02 September 2006

Saturday Sky - first and last

[cough, cough]


I bet we're all glad I got that out of my system, aren't we?

Seriously, though, what a fantabulous idea for a contest, no? If you haven't already, go read the other entries. They're freakin' hilarious, and brilliant. My personal pick for the best one so far is at a blog called, of all things, "Magniferous." Laura's post there is pure genius. As someone who reads a LOT of academic prose, both the published-yet-still-horrible kind and the other, even more frightening kind written by undergrads and known in polite circles as "false high style," I got the hugest kick out of Laura's (absolutely correct and purposeful) use of a dizzying variety of mostly foreign phrases much loved by pretentious academics, and a few other even weirder ones, besides!

Although I also just adore the "scholarly apparatus" put to such brilliant use over at the Three Fates, too.

If there could have been anything better to amuse myself with at the end of every day of laboriously editing my diss chapter (which is turgid, and confused, but thankfully not nearly as bad as either of my previous two posts), I can't imagine what it would be. Huge thanks to Cookie at Knitter's Anonymous for making happen. She's making an incredibly gorgeous sweater, too, by the way.

So my chapter's almost done now, within days of its deadline.... Oh, my knitting? You want to hear about my knitting?

Well, okay. Actually, I've worked out a good system these last few days. At the point where my brain freezes and I can edit no longer without tempting myself to just fill 70 pages with "I can't take this anymore, let me be freeeeee.....", I stop, turn on some music, or podcasts, or Sopranos, and I knit. For the past few days (for those who were actually bothering to follow along in the previous two posts, this won't come entirely as a surprise), I've been working on the mohair lace tank, the plain red tam, and the Fair Isle sweater all at the same time. I'm doing two rows of lace first, just to keep the pattern sticking in my mind (although this equals a half inch of progress, too, so it shouldn't take that long, really), and to take advantage of the first 20 minutes or so of mindful knitting time I have before I completely blow a mental gasket. Once the gasket is blown, I switch to the hat, and keep going at it until my wrists start to tingle (I'm knitting Peace Fleece worsted on US4, so that the fabric is stiff and virtually weatherproof). That gives me about an inch or a bit more (so the hat is now more than half done). Then I knit away at the Fair Isle until whenever I nod off or Hubbster forcible drags me away from it, so I'll be able to get up in the morning.

I'm still loving the FI to pieces, but I decided to take some time away from it now for the other projects rather than risk Obsessive-Compulsive Knitting Disorder. You see, I was afraid I'd obsess and do nothing but FI until I got to the steeks, and then, partially from exhaustion and from not doing other fun projects, I'd tell myself I just need a little "break" before I gear up for the steeks, and next think I know, I'd have a UFO. All the worse because two steeks, for the armholes, have to be done before I can knit the sleeves (picked up from the steek edge and knit down), and it'd be so sad if the combination of steek-dread and sleeve-dread kept me from finishing. So, I'm pacing myself. I plan to get to the steeks in fine fettle, rested, excited, and ready for a challenge. Not to mention a change of pace from the mohair.

So, as you may have gleaned from my Ode, the mohair was giving me a little trouble. I was stupid, I didn't do a gauge swatch, so it took me the first four rows to get a handle on the pattern, and in the process what I'd done looked like crap. So I ripped it out, with some difficulty, and had to cut off the last few yards that had been the cast-on, because the two strands were just cemented together and there was no way to salvage the yarn. So if I run short in the end, I'll just have to have a narrower, very short scarf instead of that sexy cowl.

I bought the yarn - actually it was given to me as a birthday present from Hubbster back when he was my boyfriend -- all of about three years ago. That's how long it's taken me to get to this pattern! But it's under control now. Since I've re-started, I've got the pattern down. It's actually insanely simple, but the problem is in using the huge US 10 needles with tiny Kidsilk Haze, and in being able to see what's happening under all that mohair halo. But so far, so good, knock wood.

I tried looking up this tank and cowl in google, and found only a few references to people contemplating it, or starting it, but nobody finishing it and showing off its finished gorgeousness. Given the popularity of the book (Weekend Knitting), this is suprises me. Is there something I should know? Is this one of those Impossible Patterns that no one should actually try to make?? Do any of you know anyone who's done it??

And I've been so proud of myself for actually making two patterns with the yarns called for. I'm not sure I've ever done that before, much less two at the same time.

But I have no pictures, because everything looks about four rows further along than you last saw it.

So here's some Saturday Sky:

Ew. Sorry. Okay, I promise I won't do that again. Too depressing. Saturday Sky is not for people who live in a "cheap" neighborhood of Manhattan.

Oh wait - how about this one?

That's our screen! It's what my camera decided it liked more than the sky, the first time. Or maybe it was that in place of "sky" there's really just a great, polluted nothingness, and so the camera couldn't find it. Anyway. No going to the park and working on the sock today....

Off to print out my chapter draft for final editing!!


Specs said...

When I'm writing something that's painful, I think of my friend Alexis. She used to greet me and her other friends by singing our names to the tune of the intro to "Eye of the Tiger." (I think there was a coffee commercial like this a while ago) Motivational!

Kate! Kate Kate Kate!
Kate Kate Kate!
Kate Kate Kaaaaaaaaaaaaaate!

I think reading a bunch of Enlightenment propaganda may have broken my head. Hope finishing your chapter goes well!

Marianne said...

I like the 'screen'. Thanks for the break and good luck, best wishes on your chapter.

Brena said...

I finished the tank, and didn't do the cowl. I did mine in brown mohair and it looks... well, it just doesn't look right on me. It doesn't look heavenly like it does on the model. It looks like I'm wearing a 90's vest. My friends say it's not that bad, but I think I need to lose a couple of pounds before I show a pic of it on my blog... I'll let you know when I do!

Shannon said...

There's a finished lace tank here that looks great.