Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Science of... Sweet.

I went to see The Science of Sleep last night, the new Michel Gondry movie. It was *great*, despite the mixed reviews it has been getting. It's a really sweet, interesting movie with excellent acting and, appreciably, a female character who isn't flawless (though beautiful in her own right). Of course, Gael Garcia Bernal *is*, on the other hand, visually flawless and his acting is, too. The sets in the movie are also amazing and filled with so many different props and cool things to look at and enjoy (my favorite: the knitting machine that looks and functions like a typewriter)! All in all, I'd liken The Science of Sleep to a long Bjork video complete with an excellent soundtrack and a sweet plotline thrown in for good... no, *great* measure! As a full-fledged film elitist, I declare this a movie well worth a watch!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

An Apple a Day...

Finally! I got a replacement for snow deux, my old iBook G4 with the whacked logic board (yes, I *do*, in fact, name all of my computers!). The replacement: it's a brand-spankin'-new MacBook... meet Metis.

I feel so spoiled having my own computer again!
I am so much more efficient at work-doing (read: knit-blogging)!

It seems like such an insignificant detail that I have yet to figure out how I am going to pay for this beaut'... it's just great to have a functioning computer again! The $details$ will just have to work themselves out!

Ear Fulla Culture.

Michael and I went to see the Philadelphia Orchestra perform last night at the Kimmel Center, which was absolutely astounding. We got free tickets through my school (wait, there are *advantages* to being a grad student?!), and we saw the Orchestra perform Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 with guest solo pianist Lang Lang and guest conductor Christoph Eschenbach. Lang Lang's performance on the piano was amazing--he had no sheet music in front of him for any of it; he simply played the nearly hour-long piece by memory. And with incredible ease, I might add. Then the Orchestra played Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5, which was also incredible. M and I are big Shostakovich fans, so we were thrilled. The Kimmel Center itself is an awesome piece of architecture well worth a gander, designed by architect Rafael Vinoly, who is particularly famous for his glass roofs. The interior of the main performance hall, the Verizon Hall also quite amazing. It was a great night. A little bit of culture now and again does a mind good.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Progressing like champs.

I have been sneaking in some stitches between piles and piles of teaching, reading, and working on prelims. Salina and Joy are both progressing; I am absolutely loving the Rowan felted tweed. It is by far my new fiber of choice. It is really wonderful to knit with... very springy and light, but still substantial enough to knit up relatively quickly. The Yorkshire tweed 4-ply is proving to be more challenging to work with... it is very finely spun, and I've noticed that there are places along the yarn that are especially thin, and when knit, the stitches are precariously held together. I am a little bit concerned that the sweater won't hold up well through many washings... that some of these delicate spots will easily unravel. Besides that concern, I love the small, delicate stitches of the Joy sweater.

The back panel of Salina is nearing completion. I really love the seed stitch ribbing at the bottom. It's a nice detail.

Detail of the seed stitch ribbing of Salina.

The left front panel of Joy. The bottom portion is done in seed stitch pattern... very time-consuming with this fine yarn!

Detail of the seed stitch bottom panel of Joy.

The left front panel of Joy, further along.

Detail of the seed stitch button placket of Joy.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Life in a Library.

Absence from knitbloggery has been forced upon me yet again by academia. I find that my life is once again dictated by the throes of grad school, and I again spend most of my time in the library. Things could be worse, I suppose, since the Archaeology library looks like this:

And my personal work space looks like this:

It's a nice atmosphere in which to do work - nice 10 foot high windows! - which is a necessity, since our research library is a non-circulating one... meaning no book can be checked out or removed from the library.

So, life these days consists of unending piles of book chapters and articles to read, prep work for teaching class (I'm teaching the intro-level course on Near Eastern and Egyptian Archaeology), and studying for preliminary exams for PhD candidacy. Notice that I have failed to mention knitting... despite my hectic school schedule, however, I am actually doing an adequate job finding time here and there to knit. No finished sweaters, yet, but slow and steady progress! Updates on the progress of Salina and Joy are on the way.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Salina and Joy Emerge.

Salina is progressing wonderfully. I've finished one of the sleeves and have just cast on the back. I've worked a few rows of the seed stitch ribbing of the back, and it is turning out lovely. This sweater pattern is so simple, yet it has some really nice details. I really love the seed stitch ribbing, cuffs, and collar. I absolutely love working with the Rowan felted tweed and I am so far very happy with the stitch quality of it. The colors are abosultely gorgeous and I really can't wait to finish this one and get it on me!

Some details of the yarn and stitching of Salina:

Joy is coming along as well, though not quite as quickly. Joy is knit on size 3 needles, while Salina is on size 5s (besides the seed stitch details, which are knit with 3s), so progress is a bit slower on Joy. I am in the middle of the first sleeve, and I really love the "Bristle" colorway of the yorkshire tweed 4-ply. It's going to be the perfect fall sweater!

Detail of the yarn and stitching of Joy:

Sunday, September 10, 2006

'Tis the Season for Punkin Ale Drinkin'

Delicious, delicious... my favorite fall-time brew accompanied by yummy organic baby pears locally harvested.

'Tis true... it IS the best pumpkin beer ever... Even the cat loves it!

In knitting news... the tweed is on!

I have aquired a small mountain of Rowan felted tweed in carbon (colorway #159). It will be transformed shortly into the Salina from Rowan Vintage Style. The yarn is gorgeous... beautiful deep charcoal with flecks of purplish-blues and rusty-oranges and whites.

I am simultaneously starting the Joy cardigan, also from Rowan Vintage Style, in Rowan yorkshire tweed 4-ply in Bristle (#278); both patterns by Kim Hargreaves. I am super-excited about working on this one, as it is such a perfect project for fall - warm and wooly and flecked full of fall color-goodness! I will surely have progress photos of both sweaters within the next few days.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Fall Line-Up.

No, not must-see-bad-TV, but rather my imminently upcoming knitting projects. Having bid adieu to my 2004 iBook G4, which showed no sign of recovery from a failed logic board, Michael gutted it for parts and we've successfully sold most of them on ebay, resulting miraculously in some money that has been reinvested in yarn. It's been a long while since I've invested in yarn (*Stash*? What is this mythical thing of which so many knitters speak?), so it's long overdue. Thus, the emergence of The Fall Line-Up:

Central Park Hoodie from Knitscene Fall 2006, using Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran in Darkside.

Salina from Rowan Vintage Knits, using Rowan Felted Tweed in Carbon.

The Union Square Market Pullover from IK Fall 2005, using Rowan 4 ply Soft in Military for the main color and Dove for the contrast color.

Joy from Rowan Vintage Knits, using Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4 ply in Bristle.

Lace Knee-Highs from IK Winter 2004, using Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4 ply in Sheer.

It's going to be a very Rowan-y, very tweedy fall (and winter!), indeed. And I, for one, can hardly wait. Stay tuned...