Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On the road again

I tell you, I don't think I can take any more meetings. Aren't I supposed to be a teacher? I mean, I'm pretty sure that was what it said when I applied for the job. It didn't say anything about endless meetings. Nope, definitely not. There's no way I would have signed up for that.

The worst is that many of these have been non-knitting meetings. So I don't even have a) the feeling of having accomplished something even during the meetings that involve talking in circles, or b) that little something that helps me to pause that crucial moment between thinking something and opening my mouth. I say far fewer stupid or impolitic things when knitting during meetings than I do when I'm not. This is especially true when I've been in four hours' worth of meetings in a row, as I was today, after which I had to impose an email moratorium on myself, lest I say something truly stupid in documentable form.

I have been making progress on Gust, though. It is a very nice knit; the pattern is memorizable, and the yarn entertains me with its color shifts -- I keep looking to see what will come next. I've decided to get a bit further with it, and then to cast on for the second Violets Rising sock for Older Daughter, and after that's done, to finish Rick's second sock. Meanwhile, I am on a mission, a mission with which you can perhaps help me. It goes like this.

I want to knit Irtfa'a. I still love the motifs, even after knitting Simurgh, and I have always wanted to knit a shawl with faroese shaping, and judging by the fact that I keep revisiting pictures of it and admiring the ones knit by others, this is the one for me. I want to knit it not in a ravenesque colorway, as I did with Simurgh, but in colors like those of a kestrel. I adore raptors in general, but there's something about kestrels that really captures my imagination. Maybe it's their small size and spunk (over-identification? see above discussion about impolitic comments). Maybe it's the way they are able to hover, mid-air, by beating their wings like figure eights in the air. Whatever it is, I think that finding a yarn with those colors would make a lovely summertime shawl, and I'm on a mission. What does a kestrel look like you say? Why, like this.
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Lovely, no? There are more pictures here; I won't inundate you with them here. I have this theory that somewhere I'm going to find a laceweight yarn, more of the wool sort than the silk sort, with the same beige/tan/grey/blue shades of this bird. Wishful thinking? I'd like to believe it's not. But meanwhile, it gives me something to look for, eh? It's a way to prolong the knitting pleasure.

I also finished spinning the beautiful silk that Wanda sent me, using my turkish spindle. I'm hoping I'll get to ply it soon. It's a relatively small amount, and I'm considering knitting an i-cord bracelet for myself with it, which seems like a fun way to keep something beautiful and some of my spinning around me, all at the same time. I'll post a picture of it next time.

Meanwhile, I'm off to Fresno tomorrow evening and Thursday to do fieldwork, so I probably won't get to post again until Friday. I'll be taking some knitting with me, so maybe there will be time in the car to get something done. In the meantime, I do believe that a glass of port and a piece of dark chocolate are waiting for me next to my knitting chair.


twinsetjan said...

Looking for Kestrel yarn will give us all something to do! And I love the idea of a precious yarn i-cord bracelet...maybe with a really special glass bead closure?

I hope you enjoyed the port and dark chocolate, even though I do recognize that their consumption was medicinal!

Marianne said...

Mmmmm, wonderful colourway, the Kestrel, you know there are yarn dyers out there who will special dye, right?

Alwen said...

I love kestrels and often see them on the electric wires along the fields here. Now I'm thinking, how about kestrel sock yarn? That would be fun, too.

NTK said...

Being a professor involves what I call acade-mathematics. They say your job is X% teaching, Y% research, and Z% service, and X+Y+Z = 100, yet the hours required to do X+Y+Z > ... well greater than the hours I have mentally available, and we'll leave it at that. My jaded colleagues would tell you that teaching means showing films while you think about your research and meetings are where you grade.

On a more cheerful note, that is a beautiful shot, shawl, and idea for a colorway. Will keep my eyes open when procrastinating on the web. :)

Anonymous said...

Faroese shawls are wonderful, and this one is an especially nice version. And the kestrel colorway will be perfect.

I am a little worried at how many second socks you have going, though. It could be the sign of something serious developing. Make sure you drink lots of fluids, OK?


I love that you love raptors! We have hawks out here; don't know about kestrels. Pretty colors.

I think knitters should stage boycotts of meetings that do not allow knitting!

I would rather have oral surgery, without anesthetic even, than attend a meeting that did not allow me to manipulate yarn with sticks.

Bea said...

The kestrel is quite pretty. Too bad I don't have any lace weight on hand, I could try dyeing it for you!

So sorry about your meetings. I hate it when I can't knit in those.

Anonymous said...

You're going to Fresno?? Watch out for fog! I'm heading out of Fresno Friday to go to Stitches in Santa Clara...
Hope your field work goes well.

Beverly, usually a lurker

Willow said...

Willow is terribly curious about what kind of field work you would do in Fresno. Her daughter taught middle school in Fresno last year. She would tell you that the language spoken by most middle schoolers in Fresno is limited and mostly mono syllabic with minimal intonation patterning.

Anonymous said...

Oh! I used to dream of riding my horse with a Kestrel balancing on my arm. They are such enchanting birds and I love their piercing cry.

I'll keep my eyes open for a Kestrel colorway.

Courtney said...

Those birds are so gorgeous. I know I've seen yarn in the colors you're talking about somewhere... it's just a question of where!

I know what you mean about meetings where everyone's talking in circles and nothing's getting accomplished. They're the most frustrating kind!

Enjoy your dark chocolate and port!

EGunn said...

No more meetings! I think we should all start chanting that until someone listens. =)
None of mine are knitting friendly, and it's really too bad...I'd have a much easier time paying attention if I had something to keep myself occupied.

You'll love Irtfa'a (but you knew that). And I really like the idea of the kestrel colors. What beautiful birds! I know I've seen some like that somewhere, but can't think where. The hunt for the perfect yarn is half the fun of a new project, isn't it?

twinsetjan said...

The colors aren't quite as intense as your picture, but I thought that the LV Humphrey Bogart from the Loopy Ewe (http://www.theloopyewe.com/browse/yarns/lime-violet/sasquatch-sock/lv-humphrey-bogart/) was a pretty close match to the Kestrel!