Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Day Five: The laps are getting longer

Well, it's day five of the winter olympics and the games are forging onward. The men's figure skating short program is in the books and Yevgeny Plushenko is already 10 huge points ahead of the rest of the pack. No surprise there. And Bodacious Bode Miller bombed out in the men's combined. Hey, it must be hard to keep those skis together flying downhill on ice, swatting at giant flies, uh oh flags, as you go. For Bode a big slice of humble pie must be even harder to swallow. At least the other brat on the US team, Johnny Weir, skated beautifully last night. They both could use some lessons on how to be gracious and grateful for being olympians. They didn't get to Torino all by themselves. A lot of other people worked hard and sacrificed much for those 2 boys. Too bad their behavior so disrespectful of this fact. I have a hard time stomaching disrespectful people.

OK, enough editorializing. On to knitting! My Tuesdays are spent on campus (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) working towards getting a dissertation done. The phenomenology research group meets at the College of Nursing on Tuesday afternoons. It's a diverse group of students, faculty, and folks from the community and the research projects generated out of the group are fascinating. We've examined everything from the experience of being an elite athlete, to owning large tracts of forest land, to obtaining religious education for disabled children, being a minority student on campus, or being the parent of a child with an eating disorder. Let's just say the dialogue is never boring. But sitting in a room and focusing on the topic at hand and not how much my body hurts is often difficult for me. I get very restless and wiggle like a toddler in church. My therapist helped me solve the problem though, and now I knit during research group meetings. As long as my hands are busy creating my mind focuses in on my work with shocking clarity. Heck, I've even started knitting in church. I wiggle much less and I get so much more out of the meetings.

I didn't bring Kiri with me to group as I figured it required more concentration than I can offer to avoid mistakes. Frogging lace is not fun and I haven't placed any lifelines, so a major mistake would be lethal at this point. I've worked on a simple lace scarf in group, but I usually knit socks as they are easy and very portable. I finished another sock, so I now have 4 pairs of handknit socks. This pair was a simple ribbed top anklet out of Knit Picks Parade. I finally succeeded in knitting a well-fitting pair. My 1st pair was a little long in the foot, the 2nd was even longer, and the 3rd pair was only a little long and too big all around the way around. I learned that pure merino socks don't have the same stretchy resilience that the blended yarns have. No matter though, as I wear them all.

My shawl is getter bigger, but the rows are getting so long! I'm not really used to working with addi-turbos, having a preference for bamboo for much of what I knit. I've had to make changes in the way I grip the needles and the way I throw the yarn in order to maintain an even tension and not have the slippery suckers slide right out of the stitches. The difference is most noticeable at the beginning of rows and on the wrong side rows which are purled. It's quite fascinating to analyze the tiny differences in motion when purling on the addis and on my usual bamboos. Last night, when I was quite tired after being at the University all afternoon, my arm was hurting after only one purl row. I opted to not push my luck, so I knit one more lace row and called it quits for the night. That is until I woke up at 1AM and couldn't sleep. I picked up Kiri and finished knitting another repeat.

I'm up to seven repeats now and I've only had one spot where I ran into trouble and had to tink and repair. I dropped a stitch at a k2tog at the base of a leaf and had to take a crochet hook to go down a couple of rows and reclaim the lost stitch. Once repaired, the k2tog ended up looking more like a ssk so the edge of the leaf doesn't have that perfect line. Of course it was 2 more long rows done before I realized the repair wasn't perfect. Without a lifeline I really couldn't safely frog and tinking back 440+ stitches was not my idea of fun either. So at 2AM this morning I convinced myself that the problem was only a minor cosmetic one, and wouldn't even be noticeable to anyone except me. I have given up my perfectionistic ways--one side effect of having a disabling health condition. My knitting doesn't have to be perfect. I don't want big flaws, but a little zit here and there is ok. After all, acne happens!

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