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


Mel said...

I can't comment too much on Scott (the pattern, not my bastard ex) since I haven't knit it, but the only real concern with the steek should be the bulk of the yarn. Alice Starmore's technique is to trim the steek back after you've picked up stitches, so you can actually make it wider initially and then trim to size. This should minimize any worries there might be about it coming apart, since the fabric won't tend to ravel horizontally for more than a stitch or two and you can then stitch it down in sections as you trim.

The_Add_Knitter said...

I experience the same 'is it long enough' anxiety regarding attaching the sleeves to the body, but weirdly it always works out...balls to the wall, love that expression!

DeanB said...

Wind chill won't help the snow retort, but cold nights will. I've had a strange texture of ice when I've tried that. The person who told me about it was making applejack and said that the season cooperated with it -- as the weather got colder and colder more and more of the water would freeze out. Best thing is, if it's going to be cold, take advantage of it.

KnitXcorE said...

i sorta have to block me sweaters every now and then to make them longer. lol. be careful :-)

Scott? eh???? i love the pattern, but sort of fear it.

guess i can't go bury my wine if the fridge breaks!
i'd be extremely pissed is the was cold water in plce of my merlot.

kim said...

I really like the Scott swatch, that yarn looks yum.