Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ennui and new yarn

For about the next month or so, I probably won't be blogging that much (I say this now -- we'll see). I'm finishing up my final year of graduate school toward my Master's degree, which means that my time is supposed to will be taken up by finishing, presenting, and writing up my master's project. This process will, I hope, be minimally painful. What it will be, for sure though, is time consuming, leaving little time to knit and/or blog.

On top of that, I've hit a few knitting walls this past week, and my knitting-mojo is suffering for it. The Urban Aran awaits attention somewhat impatiently. I cannot, for the life of me, pick up the required number of stitches along the neckline. I'm hoping that this is simply a product of me not knowing how to pick up stitches correctly (see below), and not the sloppy decreasing job. To determine this, I will have to check in with my LYS. However, I did not buy this yarn from said LYS, which tries to reserve its help for its own yarns (understandably so), and so I will have to beg and plead and probably offer money (totally worth it). However -- this whole grad school thing makes scheduling all of that difficult.

I discovered my lack-of-picking-up-stitches prowess when I dove into The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques with five Urban Aran pieces spread across my lap. Somewhere I had picked up an approach that looked nothing like the example in the book. While the new technique made my attempts on the collar more attractive (if not accurate), it created a little wrinkle in my brain. If I had been picking up stitches incorrectly all this time...then the picking up of stitches that I have done on the capecho are... incorrect. And while picking up incorrectly on a sock doesn't really matter -- you still get a fitting sock -- picking up incorrectly on the capecho may have disasterous results. So disasterous, in fact, that after a brief look at the six pentagons I've finished, and a quick realization that to fix this I would have to frog five -- I put the pieces down. I folded them up. And I have not looked at them since. (Brenda Dayne's most recent blog post on why you should not try to alter a Norah Gaughan pattern in any way is not helping.)

The Jaywalker, in its third incarnation, is coming along. And although the yarn is wonderful, the pooling is...kind of hideous. I love them nonetheless, but -- you know how it goes. Frustrating.

All of this makes me itch for a new project. Which I don't really have time to do just at the moment. Hence, my knitting-mojo frustrations.

This, of course, did not stop me from picking up a skein of 50/50 merino/tencel fingering weight yarn from Mary Ann Pagano of Three Waters Farm, a local fiber artist. She sells her hand-painted yarns at the Carrboro Farmer's Market, where I've admired them for over a year. I finally gave in today (her friendliness and my project frustration were too much to fight) and picked this up. The colors are just -- iridescent. Purples, greens, some blue... almost too good for the socks I'm planning. I think I'll play with some swatches and see what it wants to be.

I'll leave you with this: Baby yarn! The picture is poor -- I only got one in on a recent fishing trip to a nearby farm's pond. I of course was more interested in the week-and-a-half-old lambs.

Most recent podcast: Cast-On, with Brenda Dayne.
(The podcast responsible for this madness by introducing me to online knitting culture.)

Currently listening to: Cider in Battle Ground playlist: No Lonesome Tune, Townes Van Zandt.
What I should be am doing: Waiting for pyramids to build in ArcGIS. Grr.


Devon said...

I hope that you squealed "Baby yarn!" upon seeing the lambs. It would be very 20-something Tutak of you.

knittingphilistine said...

ARCGis! Pyramids!! What are you studying at Duke?? I'm an archaeology grad student who has had to do some GIS work herself, and hated every minute of it!!

Hope your projects get with the program and stop tormenting you soon! It's all the more frustrating when you have problem knits with minimal amount of time--knitting tends to become a hassle then. Glad to see you're taking appropriate action by buying more pretty yarn!