Hi Folks.

Sorry for being quiet the last few days. I got sucked into a minor little void of a knitting project. There's news for you all. Here's the scoop:

It's a little known fact that Malabrigo Yarn and HandpaintedYarn.com are two fronts of the same operation. The side effect is that there is some overlap in materials, though at this time no duplication of products. That is, the same basic dyes are used, and some of the same fibers are used (though not milled in the same way).

Anyway. So for my birthday, I got a sweaters worth (actually, probably more than a sweater's worth.) of lace weight yarn which I fully intend to knit I sweater out of. It comes out at 12 stitches to the inch, over 468 stitches, on US size 0 needles (The smallest commonly available size.) It's dizzying and the progress is incredibly slow. So slow.

Did I mention that I'm attemping to do stranded color work (sometimes, though incorrectly in this case, refered to as Fair Isle: the technique is the same, though the patterns come not from the Hebrides but from Turkey.) This is bordering on the insane.

In any case, my normal plan of attack is to knit sweaters with pattern stripes running vertically. I tend to be of the opinion that this has several advantages. For starters it's more flatering, and is really cool looking. Additionally, it's also unusual, because the vast majority of hand knitted things have stripes that run horizontally. It also maximizes a number of knitting pleasures for me: once I establish a pattern I get endless amounts of fun building on this pattern. While the patterns repeat (and frequently patterns range from three rounds to not more than twelve or sixteen rounds) They very rarely syncronize, such that every round is indeed different. For example I'm working on a sweater now with five different patterns, ranging from four rows to eighteen stitches. The patterns synch every five inches or so (36 rounds.) So it's fun for the memory, and it suits me. So there!

Anyway. My plan for the sweater had 10 individual patterns, short row repeats (which was a good move), but the problem is that such patterns are very subtle and include little features which are created with only a stitch or two. When your stitches are one 1/12th of an inch square, this is incredibly tiny, the effect is hard to see. Now I think it would end up looking really good in the end, the problem that arises is that it's too hard to see the stitches to actually knit the pattern.

So my solution. Take out about 3-4 rows and knit stripes horizontally. This means I'll have to rely on paper/my computer more, but the yarn is so small that I'm going to wait till I can order some more suited needles for the project. I need a breather in any case.

So I've put the sweater aside, finished a pair of socks, and gone back to knitting things that don't make me feel like a loon.

In other news, I'm feeling more sane and less blah. I reorganized R-tron and my files on our external hard drives. By my count, we have about 65 free gigabytes of external storage combined. This is out of a total 450 gigabytes. Now there's some duplication, but not much. This felt like an accomplishment. I've also gotten back into doing some reading, and feeling more productive. School will start soon, and all will be better. I really have to find a place with a summer session from now on, I don't cope well without the structure that being connected to the rhythm of academic life. Ah Well. So it goes.

Cheers, Sam