Saturday, October 13, 2007


It's been a week. Every time I thought I'd be able to sit down at work and have an hour or two to get something done, something else came up -- usually a student, with questions that I have answered a hundred times in class, but which apparently needed to be answered again. I should point out that I really don't mind working with students who don't understand something (in fact, I love it -- the lightbulb moment is always a thrill), but it's very hard to answer the same basic questions again and again. When I have said in class, many times, that prepositions always come before a noun phrase (hence the name; they must be pre-posed relative to something, right?), and a student sits in my office asking, "so, do you mean to tell me that there's always a noun phrase after a preposition", I want to answer, "not only do I mean to tell you that, but I HAVE told you that for the past seven weeks -- where were you?". I know this is impatient, but it's not a question indicating a lack of understanding; it's a question indicating a lack of paying attention. And spending many hours during the week answering exactly this sort of question can be wearing.

OK, rant over (I'll save the rant about students who snigger in class when presented with information that makes them uncomfortable for another day). What I'm really here to do today is to say that I have, in fact, been knitting (it's a miracle!). Moreover, there has been progress. Oh, frabjous day. Kauni first. I knitted along merrily this week, passed the point where I had gotten to before frogging (as measured by the small ball of yarn external to the center-pull ball), and kept going. Then I got to the point where I had to put in steeks on Wednesday night, quailed a bit at the thought (I'd never done it before, how was I to know it was easy?), and put it aside for a night. However, last night I girded the ol' loins and hit the needles. The result was two beautiful little armhole steeks.
I didn't get much further than that, but I was so relieved to get the first step of steeking done that I sat and admired it for a while. (Can you imagine how I'm going to be when it's time to cut them? Y'all are going to have to come hold my hand.) Of course, it's quite worthy of admiration, in my opinion. Look:
And a little closer up:
I'm glad I frogged it (I know, I know, a lot of griping led up to this realization; thanks for sticking with me through it all). I think the color changes are much nicer this way.

While I was avoiding the casting on of steeks (yes, it was easy, no I shouldn't have been avoiding it, but I'd never done it before, and it therefore required thought, not to mention math in figuring out where the armholes needed to be; next time I'll dive right in, I promise), I worked on the Boudica socks -- bet you'd forgotten about those.
I'm not very far along on them. I don't know if it's because of the small gauge (I'm knitting them on size o needles), or because I'm knitting them on two circulars (I've never done that before, and while I know that in the long run it might be faster because there are fewer needle changes, it's been a learning process, and I think I'm resistant because I am just so charmed by dpns), or because I am just no good at memorizing patterns, even very easy six-stitch, four-row patterns (more on this tomorrow), but whatever the reason, I am not flying through these. This is a bummer for two reasons: I really like how they look, and the yarn is lovely, so I'm sure I'll enjoy wearing them; and, I have this Dream in Color yarn staring at me from the copper bowl, shouting "knit me, knit me" in its little yarny voice, and it's killing me.

Now, I'd probably cast on the DiC anyway, if it weren't for these:
(or should I say, "this"; to date, this is all I have). It's the Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome Fall Foliage yarn. And this is how far I've gotten. I think I know what the problems are with this one. First, although I absolutely adore how this yarn feels, and I think it's going to be great on the feet, it is very splitty, and it tends to stick to itself, in that I'm-mixed-with-a-bit-of-acrylic way that is different from the way that wool adheres to itself. Together, those two factors mean that I'm not enjoying knitting it as much as I might. Second, I had considered actually writing up whatever pattern I end up creating for these and maybe submitting it to CTH, since they're looking for patterns for this yarn. I think I am going to let myself off the hook for that, since it seems to be freaking me out more than exciting me when I knit them. I keep asking myself whether the pattern is really showing off the best features of the yarn, and whether I will be able to figure out how to write it up, and whether I should frog it and try something different, ad nauseum, and I think I'll be much happier if I just think of these as nice socks for myself and lay off the whole developing-a-pattern mindset (especially since I've never done it before, and it's starting to feel like another publication to add to my growing list of articles that must be revised and/or edited). So, that's those socks -- what do you think of the pattern and the yarn together?

I treated myself this week to something I've been wanting for a while, given how much I enjoy knitting socks. Sock blockers:
I got them from The Loopy Ewe, and they make me very happy (if for no other reason than that I find it difficult to take pictures of a sock on my own leg without looking like I've got fat ankles). They also make me happy because this order elevated me to Loopy Groupy status (my husband finds this funny for some reason, and chortles whenever he hears it, nodding and saying something about how he already knew I was a member of that club), and I got a package with all sorts of lovely little presents from Sheri; I thought about posting pictures, but figured it'd be more fun for anyone who might end up ordering a lot from The Loopy Ewe to get to be surprised the way I was. Either way, it was a nice end to the week.

One last treat: it rained and rained last night, and T's soccer game was cancelled this afternoon (SoCal grass apparently being not very hardy), so our day suddenly got a lot more relaxing. Therefore, this afternoon, I'm taking the girls to the Mingei, where they're having an exhibit on origami, including origami lessons for kids. Meanwhile, I think I'll knit a bit. Thank goodness for rainy Saturdays.


Anne said...

WIPS to strike envy into the heart of someone mindlessly making candy corn hats indeed! What good luck T's game was rained out! Here we sometimes find ourselves standing on the sidelines in the snow. It's a Good Thing to have some peaceful knitting time at the end of a stressful week. And I do sympathize about those office hour visits. it's really hard not to say "wasn't that your body in the classroom when I went through this (again and again)? Was your brain somewhere else?" As for WIP envy, maybe I'll pack something slightly more challenging for the plane on Tues (though all the Ravelry talk about having needles confiscated does make me a little nervous). Thanks for all the good thoughts-- I need them. More on this later ...

Stell said...

a double comment, first i loved to read of your response to 'bad words' from wee ones mouths in the last post, but forgot to say thanks for some very useful parenting tips. and 2nd i like the colour and pattern mix on your socks. I to am fond, overly fond of my dpns, only letting them go for good sensible reasons - but I must try socks on two cirs. I've only just done toes. You have a beautiful colour palette, really nicely put together.

Marianne said...

Great rant...:^)

Your Kauni sweater is looking gorgeous and the steeks, I've not attempted those, yet. Yes, I'll hold your hand when you're ready to make those 'cuts'. (makes me break out in a cold sweat just thinking about it, it does)
The sock yarn is very pretty, the colourway is beautiful... I'm liking the pattern very much.
As for the two of them together... I'm a bit torn (personally) in that some patterns get so lost in the colourways, although the pattern on your sock is very plain to see... I think they're going to be fabulous socks!

Ooooh, sock blockers! Congrats on getting those! They're on my 'list'.... Sheri is SO very nice.

It's Sunday morning and yet I'm very envious of your rainy Saturday. :^)