Friday, April 27, 2007

On Second Thought...

Seeing as I live alone and don't have a working television, maybe I should start something harder.

...and again

This is the sort of thing I should do while doing something else (talking to people or watching TV). Because...I'm done with my mom's hat! (Such a huge reward for so little time!)

I seem to only give gifts to people who do not like to post their pictures on this blog. (My fear of random internet pictures ended with facebook and myspace.) I have a feeling my mom will be no different from my sister or Amna (although Amna promised she would one day pose with her hat). I would take a picture of myself wearing the hat, but I feel like doing that too many times would be kind of lame. So I won't...this time. Once again, my wooden floor will have to be the background.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

So this hat business is a lot quicker than I thought. I don't know why I was so intimidated before, or why hats took me so long to make. (Perhaps it was the fact that I was using a pattern with cables?)

After about an hour and a half on Tuesday (combined with the time I spent on it at Amna's) I'm already decreasing. I will be done in no time!

I probably won't get to it today because I want to go to Barnes & Noble to spend the gift card I got for "Staff Appreciation Day" and then I have to clean my apartment again. (I don't know why I bother, it never stays that way for more than a day) and then my friend, Flora, is coming all the way from Philly to stay with me! (OK, not just to stay with me, but she's staying with me! Yay!)

Do I sometimes sound like a five-year-old? Alas, I will always be a five-year-old at heart.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Yesterday was a lot of fun. The weekend was beautiful, and I decided to walk from my apartment to Knit New York at Union Square. I wanted to start really checking out the knitting scene, and I also wanted to walk for a really long time and soak up the sunshine.

Two summers ago, I lived in New York for six weeks in the dorms at Columbia (I took a summer class there). I spent many days walking down Broadway. Often, my destination was School Products Co., but that place is closed on Sundays. But that was a lot of fun, and I want to start doing things like that again.

Having a day to myself is always nice. I decided to take Broadway all the way down, for old times' sake. I stopped along the way for a hot dog, water, an iced chai latte, and new mascara. Then I finally reached Knit New York, a knitting store and cafe all in one. Brilliant. I found some bulky pale pink yarn for my mom's birthday hat (Laines Du NordSorftlight) and a cool blue for my own (Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed). Unfortunately I have chosen the worst time of the year to go on my hat kick. At least it's autumn in Sydney (Aussies never say "fall"), so my mom will get use out of her hat right away. Ah well. Such is life.

I bought a corn muffin (just as Sam called from Denmark, which made the day even better!) and ate it while I knit my swatch (I've finally begun to make a habit of this, and not nearly soon enough).

I didn't stay long, probably because nothing compares to my old turf in philly, but then Amna came down and met me and we went out for yummy yummy sushi. And we went back to her place and I started my mom's hat. My mom's birthday is May 17 but I have to finish it a little early if I'm going to mail it to her. Thank god for bulky yarn and big needles.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Case of the Missing Stitch

Adina was her name. She was a knitting detective. She studied it, and she solved problems. (Kind of like those people on Square One, remember that kids' TV show "Math Net" in the early '90s? I LOVED that.)

Detective Adina's one problem was that she couldn't go far without her knitting. It wasn't that she had to knit everywhere she went, but knowing that she could knit if she had to, that forced her to take her knitting needles and unfinished project, everywhere with her.

One week, a pair of unfinished gauntlets came with her to her boyfriend's house, to work, and back home, twice. She was sure that the yarn would slip off of the needles in transit, yet she insisted on transporting the project in a plastic Duane Reade bag.

When she finally decided to knit for real, in the comfort of her own home, she carefully opened the bag to find that the project was still on the needles, safe and sound. She checked to see if any of the stitches had fallen off the needles, but could not find any stragglers. With a sigh of relief, she picked up the unfinished gauntlet and began to knit.

She knit and knit. Until the pattern told her to change her stitches to a ribbed cuff. She had almost finished one round, when she realized that she did not have enough stitches! Shock! Horror! What had happened to that stitch she had so precisely counted all those months ago?? Gone! Where could it be?

Painstakingly, she examined the gauntlet. There, where she had begun that very day, was a stitch that was somehow twisted onto the stitch next to it. It was not k2tog, and to this day, how this happened is a mystery. But the problem was there. Detective Adina, of knitstripedfrom as she was known in the industry, had to fix her own gauntlet.

