Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Still breathing

I've taken the advice of last post, and Cheryl's advice not to breathe fire. My life continues to be a whirl wind of school, homework, paperwork, and general craziness, but I have managed to get some knitting done.

I'm so close to being done with the Coupling socks (my TdF project) that I can almost feel them on my feet. I just have to bind off and weave in ends on one sock, and then I'm done!

This weekend was a road trip to Allentown, PA (by way of Intercourse and Blue Ball), and since I didn't have to drive, I made some progress on one of my WIP's - my Pomatomus socks, actually. (I would have made a lot more progress, but I finally got my hands on a copy of Harry Potter Saturday afternoon and so did pretty much zero knitting between then and Monday night when I finished the book.)

I've also been making progress on the mystery stole - I'm part way through clue 3. I think my chances of catching up by clue 5 are pretty good.

And now, I'm off to do more paperwork. And hopefully a little knitting.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Just keep breathing...

Sorry I've been AWOL the past week or so. Things have been just a bit crazy, and show no signs of lightening up before, say, the middle of September. You may remember that I've been looking at condos; well, I found one I liked, made an offer and accepted the seller's counter offer. Closing is in a month. In the mean time, I have 14 more days of school left, and the movers are coming for all of my stuff in 20. Before then, I need to do some sorting and weeding of my belongings, not to mention pack enough clothes to get me through a month of business travel. I also have to take care of all the other things that go with moving - forward my mail, get all the utilities turned off, that sort of thing. If all goes well, my stuff and I will be moving into my new condo September 10th, or so. Until then, I'm just trying to remember that as long as I keep breathing, everything will sort itself out somehow. And I'll do my best to blog somewhat more frequently, but I make no guarantees.

I have been doing some knitting though! (Knitting is good for the sanity. What I'd really, really, really like right now is about three days in which I can knit, read, sleep, and eat at my leisure without any requirements to do anything else.)

I've got not quite a pair of Coupling Socks (my TdF project). I finished the first sock and am nearly through turning the heel on the second.

I've also been making some pretty good progress on the Mystery Stole:

The picture was taken earlier tonight, about 1/3 the way through Clue 2. I'm now about 20 rows further along. I'd like to catch up to the group by the time Clue 5 comes out (two weeks from now), but given the somewhat crazy state of my life right now, and the release of the final Harry Potter book, that might not happen. I'm just going to keep breathing (and knitting) and see what happens...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Change of plans

The way today was supposed to work: go to class, do homework, come home, go running, eat dinner, clean room, balance the checkbook, maybe do a little knitting and TdF-watching.

The way today actually worked (so far): go to class, spend a very long time at school, come home, discover that my Misti Alpaca lace arrived, eat dinner, blog. I expect the rest of my evening to go something like this: wind yarn while watching Tour de France, pick up clothes and balance the checkbook to give my hands a chance to recover (I don't have a swift or ballwinder, so it'll be 400m of lace weight wound by hand), cast on and start knitting on MS3.

The Misti Alpaca is delightfully soft in the hank, and I've heard that it knits up beautifully. I ordered both clear and smoky silver beads, since I wasn't sure which would go better, but I think I'm going to go with the smoky silver (the beads on the right).

In other knitting news, the Coupling socks (my TdF knitting) are coming along nicely. I got the heel turned and a few inches of leg done.

I think I'm going to knit another inch or so of pattern before adding an inch to inch and a half of ribbing for the cuff. I really like the pattern. I enjoyed doing the short row toe and am pleased with the way it turned out. I really like the neatness, too, of the gusset heel, and am thrilled that it fit right on the first try. And have I mentioned that I like the way the pattern and the yarn work together to look like foamy waves?

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have some yarn to wind.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Not too bad...

As I expected, Monday and Tuesday weren't too bad on the knitting front.

I finished the set of lilac and black wash cloths. This is easily the most time I've had between finishing a gift and the event for which it is intended. I have a whole 10 days to spare!

On the Tour de France knitting front, good progress has been made. I frogged the original toe that was too wide, and started again, but following the pattern this time. I've just started the increases for the gussets. The pattern is easy to follow, and I really like the way it looks with this yarn. Despite the crappiness of the picture (it was late last night when I took it), I hope that you can see how the sort of stripey/mottled tealness goes with the stitch pattern to look like the foamy soupy water just after a wave has broken. By the way, do you see the cycling connection now?

Unfortunately, I have to be out the door and on my way to class in about ten minutes, so I've got to keep this short. The latest Harry Potter movie was quite good (I got most of a blanket square done) and totally worth the likelihood that I'll false asleep in class... :)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sunday Travel Section: London

In honor of the Tour de France prologue being in London, that's where we travel this Sunday.

If you watched (or saw pictures of) the prologue, you will quickly realize that London is a much prettier city in July than January (which is when I was there). Still, it's quite a neat city. I think - but I'm not positive, so don't hold me to it - that the picture was taken from the top of the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral.

The Tour de France is one of my favorite sporting events. I really like to ride (when I lived in DC I commuted to work by bike and will again when I move back), I really like to watch cycling (especially on TV, since the English-speaking commentators are usually British), and, to be perfectly honest, I really, really like to watch the cyclists. For me, watching cycling is like watching swimming, except that in cycling I have some interest in the techniques and strategies.

Anyway, at the urging of my chief enabler, I joined the Tour de France Knit Along. I'm knitting for the green jersey. I was originally thinking I'd make cycling socks (winter riding makes for cold feet), but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that even if I did make cycling socks, I probably wouldn't wear them cycling, because I really like my athletic socks to be snug and elastic, and I haven't figured out yet how to knit socks like that. So, that left two questions - what pattern to knit and how to relate it to cycling.

The answer to the first was surprisingly easy. One of the first places I looked for interesting sock patterns was Knitty. As it turns out, the current summer issue has a pattern that 1) looked like a lot of fun, 2) would require me to learn some new techniques, and 3) would go well with the yarn I'd picked out. The answer to the second took me a bit longer to come up with, and hasn't quite been executed yet, so I'll leave you in suspense. I hope it isn't too much to bear.

In the meantime, here's my false start.

The pattern said that the sock should be 56 stitches in circumference. I have another pair of socks of the same yarn that are 70 stitches around and fit snugly, so I thought surely the author was joking. No, I'm pretty sure she wasn't. This, my first start, is 70 stitches around for the foot and seems pretty much too big, so I'll be starting over. Fortunately, tomorrow's classes are less than thrilling, so it should be a good knitting day.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

I celebrated last night by taking the knitting (a mitered square) out to a baseball game, which was followed by a concert and fireworks. The game was good, the concert was good, and the fireworks were good.

Today, since it was a federal holiday, there was no school, so we grilled kabobs and watched the crazy fireworks that our neighbors were (and still are) setting off.

And tomorrow it's back to work, but at least it was a good day off.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sunday Travel Section: North to Alaska

Portage Pass, between Whittier and Portage, AK.

This is where I wish I was right now. Truthfully, I'd settle for just about anywhere not here, but a sunny day in Alaska summer would be fantastic. Since I can't simply drop everything and put myself on a flight to Anchorage to see if there is, in fact, any sun or summer this year, I'm going to do the next best thing: knit wash cloths - with purple yarn! See?

2 of 4 wash cloths to be, as a set, a wedding gift for friends who are doing their kitchen in black, and her favorite color is lilac.