Monday, April 30, 2007

No Caribou for you, me, or anyone else!

Update Since Last Post: I called Ardor Health this morning to let Jennifer know that Leslie never called me on Friday for the interview. She called me back at about 3:00 this afternoon (the 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. wait was ugly) to let me know that Leslie no longer needed an Ultrasound Tech in Caribou.

With hands thrown up in the air in a pose of "Why - Why!" I am trying not to submit to the overwhelming feelings of self-doubt and defeat, but it is getting really hard.

Instead I will share some of the things that have made me smile over the past few days.

1) I have completed just short of 12 of the 17 pattern repeats of the first half of the center panel of my Blind Assassin Stole.

Reason Number 314 of why I love to knit: Waiting is no longer done in vain. Regardless of my disappointment in not having a job I do have something very beautiful to show for my fret filled weekend. I love this stole. The Silk/Cashmere looks and feels wonderful. I also feel like a little fairy knitting with the triple zeros. There is one (okay 12 so far - eventually 34) bit of Wabi Sabi - one stitch in each pattern repeat is suppose to be a slip, slip, slip, knit 3 together - I have just been knitting 3 together like the stitch 6 rows below. Its okay, its the Assassin's Wabi Sabi.

2) My wonderful roommate Dan found this hysterical cartoon, Unicorn Planet. You can watch the first two episodes here. Dan and I especially enjoy singing the theme song. (Heyyy!) The episodes are really short and stream right over UTube - you won't regret it.

3) I was annalysing my account with blog counter and found this link in my "Top 30 Referers" -

Which brought me to a query done on Google: Recherche de Blogs. It was a Google Blog Search site - in French. After a Google search of "Google blog search" I found "Google Blog Search." I think this is pretty cool - and since my French is tres mal, it's a good thing I found the English version, right sisterjaan?

4) I had a wonderful time spinning with Tawana, Hila, and Tomo, from Sit N' Knit New York's spinning meetup on Sunday. It is so wonderful doing something that you are truly bad at with people that you truly like! Oh, not to worry drop spindle of mine, I will master you yet!

Tomorrow I am going to buy a new pair of "inteviewesque" walking shoes and begin planning my mission to bring - in person - my resume to every ultrasound department within an hour of my apartment. HEYYY! (If you watched Unicorn Planet you would have sung along with that!)

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Blind Assasin Stole

I am writing this post as I wait for a phone interview for a 13 week job assignment in Caribou, Maine. Knitting needles are crossed.

According to Wikipedia - "The reindeer, known as caribou when wild in North America, is an Arctic and Subarctic-dwelling deer (Rangifer tarandus)." I have been having an extremely hard time finding an Ultrasound job - how great would it be if a reindeer helped me get this job! Caribou, Maine is also not far from Montreal, which after a quick Google search appears to have many yarn stores! If I have to go Subarctic to work - much better in the Spring and Summer!

A while back I read The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. There is a story within the story which is told by a young man to his lover during their clandestine encounters. It is complicated, so I will just give the relevant detail. The location where the story takes place is known for their beautiful hand-woven carpets. The carpets are so intricate that they can only be woven by children - small nimble hands. The children eventually go blind because of the intricate work the carpets require. The value of the carpets are determined by the number of children who went blind while weaving them. I have begun a project that I will be calling: The Blind Assassin Stole. The pattern is the Print O' the Wave Stole designed by Eunny Jang. I decided I wanted to do the cobweb version. I ordered a cone of lilac silk/cashmere "yarn" from ColourMart Cashmere. This is why I call it "yarn". Okay it is literally thread. Luscious cashmere/silk thread - but thread. I ended up winding it triple - and although it adds another challenge to the knitting, it is worth it. (That is my favorite coffee mug - I got it this summer while on vacation in the Adirondacks at Blue Mountain Designs - it's hand thrown.)

Phone interview update: It is now 5:30 p.m. and I have not heard from Leslie in Caribou who will be interviewing me over the phone. I called Jennifer, my contact at Ardor Health, and she told me to hang in there, Leslie should be calling today. It is going to be a long weekend if she does not call today.

Eunny's pattern calls for size 00 needles for the cobweb version and I ended up getting size 000 - since I was able to buy them at my favorite LYS - Downtown Yarns. That's the size 000 on the left as compared with a size 1 on the right. I know it is crazy - but look how crazy beautiful it looks (and it's not even blocked yet)!

OOOH! AAAAH! It is worth it! And it feels so light and soft. I tried taking a picture while stretching it out with my hands but I cannot do it myself, I'll have one at the next update. Oh, and in case you were wondering this is going to be for me!

5:50 p.m.: Still no call - outlook getting dimmer.

I finished the Lenten Rose socks and gave them to a very pleased Allison.
I gave them to her before a performance of Transfigures at The Woman's Project. I couldn't get her to put them on there and since I haven't heard from her, I can only assume that they fit.

6:05 p.m.: Still no call - have started drinking!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Somewhere in Kabul....

... my knitting is keeping a little girl's feet warm!

Two months ago I knit these Mystery Cable socks for Afghans for Afghans. A woman named Marsha took the socks with her to two schools she works with in Kabul, Afghanistan.

