Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In Search of Spring

As much as I've enjoyed these last 3 months of winter, I can't wait for spring. Given that we have a good 2 more months of winter, Jill and I spent most of the morning doing this:

jill and seeds

We started the seeds for the culinary herb garden today. I specify culinary herb garden because there are many, many, seeds to be planted this year. Andrew and I have felt an incessant yearning for our homeland and have projected said feelings of homesickness into balcony agriculture. He plans on making a full vegetable container garden while I'm growing hundreds of specimens of southern medicinal root plants in my studio at school.

Even though we like fresh herbs in our food and we can always give extra plants to friends, I'm not sure what one does with 18 basil plants, 9 lemon balms, 9 rosemary bushes, or 9 thyme plants. Oh, and yes I did start 9 catnip plants and no, I'm not going to make any "jill insisted" jokes because I don't think I'd be able to recover from the amount of self-hatred that would cause.

I've also been knitting. School is really kicking my ass this semester so knitting has been very low key, straight foward stuff. I knit some more on Andrew's cardigan (no pictures), I knit a few more rows on the heel flap of my sock (can't slip stitches while I read). That leaves me to my go-to pattern, The Mistake Rib scarf.


I freaking love this scarf. I started it way back in the fall and put it down because I was mangling the yarn. Now that every molecule of moisture has left my skin and my hands resemble paper lanterns, it's coming along brilliantly. At 170 yds a ball, the unikat is rocking my face off. I think I might knit a hat with the second ball, then finish the scarf with whatever is left over.
And a close up:

Oh, and for this week's "Boy Makes Things. Sometimes Badly", I present:


Choclinics. Antibiotic chocolates.
Each one of these bad boys has 250mg of tetracyclene which can be used to clear up minor bacterial STDs and acne. I made them for a show on Valentines Day called "Unlucky at Love".

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Back to the Laboratory

It's official, my 18-month conceptual art hiatus is over. The past two weeks have been balls-to-the-wall in my little world. I'm not sure why I thought I would be able to knit sweater after sweater during my first year of grad school. Perhaps it was wishful thinking that I would be so organized and productive that the socks and sweaters and sculptures would just fall off my needles. I need not tell you, my faithful readers, that this has not been the case.

I have been knitting a little over the past few weeks. I knit the second sleeve for the zipped raglan and now everything is ready for the joining:


I'm nervous about this procedure because the body segment looks soooooo short. I knit it to the length of the XL size, but I'm terrified that it's going to hit just below my ribs. Unfortunatly, as soon as I join this sucker, there's no easy turn around. I may knit another inch to be safe.

I also allowed myself a 15 minute diversion the other day to knit the swatch for Scott (RYC Classic Winter).


The guage is a little loose for my taste, so I'm going to go down a needle size. I'm completely re-writing this pattern anyway, so gauge is no real issue. Most everyone on ravelry has said that steeking this bad boy ends up in disaster. I choose to cover my ears and say "lalalalalalala", 'cause there is no way on God's green earth that I'm knitting a fair isle raglan flat. Period. I will make it work. (be sure to tune in next time to see a young man, faced with adversity, learn from his mistakes and inflated sense of self confidence and become a better knitter for it).

I spent the day outside (in the balmy 1 degree F and -20 wind chill) building a snow retort. Before the age of the Frigidare, one method alchemists used to distill laboratory alcohol was by burying flasks of wine in the snow. Water and alcohol freeze at different temperatures so the flasks would be turned upside down and the alcohol would be drained and collected, leaving the frozen water behind in the flask.



The more you know