The Rocket

Knitting, pregnancy, and other stuff

Saturday, May 27, 2006

random saturday


Joy! One of my favorite things about summer in Birmingham has kicked off for this year, the excellent Pepper Place Farmer's Market. It's early in the season yet, but I got some plums, some grits, and some pretzel bread. I also got a few different types of basil and thyme to plant, and I almost got a Japanese maple sapling (for the amazing price of $15), but its care requirements would not be met in my yard. We get lots of full sun, and that puppy would have fried. I also almost got some strawberries- and they smelled amazing- but the folks in front of us bought the very last pint. Foiled again! Only 2 or 3 weeks 'til blueberry season. Mmmmmm, blueberries.

Block Party

As anticipated, I used the slow time at work to block a few things. The baby sweater, the Eleanora Socks, and the red lacy socks are now blocked and ready for their closeups. Socks I knit for myself I rarely block- they'll be pretty stretched out on my feet anyway- but socks I knit for gifts generally get washed because I've been trying them on my feet to check for size. This time, the red socks benefitted from blocking, as it made the lace more visible. The boy socks that I've been knitting are not getting washed before gifting because they have touched no feet, and the plain old ribbing looks fine as is.

The baby sweater definitely needed to be blocked. Even after blocking, this sweater has an element of looking homemade rather than handmade. That's because of a few "design choices" I made, heh heh. I wanted to do a colorwork design, but I hate intarsia with a fiery, burning passion. So I charted out my design and thought to myself. "hey, if I keep all my lines to 4 stitches or less, I bet I could just twist the line yarn with the background yarn and then float it back over to where it needs to be for the next round!" Which, it turns out, you can do, more or less. However, if that somewhat incoherent description of my "process" reminds you of anything, it may well be i-cord, because that's sort of what the wider sections resemble a little bit. It works beautifully over the sections of 1 or 2 stitches.

The problem with my "technique" became apparent pretty early on. However, I started this sweater on a 6 hour drive, and continued it on a 6 hour drive back, and by the time I was in a position to rip it out and start over working flat, I had 12 hours of knitting invested in that puppy, and it just wasn't happening. I know there are people out there who would think nothing of ripping out and starting over. I've read their blogs and admire their fortitude. On some projects, I would have done the same.


I mentioned my hatred for intaria, burning like a thousand suns. Combine that with the knowledge that this is a baby sweater that will fit for all of a month, maybe, and the knowledge that the Future Progeny, gifted and precocious though I know he will be, will undoubtedly not give a shit that small portions of of his sweater are raised up like fabric paint, and frankly, I just couldn't summon the energy to start over. I've got socks to knit, you know. His next sweater will be a technical masterpiece, I assure you.

Geek Alert

You may not be aware, but I am in fact, a big geek. Not the useful kind of geek, who employs computer savvy, but the other kind. I love comic books. In my youth, I read the superhero kind. Now, I enjoy the more indie variety- the memoirs, the allegories, the ones that sometimes get shelved in the fiction and lit section of your local bookstore. I don't keep up with superhero ones anymore- it's hard to enjoy them if you have any sort of feminist perspective at all, for one, and for another, most have been running for so long, they've exhausted most narrative possibilities, and are really hackneyed. I'm not saying they can't write any good or original superhero comics anymore, but they usually don't. But, boy, I like seeing the superhero movies if they're done well.

Ben and I went to see X-Men: the Last Stand last night. I will agree with critics who have said that it's the weakest offering of the three. I still enjoyed it. It was a fun action movie, and I got to point out a few moments lifted straight from the comic books to my husband, thus confirming my utter dorkiness for now and all time. It did have some weak moments, but it had enough fun ones to be entertaining, and that's all I ask from most movies: to be entertained.

The thing that blew my mind was the fact that the couple that sat down next to us brought their baby. He couldn't have been more than 9 months old. You know, if you can't find a babysitter, maybe sometimes you should stay home, not take your infant to a 7:30 showing of a movie aimed primarily at adults. It reminded me of going to see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a movie, if you've not seen it, narrated entirely in Mandarin Chinese, with subtitles. When we went to see it, a number of people brought their wee children. I'm bad at estimating kids' ages, but I would guess mostly under the age of 6. What on earth is a 6 year old going to get out of a subtitled movie, besides frustration and boredom?

Pomamtomus/ Orange Roughy is swimming right along. I'm on sock #2 and it's a long weekend. Wool socks by June, baby.


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