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September 2007
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sweater shame

The blog title of this post comes easily. I’m getting to the point where I am ashamed. I have tried repeatedly and still not been able to knit a sweater. But I finally know why. So I started again. And I can feel the quicksand forming beneath my feet again.

So it goes like this: I knit.

And I’ll make it to the point where I have a good amount of fabric. I have a gauge and I have a washed swatch and I have all my math done and I have an idea of how I want the finished product to look.

I happily knit on, occasionally doing little sanity checks.

The sweater has waist and bust shaping and little vents at the sides which is good since my hips are large. And all seems very good and I can so picture this finished sweater in my head.

Then I get to some point. This time around it’s this point:

Where suddenly I’m plagued with doubt. The sweater was supposed to fit close, so I took out a favorite long sleeve tshirt and measured it and added about an inch. And my pattern is for a big square neck and I changed it for a round tighter neck that I found instructions for. And then I laid it back on the tshirt over the weekend. Just to see if everything was going along nicely. And suddenly I don’t have my extra inch anymore. And those shoulder pieces look too narrow. And I’m freaking out again. And so while I expected to have posted on Saturday with a nice finished front of a sweater and by now to have half of the back done, I don’t. The sweater is in danger of being abandoned again. I don’t want to abandon this again. I really don’t. But I also don’t want a really badly fitting sweater when this is done.

So which is worse? To finish and hate it? Or to rip it out and start over even though I have no idea what I’m doing and for all I know this will end up just fine? I hate not knowing for sure how the pieces fit together when it’s all said and done. It means I can’t look at this and go, oh, that’s no good, I need a bigger size. Or oh, that’s not good, I need to rip back and redo those arm holes. Or, oh that’ll be fine. Bah.

Bear calls this yarn camouflage, so I’ve been calling it the camo sweater. Maybe it’s mad that I let Bear win with the naming? I fought him for a while: I think it’s very pretty and camouflage is not appropriate. Maybe I offended it.

strawberry fields forever

So on Saturday I spent the morning playing with my camera taking pictures of the strawberry fields skein that I had spent Friday evening washing and beating and hanging up to dry. I took somewhere near 60 pictures trying to get the colors right and to make the yarn look… well pretty. I wanted to make some yarn porn. I turn green with envy when I notice the gorgeous pictures on other knitting blogs (I think Cara is probably most well known for the gorgeous pictures of yarn, but have you seen Brooklyn Tweed? Or Knitting on Impulse? There are a ton more, but I just grabbed from the top of Google Reader.)

Then Saturday sometime during the day, before I managed to actually post those pictures like I had been planning, I fell into some weird funk. My energy disappeared, my mood soured. Instead of feeling like puttering around the house the way I had planned, I kinda curled up into myself. I only came out around midday today. It was pretty pathetic and Bear was at a loss. But I’m back out of it, mostly, so I thought I’d actually share the pretty yarn efforts. Tell me what you think.

Meh. I started off not so great huh?

Hmm. Colors look better, at least on my screen, but still, not so good.

Mmmm. I do like this picture. Colors are still washed out a bit, but I still love this picture.

This, however, is my favorite. I love the colors in this yarn. In some places it’s a little Christmas-y, but there seems to be every shade of green from mint to celadon to grass to avocado. And it sets of all the pinks and reds. In some places it clashes it a bit and in other’s it compliments.

Probably at least part of the reason I love it is technical. It’s 220 yards of 15 wpi yarn: probably the best 3ply I’ve done to date. And some info, (not that this hasn’t been on the blog before) the fiber is 4oz of Correidale from Spunky Eclectic Fiber of the Month Club. Dyed in a color combination she calls Strawberry Fields.


lah-tech is making my head hurt. And every time I hear or say it I think of some woman in a big poofy dress with a bonnet saying “Well, lah-di-dah”.

Basically if you want to print pretty things like this

you type something like this:

$\sum_{i = 1}^{n} i = \frac{n(n+1)}{2}$.

Then you pass the file with the text in it through a program and you get a pdf (or something similar depending on what you want) with all the pretty text. Fun huh? More like a pain in the ass trying to figure out what all the little tags are for different displays.

I’d much much rather be spinning this

July fiber from Spunky Eclectic FOTM club, Celebration color, Shetland fiber (from the little photo shoot my brother did, remember?). It’s gorgeous.

(I wrote this at 1:30 in the morning this morning, but my computer froze and I didn’t have the energy to recover any of it.)

huh, who’da guessed?

Apparently some rap is good programming music. Since I’m always on the lookout for good programming music, I’m quite happy to have discovered this. I just hadn’t considered it before.

That makes me want to explain what I mean by good programming music. This is also what I mean by good writing music. Studying requires there be no music, but also no forced silence the way there is the library.

But anyways, programming and writing can have music. And when it’s the right music, it’s great. And by right music I mean music that is there and keeps me company but doesn’t pull me out of wherever I go when I program or write. With writing it’s easier to describe. You are in the world you are writing about. With programming, I think it’s actually the same thing. You are in your imagined program. You are seeing the logic and how the variables fit and change. You are seeing the control flow into and out of the functions. So to be able to do this, you need to have no distractions. And sometimes music demands attention. It demands that you stop and listen to it the same way another person can. But sometimes music helps you stay in your imagination. Sometimes it keeps the mood steady and blocks out extraneous noises like the printer warming up and warming down or the car backfiring. And sometimes, some very precious times, it eases the way for your mind to slide back into the world you had previously created. Usually, I don’t have a problem with this. My imagination needs to urging to become active and to be consistent. But sometimes I’m cranky and upset or hungry or tired or too wired or angry and at those times, good programming music is worth it’s weight in gold. (Well, if it had a weight.)

So the song that’s going to spur hours of digging through Bear’s rap music collection? Spaceship by Kayne West. The beat is heavy, the words blur into one long continuous something. And since it’s a little angry it works really well for when my program has gone screwy and needs a hammer taken to it.