Monday, December 04, 2006

Some knitting, some writing, and another FO

Last week I hoped to get a lot of movie review writing done at work, but you know what they say about the best laid plans. With this week bringing a brutal slate of screenings and a show taping, for which finishing my writing is kind of critical, I knew that this weekend was not going to be a time of rest and relaxation. I was in the office most of Friday, something that is highly unusual when classes are in session and unheard of when they're not. This was not a good start.

I permitted myself a break to slip out and buy some more yarn, time that substituted for lunch even if it was at two in the afternoon. I wanted to finish the medium blue scarf over the weekend, but doing so would mean I'd only have yarn for projects I couldn't start because I'm not up to speed on purling or knitting with circular needles.

Conscious of maximizing time in the cramped afternoon, I went to The Yarn Shop to purchase yarn for Kristin's scarf. I knew what I wanted to get, so even though it wasn't exactly in the neighborhood, I could pop in, get the yarn, and zip back to the office.

I should mention that Kristin is aware that I'm making the scarf, so I'm not spoiling any potential surprise by writing about it here. (I will be cautious with details and photos to preserve the final reveal, though.) I felt that it was the least I could do as a friend and for all of her help teaching me to knit. I expected that she might tell me I didn't need to knit a scarf for her, but I preempted any possible objections. I didn't know what she might like or might already have, so I told her I'd work with the yarn of her choice. I had something in mind. Since she left it up to me, that's what I'm going to use.

OK, back to Friday... Having been holed up in my basement office, I was unprepared for the arctic blast of wind. (The weather has been very unpredictable. Two days prior I didn't need a coat during the day.) Who needs a scarf? I need a scarf.

I considered stopping by JoAnn's to buy a row counter in the event that I started working on the scarf with the pattern, but I could feel the weight of the clock and how making two stops would be pressing my luck. I arrived at the LYS and discovered that all of the lights were off except for two lonely tracks, one near the center of the store and one on the righthand side. Light flooded in through the front windows, but the yarn I wanted was cloaked in darkness at the back of the shop. I don't know what the problem was. The power wasn't out.

I was considering getting two of three available shades of the same color, so I had to take the skeins to an illuminated area of the shop to see how they looked together. I went with my first instinct, paid for the yarn, and was on my way.

That night I got together with some people to help send off a friend before he moved to Seattle. I returned home to watch the Blue Jackets game and knit. The scarf's scar mocked me, but I was undeterred in continuing work on my ninth project.

As I've mentioned, I needed to write this weekend. I thought I'd knit for awhile on Saturday and then go about the addressing the four movie reviews I had to finish for the show, two others I wanted to crank out as web-only exclusives, and the game review I owe Kristin for Nights and That's a tall order, and trust me, I held no illusions of writing all that between Saturday and Sunday.

I finished the first skein of Patons Shetland Chunky and measured the scarf. It was around three feet long, so I had about sixty percent finished. I knew about how much I was knitting per hour, so I calculated that it was possible to complete this scarf on Saturday if I wanted to make the effort. I really didn't feel like writing, which was not good considering what lay ahead for the weekend. Forcing the words to come wouldn't get me anywhere, so I declared Saturday a day for knitting and Sunday a day for writing.

I joined skeins and knitted a few rows before I had to leave to keep stats for a women's college basketball game. I don't recall if I've mentioned this before, but I've been the official statistician at home football games and men's and women's basketball games for several years. I work at the college and make a few extra bucks doing this on side.

As the football season was drawing to a close, a couple weeks into my life as a knitter, I decided that I had no desire to continue doing stats. For basketball it's two nights--or a night and an afternoon if the women play on Saturday--out of the week from December through February. The additional money is nice, but reclaiming some time felt more valuable. I like going to the games but didn't think I could take another season of statting every home game. I told the sports information director that I could fill in from time to time but that I didn't want to be the number one guy.

