Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Inspired or Insane?

Yesterday was a big day here at the LizKnits household. S flew to Amsterdam ... yep, the city in the Netherlands. Yesterday afternoon the shuttle came, picked him up, wisked him away to LAX, and (sort of) deposited him on a plane. This morning he called and he's there! He's only been there a few hours so far (it's a long flight, and to boot, they are 9 hours ahead of us) but it sounds like he's having a great time. They've taken the train to where he's staying (amazingly we have friends that are living there this year and he's staying with them for one night in Wassenaar) and now they are going to bike over to the Hague and go out for dinner and drinks! It sounds like he's getting treated royally.

This trip is actually part of a world-wide extravaganza. S gives two talks at the Free University while he's in Amsterdam and then flies to Nigeria for the main part of his trip. He's been selected to take part in the International Sociological Association's International Laboratory for Ph.D. Students which is being held in Maiduguri, Nigeria this year. He'll give another talk there, see a few of the sites, and then will return home in about 10 days. Wow!

So what's a girl to do with such activities surrounding her? Well she could get ready for the trip to Phildelphia she's taking tomorrow. Apparently my brain decided that the best way to prepare was to swatch (see that pretty picture above?). (I'll point out that this was instead of working on one of many other work-related projects that need to be done asap).

Now it's not clear to me whether this is inspiration or insanity, but as you may know, Michael's is having a 25-50% off sale on all yarns this week. On monday I went in and bought some Patton's wool. I knit English method (throwing) and I've wanted to learn how to knit Contiental. I've seen many people recommend that you start with a felted project as the felting will hide all sins in the irregularity of the fabric as you learn to manage gauge with the new method. I had picked out a couple of felted bag patterns as starters (the Andrea bag, Celtic Tote).

Well you'd think I'd be satisfied with that, I have wool, I have a plan, I can go on my trip and take up this quest when I return. Well... not so much. For some reason my brain decided that maybe Patton's would work well for another sweater pattern I have my eye on (and of course I'd need to check gauge to see if it would work so I could rush back to Michael's before the sale ends). Now I'm not really a big believer in big-shop yarn so you'd think I'd know better, but I felt compelled to swatch to see if I could get gauge for the sweater. Hence the lovely green swatch of many patterns and many needle sizes above. You swatch for a bag, you swatch for a sweater... you see where this is going. Long story short, I realized the Patton's will be too scratchy for me for the sweater but should work fine for the bags. At least I don't have to crazy go back for more yarn.

So I should be able to return to work... prepare for my trip now ... right?

Turns out that casting on for the Celtic Tote was part of my mind's idea of preparing for travel. Yep last night I sat down at my computer, watched some videos on how to knit and purl continental style at (love the site) and started knitting.

Now I still feel like a kindergardener with one of those giant 1/2 inch diameter pencils making ugly, non-word looking scratches on a paper, but I did manage to eek out a few rows and I at least *think* I understand what I should be doing. The best thing ...

Look you can already see the beginning of the cable design!

I think that I'll be taking this project with me on the plane. I don't want to risk messing up Elizabeth, and after my allergen-provoking-trauma knitting experience on the plane last time, I probably shouldn't take clapotis (alpaca) or Elizabeth (angora) with me anyway.

So maybe this was inspired?

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