25 July 2011

the necessity of daydreams

I freely confess to being a daydreamer. It comes with being an introvert. The world inside my head is just too fascinating to stay out of. This can make me appear absent-minded to those around me, and it also means that if I've been quite for a long time, I may not hear the entirety of what you say to me the first time you say it.

Minor problems aside, it means that it's hard to be bored. Granted, I carry knitting everywhere with me, so staving off boredom isn't a problem (knitting + daydreams is a fantastic combo--then you really have to repeat yourself to get my attention). It's a good way to help myself fall asleep: I just tell myself stories and eventually I drift off.

I can't remember how long I've been telling myself stories, but it's been most of my life. Sometimes I re-live books I've read in my head, but more often I work through stories I've made up, either possibilities for life or possibilities for written stories. If I'm having troubles with a character, I put them into new scenes and hope that'll do the trick.

The story-telling doesn't stop with my daydreams, or with my writing. I love to tell stories to people. My mother's family tells stories whenever they get together (a memorable Easter included 3 people telling the same story from different perspectives all at the same time), and I've just sort of picked that up. It used to embarrass me--my mom would tell stories about me to my teachers or my friends and I'd be standing there rolling my eyes. Now I don't mind so much. If/when I have children, I'll probably embarrass them the same way.

But that's a bit off the path for what I'm attempting to articulate here. I suppose it's that I think stories are essential to the human experience. I realize that not everyone may feel this way, but story-telling is so deeply entrenched in so many human cultures that it's almost inavoidable. Our culture's version of story-telling made up of books and movies and television shows and computer games (the storyline for Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 is surprisingly interesting). My daydreams are just one form that stories can take. They are one of my responses to my need to explain the world around me.

21 July 2011

sweater update

The octopus-shaped sweater is coming on apace. I'm working on the part of the body where you get to knit the front and the back at the same time. Fortunately this very long row only lasts for one repeat of the lace pattern (okay, 24 rows. I'm currently somewhere around row 10) before you divide for the front and the back.

Cutting into my sweater-knitting time is a purse sock. I started it on Saturday, when we were going to be spending much time on the bus (visit to Vancouver and Lonsdale Quay), and I didn't want something large, like the sweater, with me.

I like purse socks. A purse sock is a sock that fits into my purse (the back pocket is reserved for knitterly objects), and preferably is not too complicated. A purse sock may have charts, but it's easier if it doesn't. This purse sock is a plain, top-down, stockinette sock made from self-striping yarn. I can do a plain, toe-up, stockinette sock from memory (for a given stitch count, granted, but working on that), and now it turns out that I can remember how to do a top-down sock heel from memory, too (yes, I only carry it in my purse, so I only work on it on the bus, at the bus stop, and occasionally at school, and I'm already past the heel).

Once upon a time I thought stockinette socks were boring. I've changed my mind. They don't capture my fancy like the intricate ones do, but their simplicity is not boring. It's soothing. Relaxing. I can think about other stuff and knit them at the same time. This will help me fulfill my quest to replace all my store-bought socks with handknit ones. I'm getting there.

But tonight at knit night, I will be knitting on the sweater. I have a deadline (the 31st, before midnight).

14 July 2011

it may be an octopus

In the words of a friend who recently saw me working on this: "WHAT are you knitting?"

Contrary to appearances, it is not part of an octopus, nor is it a fancy, lacy loincloth. It will be a sweater when it is complete. This is only half of it, minus the bottom ribbing and the button bands, of course.

This, of course, is what happens when, after mulling over the sweater patterns in the latest Interweave Knits, I finally decide that I actually want to knit at least one of the sweaters in the book, and this coincides with my getting a sweater's worth of yarn in the guild swap (I also came home with a lot more sock yarn). In the normal way of things, I don't really want to knit sweaters out of Interweave. I'm more interested in their hat and sock patterns, and I lean towards independent designers when it comes to sweater patterns.

This issue, however, I came to the conclusion that I would like to knit at least two of the sweater patterns in the magazine, which is unprecedented for me (not that I've knit that many sweaters). So the Adriatic Cardi and the Coral Cardigan got added to my queue (coincidentally, I actually had the yarn for knitting them).

This is the Adriatic Cardi. The unusual construction caught my eye, as did the simplicity of the finished product. It's captured my fancy enough that my plan is to finish it before the end of the month so I can submit it as this month's homework for the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup group on Ravelry (why, yes, I am a geek, how nice of you to notice). I'm going for a yardage bonus, plus extra effort for the fact that once the sweater is done, I'm overdyeing it so it'll be a nice shade of green, instead of the more blah beigey-brown (in an attempt both to knit a sweater more quickly than usual, and to live up to the name of Ravenclaw). Basically, this is the only thing I've been knitting for the last two weeks, except for the occasional round on the sock in my purse.

I'm looking forward to the day, hopefully in about a week and a half, when I can sew the seams so it'll turn into something that resembles a sweater. Also, blocking it will make it look like a sweater for me, not a cardigan for a lamp post.

01 July 2011

We have been without internet at home for the last week, which is why I haven't gotten around to posting anything this week. We're still waiting for the new modem to arrive, since the old one died (the green lights turned red and it refused to acknowledge our internet connection). The complexities of modern life are making me feel like a spoiled child whose toy has been taken away. "But I want the internet!"

I can use the internet at school, so I can do some things there, but it feels frivolous to be doing much more than checking my email there for some reason. Maybe because it's my workplace. Most of my fellow students don't feel that way, and happily check facebook and play goofy online games in-between checking their email and working on homework. Right now I'm at the Starbucks around the corner from my home, drinking chai and using their internet. It feels okay to be checking Ravelry, etc here.

Irritation aside, there are some nice things about being internet-less. There are fewer things to distract me (not that I cease to be distracted, of course. It's a good thing I'm not ADD or I'd never get things done). There are things I've missed, of course. Like webcomics. Maybe I am just frivolous.