Friday, September 7, 2007

Friday Odds and Ends

I've deviated a bit from the knitting news in the last few posts, mostly because there's nothing that exciting going on. The Seafoam Stitch scarf proceeds, and I've almost finished the second skein - I think I'll knit 2.5 skeins worth, and then add a substantial fringe to it. (Ben and I are rewatching Season 4 of the West Wing, and this has been very good for my knitting productivity.) I'm contemplating mixing fibers on the fringe - maybe adding some silk embroidery floss (not divided) in different shades of pink, or perhaps some beads, but we'll see how ambitious I get.

An idea for a shrug has been percolating for a while, and I think I'm getting close. I liked the construction technique Iris used in her Jellyfish pattern, but knitting it all in one direction like that would drive me crazy, I think. (The pattern on the sleeves wouldn't be symmetric.) So I was thinking of knitting something similar: cast the back on, increase at each end, divide for the bits at the top, then pick up each sleeve from each edge and knit from there. It would still avoid most of the seaming, and the sleeves would match better. I want to use the 50/50 silk/merino blend I bought at the LYS sale a few months ago, but I'm not sure if my 3 balls of worsted weight could be stretched into a shrug. I'm thinking lace on size 12 needles or something.

Oh! Here's a cool news story: a seventh-grade schoolteacher takes pictures in space. For some reason, this really got me thinking about the whole Web 2.0 cultural revolution, which has made it so ordinary for ordinary people to do extraordinary things, like write an encyclopedia or, you know, publish a blog. It still blows my mind sometimes, how incredibly interconnected our knowledge base is becoming. Even with something as admittedly low-tech as knitting: people have been doing this for thousands of years, but now, instead of having to apprentice myself to a knitting guild master, I can read a bunch of blogs and instructions that generous people have shared and teach myself. Of course, launching a weather balloon and taking photographs isn't quite the same thing, but I think the ambition to do so is rooted in the same gestalt that's been building over the last decade: it's no longer exclusively the fashion houses and the publishing companies and the aerospace engineering firms that are setting the trends and furthering the accomplishments of science, it's us. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It's a pretty amazing societal change, and I'm glad I've gotten to be around to watch it start.

On a less navel-gazing note, Ben and I are off to the Killers' concert this evening, downtown at the Wolstein Center. I'm looking forward to seeing them perform. I'll also probably do another book log post this weekend. (I made the mistake of starting The Kindness of Strangers last night at 11:30, and I couldn't sleep fall asleep until I finished it. At, oh, about 4:30 this morning.) But I think my pizza dough is ready to be punched down and shaped, so... that's it for now.

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