Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Doctor is In

In my ongoing efforts to NOT get any work done on the D-I-S-S-E-R-T-A-T-I-O-N (henceforth known as "The Big D," until we come up with a better name - not "Buddy Dude," that is taken), I have taken to finding some new, and many old, projects.

For instance, I finished the Rowan Biggy Print scarf, which took a total of maybe four hours to knit, give or take 26-28 months. The last in-progress picture of it is dated Christmas Day 2004, along with several other in-progress WIPs, so it was started before that - you do the math. I had a perfectly good reason for not finishing it for so long. I had forgotten it existed, and was only reminded by a recent cold snap.

Suddenly, it was the obvious thing to pull out for my current needs, since it only required an hour or so to finish up: total, 4 hours max, 3 balls of Rowan Biggy Print (colour "Joker"), and one pair of 1" diameter needles from Gram's old needle stash. Result: a fun, warm scarf that I can wrap around the neck twice and still have hang down to my waist. Er, make that knees. I'm short.

Do I post the less blurry of the two photos, but which is also less flattering of me and in which one can make out hand prints and dirt on the living room mirror? Blurry photo it is!!

In the meantime, Daniel once again reminded me that I still haden't started his Tom Baker Dr. Who scarf, which I mentioned in several entries from November & December 2004 when I bought the wool. It's been an ongoing thing these last couple years. He says something about needing a touque in the dead freeze of winter, I say I could knit him up a nice watchman's cap thing in a couple days in a safe, guy-friendly dark green or grey rib pattern no less, he says, "But where's my Dr. Who scarf? I'd rather you do that first." And I sigh, and recall that I purchased the wool to make a 12-14 FOOT (depending on stretching) garter stitch scarf at his request. And I say, "That's not a 2 day project. I can't start that until I finish something. I have too many projects on the go right now."

Well, I finished something. And so the time has come. The Doctor, as they say, is In.

I'm doing the early (or unaltered) Season 12 scarf. The pattern has been updated over the last couple years; the guy who made it has most recently seen the original scarf in-person (see his website for the full story). He changed his mind on some of the colour matching as a result, now recommends different yarn than what I bought, and has made some little fixes to the pattern. But it doesn't matter much to Daniel or me whether the purple is a little darker and bluer than the original, or that the green and red are a little off. I have no fewer than 20 balls of Brown Sheep Nature Spun (sport weight) in 7 colours that were special ordered for this beast, and now that I've decided it's time to start, I will not be swayed from my goal.

Tiger warily eyes the Dr. Who Scarf wool, which is encroaching on his space.

As a good omen, I (edit: almost) hit the stitch gauge on the first try (gauge, you say? It's a scarf! I hear you laugh.) But remember this is a reproduction: the original scarf is approximately 12" wide, with 66 stitches (the pattern guy recently counted when he held the original in his hands; me::green with envy). And I, starting with a #6 needle (picked because it is in-between the recommended #5 or #7), am was dead on 12" at 66 stitches.

So there. It was meant to be.

Update: as of the above picture, my gauge has apparently settled in at about 5 stitches per inch. I'm ending up with a 12.5 - 13" wide scarf instead of 12", but I. Don't. Care. - blj

There are a number of other things that I've been busy with for the last couple months. Too busy, in fact, to stop and take pictures, let alone update the blog: sewing garb (with the help of my mother-in-law) for a couple SCA events that happened in December and January, baking several hundred Pfeffernu├če cookies (also with the help of my mother-in-law) over Christmas and New Years for one of those same events, coming close to finishing the backstitching on the little Michael Powell piece, pulling out Peacock Tapestry for the first time in a couple years and putting in a few stitches, taking a sudden yet profound interest in calligraphy and illumination. And I got both a soprano and and alto wooden recorder for Christmas (in other words, I said "Hey, I'm getting these for myself, Merry Christmas to me?" and husband said, "Excellent! I'm off the hook then?"). I've been working on learning to play the alto. The cats are disturbed, and much hilarity ensues. At some point, I anticipate that pictures of each of these things will make it into the blog, particularly the garb.

I've also had a couple band concerts, most recently one called "Viva Las Vegas," in which we had an Elvis impersonator (he was good), and played the piece "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas" (and he did). The band was instructed to come in 'Vegas costumes,' so we had the flute section dressed as showgirls, the trumpet section as blackjack dealers in matching vests, a mobster or two, several over-the-top tourists, a fifties lounge-band guy with the poofy ruffled sleeves, an Ace of Spades, a couple priests and a Vegas bride... and the Elvii, of course... I wasn't sure what I was going to do at first, but had a sudden inspiration. Another band-member-not-appearing-in-this-photo-until-I-OK-it-with-her joined me in the nefarious plot, and we went as CSIs.

The costume consisted of a black windbreaker, black shirt, black or blue ballcap and 2" high white stick-on letters purchased at Staples. I also found some old conference name tag holders to use as ID carriers. I laid out the letters for 'forensics' onto clear packing tape first, so that it would be even and stick onto the nylon jacket securely but not permanently. I would have prefered to put 'LVPD' on the hat, but we were concerned that people would take longer to get the reference. Apparently, I have recently found out, there are people who don't know that the original (and best) CSI show is set in Vegas. Whodathunkit.

And somewhere in the last month, I've done a little bit of grading, and even spent a couple weeks working on The Big D. You know, that thing I'm supposed to be working on steadily, coming up with this oddity known as a H-Y-P-O-T-H-E-S-I-S so that I can justify the next year or so of my life? Sigh. But really, the less said about that right now, the better.