Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Because you've all been waiting with bated breath... The Head of the Charles went really well: we rowed well, and did well enough (9th out of 22! We passed 2 boats!) to qualify to race again next year!

And I discovered that I like head racing a million times more than sprint racing. There's my complete lack of sprinting ability, for one thing. (I am the only person in the world who runs a mile almost a slowly as I run a marathon. It's depressing.) Also, in sprints I'm really nervous right as we launch, and again as we're sitting ready at the start waiting for the official to say go (I'm getting slightly nervous now, thinking about it). In head racing, by the time you've rowed yourself to the start, it's feels like it's been hours since you launched, so that nervousness has worn off. And there's no sitting still at the start--you row towards the start line, getting gradually faster till you're going at race pace when you cross it.

And I made a hat. The university collects winter clothes each fall to give to international students who've never experienced a Connecticut winter before, and I've donated hats a few times (thinking each time of the mother of a friend of mine in Russia, who was alarmed that I was going out in December without covering my face--or maybe just my lips?--in goose fat, and offered me some of hers). So I'd planned to give it to that program, with a few others that I've accumulated. But when I brought my hats in yesterday, it turned out they stopped collecting them on Monday.

There's nothing else to say about my knitting... I'm being very good about this whole Christmas present thing, which makes for boring posts now--and later, when there will be less panic to write about. Sorry!

I'm still contemplating that dress, and the renovation of the purple sweater--maybe I could work on the purple sweater during gift-knitting breaks? (I've wanted to wear the imaginary new version a couple of times--probably a sign that I should just try it, huh?)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


1. Lurking on the last page of a notebook I use for design notes, I found the following shopping list:

Buttons/snaps for sweater
Photo pocket pages

I could have written that list any day of my entire life--I should probably be shopping for fasteners of some kind and photo pages right now. (I use the photo pages to organize my knitting notebook/journal--I save a snippet of each yarn I use, plus the tag, along with a card of notes, regardless of Ravelry. Notice that the archivist whose graduate assistantship focused on electronic records preservation keeps a paper backup of the information she really cares about).

2. Does anyone else just want to knit the same socks over and over again? It's very odd, but I just want to make Monkey socks (I know I'm not the only one there, at least), Spring Forward socks, Marigold socks, and boring 3 x 1 ribbed ones. I do not feel this way about sweaters, shawls, etc--just socks. Suggest another sock pattern you love, please! (Or just a stitch pattern you love for socks.)

3. I've held off on writing about this so as not to jinx myself, but it appears that I'm rowing in the Head of the Charles tomorrow (knock on wood, as there is still time for all kinds of injuries... yesterday I got a splinter in my thumb trying to pick up a hair elastic that had fallen on the floor, but I seem to be OK now).

4. In a burst of unaccustomed preparedness, I've started knitting holiday presents already. Actual presents for specific people, not a mass of socks that I knit all year and divided up at the last minute. Possibly this will prevent staying up all night on December 23, in order to finish the yoke and hood of an adult sweater. Good for me, less good for the blog.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I've been thinking about this sweater a lot lately.

I made it maybe 5 years ago, pre-Ravelry. It's meant to be knit from Rowan Calmer (as I recall), but I used Cascade 220 so it's more jacket-y. At the time, I liked that, but I haven't worn it much the last few winters, and I think it's partly to do with the shoulders, which are weirdly square when seen from the front. And the collar is overpowering--it's knit separately, then folded in half and sewn on. In the pattern book pictures, it folds down and stays down, but wool is perkier than Calmer, so my collar pops itself back up constantly. Also I'm not a very jacket-y person, as it turns out.

But I do really like purple, and the ridges around the waist (and there are similar ones around the cuffs). Although looking at them in this picture, they make me look very thick. Or possibly sweater photography on Thanksgiving was a bad idea?

Anyway, I'd like to get rid of the collar, at least, but then I'm not sure how to finish the neck--I'm worried that something more subtle might look unfinished. I've thought about taking off the arms and collar, then ripping back the tops of the sleeves and upper body, then joining all the parts and knitting a yoke in the round, possibly with the same ridges as on the lower hem. That would also let me eliminate the knitted-in button bands (very finished looking, but stiff), and replace them with something more flexible, since they need to come off anyway. And then I could get rid of the silly little buttons, which look like the afterthoughts they are.

On the other hand, I half remember hating the ridge construction process, and maybe I'd be better off giving the sweater away as is (as a wearable garment, I mean), rather than possibly turning it into a tangled mess, then looking for a victim... er... lucky recipient?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I've been working away on the cotton sweater from the last post, and also a silk shawl (both for Schaefer Yarn--good news, Laura: the shawl is done and blocked and the sweater is nearly done, and I should be able to send them this weekend), and hardly knitting any wool. But now that the shawl is done I've swapped in some wool socks as my portable/lunchtime knitting, and the world is back in balance again.

Wool, wool, wool, wool, wool, wool!

(Not really showing the socks as they're going to be a gift. But look at the cute bag I bought from Etsy last week--I've been wanting a box bag for a while and I finally took the plunge/pushed "add to cart.")

Also, it's that time of year again--my office is oddly chilly because the cold soaks into the stone overnight, then oozes back out during the day and the heat isn't on yet. I wore legwarmers on my walk to and from campus the other day. Wrist warmers! Sweaters! Shawls! Cowls! Hopefully not all at the same time (at least not the shawls and cowls).

Wool, wool, wool, wool, wool, wool!