Thursday, July 12, 2007

We made it

And it is such a relief to be home! I baked muffins this morning (anyone noting a trend here? baking after home disruption is so soothing), and the girls are quietly playing dress-up while I play catch-up. I've been updating my stash and WIPs at Ravelry, as well as wading through my email. The drive yesterday was completely uneventful, which is a miracle after the week we've had.

Someone asked in the comments last week what kind of linguist I am, and I haven't had a chance to answer. I supposed I'd have to answer that my theoretical leanings are towards anthropological and cognitive linguistics, and that my practical leanings are towards language revitalization. I have spent the past five years working closely with the last speaker of a Native Californian language spoken in the northern part of the state, doing documentation and revitalization work. We're in the middle of planning a series of language camps that we're hoping to do this fall, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it all comes together. I've been involved one way or another with language revitalization work in California since early in grad school, and it is definitely where my linguistic heart lies. It's hard that the group I work with is so far away (about 600 miles), which means a lot of either driving or flying on my part. I had to have back surgery last summer, which really slowed me down for a while, but that's finally healed, so I'm getting back into the swing of fieldwork. It's hard to describe how simultaneously exhilarating and stressful this kind of work is; on the one hand, when the speaker remembers a word that she hasn't used in years, it's such a thrill for all of us, but there's always the background knowledge that this is it -- what we get is what there is, and that this really matters for future generations of her Tribe.

On the knitting front, I did manage to get through the patterned part of the socks I'm working on, and am well on my way to the heel. A few relaxing days, and that pair should be done. Here's where I confess that I haven't been entirely honest about the number of projects on the needles at this moment. Not only am I working on Hanami and the socks, but there's another pair of socks:
These are modified Jaywalkers that I'm doing for my younger daughter out of some Sockota yarn I had left after making another pair of socks. The way I've changed them (so that there's only one stitch between the kfb and dd, instead of a bunch) makes the stripes less visible; I'm thinking I'd probably make them smaller another way the next time. I've got the heel turned on these, and am on my way down the foot, but, of course, this is only the first one, so there's still another to go. These would be the traffic school socks, except that I have to look when doing the double decrease, and that might be too obvious.

I'm also knitting a sweater for my younger one, which I am making up as I go along (actually, to be honest, I've planned it out fairly well, I think). The body up to the armpits is done:
And I'm on to the sleeves, which is actually where I stalled out.
They're going to be too big with this many stitches, so I need to recalculate so the stitches all fit when I put it together for the yoke. I've knit the body in one piece (it's a cardigan), and once the sleeves are knit, I'll put them all together on a circular, and knit the yoke. I'll be doing a feather and fan lace pattern, and hide the decreases in that. This means that the only seaming I'll have to do will be some kitchener stitch in the armpits (I hate seaming, but have a very odd love for kitchener stitching; there's something just miraculous about finishing it and having no evidence that there was ever a hole there). Actually, thinking about it, the sleeves for this would be perfect traffic school knitting. Assuming that traffic school happens soon -- I feel like I've been waiting long enough on this one. The yarn is a recycled cotton which I really like the feel of; I think it'll get softer as it's washed, which makes it a perfect kids' yarn.

I think I also mentioned I fell down the other day at a yarn store? Well, I did. It was a very nice small store in Novato, with no web site, alas (it's called 2 Petite Knitterie). The owner was very friendly, and kindly admired Hanami (talk about knowing the way to a knitter's heart). I got a Lantern Moon bag I'd seen on their website and liked (it was on sale --1/3 off! -- so I argue that it shouldn't count; also I've been lusting after it for a while).
That doesn't really show the color very well; it's a nice dark blacky-brown. What I particularly like about it is that it stands up on its own, which makes it easier to find things inside. I also got a GoKnit pouch, which I've had in mind to get for a while, but really wanted to see in person. My LYS down here doesn't carry them, so I was really excited to actually get to play with one before pulling the trigger. The colors are gorgeous on these things, really bright and happy (which I needed some of, after last week). I settled on the blue, with some daughterly input (it was either that, or purple -- hard choice).
(It's already been inhabited by a sock.) It has a lovely little snapped loop inside that you can run your yarn through so it doesn't get tangled, and a snapped loop outside that can hook to a bag, or chair, or belt. I should have gotten more pictures of the inside, but I forgot.

Then, she had Sox Stix, and I picked up a set of #3s, in the dark wood.

I've been wanting to try sox stix for a while; they're shorter than I usually use (5 inches, as opposed to my usual 7 for wood dpns, and 6 for my Celtic Swan #1s). I can't tell whether I'll like that or not, but it seemed worth a try, since I can use #3s for DH's socks. If I like them enough, I'll get 2s. So, all of that, while quite a whack of goods to get at one go, includes things that I've been keeping my eye on for a while, but have only found online. I suppose I could argue that I saved myself shipping? (Maybe?)

This yarn, however, while in the sale bin, was pure retail therapy, which I don't indulge in often, but I guess this yarn store visit was my binge for the summer.
Look at those colors! How could I not get them, all squeezed together in a little bag with a sale tag on them? They'll be a scarf for the fall. Anyone have any ideas on scarves with two yarns held together?

Now, I'm off to buy milk.

1 comment:

Fiberjoy said...

Thanks for the info on your linguistic work. How wonderful that you're working to preserve a "dying" language! I have a friend who spent 20 years in a remote village in Irain Jaya (now Papua) recording, setting their language into an alphabet and writing the words. Very tedious at times. Language seems to be a fascinating study. Sometimes when I think what I'd study if given the opportunity to go back in time that is one field: speech therapy another: cognitive science; all intriguing. :-)

I 5" needles are my favorites for socks.