Friday, February 23, 2007

New Car

So, for ten years, I drove this:

1991 Honda Civic DX. No air. Crank windows. The radio only worked on one speaker. The open-door light went on and off. On cold mornings I had to whack the dash five or six times to get the dashboard lights to go on. AM/FM cassette player. Visor held up with velcro. No heat. Hole in an exhaust pipe. Squeaking brakes. Body rusted through in several spots. This picture makes him look good.
Pretty much of an embarassment to drive around in.
But it always started (except around Christmas time, when I finally had to replace the original battery), and it always got me where I was going. And it got 36 miles to the gallon. The occasional exhaust system and oil changes were about all I ever had to pay for. I jump-started at least four other cars with it. I went into the ditch three times in this car (only had to be towed out once). And it had the best bright lights ever. But it was time to say good-bye to old Whitey, aka Rusty. Times change, and the cars must change with it.
Hello, new car (yet to be named):

2003 Honda Civic LX with only 25,000 miles. Air. Power windows/locks. Cd player. Cup holders! Cruise control. A little thingy to hold your gas cap so you don't have to put it on the car. The dome light turns on when you take the key out of the ignition. Tachometer. 2 trip odometers. Air bags. I can safely drive around town without dying of embarassment. I will be able to wash it. Rusty hadn't been washed in a few years due to the amount of rust left on the driveway afterwards. It's a total car makeover. Too bad it had to be beige.

And too bad I'll have to make a car payment. Good thing I've got a big stash!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Still Alive and Knitting

Yes, it's true, I still knit. And I even finish some things on occasion:

A Cardigan for Arwen, from Interweave Knits Winter 2006.
Knit in Knit Picks Andean Silk. Alpaca/silk/wool. Color: Pool. In real life the color is a smidge greener and duller.

A detail of what made me knit it: Reversible cables! What in a normal cable would be the reverse stockinette background is really the purl-side crossing of the cable on the reverse. It's genius. Particularly challenging was grafting the cables on the cuffs (didn't get it quite right on the reverse) and the midpoint of the hood (perfection on the third try). It didn't help much that the instructions were somewhat vague, and in fact, wrong for the hood. But, through the magic of the Internet, I was able to find out how to achieve the desired effect. (Stop on Row 5 of the second side of the hood, not Row 6.)

And, as is my usual custom, I knit the sleeves too long. In this case, it's particularly galling as I originally knit the first sleeve shorter, but after trying it on, discovering the sleeve was much too skinny (note to Kate Gilbert: people choosing 49" bust sizes probably don't have 13.5 " upper arms!), I ripped it out and widened it. Since the sleeves are knit the long way, this meant adding more short rows. I now love short rows. They are not to be feared! Anyway, as I tried on my first too-skinny sleeve, I decided that it was also too short. This was a mistake, as I was measuring it as though it were a set-in sleeve. But it's a drop-shoulder design, which I have never made before. The drop shoulder added at least three inches to the length of the dang sleeve. Arggg!

Other than the sleeves, which really don't look bad cuffed due to the reversible cable, I love my sweater. The rest of it fits well. I lengthened it from the original design. It's a color I don't wear often, as I shy away from blue, but it really is a good color for me. And the Andean Silk is soft and warm. I am a little concerned about shedding, as I had many blue hairs all over me as I knit it, but perhaps now that it has been washed it won't shed much. Pilling might also be an issue. We'll see.

And I have a few works in progress:

Two-color Brioche Hat for my mom, in Naturally Merino Fine. She prefers the pink side. I like the gray, but hey, it's her hat. I will have to do a bit of experimenting when I get to the decreases, because I swatched with the gray side being the RS and I only know how to decrease properly on the RS. It'll all work out in the end, I'm sure.

Trekking 108 socks. No real pattern, short-row heel and toe and a 6x2 rib. It's suffering from second-sock syndrome, but I suppose I'll get back to it soon.

Danica Scarf from Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Brush, and a bit of my handspun for accent. My first foray into entrelac, which is really quite easy and fun. I'm almost done, but I've been putting off finishing because of this:

That's a lot of frickin ends to weave in! Complete disincentive to finish!

Well, that's it for the update, except: It's been 47 days since I bought yarn. For myself, I mean. Yarn for other people doesn't count!