Saturday, May 17, 2008

Spring is the best time of year to be outside taking walks through the gardens and parks, eating a light lunch at a cafe with a chilled glass of white wine, or flouncing downtown in a sundress and strappy heels. Unless, that is, you are me, and have to work in an office where you are a slave to someone else's notion of the proper temperature.
My office is a freaking icebox in the summer, because the moment the temp hits about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the management company decides it's time to crank the AC to "Arctic" and leave it there until September. I supposedly have a thermostat in my office, but it does nothing, even when I call the maintenance guy to properly set it, instead of nudging the thermo-wheels with an unbent paper clip.
Today is even worse, because due to a freakish set of apocalyptic storms, the area is flooded, rainy and desolate. No sun, constant rain and cloud cover equal temperatures in the 50s, but still the AC is blasting on me as though it were 90 degrees in the shade. It's miserable. So I am doing two things about it:
1. Whining at great length;
2. Knitting things with which I can bundle up.

My jaywalk socks, slow in the making though they may be, are now done. I'm so happy, because whenever I show up at the office sans tights (because you can't wear tights in the spring no matter how cold it is inside), I always stared at them, longing to slip off my shoes and put the socks on. Now I can, and they are wonderfully rich and warm.

This gorgeous shawl is called North Roe, and is a free, Frenchified pattern. It's stunning, and has converted me from someone who scoffed at those silly triangular shawls to an aspiring lace knitter. It helps that I get to use this awesome citrus colored wool that I got off etsy. I started off with a few mistakes, but now I have cut my lace teeth on it and am to the point where I am very comfortable reading the chart (though it was confusing at first) and making sure all my stitches are accounted for. Also, it's interesting knitting with a constantly changing pattern, and it's going very fast!

Finally, a new project. I need something for my hands, because they freeze under the merciless AC like little five-pronged blocks of ice. Fingerless mittens sounded like the perfect idea, but a search for patterns taught me otherwise. Fingerless, it seems, is truly the case, so you have all these patterns that stop just at the bottom knuckle line, effectively making what are called "wristwarmers." Now, at the risk of airing one of my Unpopular Knitting Opinions, I don't understand the concept of the wristwarmer. My wrists do not get cold, because I have long sleeves. My hands are usually fine. It starts getting chilly just at the knuckles, and by the time you get to the gnawed-off tips of my fingers, they get frozen to the point where they could get featured in a Radcliffe novel. I need partial fingers, people! Fortunately, Ravelry saved my life (how did I ever knit without you, Ravelry?) with several (free!) lovely partial finger glove patterns. Oh I'm sure I could have figured one out for myself, but the cold is making me feel lazy.

So three small projects to help me bear the bitter cold of spring and summer. Of course, I should get back on my sweaters, but these small projects are such fun right now. I will save the bigger ones for my upcoming vacation!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Some pictures...

First, a finally finished object. This is Hush-hush from, a project I started about 2.5 years ago when I first started to knit. It's been a long time in the finishing, and I think it turned out very well. I haven't found a good looking ribbon for the bottom though, so that part still remains unfinished.
Notice my hair... it went "foom" due to the springtime moisture. I can do nothing with it.

Next, the 300 grams of sock yarn that came in the mail from ZYarns at Doesn't it look good enough to eat?

Actually, the green and yellow are sock weight, the orange is lace weight, but I couldn't resist. What do I knit with it? I'm really not sure.

Finally, a work in progress. This is the self-designed UFO that I'm hoping will be finished by Memorial day. The back is almost finished...

Like most professions in the 21st century, mine comes with a slew of hazards both physical and mental. No, it is not dangerous like being a lineman, or a railway worker, but it comes with its own issues. Namely mental stress, eye strain from staring at a computer screen for 12 hours a day, foot pain from stuffing my feet into beautiful and impractical shoes for the sake of looking polished and professional, and wrist strain, which is what I'm experiencing this week. I hurt my wrist during school by working on my computer for too long every day, and my doctor told me to wear a wrist brace to prevent carpal tunnel. So this week the wrist brace is on, and I have to cut back on certain activities, namely typing, knitting, and playing wii.
Well, typing is not going to happen, as I need that to work. So unfortunately the knitting and wii are going out the window for the rest of the week. No wii is sad enough, because an impromptu boxing match or baseball game against Jared at 12 in the morning is excellent stress relief after a frustrating work day. But the knitting is really killing me for several reasons.
First, I have an awesome self-designed UFO that I am really dedicated to taking to the next level and actually finishing in the same year that I start it. My goal is to have it done by Memorial Day, and I've been inching towards that goal by completing at least two rows a day. (So slow! But I usually get more than that done.)
Second, I'm getting 300 grams of sock yarn in the mail. Beautiful, hand-dyed sock yarn in acid green, neon orange and bright motherfucking yellow. I can't wait to start on a lacy sock project for spring. And it is furthering my goal of only knitting socks in solid yarn from here on out, because variegated drives me crazy. Because...
Third, I have finally managed to get my second Jaywalk Sock to the point where the variegated colors stop pooling and stripe properly. As I posted before, I was trying for a looser gauge, but with these colors it is not happening if I don't want pooling. And the pooling just looked awful. Even now the stripes are a bit wider than I would like, but I had to just give a Seinfeldian "oh to HELL WITH IT" and give up. They'll be warm and comfy, anyway. But from now on, no variegated socks.
These socks have become my morning and evening routine though, as I knit them while riding the bus to and from work. It's very hard to give that up, especially since I find that I've been getting very motion sick from trying to read on the bus. This morning I read the Express with my sad little brace on my wrist, feeling nauseous and dizzy... no more of this, please. Maybe I should just get a book on tape for my iPod, but those always leave me itching with something to do with my hands. Like... knitting. Hmph.