Wednesday, April 25, 2007

And so it goes...

All socks have been completed and disbursed, a new round will start soon. - This is my good news.

My bad news - my Great Aunt Shirley passed away last week. She, along with my Grandma, taught me to knit. We've never been particularly close, and so the knitting was our major source of bonding and the primary source of those happy memories childhood is supposed to contain of such relatives. (I was much closer with her husband, Uncle Allan, also a knitter, who died 15 years ago).
The week has been busy with the various to and fro-ings associated with family deaths, and my mom has been more than usually busy with things as we are really the geographically closest and Aunt Shirley's kids are all in the States. I spent most of Tuesday moving things around the house and loading the van with the various things we've inherited (everything from fabric to dishes to books to ziplock bags). Most people remember my Aunt as a doctor, it was her dominate achievement in terms of how she presented herself (and given the givens not a small one), but I remember her as a knitter and have now discovered she also: sewed, tatted, and did various other sorts of needle work - all of the tools and remnants of which my mother has inherited. Grandma it seems got most of the yarn (as Mom doesn't know one end of a knitting needle from the other)- I have a few skeins of black Kroy and some new needles. It is interesting to reflect on knitting habits and preferences, it seems my Aunt liked straights (while I haven't used any in years - dpns and circulars all the way). I also cannot account for most of the yarn I've found. (ie. what does one do with bags and bags of hideous brown baby alpaca? or large quantities of very delicate bright red mohair? or random odd skeins of worsted 100% wool of the most Brillo pad like texture? well maybe that's why they are still stash...) I'm sure one day someone will wonder the same thing about all that blue Astra and some of that very random stuff I got last time I went into the store - (even I can't figure out what I bought half of it for!! - an ugly blanket some day I guess).

Middling News -

*My committee has decreed an end of May date for my fields

*I don't need an extension (yeah!! I hate such forms)

*my lace shawl continues to inch along (or rather to centimeter along) and I'm currently just past half way through the 3 (of 11) pattern repeats.

(between the webcam and the crappy lighting it doesn't look like much, but it I promise it is a lace shawl... sitting on top of some Old English next to a Christmas Tree...)

*Is it better to try and dye the yarn for a sweater first or knit it up and dye the whole garment? (in this case a sweater for a 10yr old boy on wool that is currently various shades of turquoise and will ultimately be a blackish-greyish-blue - among the other things I inherited was a book on knitting guernseys, and now I want to try and use up some wool by designing one for my little brother)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Knitting in translation

*sigh* As April progresses stubbornly towards completion all life screams in my face about all the things that need doing - mostly the conference paper I have to write for early May and my fields in June.

So I plow through, hoping to remember something along the way.

My other two pairs of socks got finished at the conference in Boston - (one pair of well rinsed socks now hang in my bathroom, free of runny blue dye).

But now back to 'Juliana' - *10mins Old English, 1 row of knitting* repeat until line 246 is reached (or my head explodes, whichever).

I'm now in earnest working on the lace shawl I bought everything for in the fall. I started it once already and nearly gave myself a coronary trying to figure it out, so I put it away. But since I'm in stash knitting mode right now I figured I'd try it again, so far I've only screwed it up a couple of times, but each time I realized it and was able to figure out what was going on. But it remains to be seen how it will turn out.