Project Update

Halloooo!!! (taps on computer screen) Is anyone out there?

I guess a blogger as negligent as I has no right to expect that all of their followers will stick around while they’re off doing other things and ignoring their blog. But here you are, and I’m thankful for that.

It’s been ages since I’ve done a project update so I thought I’d give a quick one, although I don’t have time for photos at the moment.

On the needles:

* Always a sock. Or in this case, two pairs of socks, each only needing kitchenering on the toe of the second sock. We’ll be taking odds on how long it will take me to finish them, so place your bets now.

*  The Peacock Eyes Cardigan. This is coming along nicely. I’ve got the body of the sweater completed, and the button bands are underway. Next are the sleeves, then it will be done. It’s going to be a beautiful sweater, I think, done in a hand-dyed yarn in a lovely shade of green. I don’t have photos of my own project yet, but here’s the link to Ravelry:

Peacock Eyes Cardigan by Justyna Lorkowska. Photo from Ravelry. (Click link to go see it live!)

* The Peacock Eyes sweater has been set aside to work on a black cardigan for my son. No photos for that, since it’s a custom knit from Ann Budd’s Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges. I’m really excited about how this is coming out, because it’s turning out to be a perfect fit, and it’s been kind of fun to make a sweater from a “recipe” rather than a very specific pattern.

* Oh, and finally, I am down to the buttons on the Shapely Boyfriend Sweater from Knitty. It’s knit, blocked, and just waiting for me to get the buttons sown on. I hope to finish that soon so I can wear it before summer comes. (Again, happy to take odds on that one).

What’s on your needles?


Secrets, Socks, Phone Calls and Stuff

So, I’ve been a neglectful blogger, which is bad considering that I have the folks from WordPress sending me ideas every day of what to write about. The truth is that I’m working on a big project in my personal time. I can’t yet tell you what it is but it could be a real game-changer for me. More to come on that in the next few weeks as things develop.

In my knitting life, things are pretty slow. I don’t knit for the holidays and I only have a couple of projects going at the moment. It’s not that I don’t want to give people handmade gifts, it’s more a case of not liking to knit on a deadline. You see, I work in the software industry where every day is driven by deadlines, so I just don’t like them in my personal life. Also, my job makes life a bit unpredictable because you never know when you’ll suddenly be on an airplane and afghans don’t fit in the carry-on if you want to also take clothes and toiletries with you. So, at the moment I’m plugging away on the Brunello cardigan and a pair of random socks. The Brunello is turning out to be beautiful but the lace on the edges requires some counting and concentration, so it will be a stay-at-home project for when it’s quiet and I’m not trying to multi-task.

It’s a bit funny because for me, knitting socks is like going to the gym is for some people. It’s just something that you do, not because you plan for it or you think a lot about it, you just get up and do it because you should. Now, you could easily argue that I should also be going to the gym, but let’s not get over-ambitious here. Socks are great knitting, very portable, imminently usable and easy to knit. Unless they have a fancy cuff pattern, they’re good conversational knitting too – I’ve made enough at this point that I can just cruise along while at the same time, carry on a conversation about foreign policy or which place has the best Chicago-style pizza. (Gino’s East, hands down, in case you were wondering, although Lou Malnati’s runs a close second).

In other news, I finally resorted yesterday to shutting the ringers off on our phones. Colorado is a swing state and with four registered voters in our house, we were getting besieged with calls. It doesn’t help that the people who previously had our number must have been big campaign contributors and gave their phone number out like candy to every cause they supported. We must have been getting three or four phone calls an hour yesterday, all from auto-dialers telling us how to vote. (And not really the right party either). Truth is, most of us have already voted anyway, and what we really want is to be left alone at this point.

This morning on the news, there was a video clip of a local little girl who is so tired of the campaign ads she was in tears over it. She’s had enough of “Bronco Bamma” and Mitt Romney.

I think we kind of know how she feels…

Of Bibles and Socks and Airplanes

Subtitled, The People We Meet on Airplanes.

Those who know me are aware that I travel for business. Not as much as I used to, but still more than I’m quite comfortable with. Until the day comes when I can be teleported to a business meeting location with spinning wheels and Westies in tow, I’d prefer to bloom where I’m planted, thank you very much. However, sometimes, like this week, circumstances arise where try as I might, I can’t quite duck the travel. As much as I dislike it, for all the hassle of TSA and airplanes and waiting and such, I can’t quite bring myself to say no to the trip, and I certainly could  never fake being sick just to stay home (even if the occasional desire to do so might strike in the night before a flight).

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not because I’m afraid of flying. I’ve flown so many flights at this point that we could land on two wheels on the pitching deck of an aircraft carrier and all I would do is say “Hmm, that was bumpy” before turning back to my book.

I think it’s actually the comfort of home that I miss when I travel; that feeling of familiarity when I sink into the sofa and especially when a dog deigns to grace my lap with their terrier presence. Not only that, the whole process of getting from one part of the country to the other is just darned inconvenient. Which leads me to today’s topic, which is the process of getting here (in this case, Detroit) from there (in this case, Denver).

I know the drill. In fact, I’m so practiced at the security procedures that even the TSA people are impressed. No liquids, no laptop, nothing in my pockets. I arrive, line up with the rest of the cattle headed for the chute, and follow the process.

It’s when you get past the gate that it gets interesting. You see, airports are kind of anonymous places. In some ways belonging to everyone and no-one at the same time, and filled to the brim with our fellow man (or woman).

As we proceed through the airport, I notice myself assigning people to types: families on vacation, older people traveling to see family, business people like myself. Then, if I get a chance without being too overt, I watch their behavior and use that to further build my profile.

All of which, today, left me wondering what kind of profile others built about me based on my behavior in the airport and on the airplane. I cleared quickly through the airport, headed straight to my gate, so clearly aware of the procedures that you might suspect I was a business traveler even though I wasn’t dressed as such.

At the gate, I pulled out a Bible to read the book of Luke. So now, I’m wondering, are these people thinking I’m a pastor, a middle-aged church lady, or a religious fanatic? (In reality, I’m a time-stretched volunteer trying to get ready for a Christmas program, but that’s beside the point). Once on board, I took a nap, drank some coffee, and kitchenered a hand-knitted sock.

At the end of the voyage, I’m remarking at the little snippets of myself that I’ve revealed to my cabin-mates: a caffeinated, Bible-reading, hand-knitting who? And realizing, that we have all these little encounters with people. We think we know who they are and we further think that we can place them into categories. Yet in reality, we are incredibly complex beings with many facets to our real selves.

Interesting thought, at least for me today. Who are you taking for granted, thinking that you ‘know’ them based on the superficial evidence of what they do around you? Dig a little deeper. It’ll be interesting to see what you find.