Wednesday, May 23, 2007

More blanket news

Here's an in-progress updated photo. The top edge is all crinkled from being gathered on the needle. That's the second-to-last section. The last section is half black, half blue, and will be knit at the exact opposite end. Then the border, in sand, will be knit all around. It looks wonky but isn't in real life.

Updates galore!

As the spring semester wrapped up, I became (surprise) increasingly busy. Now that the summer is ahead, I will have time to post more often.

Last week I went to Panama City for the RUF (Reformed University Fellowship) Summer Conference. At the conference, about 700 students from all over the country took seminars in the mornings and interacted in the afternoons. It was an excellent and informative week.

During the trip, I worked on the Turtleneck Tube Vest and the Sockapalooza 4 socks. The socks have already entered Sock Legend. The first time I started to knit, I decided to design a pattern where a diagonal row of yarnovers and decreases would zigzag symmetrically across the foot and then around the leg. However, I disliked the way the pattern looked knit up and decided to do a simple 2x2 rib instead. So, I ripped back the toe and started afresh. This time, I messed up the stitch shifting between needles and ended up with 2x2 rib...except for a section of 4 knit stitches. I unknit the foot section that I'd completed (not the whole toe) and got started again.

I also enjoyed a delightful moment as I reached the end of the second-to-last section in Hunter's blanket. The tan sections are the most boring, so I was very pleased to approach the 33 ridges needed. Then I re-checked my directions and realized that the section has 66 ridges instead. Fortunately I had two hours of 24 to enjoy whilst I knit these superfluous rows.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

"Our future is a big question mark"

Today Davidson College hosted a video conference between approximately fifty students at Davidson and about 25 students from the University of Baghdad.
Similar events took place at Davidson in 2003; one conference was held right before the invasion of Iraq and one was held soon afterward. Several Davidson students who attended the first two conversations came today as well.
The event was moderated and hosted by James Zogby of the Arab American Institute. He did an excellent job; it is not easy to deal with satellite lag, take questions, and steer discussion all at once. Satellite lag was perhaps the biggest issue; there were 4 satellite hops (Washington to London to Abu Dhabi to Baghdad).
We convened at 8 A.M. because of security concerns for the Iraqi students. Indeed, they did not even meet on campus, but went instead to a hotel. Several students spoke to the uncertainty of each day and the danger in simply getting to university. Besides having their lives in danger, many students said they did not always have electricity or running water.
As can be easily surmised, the main topics of discussion were the current occupation of U.S. troops in Iraq, the stability and effectiveness of the new government, and continuing civil strife. Most students seemed unhappy with the troops in Iraq, but wanted them to stay and help them fix the problems. They were happy to have Saddam gone and for the election, but mostly they seemed angry at continuing fighting and problems that were not assuaged by the presence of troops. Most seemed unhappy with the current government and thought that it was not effective.

I found this event unsettling. A lot of media outlets I’ve observed seem to say “Yes, there is violence, but in general the Iraqi people are glad we helped deliver them from Saddam.” The impression I got today was much more negative and almost pessimistic. I was delighted to attend, because of my interest in politics, but it was more sobering than I had expected.

Press Release
Article about first conference

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Sock Pal sock yarn and new project

I stopped at the yarn store today where I work to pick up yarn for two new projects.

I got two skeins of this Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in 504 "Lakeview" for my Sockapalooza 4 pal. Hopefully she'll really like it. I haven't decided on a pattern yet; it'll probably end up being something I designed myself with a short-row heel and toe.

The other project is the Perfect Periwinkle Turtleneck Tube Vest (which wins an award for wordiest pattern title!) from Fitted Knits. I got two skeins of Cascade 220 in colour number 7813.

Now I just have to pretend the yarn isn't here until my road trip in a few weeks...

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Project updates

I thought I'd post some progress pictures for my two current projects (there are more on the needles, but I'm mostly working on these two).

The first is Hunter's blanket. I've done a lot of it, but there are still a few sections left and the border as well. The pattern is from Mason-Dixon Knitting; it's the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket. Because it's in garter stitch, it's an excellent movie and tv project. The blanket in the picture below is on my charming roommate's bed (thanks Sarah!) because I didn't want to photograph it on the floor.

The other project is the Sierpinski scarf from Knitting Nature. It's for on-the-go knitting. I'm just knitting it in dishcloth cotton yarn.