Monday, April 25, 2005

The calm. Next week, the storm.

I finished ripping off the ruffle of the second sleeve of the shrug and attaching the lace cuff band shortly before my April 10 concert. Typically, I found last week that I had screwed up the lace pattern on the back of the shrug for a number of rows at the very bottom (the beginning), and never noticed it until now. Fixing it would be equivalent to making a new one, i.e. taking off the sleeves and starting the back from scratch. Since perfectionism can only go so far before crossing over into obsessive-compulsiveness, I'm accepting mediocrity and chalking that up to a learning experience. So, the shrug is done (again), and has been worn in concert (again). I'll get pictures eventually.

I've moved on to - OK, moved BACK to Tasha, a small cotton bag with cable trim. I started it a while ago, but then the shrug took over. Pictures of where I stopped are on my website, under pictures, then knitting. I've made the cable trim for the top edges, and just have to make the sides & strap, which are done in one piece. Then all the pieces will be done, and I can wash and assemble. I'm using the recommended Rowan Denim, which I found on sale a few months ago. It's a little hard on the hands, but it probably doesn't help that I have to stitch very tightly to keep 2x2 ribbing looking reasonably good, and the cotton just doesn't give at all. It's that "1st purl stitch after a knit" problem, which I was relieved, after a web search, to find is a pretty common issue. And here I thought I was just pathetic and would never be able to knit ribbing for shit. At any rate, it's going well, I think. I just can't do too much before my hands start to cramp up and the yarn friction bugs my fingers. So it will be slow going for a few more inches.

I also continue to put in a few rows at a time on the super-boring-but-nonetheless-lovely neverending grey lace scarf, which will be done either when I finish of the current ball of mohair or rayon, or when I go mad, it's a toss-up. In the meantime, I picked up a number of skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in assorted colours. I bought it with the intention of making the skirt in the last issue of Interweave Knits, but decided against that (can you say "sizing issues"?), so the cotton yarn will have to find a new purpose. I'm considering my options, but I only have 3 skeins of pale yellow right now, an 1 skein each of 4 other colours, so a full garment is out unless I buy more yellow. Maybe if I like the Tasha bag, I could make a couple more of them, in different sizes... what a practical and utterly boring idea. I also bought a Fleece Artist thrum mitten kit cheap, as a reward for finishing the shrug. That'll be fun, I can play with the hand-dyed silk roving.

Outside of knitting, my general's paper is currently in the capable hands of the second reader (and the first, again). Hopefully this second draft will be the last, and with a few minor changes, I'll be defending it the second week of May. At least, that's the hope, and it's what we've all put on our calendars. Then I'll have one general's paper done, one to go, and then I can start to concentrate on dissertation topics. Of course, there's always the possibility that I've written something completely bogus, and I'll get notes like "what does this mean?". It's more likely one reader will say "this paragraph is unnecessary", while the other will suggest expanding it. I should know better than to have two different people reading a draft at the same time, but here we are. I'm so sick of seeing the paper that nothing about it appeals to me any more - it all seems tired and uninspiring, but when you're that close to something it's hard to see the brilliant spots through all the grey. And I do hope there's brilliant spots. Apparently I'm TAing for the first two months of the summer, which will be... no, "fun" is entirely the wrong word. Educational. Yes, that's it. At least it will give me some time off of band, since the classes are on Wednesday evenings, ending just before rehearsal, which is a 45 minute drive away. Time off is a good thing.

I have 2 DVD purchases to look forward to this week - "Eerie, Indiana" is on its way, and the third and final season of "Land of the Lost" comes out Tuesday, if I can find it that day. I've been looking forward to these for months. Television sucks, especially now that Battlestar Galactica has finished for the season. We have a few DVD sets waiting to be watched, I just can't get enthusiastic about any of them right now. I think I'm in that "blah" time that comes with being almost, but not quite, done with a major paper and not having much to look forward to for the next couple weeks. I have articles to edit, coding for two other projects to finish and the occasional rehearsal to go to, but overall I'm still in a holding pattern until this paper is done. I try not to be nervous, but I can't help it, not when I've spent so long on something and now others have to read it and tell me honestly how they feel about it. Honest, helpful criticism I can handle, it's the waiting for it that makes my head hurt.

So I wait. And I knit. And I type. And I read. And I watch DVDs. And I play board games with the husband and friends. And I grade exams and code data. And the cats watch, amused, while I compusively check my email for a note that says, "I'm done with your draft, nice job! Just a few minor comments, it's in your mailbox". Gah, I hate this part.

Give me the storm. Please.