Thursday, June 23, 2005

writing about everything that has elapsed in the waiting space seems so intimidating, therefore the persistent procrastination of resuming my blog. perhaps i should take it one step at a time--like timid deer--into the abyss of externalising the internal. or, basically, throwing my voice to the endless expanse of a polished-edged, echoing blogspace. hopefully there are those out there, eyes closed and mouth open, waiting to catch some icy flakes upon their tongue. a good shake of the clouds begets the twirling.

so the last week and a half was spent in a feverish hunt for the perfect apartment. i teamed up with ryan from lab and we hit the streets, surveying the high and low of cambridge rental properties with the high and low of cambridge rental agents. we saw everything from moldy lime carpet to gleaming granite countertops, sleazebag brokers who lied about residential addresses to throw other agents "off the trail" to friendly (to the point of incredulousness) folks who tried to show us stuff that wasn't half-bad and within our specifications. basically we wanted a 4-bedroom that wasn't a hike from the lab, something reasonably more affordable than our current situations (and with my living in sid-pac now, finding something cheaper wasn't terribly difficult), and (gasp) something roomy + attractive + conducive of a higher quality of domestic life. after a seemingly endless string of sweaty afternoons and scary number-crunching, we definitively chose a winner among the bunch. so that's settled, although now i'm already on the ikea / cb2 / westelm windowshopping sprees, dreaming up another rendition of the perfect bedroom. shades of green, modular furniture, and endless geometrics. mmm....

when the going gets tough, the touch gets knitting. i've pretty much sworn myself into the league of stitch 'n bitchers, now a proud member of the mit group and hopefully more into the cambridge knitting community. i guess i've done a bunch since the onset of christmas 2004, but now there's nothing as irresistible as swatching a luscious yarn and rubbing the softness (or furriness, or animal-transferrable-ness) against one's cheek. really, sheep are incredible. i'll try to get up to speed on my WIP/FO photo galleries, but for now i can try to evoke descriptives with words alone.

in my last elann order, i splurged for the denise interchangable needles. i suppose splurge is relative, since for $47 you probably could get about 5-7 pairs of nice circulars, whereas the kit has all the little parts for... heh, you do the combinatorics. (coming from a girl who got her applied math degree from harvard. go figure. ;) ) i've soon realised that the denise set is AMAZING. not only is the range of needle sizes super-convenient, i love the face that you can swap needle tips at will (nothing's more annoying than transferring an entire row of stitches from one needle size to another) but that you can modify the parts to make straight needles and stitch holders as well. as expected, modular systems are so wonderful to use when well-designed. another exciting tidbit: the plastic pieces (really lightweight and flexible, but strong) have a perfect press-fit mechanism. there's a most satisfying 'click' when the parts twist and snap together. after taking the fab class last fall, i know how ridiculously difficult good press-fit mechanical design can be. the range of tolerances between uber-loose and hernia-worthy tight can be unbelievably narrow.

my props to denise. mad props.

right now i'm on two projects... the first and most fervent is the charlotte sweater (scoop-neck version) from a season's tale by kim hargreaves (for rowan). the pattern calls for rowan kid classic, but i'm substituting with a wonderful yarn from jo sharp, the silkroad aran which is primarily wool with silk and cashmere for silky softness. the color is casket, a sort of burnt sienna (didn't that color always jump out at you from the crayola box with its exotic name?), reddish orangy brown. a lovely autumny shade, especially for those days when you're casket shopping. i got it from elann, and it looked a little more reddish on the website, but after getting the yarn i realised it was probably accurate enough. another bit of proof that a small thumbnail swatch on a crisply tabular webpage can look completely different when physically displayed in poofy fibrous pigmented objects. pixels over phixels.

i finished the back and the front, and now embarking on the sleeves. a pretty straightforward sweater, though it's my first! it's amazing how specific the shaping is formed with the increases and decreases... very much piquing my interest in designing my own knit patterns, though at the same time daunting in its complexity. however, the immense power in knowing how to fully create a garment that will fit one's curves perfectly will become the ultimate reward.

question: should i block the sweater pieces before seaming, or seam it all together and then block the entire thing at once? i have a feeling that although my sweater is knit to gauge and is basically in the right dimensions, i'd like it to be a little longer to hit my lower waist, which i think blocking will solve. however, all the articles on blocking technique seem to agree and disgree simultaneously, so i'd like to hear any personal advice on this.

teva durham of loop-d-loop campaigns for non-blocking, allowing the garment to show all the imperfections and irregularities of the knitted work, which i absolutely agree for a particular aethestic. why make something that looks like you could buy it when you really want to showcase your time and love and humanity within the uneven stitches and hand-hewn surface? it's professionalism versus individualism. i vow to choose the latter.

listen :: sigur ros :: star�lfur

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