Thursday, April 26, 2007


I found out today where I'm being assigned--Sendai, City of Trees! I leave in less than two weeks. I can't believe I'm actually doing this, and I mean that in a good way.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

this would have been a photograph

...but I'm a spaz. I heard a shuffling noise in the woods and looked out the window, and a lone wild turkey was meandering across my parents' backyard. I grabbed my camera and headed for the front door, since it looked like it was headed for the front yard via the driveway. Unfortunately, the camera's batteries were dead. I changed them quickly and went out to the front yard, all congratulating myself for saving the day with my speedy battery-action, and turned on the camera and the damn thing was in setup mode and I couldn't remember how to get it into picture-taking mode. The turkey, which had indeed crossed into the front yard, saw me out of the corner of its beady little eye and started "running." Despite how incredibly slowly a wild turkey runs, it was still out of range (by which I mean camouflaged with underbrush) by the time I got the camera sorted. Although actually I could still hear it. You wouldn't think something so slow and defenseless should be so noisy and, well, not extinct yet.

Anyway, there would've been some authentic PA wildlife to accompany my official announcement that two weeks from today, I will be on a plane to Japan. Well, first to Detroit. But then, Japan.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

CPHoenix: ashes reconstructed

The Central Park Hoodie is dead. Long live the Phoenix!

When I finished this sweater in February and tried it on, I was crushed to find that through some mysterious quirk of gauge it was both too short and too tight. One or the other might be bearable, or both if it were 100% natural fiber. But I used Woolease, so obviously blocking it larger wasn't a solution. Fortunately for me, rather than rip this yarn from its second sweaterly incarnation, I have a shorter, slimmer sister to whom I owe a sweater (see Skully, Christmas '05).

It's somewhat self-designed, as in, I took someone else's shaping and sizing and modified it heavily. This is based on my old friend, the Hourglass Sweater from LMKG, with embossed twining leaf leace from Vogue Knitting on the sleeves. I added ribbing with baby cables to the hem and just plain ribbing (because baby cables are too fussy to keep making) to the neckline, which if I'm totally honest I think is too big, but I actually really like with a t-shirt, tank, or button-down underneath.

I used the embossed twining vine leaf lace pattern from Vogue Knitting. I also originally wanted to make the raglan lines stand out, but couldn't figure out how to do it; I wanted the appearance of a seam, to make the stockinette body and reverse-stockinette sleeves look like they'd been sewn together from other sweaters. But I like the little purl channel I made instead. Instead of decreasing ssk, k1, k2tg, I did ssk, p1, k2tog. I'll definitely be using that again.
Now to go outside and enjoy the last sunshine before this 20-year storm they're predicting...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Huh? The circus is where?

Finally finished my circus-freak jays.

Pattern: Grumperina's Jaywalkers, of course
Yarn: Regia Something. I've lost the ball band. Whatever this stuff is, though, it's awfully splitty. I won't be using it again. If, uh, I can remember what it is before I buy it.
Mods: Made them shorty-socks because I felt lazy. Only 2 or 3 inches above the heel instead of 7.
Started/Completed: March 2006/April 2007. The longest-running UFO I had. And I finished it! Now I'm going to tackle my Picovoli.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

back in PA

...where it is still not spring yet. Right after I took this picture, it started snowing. I squealed with glee.
My drive cross-country was, well, long. I stopped in St. Louis to see my aunt and her family, saw her photos from her honeymoon in Japan, attended my first-ever Boy Scout meeting, and got some Japanese culture tips. I thought I would be able to do the next leg all in one day, and should have been able to, really, but I got up late, lingered over coffee with my aunt, got stuck in traffic outside St. Lou, got a speeding ticket in rural Illinois, and then drove through a violent storm the entire width of Indiana. I had to wait part of it out at a gas station, under the roof, because it was starting to hail and I had my snowboard on the roof and my bike on the back. By the time I passed Columbus, OH, I was done. I checked into a hotel, assisted by two extremely perky ladies named Mary Lou and Mary Kay, like they were hired as a matched set, then dragged myself to Cracker Barrel for a lovely greasy, fattening dinner. The next day I had a nice nostalgia attack as I drove across PA; having gone to college in western PA, I drove I-80 countless times during those 4 years and have a bunch of silly rituals to perform at certain landmarks--singing a song I made up about Dubois, only stopping for gas at Snowshoe, yelling "we're all gonna die!" at the first sight of the cooling towers of the Berwick nuclear power plant, etc. (You have to understand, most of those countless times I was alone, and had to entertain myself somehow.)
So now I'm marking time here until May. I had dinner with my niece and nephew the other day, and tonight my sister Katie is coming up for the weekend, and my parents have threatened to put me to work in the garden if it ever gets warm enough, so I'll have plenty to do. Besides unpacking and repacking everything I brought/sent home as I try to figure out exactly what I can't live without in Japan.