Friday, September 23, 2011

Cool Pool

Hi all, posting again! I couldn't deny the requests for pool photos and so here she is. Please imagine me chillaxin' in the lounge chair, wearing something breezy.

Perhaps you're feeling a little bit jealous? You can almost smell the wisteria and subtle scents from the other beautiful plantings? You can hear the laughter and the splashing? You can taste the fun? Worry no more, jealousy does not need to inhabit your world. It is COLD baby, no one but the stupid chipmunks are getting in the pool.

And they get in quite regularly. At first I was thinking we should leave lights on at night so that they wouldn't stumble in during the dark hours. Turns out they go in during the day, just too busy gathering food to notice the drop-off to the pool of doom. We'll be closing the pool next weekend, to reopen around Memorial Day. And then perhaps you can let in a smidge of jealousy. Alternatively, you can come visit and enjoy it yourself.

What, you came here for knitting content? (right, I'm sure you're all super interested in my knitting).  In the knitting world there is lore of the boyfriend curse. Knit him a sweater and he will quickly find the door, a hat and he'll defenestrate (jump out the window). I've felt some guilt over the years for not knitting up a little something for Ken, I should at least sometimes pretend this is not an entirely selfish hobby. But there is the curse, and the fact that Ken doesn't wear sweaters or hats or scarves. Still, after me hounding him some he said he could maybe see using some fingerless mitts and hopefully showed me a picture of what he thought he might like. I got my hands on some nice sock yarn and went to work. Verdict?

There was no defenestration. However, you might note that is not a man's hand in the glove. "Too itchy" claims Ken. Phew, divorce avoided.

The specs: Hedgerow Mitts by Amy Ripton. Shibui sock, 1.5 skeins of "seaweed."

This was an uncomplicated pattern, I may well do it again in a less itchy yarn. I'm not a big fan of pooling but the effect here is moderate enough not to be a bother. I'm thinking Michigan autumn soccer momming might require mitts such as these and so in all it is a happy knit.

Happy Friday all.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday, Really

I'm starting to settle in a little here in Portage. Two weeks ago today we met the movers at the new house. I felt so bad for them, with the heat index it was over 100 degrees.

I'm always hopeful to not be materialistic but a move from Seattle to Michigan has made it impossible to ignore our ability to fill 2/3 of a semi-truck with our material accumulation. Looking about in the morning the house felt fresh and like a new start in many ways.

This is much like my own position, fresh and new to this area. Not knowing anyone here allows a certain kind of freedom to invent myself anew with whomever I meet. Stripping me of friends and most of my family has made me oddly focused on who I am. Am I anything in particular when removed from all that is familiar?

The last couple of weeks have involved lots of unpacking. There are many boxes yet to unpack, and some missing items I'm hopeful to find soon. An odd item is on the top of that list - Henry's hamper. It's on the top of the list because I'm moderately concerned that it has dirty clothes in it.

There have been a good number of garbage bags filled since our arrival and some contemplation about why useless items have been held onto for so darn long. Just before we left Seattle, Ken made yet another run to the transfer station, 500 pounds! Okay, some of that was concrete. Still, I spent many hours last summer taking items out of the garage. Two summers ago I emptied the garage of 60+ boxes of books. And still that editing job is not done.

We have all been enjoying the new house (and pool). The kids are adjusting to school and making new friends. They trotted off to school on the first day with smiles and some nervousness.

Day two was harder by far with wet cheeks and cries about having no friends and really missing John Rogers Elementary. Day three complaints were limited to having to walk to school. A couple of days ago there was a complaint about the length of the school day (8:25a to 3:46p). As anticipated, the kids have made an easy adjustment. Us grown-ups are doing pretty well too. Ken has been enjoying the welcome at Kellogg, and is quickly adjusting to not thinking about billable hours. I've been busy with all-things-house and getting to know our surroundings.


This would hardly be a post by me without some kind of knitting related item. This is my Ithaca hoodie, named that because I bought the yarn when in Ithaca several years ago.


Pattern: Varese Hoodie by Connie Chang Chinchio
Yarn: Venezia Worsted.

The pattern calls for pockets on the front, which I tried multiple times to knit. The instructions were confusing and so I abandoned the pockets. I think this yarn is lovely but doesn't have enough structure to sustain a pocket so it's just as well.

I like the idea of a hood, but most of the time a hood is down which means you are mostly looking at reverse stockinette, which isn't as pleasing to the eye as stockinette. Garter stitch is time consuming but a hoodie in garter makes sense to me because the hood when down would match the rest of the sweater.

This profile shows the inevitable ride-up of the front of the sweater. I thought short rows wouldn't be necessary this time but I think I should just always add them in, after all the money and time it is worth that extra effort to have it fit well, right?

The Venezia is nice to work with and has a great drape. I think it would lend itself best to a more fitted pattern and/or a pattern with more lace.

Signing off, hope you all (you know, the three of you who are going to read this) have a fabulous weekend. Jenn