So where was I for the first home game of the season? Yes, back at my perch in the press box. The SID wanted to go to the men's away game because his son attends the opposing school, so I agreed to help in spite of how I'd rather have the spent those couple hours. It's a good thing I pulled the plug on keeping stats for the season because in the second half I felt the creeping aggravation of being there. I'm good at doing it, but it's not worth the chump change. I'd rather be knitting. Not that you'll get any sense of what I did, but here's my handiwork from the game.

After the game I hopped over to JoAnn's with a 50% off coupon to buy a row counter. I've talked about my preference for the Dublin store over the Polaris location, and this trip confirmed my feelings. The Polaris employees must scatter when I walk in the door because I couldn't find anyone to help me turn up what I came to get. I looked and looked and looked. Finally I saw what I thought was the right thing. There was only one available, and it was shielded from view by some other products. At least cashiers were working all the registers, which has not been my normal experience there.

I settled in for that night's Blue Jackets game and some knitting. When all was said and done for the evening, Columbus had a win, and I had another FO. I wish the bad row wasn't visible on one side, but otherwise I think it looks fine. Here's to my first scarf knitted on 10s!

Although the problem area is on the underside, the eagle-eyed reader might be able to spot the corresponding area on the lefthand side.

Sunday was designated as writing day, but truthfully, I was not confident. I had to oversee the live telecast and taping of the Christmas parade and knew I'd be sapped of energy afterwards. I feel like I have the Christmas spirit this year more than any in recent memory. Credit the knitting. I haven't decorated, but I'm thinking about getting a few lights for the apartment. Such seasonal spirit does not extend to the Christmas parade. They say everyone loves a parade. Something must have been lost in translation. Everyone loathes a parade is a sentiment I'm in agreement with.

Granted, I have reason to feel that way. I'm not thrilled about having to work the 4th of July parade every year, and the Christmas parade is more trouble than it's worth even if it is a good service for us to provide the viewing public.

Set-up went quickly. With plenty of time for everyone to break for lunch, I walked home and knocked out a review of Deck the Halls. I felt a little better with one out of the way. The cold weather spurred the parade participants to walk a little faster, and in no time it was over. I showered to shake off the cold and then wrote up a takedown of Bobby in about an hour. One major benefit of writing regularly, something this blog has been a big assist in doing, is that it flows more easily.

I was due for a nap. When I got up it was back to the grindstone and wrestling with a Deja Vu review. It took longer than I would have liked, but nevertheless I had finished three reviews in a relatively short period of time. I took a break to watch The Amazing Race and then parked myself in front of the computer again to review For Your Consideration. Just like that I had four reviews posted to my site, one of which I also sent Kristin's direction, and would only have to trim them for TV purposes.

All this writing meant that Sunday knitting was extremely limited, which we know never goes right anyway. I looked at a few websites to try and figure out how to purl, but it didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. You do what? And then what? Huh?

There will time for messing with that or starting Kristin's scarf today. There are screenings in the morning and evening, but my Sunday writing extravaganza means I've earned the option of not going to the office. You better believe I'll be exercising it.

Next...what will the next project be?


At 4:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blue scarf looks great. I bought my first row counter this week - after years of making notes on little bits of paper to keep track, and cannot get over how much easier it it. You'll love using it.
You need to be careful, knitting will trap you in the house if you're not careful...I got annoyed this weekend when I had to put my knitting down at a crucical point and leave the house. Hermits in the making...

At 5:58 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

another fabulous FO! and i agree w/ ruth...the row counter is a good buy for sure. i have several and use them all the time w/ patterns.

At 9:39 AM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

I'm not too worried about knitting trapping me in the house. For instance, I think there are nine screenings on the schedule this week alone. I can see how it can make one content to stay home, though. I've needed to do a little more of that anyway.

Two row counters, a little one and a bigger one, came in the package. I'm not sure where they go, but with the coupon, they cost around $1.50, so it was a good buy.

And of course, thanks as always for the kind words about my latest FO.

And thanks for making it through that enormo-entry. :)


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