November 2005


…and because I didn’t want to go back to working so soon after getting home, I present to you a quizzy thing (in the extended entry).

(more…)

I’ve read a lot of posts this week about Thanksgiving, both of the “why I don’t like the holidays” variety and the “hurrah, holidays!” type. I’ve always liked Thanksgiving, but there’s a good bit of that that’s liking going to New York. Up through high school, we’d always spend the whole week (my parents still do, actually), and it was a chance to go to museums and the Strand and see my mom’s side of the family. Over the last few years, though, my attitude toward family Thanksgiving has changed a bit. I live close enough that I get to New York a lot more often, plus I can’t take the week off the way I used to. The one year I stayed at Oberlin for Thanksgiving was a lot of fun, and it was really relaxing to not have to travel.

All things considered, though, my Thanksgiving was quite nice. I got to spend Wednesday evening with friends, which made me much happier to head up to New York on Thursday. It might’ve been nicer if I’d gotten more than four hours of sleep (why is it that I keep going to New York while extremely sleep-deprived?), but I had a nice nap on the train.

I was then drafted into helping chop vegetables and such for what wound up being the smallest Thanksgiving dinner I can remember: just me, my parents, my grandmother, and Carrol, as Andrea and Victor (and their one-year-old) got stuck in traffic in Maryland. Dinner turned out quite well, with the turkey cooked perfectly, good stuffing, perfect roasted roots (carrots, purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, a parsnip, and a portobello mushroom for good measure), tatsoi sauteed with garlic, and the traditional Junior’s cheesecake for dessert. (I ignore the candied yams (ick!) and broccoli cooked dead for my grandmother.) And Carrol liked the felted bowl.

The other exciting thing about the train ride was this:

Dscn3775jaywalker cuff the first

I started my pair of Jaywalkers. I’ve decided to swap yarns for the heels and toes, now that I’m a few rows into the patterning and I haven’t switched yet.

Just to check, though–it’s normal for wooden size 1 dpns to warp a bit, right? And, you know, before they’ve been used for more than the cuff of one sock? That is, should I be worried that mine all look at least a smidgen wavy? They’re lovely to knit with, though. (Also, I asked my dad to see if he could identify the wood, and he thought it might be teak.)

Back to the theme of Thanksgiving, though. I’ve been thinking that, on top of all of the basic health and family and friends things, I’m thankful for the very reason I’ve been too busy to enjoy Thanksgiving as thoroughly as I have in the past. I’m glad to be in grad school, doing work I love, and to be alive in a time and place when I can do so. And now I’m going to do some more work.

I finally finished knitting the second wildfoote sock a few days ago. I have yet to weave in the ends, and I still need to reinforce the figure-8 toe on the second one, but I wore them on Wednesday anyway. I was just going to wear them to take some pictures in the sun, but then I couldn’t get myself to change to normal socks.

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Mel inspecting the socks and looking for ends to play with

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toe closeup

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Mel inspecting my new Lantern Moons; socks and leftover yarn

The wooden needles that Mel is so curious about are my birthday present from Anju. Thanks again, Anju! Now I have to come up with something I can knit on 4.5 mm straight needles…

There was rather a lot of yarn left over. I got a sock and a half out of the first skein, so I suppose there’s about a sock’s worth left. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with it, as I don’t need a third sock, but we’ll see.

Quick specs:
Brown Sheep Wildfoote in Ragtime
3.25 mm inox circulars
toe-up socks with figure-8 toes and short-row heels
slightly variegated ribbing pattern switching to k2p2 rib for cuff
standard k2tog/p2tog bindoff

For my next toe-up socks, I intend to find a stretchier bindoff method. I’ve used the sewn cast-off, and it works nicely, but I’d really prefer something that wouldn’t require extra tools, in case I’m somewhere without my darning needles.

For now, though, I’m knitting top-down Jaywalkers. (On the sock front, that is. I’m doing lots of other things more intently, most particularly lots of work.)

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A year or two ago, I was talking with a friend of mine who grew up in Philadelphia. I don’t recall how the conversation turned to tree identification, but it did, and she said she couldn’t really recognize trees (by species). I offered two examples, mulberry and sycamore, and she gave me a really odd look. I picked them because they’re distinctive trees that are pretty common in Philly. I had no idea that there’d actually been one of each in the yard of the house where she spent most of her childhood…

This morning, as I walked to work, I was waylaid by a sweetgum tree and the best possible weather for photography.

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I finished the wildfoote socks last night and wore them today. (Hurrah!) Pictures when I come back from New York–I want to be on a trolley in seven hours, and I have yet to pack.

I’ve been unusually busy lately (that is, even busier than usual), what with the major work deadline I have a week from Wednesday. (For example, I’m in lab right now. I can usually manage to be home by ten, but not tonight.) So, since my computer will be living in lab for the next couple of days and I really don’t like uploading pictures here, it’ll be progress-picture light for a while.

Of course, there’s another reason for the dearth of progress pictures. The large amount of work kind of cuts into the fiber time. I did do some spinning over the weekend, though, to decompress, and there’s now a bit more alien yarn than the last time it was pictured here. There’s also more alpaca-silk, but that’s not even close to filling the spindle. And when it does, it’s going to take hours upon hours to ply, as it’s coming out somewhere between cobweb and light fingering. And there’s been progress on my gift for my secret pal, but I wouldn’t post a real picture of that, anyway. (But I can happily announce that it’s nearly halfway done.)

I’ve also joined the Jaywalker Knitalong. I’m nearly done with the second wildfoote sock (hurrah!), and I’m going to let myself start Jaywalker right after that. Now, I just need to decide on yarn… A question for you: I have four skeins of Koigu, two of which match and two of which just coordinate with each other. I was planning to use the matching ones for Jody‘s Natalya gauntlets. Would it be too terribly ridiculous to knit a pair of socks with two colors of koigu? Maybe swap tops of cuffs and toes? Or top ribbing, heelflaps, and toes?

As regards the world outside of lab and fiber: It’s cool and rainy here, and I have to say that I really like this weather. I’m quite fond of the crisp, sunny fall days, but I also enjoy rain when it’s not a summer drenchpour or absolutely freezing or just warm enough that I’ll sweat enough to make a raincoat pointless. I left lab to have dinner, and I had a very nice walk back, in the rain, with no official rain protection.

I’m instituting a Thursday Morning Picture, to be Not Knitting. Today’s is a sweetgum tree–they have the best fall foliage of trees in West Philly.

Sweetgum

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