest in the book or movie or whatever usually means I make some stupid mistakes.)

But besides its lending itself so well to patterns that would make even the most patient knitter yawn, my love of diversion during diversion creates associations between the project and whatever it was I was watching (or reading, or whatever) while I knit it. There's a light green, short-sleeved sweater in a 1 x 1 rib that makes me think of Rurouni Kenshin and Trigun, a raspberry-colored three-quarter-sleeved sweater that reminds me of the weekend I finally saw the Star Wars trilogy (the original, of course), a pair of lace socks (my first socks ever, actually) that brings to mind Battlestar Galactica and Freaks and Geeks. A blue, bell-sleeved sweater of my own design reminds me of White-Jacket and Moby Dick, a white, cabled camisole evokes Slayers and Haibane Renmei, and a pair of white, ballet slippers for my sister is inextricably bound, in my mind, with Picture Perfect.

When I think of knitting and memory, I usually think of pattern concerns (*knit four, knit three together, knit one, yo...). But I suppose that's an oversimplification. I wonder, sometimes, what I might see, looking at a finished garment, if I hadn't watched something while I knit it. Perhaps I wouldn't think of the weekend my (then-) boyfriend was out of town and I had a little Miyazaki marathon (Grave of the Fireflies, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away) but I might remember the music I was listening to, or the way I had rearranged my furniture that week (I get restless). In a way, knitting is my mnemonic device. The ironic part is that, because of its propensity to making one's brain work in patterns, knitting has been denounced as bad for staving off Alzheimer's.

There is a storm brewing tonight. According to the best experts in weather technology, as reported to me by a guy in my Biostatistics class, we should be getting anywhere between eight and twenty inches of snow. I suppose ambiguity is the best defense against being wrong. In light of the storm and to spare the gray-haired contingent of my chorus a potentially-dangerous drive to campus, chorus has been cancelled tonight. While I appreciate having regained my evening, I can't say I'm not a little disappointed. Perhaps I'll build a snowman instead.

* Actually part of a lace pattern, the leaf motif as seen in Knitty's Baudelaire socks, which I have on the needles right now.

Quote of the day: "Why is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person?" -La Rochefoucauld