Sunday, March 21, 2010

"What am I supposed to do, knit a sweater?"

I listen to a lot of radio. One of my favorite radio programs has a segment where concerned parents call in to see what their son/daughter is up to during spring break. The radio hosts call them up, and the parents listen in with horror as they find out what their kids are really up to. It's the type of low-level entertainment that just brightens your morning, you know? In one particular episode, the mom confronts her daughter, who is spending her break in Las Vegas, to which the girl replies, "What am I supposed to do, knit a sweater during spring break?" And I thought to myself, what a great idea.

I, myself, am on spring break (for one more day at least) and I have been doing as much knitting as puppy will allow (in fact, I am knitting even as I write this entry). I was hoping to finish the sweater that I was working on (we made amends, a few alterations, and kept going), but it didn't quite happen. This is as far as I am now. Looks are deceiving. You might think, from looking at this, that I am on the verge of finishing this project, but I think it would take at least another full week of spring break knitting to finish this up.

So I started a few more projects instead.

And can I just say that bulky yarn is my salvation? How long did this take to knit up? I don't know, but it felt like minutes. I've been doing everything all wrong. I must knit with this sweet, fragrant yarn from now on. I know it's not true, but it makes me feel like I could finish a sweater in a day.

I hope it looks like Spring where you are and that it sounds like melting snow outside your apartment. Take care,


PS. There's a chance that our new puppy is part husky. I'm afraid this may be true. She likes to pull. A lot.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

rough science

What if a group of real-world scientists banded together to solve challenges around the world? What if these superheroes were filmed and documented as they brought science to real-world situations? What if these scientists combined chemistry with wool?

That's right. Amazing. That's what it would be. Or otherwise known as Rough Science. Check it out. I think the chemist on this show is a closet knitter, otherwise how would he know that the lanolin in wool could be extracted to create a hand cream?

We are going to use this show in my class tomorrow. Not the episode about lanolin, but the episode about removing carbon dioxide from the air. So many fun things to learn. So much chemistry. Do you get this excited when you see medical situations portrayed in the media?


PS. Happy birthday!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

not freaking out

I had a helpful meeting with my adviser yesterday in which he told me not to freak out. This was good advice. This was good. I do not like to freak out. Sometimes it helps to be assured that you are, indeed, making progress on a project that seems infinite.

On the other hand, I have a knitting issue that is unresolved and no knitting adviser to counsel me. I am working on this sweater project:

Isn't it pretty? I'm trying new techniques. Right- AND left-handed knitting! Both at once! My tension's a bit beginner, but nothing some good blocking shouldn't fix. Plus there will be steeks. So right now I am going to focus on the positive and be proud of my accomplishments. I am trying new things. This is not a mindless project. I am not a bad knitter.

But here's the thing. I think it will be a little snug. Not too-small-to-wear-snug, but still snug. I think I need to rip back. There were too many decreases. I think it's necessary. I just need some time--I'm not emotionally ready yet. In the meantime, I'm afraid that if I start a new project, I will never return to this one. So . . . I haven't been knitting. This is awful.

The truth it is an ill-suited project to work on with a puppy in the house who needs close supervision. I should rip it back, set up my stitches, and start another puppy-appropriate project. Especially considering it's already too warm outside to wear sweaters this season.

I'm hitting the pause button on my knitting. Hope yours is moving forward.


PS. Knitting Olympics didn't work for me, but maybe next time I'll set up a project and plan ahead of time. James and I decided that we are going to try to go to the winter olympics in eight years (we're partial to Germany or France, and hoping that one of them will win the bid).

PPS. My student told me yesterday that American candy is made from corn syrup instead of sugar, and this is why it is inferior to other country's candy bars. Is this true? I'm so sad.

PPPS. My calendar tells me that Monday is International Women's Day. Maybe you can use this as an excuse to celebrate two holidays next week.