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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Slow, Slower, Slowest

I wish there were more progress to report but, alas, things are s-l-o-w. Sitcom Chic is coming along. I am up to the part where you put down the body and cast on the sleeves. So, I did as instructed and put it down. l'll be back to it, but I needed a break from the stockinette, and so I decided to monkey around...

I have cast on and ripped that Monkey more times than I have ever ripped anything else. First, I screwed up on one of the YO rows, went to backtrack and mucked things up terrifically. Then I cast on and knit all of the ribbing only to have the dear husband accidentally yank out one of the needles when (the nerve!) he tried to make some room for himself on the couch. I could have picked up the stitches, but it almost seemed easier to start over. So, I cast on, knit 4 repeats of the lace pattern and THEN decided I didn't like the way the ribbing looked. Rrrrrrrip. I really think I need to do the picot edge mod that's been making the rounds. I believe that will make me happier. This yarn (Piece of Beauty) also tried to be a plain old stockinette sock with an Eye of the Partridge Heel. In fact it WAS a sock, finished, kitchenered, and everything, but I decided to rip that, too. (It's not me, it's the yarn! No...it's me.) I love this pattern, and I simply can't stand for the sock not to be perfect when I finish.

UPDATE: Yes, the picot edge is the way to go. Don't ask how long I fiddled with that until I got it looking like I wanted it to. But now all is right with he world--the Monkey loves the picot.

I hope you had a great weekend. I didn't get as much accomplished as I would have liked, but that's pretty typical. Just for fun, here are my "8 Things":

1. I love watching the Indy 500. I watch no other races throughout the year and I could care less about IRL standings. It's all about the engineering on the Indy cars and the strategy for me. I have no desire to go to The Brickyard and I would refuse the chance if offered.

2. My favorite play is The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen. (I just did a Google search, and those words put together in a sentence do not produce any matches. Huh, go figure.)

3. A few months ago, I was obsessed with the song "Kentucky Rain" by Elvis. I'm not sure how that happened since I've never been a huge Elvis fan.

4. That being said, I have been to Graceland twice. Both times it was because work brought me to Memphis. If given the chance, I'd go back again even though the Lisa Marie (his plane) seriously creeped me out.

5. I have a collection of over 450 floaty pens. I love them. (Yup, I have some from Graceland.) I also have some floaty toothbrushes and keychains but no lighters or (huh?) orange peelers. My favorite ones are advertising pens. And I only buy the original Eskesen floaty pens made in Denmark.

6. I also have a collection of penny medallions. I prefer the hand-cranked machines; the fully automated ones feel like cheating. Clearly, I've got a serious kitschy streak, at least when it comes to travel souvenirs.

7. My favorite summertime meal is fresh sweet corn-on-the-cob, tomatoes straight off the vine with a touch of salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar, and my grandmother's home fried potatoes with plenty of Heinz ketchup. I think I need to take a trip back home to PA during corn and tomato season.

8. When I was born, three of my great-grandmothers were still alive. The last one passed away when I was 17. Three of my four grandparents are still alive. The younger of my two grandmothers became a grandmother at 38, three years younger than I am now.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Distracted

I remain on hiatus from the miter square blanket. No, I have not fallen out of love, but I was yearning for something that could actually be finished before the 2010 Winter Olympics. Enter the Chevron Scarf. She is finished after about two weeks of very inconsistent knitting. (Pics will follow.)

I needed to cast on for something else immediately and I chose a handtowel inspired by those in Mason-Dixon. I love the waxy feeling of the linen although it is requiring frequent breaks for the sake of my hands and--oddly--my elbows. In fact, I've now put it down because my elbows are throbbing. Strange.

Tonight I started Bonne Marie's Sitcom Chic. This one has been calling to me for a while and its time had come. I'm making it in Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Violet. This is my first project using CE. I like how it is knitting up but I am reserving final judgement until it is done and has seen some wear. I know that there are a lot of passionate CE fans out there and I am willing to be pulled into the fold should it meet expectations. While I like the new color palette (the colors are very "adult"), I wish they would incorporate some brights, especially since this yarn is great for kids' things. I stockpiled some of the old colors when CE was discontinued but I'm longing for a really good green, for example.

Now, for some non-knitting content. In my workplace, we "hire" unpaid interns for the summer, and occasionally also during the school year. One of our interns from a few years ago happened to be in town and we went out to lunch with her today. She was a great summer intern: intelligent, engaged, responsible, enthusiastic. She was also still in college and was finding her way in the workplace. Fast-forward three years. She graduated and went to work for a PR firm in New York. Now, she is a professional with lots of interesting, diverse job experience under her belt. She is still that same young person we met and worked with three years ago, but now she has a new skill set and a really great air of confidence about her. The fact that she still makes it a point to get in touch when she is in Chicago tells me that she valued the experience of working with us, and I take satisfaction in knowing that we have contributed something to her professional development.

Alas, the universe has a way of making sure things balance out. Also today, I tried to educate a departing employee about behaviors that burn bridges. It would have been far easier to let this person go without addressing the issues, but then I wouldn't have been doing my job to mentor. I hope that the advice will be taken to heart and that it will help him make different choices in his next workplace. I don't know if my words will be accepted it in the spirit in which it they were intended, but I had to try for his sake as well as mine.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sheepish

Highlights of this year's MDSW festival included:

  • getting to spend a day solo with the knitting niece

(That's Jess (on the right) and a friend being interviewed by Kat for the Let's Knit2gether video podcast. A certain niece may also make an appearance on an upcoming episode.)

  • purchasing a Golding spindle (I may never own one of their wheels, but this spindle is a thing of beauty.)

  • going back for a second day, which was far less crowded

  • and adding some more Moving Mud to the collection.

I did add some fiber to the stash, including Kiparoo Farms (many beautiful colorways to choose from),


gorgeous sock yarn,a shawl kit from Morehouse Farm and a Nuno Scarf kit.

There were a few other goodies, but all in all I was (for me) fairly restrained. (Fortunately, the people at Brooks Farm did not charge for fondling the yarn.)