I just received this e-mail update from Afghans for Afghans:

"Marsha MacColl has returned from Kabul, where she distributed our wool socks to students at two schools operated by Afghans 4 Tomorrow. We can all be so pleased and proud of Marsha. She did a phenomenal job of conveying our messages of friendship, caring, and respect. Marsha creatively incorporated our socks in her English-language instruction, and we provided funds so she could purchase snack treats as part of a little celebration. Marsha distributed our gifts with tremendous personal attention and regard for both the students and the sock-knitters! The girls and boys were given the unusual experience of selecting what they wanted from the array of socks. These kids absolutely needed socks -- often their feet are bare when they remove their shoes in the classroom. Marsha kindly shared some larger socks with teachers and school staff, too.We'll tell you more about these experiences and provide some photos in the near future. Thank you, again, to all who responded to the needs of the Afghan Mobile Mini Circus and Afghans 4 Tomorrow. There are plenty of warmer and happier heads and feet now -- and all of our hearts are warmer, too!"

My heart is warmer too! There were tears rolling down my cheeks while I pictured a little girl picking out my socks! I read a great post on Knitting Knews a while back, that gave very valid reasons for not knitting for charity. It really made me think about why I enjoy it so much. I have come to the conclusion that the knitting is just as much for me as is for them.

I will smile often, thinking of those little pink socks on warmer feet in Kabul!

They are currently excepting items for the "Mother's Day Campaign for Afghan Mothers."
I am going to knit something and send it in honor of my mother as her Mother's Day present. (Mom, I doubt you are reading this, but if you are, promise to be surprised and honored, okay?)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My Sisterjaan and What's Knitting - A Post in Two Parts


My sister Amy (aka Amyjaan), is currently living in Doha, Qatar - a middle eastern country across the gulf from Iran. She is doing post-graduate study of Arabic at Qatar University. She is there on a full scholarship from a program that is facilitated through Georgetown University. Yes, she is majnoona (Arabic for crazy girl), but in the most awesome sense of the word. She doesn't like Doha very much, her actual word for it in Qatartid, but she says that her Arabic is improving and she has been able to do a lot of traveling. Recently she got food poisoning and a kidney infection while traveling in Turkey with her American boyfriend Tom(he came to Turkey from Chicago). Hilarity ensued Amyjaan style due to her one semester of college Turkish. I only got worried when she told me that at one point they had called in a surgery consult - she assumed in was her appendix, since the Doctor had done a lot of pushing on her left side. Being that the appendix is on the right side and that my sister's Turkish is not very good, no one knows why the surgical consult was called (if anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them). Just know that she is back in Qatar and must be feeling better since she just instant messaged me, while very intoxicated. The above picture was taken sometime before Christmas. She is wearing the Abaya that she is required to wear at the University. She actually loves it. It allows her to roll out of bed - throw it on over her pajamas - and go to class. (I love her so much!) She is holding her cat Oskar, who came to my parent's house with her for Christmas and ended up staying in New York. Oskar has the loudest, most annoying meow and eats everything - really, I watched him attack and eat a roll. He was abandoned at birth so he has food issues. Feel free to leave questions or comments on the blog for Amy -she will read them and will respond.

I finished the Pea Pod Baby Set. I am really happy with how it came out. Things got a little dicey with adapting the guage - chart repeats of the lace, number of rows, increasing the arms and decreasing the hat - but no one got hurt and I think it looks great! I felt like a real knitting ninja while knitting the arms two at a time magic loop style! The problem that I always run into doing two at a time is the way the two balls of yarn wind around one another - creating crazy knots. I solved this by putting each ball in a zip lock bag and unwinding every row or two. I think the thing that I like best are the "bobble instead of buttons." Now I don't have to worry about my knitting choking a small child!

I also have done some work on my Lenten Rose socks. They are the 30th birthday present for my friend Allison. She is 6 feet tall and her foot measures 10" from heel to big toe - so it is sort of on a dare that I am knitting her socks.
The legs are on the short side - due to my absolute paranoia about having enough of the one of a kind Sundara Petals Collection sock yarn. I turned the heel on the first one and was working my way down the foot when I decided that I should start the second to avoid second sock syndrome. I love the way the lace looks on this huge sock! I knit several chart repeats on the size ones that the pattern called for - but Allison couldn't get the few rows of cuff over her heal - so I frogged and am knitting with two's. Although this does allow for faster knitting it only increased my yardage worries. However, with only a few inches of the sock to go you can see that I will have pleanty of yarn. A note about Sundara Petal's Collection: I will not be ordering the next three month installment. I was generally disappointed with the Lenten Rose yarn - mainly because it did not match the tone of the flower that inspired the yarn. As for the Bird of Paradise - there is only so much love I can give to varigated dayglow pink, yellow and green. I only got angry when I saw the Cherry Blossom yarn that she did for Sundara Yarn's one year anniversay. It is so incredibly beautiful that it made me feel as though she really cheated the people who had paid more for the Petal's Collection. Even if SOCKATION 2007 didn't last long - it made me realize that there are a lot of things I want to knit and a sock club might just not be for me. Sundara's April better wow me though, because right now I am feeling really burnt!