What was she to do? She had two choices. She could deviate from the pattern, leaving a mistake invisible to the untrained eye, but two gauntlets that were slightly different in pattern, or she could attempt to create new stitches all the way up the row. And that is just what she did. Using her needles, after five minutes of sweat and horror, she finally had the correct number of stitches.

But wait! The pattern called for purl stitches, and she had just made knit stitches! Panicked, she did the unthinkable -- she undid the row of stitches. Picking up the stitches was a task was much too dangerous for meer knitting needles. It needed a crochet hook!!! Slowly, she began the task of picking the the stitches again. But wait! She was somehow back to having too few stitches on the needles. And worse, she couldn't find the mistake.

Exhausted, she decided to break for the night. To cool off, she went to a bar with her friend, Dori.

In the morning, just as she had expected, everything was much clearer. Apparently, the row of stitches had become a ladder until very near to the bottom of the gauntlet. Detective Adina had no choice but to pick up the stitches, row by row, again. But wait! No matter how she tried, the stitches always came out knit instead of purl! In desperation, she turned the gauntlet INSIDE OUT and used her crochet hook to "knit up" that way.

Finally, the mission was a success. Detective Adina put the last stitch back on the needle and, smiling, continued the ribbed cuff.

The end.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

OK, Scrap That.

I spoke too soon. Today I was able to upload those images. :-P

This and That

so my computer is kind of dying. it's very slow, and although i can download pictures, i can't get them up on my blog. so although i have a picture of amna's hat, i can't put it up yet. sorry! (don't be surprised if old entries suddenly accumulate pictures.)

the other matter of knitting business is that sam (my boyfriend) is visiting his parents and brother in europe for ten days. so although i miss him, i have a short window of time to focus much more energy on my knitting! i'm still working on the gauntlets that i started a couple of months ago. it's been an on and off affair.

and i haven't forgotten my dad's sweater! i finally bought the yarn for it! the problem is that my father is extremely allergis to wool. a lot of knitters think that most wool allergies are actually people mistaking skin irritations caused by the courseness of wool for allergies. not so with my dad. he can't go near the stuff. so i went to school products co. and found some nice (non-returnable) cotton. i thought i was buying grey, but in better light, it looks brown. for some reason or another, my dad absolutely hates the color brown. but i can't return this and there's no way i'm not going to use it - not at that price! so he'll have to like it simply because i made it.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Amna's hat is done! It did not take nearly as long to make as I thought it would. Maybe it's because I'm not at Bryn Mawr anymore, so I don't have the "every minute I knit is a minute I don't study... unless it's for my thesis" mentality. Probably it's because I used bulky yarn, size 10.5 needles, and I didn't use cables as I did in my last three hats (excluding the one that ended up beyond repair). And there weren't any cables involved.

But still! My first non-square for which I didn't use a pattern!

Friday, April 06, 2007

I have a day off from work today. This makes me happy. Also, I don't have to work this weekend. That gives me three times as many full weekend days as I had the past two weeks. :)

So I'm falling back into love with knitting. I started Amna's hat last night. It's the first non-scarf I've made without a pattern. I'm getting help from Yarn Harlot's "Knitting Rules!" but it's not a pattern as such. This no-pattern business is very exciting. I'm beginning to design hats in my head as I knit. And I'm using Lamb's Pride, so the wool feels wonderful in my hands. Amna's very belated birthday present should be done in no time! Then I have to make the sweater that three years ago I promised my dad I would make him for his 50th birthday -- by December. And I have to make my aunt a scarf. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make the sweater out of lamb's pride, because my dad is so allergic to wool that he can't touch it at all. But I guess if I have to find some special yarn, New York is the place to do it.

Last week, I revisited my field notes. In some weird, ironic way, my thesis was the only thing that kept me going during my senior year of hell. I really want to pursue this more. I'd love to write more in my thesis to make it publishable and to get it published, and maybe to pursue this in grad school. I've figured out that if I don't go to law school, what I really want to do is sociology, and not anthropology (although I still hold anthro in a special place in my heart). But I've been looking into grad schools for sociology, and there are so few places to fill. It's scary. I fear rejection.