Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The striped scarf

I have a new favorite of the scarves I've knitted.

This striped scarf turned out fantastic. I know it wasn't that complicated to make, but it matches what I envisioned. Seeing it finished wasn't the perfect capper to Monday, but it made me feel somewhat better.

I'm pretty sure that one of the reasons why I almost knitted the whole thing on Sunday was because I was stressing out over everything this week and what I hadn't finished last week. There was also the added bonus of conflict with my neighbors, which I'm hoping doesn't turn into an all-out war.

I live in a building with four apartments. The walls are relatively thin, so noise can be an issue from time to time. I like it to be quieter, but I accept that I can't expect perfect silence. Until last year no college students lived here. Four moved into the apartment below me last year, and two moved in the available space next to me. My downstairs neighbors were loud on a regular basis, and I didn't miss them at all when they moved out, even if they were replaced by three college guys who can generate a fair amount of noise. My upstairs neighbors were fine, save for a couple occasions when they were ridiculously loud into the early hours.

That's changed. One of the tenants moved out. The new roommate must have brought a stereo system because it's been a regular occurrence for me to hear and feel what they're listening to. There's also the bonus of hearing them yell and sing along...often past 2 a.m. Weeknights, weekends, doesn't matter.

The last thing I want to do at home is play RA, especially with an apartment full of drunk and/or high college students, one or two of whom I have worked with in the past. After holding off on saying anything for a long time, I mentioned the noise to my landlord, who's been good about addressing this sort of thing. He dropped off a note on Sunday. Apparently it didn't sit too well with these students because last night they would periodically yell something to the effect of "I hope this isn't too loud", an obvious attempt at provoking me. I also heard a lot of late night door slamming and other bumps. I'm hoping they got it out of their system, but I must say that it really put me on edge.

I was already on the verge of cracking. The last week, if not the last month, may be catching up with me. I felt physically and mentally exhausted and just wanted to lay down and watch some television. Adding my neighbors' hostility to the mix was about more than I could handle.

The girl stomped out and left for awhile, which meant it was quiet while I finished knitting the striped scarf. It helped ease my nerves, but their reaction and behavior bothers me. It shouldn't. I've done nothing wrong and showed a lot more patience before "tattling" than I think a lot of people would. (Hearing the noise every night for a week straight was the last straw, and this was after putting up with it a couple nights a week for a few months.)

So knitting was a refuge, even if I felt worn out. I wasn't pleased to encounter a knotted clump of yarn as I was halfway through my last white stripe. I was in no mood to try to untangle it, so I cut it, pulled out what I thought would be enough for what I needed, and knitted on.

With my basketweave scarf Kristin noticed that I was binding off too tightly. I tried to do it more loosely on this scarf. I can see the difference it makes.

I'm down to two projects to complete before Christmas. One is for Kristin, and one is for me. I've made some changes to what I was going to knit for Kristin. I'm excited to see how it will look. I know what I want to make for myself, but I have to narrow down the options from Knit Picks and get an order placed.

Sorry to go on and on about my immature, inconsiderate neighbors. Knitting has made me feel more generous and relaxed, so I hate it when these kids make me feel as thin-skinned and misanthropic as I did last night.

Next...to be determined.


At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh man...noisy neighbors are the worst! we live on the first floor of a triple and when we first moved in, the girls upstairs would party every friday and saturday night until the wee hours. then we all became friends and the house was like one big family, until the 3rd flr tenant moved and a younger girl moved in and created tons of noisy drama for the house. we had to "tell" on her to our landlord, who is also the 2nd flr tenants step-dad, and after a couple warnings, things calmed down.

i hope things calm down and the noisemakers grow up for your sake and theirs.

on to better things...the scarf looks incredible!!!!!! if u find it tough to bind off loose enough, try using a larger needle when you bind off...that helped me in the past and now i can do it w/ no problem using the same size needles that i knitted the project on.

At 11:26 PM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

Whether they like it or not, I'm hoping that the warning the landlord gave them will sink in. Sorry kids, this isn't a sorority or fraternity house. One thing I've noticed working with college students is they have no sense of volume, even when they're in a working environment.

As always, thanks for the compliment (and exclamation points) about the scarf. I'm sort of amazed that I made something that looks this good.

Interesting idea for loosening up when binding off. I assume you mean knitting onto a larger needle and not transferring the last row onto a larger needle also. I might have to try that, although I think the main problem is that I have been wrapping too tightly.

At 3:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The scarf looks really great. I can't get over how good you've become in such a short amount of time.

Sorry your neigbours suck, I've been there. Hopefully they will take heed of the warning, though they sound more like highschool students than college in their behaviour.

I always knew when things were bad at work - even before it reached out of my subconscious because I became a knitting demon. It's great for focusing on other things and de-stressing.

At 9:12 AM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

I'm finding that learning to knit is one of the smartest things I've done all year. You're right that it pulls your focus away from all the stressful things. Maybe that's why I've done so much knitting since I started. :)


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