Weekend Update

I hope you're weekend is going well.

I had a somewhat less than productive day yesterday, there were things that needed to be done, and doesn't it always seems that those things are the same things that you need to be doing. But we can pass it off to the curse of modernity and move on, I guess.

I've been working a lot of my statement of purpose, which is getting very close to being done. Close but not there. None the less, I have a 2-3 page document that only needs polish and a few sentences here and there to tie everything together, and punch up things like research experience and what not.

At the same time, I've been working on outlining and starting my big final paper for this semester, which will also be my writing sample for a couple of schools. It's scary that I'm not further along, but it's a relatively short paper, and while I don't have an actual version of this paper that I can cut and paste text from, this paper is about my interests, exactly (it proposes the project that I describe in my statement,) so I know it backwards and forwards and I just need to figure out how to get it out into words.

The cool thing: I get really excited and happy when I get to work on the material, which I think is a really good sign. Though I've been doing (obviously) a lot of fiction and informal writing (blog stuff) of late, the truth is that I kind of enjoy academic writing, and I think with a little time and energy, I'm not that bad at it. Now all I need is some time, some caffeine, and it'll be ok.

In the knitting news, I think I've successfully bent space-time. I've been knitting on the gray sweater of doom. Apparently I name sweaters {color} sweater of doom, when they've taken forever to knit. Anyway, I started this in, abut august of 2005, and have dabbled in it a bit for the past couple of years.

Well, I picked it up for a change of pace, while I wait to get back to the color work when I have a better idea of how I want to do the shoulders and the brainpower (read above for info on where my brainpower is going).

I didn't actually expect to get so close to finishing the sweater, this has, for some time been my "movie knitting" because there's so much plain knitting without thinking, that it's often good for knitting whilst at the movies. It's one of those projects that I don't really think of as "counting" towards the number of projects I have on the needles. I spent next to nothing (maybe 15 bucks for the yarn,) and I've since bought, I think, a replacement needle because I considered this one to be something of a lost cause.

But what do you know, this project was the right thing for my brain at the moment, and perhaps I was further along on this project than I thought I was. Anyway, end result, I'm basically done knitting the body. Wacky I know. I decided late in the game to knit a single cable from the neck across the shoulder and down into the cuff. Because, you know, how much stocking stitch can you really cope with.

I did some sort row shaping across the back of the shoulders, and just this morning I cast on the 8 stitches for the shoulder strap, and by god is this fun. My latest design feature that I've been working on for my next couple of sweaters is shoulder joins that have straps or saddles in them that then run down the sleeve. It adds to the flexibility, it gives you something to gently shape the sleeves downward, and makes it possible to avoid sleeve cap shaping which is awkward in knitting fabric. (It works, but really in a knitted fabric, the main goal is to get the shoulder set in far enough, the sleeve top will take care of itself, particularly if there's some sort of strap/saddle.) And the straps allow you to keep the structure of the seam, while avoiding the inflexibility of a hard join.

The other nifty thing about this sweater is that I think, I have developed a way to--assuming you knit off of a cone as I have--to only need to weave in ends at the terminating ends (cuffs, bottom hem, collar). I think I'm going to have to cheat a little bit on the collar, but it's a cool game to figure out how to get everything to even out without having to break the yarn.

Anyway, be well, I should get back to real writing.

Onward and upward!

ps. If I run bibtex/latex through TeXshop, rather than through the TextMate bundle, everything compiles fine. Still not sure why this is the case, but I don't argue with success... Much. I'd of course not have to use more text-editing programs than I have to, so if anyone has ideas, I'd love to hear them.

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