03 May 2011

where did April go?

April wasn't a good knitting month. The first couple weeks were taken up with finishing papers for school and then marking the last few assignments that came in. There were some days of me panicking about schoolwork, freaking out about the work I have to do over the summer, and being anxious about my schedule change.

The last couple weeks vanished somehow into a vortex where I caught up on sleep (as I caught a nasty cold just before mid-month; I attended a final accompanied by a box of tissues), and read books. I love to read and I always make time for reading, even during the busiest parts of the term, but after I finished my final, I stopped at the library on the way home. I spent the rest of the day in bed, sniffling, coughing, drinking tea to soothe my throat, and reading.

I did some spring cleaning. We hosted Easter dinner at our place. I went to UBC with a friend and did some research (and I have to head back there next week to return books). I'm in the process of settling into a routine where I work on my thesis in the morning and then clean and do other stuff in the afternoon.

The thesis is slowly taking shape. I have a new outline, new sources to look for, and a much clearer idea of where I'm headed. There's a rough draft of the proposal in the works, too. It's going to be a lot of work. I find myself reading articles, checking their reference lists, and adding the odd source to my list of things to find and read. Part of me wonders if I'm ever going to finish it, but the rest of me hopes that I'll have it pretty much complete by the end of the summer.

The knitting, as I said, has been happening slowly. I finished a potholder on Sunday. Tonight I'll finally finish a pair of socks for my grandmother. I'm nearly done with the back of a sweater I started in February. Only two fronts and two sleeves to go! I also started crocheting a lap blanket as a gift for someone, but that's not done yet. I know crochet's faster, but I have a harder time counting my stitches in crochet.

In addition to that, I have two sweaters and a poncho to finish frogging. I picked up a light tan cashmere sweater a while back and had taken it apart but hadn't finished frogging it. Since it's lace-weight, I was going to ply it on the wheel so it would be a fingering weight, and then overdye it. The second sweater is a teal cotton, picked because this pattern I want to knit was designed for cotton yarn. The poncho is red linen and it is unraveling beautifully. Simple seams. Gotta love them. With the cashmere, there's figuring out how to take off the pockets, and how to undo the seams as carefully as possible, and with the cotton, there's figuring out how the collar was put on, since it needs to come off before the shoulder seams can be undone. The poncho, in comparison, is easy. The seams were sewn with thread, not with the yarn itself, and the yarn unravels very nicely.

With my spinning, things were at nearly a standstill last month. I have to finish spinning what's on the wheel right now, I have silk roving on my top-whorl spindle, and silk hankies that will need plying on my takhli. I'm thinking about spinning the camel roving on my Turkish spindle, but I think it's going to stay in its bag for now, until I get some of the other stuff done.

In the meantime, I should probably finish the last four rows on those socks.

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