Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The best of times; the worst of times...

It hasn't been the best of autumns here at Molecular Knitting, but then again, it hasn't been the worst of autumns either.

I am having to review what I learned from cognitive behavioral therapy, because my brain thought it would be fun to go back to its old way of thinking. Bad brain! Promotions at work are always a sign that one's world is coming to an end. That's logical. Bad brain! What really irks me though is that the CBT takes away from knitting time. I have explained to my brain that the status quo will be changing as I have far too many sweaters, socks, scarves, shawls, and other things that begin with the letter "s" to knit; too many earrings, bracelets, brooches, and necklaces to construct; too many different batches of cookies, pies, stews, soups, and pastas to cook; and far too many mystery novels, books of poetry, travel memoirs, and cultural/social histories to read to have my brain going on a depressive fritz. Don't worry. My brain and I are really rather attached to each other. We are just having one of our many little tugs-of-war. It goes in for some sneaky guerilla tactics that catch me off guard for a bit, but I seldom let myself stay down for long. I can be very tenacious, and my brain should know that. M is very supportive and helps me to see when my brain is indulging in cognitive distortions, its hobby.

So, to keep my brain from thinking it is so amazingly important that a depressive fritz is OK, let's talk about the knitting. And the knitting front looks pretty good. The Aran Pocket Shawl is five repeats long now. The directions specify 28 repeats to make the shawl 87 inches long. That seems pretty gosh darn long to me, so I'll be wrapping it around me when I get farther along to see how far I want to go.

I am also almost done with my last Christmas knit: socks for M's grandmother. I am to the heel flap of the second sock. I hope to knit on that a little this evening and then photograph it tomorrow morning in good light, as I like the heel flap I designed.

The Landscape shawl has taken a back seat to the Aran Pocket Shawl the past week, but I am 26% done with it. It isn't the most exciting thing to knit, but it is gorgeous, and the fingering weight yarn will work well here in California.

Other projects are on the back burner. I am in a bit of a quandry concerning the Grapevine Lace scarf. I love the look of the scarf in the Black Purl colorway. But I haven't been able to memorize the lace pattern, so it is pretty tedious to knit. The lace pattern is from the first Barbara Walker stitch treasury, and so it is a text only pattern. The wrong side rows are just purl, so I have put the patterned right side rows on their own 4x6 index cards and I just keep flipping the cards as I knit. I have been trying to memorize the pattern, but the lace is pretty blobby on the needles so it takes quite a bit of work to see the pattern. Right now, I am not loving this scarf, and I wonder what Cara would do in my position.

I also joined the Victoria Lace Today KAL and I have balled my skein of berry Sea Silk. I just have to cast on...

But today I have to prepare the bead room (also yarn room, there are just a lot more beads per unit area than yarn) for students! Tomorrow Natasha and Meghan (another grad student from lab) are coming to learn how to bead a spiral rope. I gave a spiral rope necklace to Natasha and now she and Meghan want to make their own.

detail of simple spiral rope stitch

I think the hardest part will be getting Natasha to pick out colors for her rope. I have a lot of different colors and finishes of seed beads, and I am sure she will want to see them all!

I leave you today with a picture of M's and my Christmas tree this year taken in the morning sunlight. I've been collecting glass ornaments for about 20 years; I love the sparkle.



PlanetJanet said...

Isn't it funny how we knitters measure time and how elusive it is when we have a lot to get done?

Hmmm . . . so what WOULD Cara do?

Your tree and ornaments are gorgeous and so is your beaded rope necklace.

Cara said...

I don't know what I would do. I always have a hard time figuring out the lace pattern - could you chart it? Would that be easier to read instead of the index cards?

Lace is really hard because the payoff doesn't come until the very very end when it's all blocked out and gorgeous and you can say I DID THIS! Maybe just knit a couple of rows a day and leave it at that. Say you will knit 4 rows - then you are DONE. And on the days you want to knit more, knit more. You might find yourself liking it a lot better that way. Not so much of a chore.

But if you let it go for a day or two and don't want to go back. I say leave it. ;-)

Holly Burnham said...

Lovely tree....makes me very anxious to put mine up.