Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A meme and a KnitPicks order

I got tagged with a meme by Vicki! My zillionth meme, but the first one on this knitting blog. It feels nice, like I'm starting to have an actual identity as a knitter.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

In June of 1998 I was... hmmm, I was in New Mexico, interning at Los Alamos National Lab, just getting going on my last stint of work for my thesis. I was making a quilt for my ex-boyfriend's wedding, and that was kind of fun; and I had just turned 21 and had just gotten a kitten who has been my constant companion ever since. The stint hadn't yet devolved into the mess it was destined to become in the fall.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
Get a unit test working, go to ashtanga yoga, put sock yarn in an envelope to be mailed off to someone who's knitting small elephants for charity, fill out a reimbursement form for the class I took last spring, make this blog post. (Update: that was yesterday. I got 3 done out of 5.)

3) Snacks I enjoy:

Peanuts with a swig of orange juice. Cheese and Triscuits. Oatmeal cookies. Protein bars. The decadent cherry-apricot scones I sometimes get at our local bookstore cafe. Almonds with chocolate covered raisins.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Pay off my mortgage; no, wait, I'd buy a nearby place with in-unit laundry so I don't have to deal with spiders just to have clean clothes. Figure out some deal where I could drop to part-time at work but keep working, or maybe go work for Kiva.org for free. I'd make sure my parents were set up right; I'd get an ocicat; and then I'd make my financial advisor a very happy man.

All of that's just with the first couple million though. A billion? I have no experience even thinking in those terms, but that would probably be enough to be a real player in the world of microfinance.

5) Places I have lived:

Kalispell, Montana
Los Alamos, NM
Boston, MA
Cambridge, MA
Somerville, MA

6) Jobs I have had:

Babysitter, bookstore stocker, Burger King worker bee, cafeteria server, mechanical engineering intern, software engineer, software engineer, software engineer.

7) Bloggers I am tagging who I will enjoy getting to know better: Lea and Krista, because they should post occasionally. :)

To keep this vaguely knitting-related, I got two books in the mail this week. One was Melissa Leapman's Cables Untangled, which taught me my preferred way of cabling without a cable needle a long time ago when I bought it for someone else, and the second was Cables: Volume 1, The Basics by Janet Szabo. What's that? Obsessed, you say? Nah, I am just making mental progress on an Aran sweater design and couldn't stand to go further without getting these two. I'm well beyond thinking I'll only make myself one Aran sweater, but the first one is special (right?) and I want to make sure I have lots of stitches to choose from.

If you have a Ravelry account, the cable I've chosen for the central panel can be seen here. It's from Annie Maloney's Cable Knitting Handbook, and I think it may be the perfect cable.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Worms, bird shit, and lace -- pick three

My social life seems to be getting more knitterly. Last week I actually taught a friend to knit (my first time), and my mother sent me this very lovely silk yarn... with a small crocheted worm in it. "I told you it was coccoon-colored", she said. Awwww!

For those who don't know, yesterday was also WWKIP Day (worldwide Knit in Public Day) 2008. I went to Copley Square and got to see quite a lot of interesting things... how drop spindles work, what Handmaiden Seasilk feels like, and what laceweight merino is like. I even got to see six inches worth of a Morrigan, which I recognized instantly and with some squealing. Other people were equally happy to pet the 100% Madil Eden bamboo I was rocking. The only bad part was that I did get splattered all across the shoulders by a pigeon. Yes. Gross but true. The good parts of the bad part were twofold though: I had a spare tank top with me, and... the nasty bird didn't get my knitting. :D

I said I'd be doing the Chinese Lace Pullover next, and so I am. The yarn I'm using is eighteen ply... eighteen ply!... and it's very easy to split it in a 17-to-1 kind of way, resulting in an annoying little thready loop. However, this lace is many times easier to work in the round rather than back and forth, so I'm experiencing much less splitting with the real project than I did with my swatch. (Notice there is no picture of my swatch.) Here is the progress so far:

The lace on the body piece is complete, and about 3 rows of the ribbing above the lace. The fabric is starting to have a lovely heft and drape to it; the lace, which seemed limp and formless while I was working on it, seems much nicer now that I'm not.