Monday, January 18, 2010

UFOs: Two Down

Finishing the sweater took a little longer than planned, but . . .


(Apologies for the poor photo quality.)

The sweater is finished. And will now gather dust and mothballs in the back of my closet. It isn't a complete disaster, but it's also not something I'm likely to wear in public unless I lose a bet. The yarn was very chunky, so the sweater is very bulky and heavy. I think I made the front slightly shorter than the back (the result of a year's lapse between making the two---and not finding the index card on which I had helpfully recorded the cast-on and measurement info for the back until I had bound off the front). The arms are about two inches too long. And in trying to correct for an overly abundant V, I mucked up the front.

I also really need to learn how to do long-tail cast-on before I attempt my next sweater; cable cast on doesn't make the nicest edge and doesn't have much give.

Although the sweater took an extra week to finish, I managed to take care of another UFO at the same time: I decided to abandon a sleeveless sweater that I started more than six years ago and that has been languishing half done ever since. I frogged the whole thing, and the yarn is now sitting in a pile to be donated to Humanitarian Knitting, a local knitting group that makes projects for charity. Yes, I actually managed to clean out my stash and have about a dozen skeins that I'm willing to admit I will never use. Go me!

Next up: Finishing a sweater for my nephew that he has almost certainly outgrown already.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


One of my New Year's Resolutions is to eliminate all my current knitting works-in-progress (WiPs). I have a lot of them. Including half-done pillow covers from at least six years ago and an afghan for my sister's wedding, which was more than three years ago.

For each project, I have a choice: complete the project or abandon it for good.

First up: A simple v-neck sweater that I started as a weekend project. More than a year ago. At the time, I finished the back and started the front.

As of last night, I had all but a small section of the front done. I still need to finish that small section and the sleeves. The plan is to complete the whole thing---including construction---by the end of the weekend.

Monday, January 04, 2010

On the Pile: Winter Break Edition

I went a little crazy at the library today. I went to pick up some hold requests that had come in: Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby; A Changed Man by Francine Prose (mind you, I think I actually own this book but my books have long since outgrown my shelves and I've started doing double rows, which makes it impossible to find anything); and Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon. While at the library, I decided to look through the "new releases" shelf and added to my pile: Burn this Book, ed. by Toni Morrison; Columbine by Dave Cullen; and Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox.

These books go into the already towering pile I've accumulated from the library:
* Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
* A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Conner (which I think I've checked out at least a half dozen times since I started trying to read it over the summer and still haven't gotten past the first story)
* In a Strange City by Laura Lippman
* Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (this book alone could take up the rest of my winter break)
* Kaddish for an Unborn Child by Imre Kertesz
* The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (which I promised Chay that I would read during the break)
* My Father's Tears and Other Stories by John Updike
* Where the Stress Falls: Essays by Susan Sontag (another one that I have checked out, renewed, returned, and re-checked out multiple times but still haven't actually read)

And I bought myself some books at the end of the term: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami; The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson; and There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya.

I did manage to finish a couple of books over the holidays: The Magicians by Lev Grossman and Once a Runner by John L. Parker.

And I'm currently reading The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk, which is off to a promising start.

I'm ignoring the large, looming pile of books I'm supposed to be reading for my preliminary exams. But I think I'm going to have to dig into it very soon. On top: Of Revelation and Revolution II by John and Jean Comaroff. But maybe I'll read some more Pamuk first . . . .