Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Change of Scene

I knew this was going to happen.

There's a Fibertarians meeting tonight at the apartment–specifically, I believe, a gathering of the Committee to Elect Dolores Van Hoofen–and it was made clear early this morning that my presence would be considered de trop.

It's okay, really. I needed some fresh air and a change of scene. The view from my desk has been nothing but gloom for more than a week. Of course, from my seat in the coffee shop I'm still looking at snow falling horizontally, but at least it's different snow. Quite a bit of it, too. I don't know that it counts as a blizzard, but it's enough to have made the stroll over put me in mind of Doctor Zhivago. If only I'd thought to put a balalaika playlist on my iPod.

This is a maiden voyage for the new laptop from which I write. I decided at last to buy one so that when I'm traveling I can still write (I'm working, Anne! I'm working!) and keep up with business. And let me tell you, by the way, that there's nothing like investing in a gut-punchingly expensive piece of computer equipment to make a guy feel the need to produce.

Of course, the downside is that I have now officially become one of Those People. I used to sit in this very chair and knit while everyone around me worked, or pretended to. I felt quite smug being the sole unplugged person in the room.

Not that I haven't brought knitting with me. I have. Here it is.


It's Tom's watch cap. Still not much to look at in a photograph, I know, but in person it's become a delightfully squishy piece of fabric to touch.

My thanks to all of you who offered advice on sources of instruction for working the stitch (Prime Rib, aka brioche) in the round. As it happens, I'd settled on working the hat flat after swatching both methods. Circular brioche wasn't difficult; I have excellent instructions thanks to a Meg Swansen handout from Knitting Camp. It came down to personal taste. For me, brioche in the round just didn't have the same carefree, same-every-row appeal.

As for the seaming, I confess (forgive me, Elizabeth) that I don't mind it. The more seams I work, the more I enjoy them. The process is almost magical, much like Kitchener stitch. You have two edges, and then, Presto! You have no edges. It thrills me. When I finished sewing up Abigail's kimono I felt like taking a bow. And as there was nobody watching me, I did.

I admit it also intrigues me to be working ribbing, real ribbing that snaps back with a satisfying boing, entirely without purl stitches. When I have finished the hat, I shall doff it in memory of the forgotten knitter who invented this stuff.

On the subject of hats and Zimmermann/Swansen genius, did you know Meg's doing knit-alongs over at the Schoolhouse Press Web site? She started with a Christmas stocking, and right now there's a two-parter devoted to a conch shell hat. Check it out. A person can never have too much Meg.


DianeS said...

I'm not sure what I like better...the stitch pattern, the color, or you peeking over the edge. The weather is beastly here also...freezing rain and windy to be followed by snow. Maybe I'll start a hat of my own to ward off the chill.

cheryl said...

ahhh... is that the lovely "i gotta new mac glow" on your visage, or is that merely the reflection of the LCD? ;-P

kellym said...

I think it's both, Cheryl. Guess what was the first thing I did with mine... sadly, I didn't have any happy squishy knittedness with me when I did it. I love brioche! well done.

Shoe Girl said...

For us techies, do tell what kind of laptop you bought. I am in the process of buying a new ipod and I am currently making a little cozy for it out of soysilk.

The Mad Crocheter said...

You probably got the better end of the deal. Dolores probably would have made you keep the minutes with that shiny new laptop.

kmkat said...

I'm thinking that photo was taken with your shiny new Mac laptop. Did you go for the Air? or Mac Book? or MB Pro?

katerina said...

Wow - who knew about the Meg thing - thanks for sharing! And welcome to the world of portable computers.. btw, did you buy a mac or pc or are you not telling?

Roggey said...

ohmyhell. You *are* an enabler. It's a good thing I've work, college classes to attend and a move coming up soon to save me from myself, Unspun Icelandic wool, and the Conch Hat.

meg said...

I love brioche stitch. It fascinates me, how plushy it turns out.

Kristen said...

That is a gorgeous color. Welcome to the land of the Mac laptop users (MacBook Pro here)!

Sue said...

i just recently got my Macbaby and love her to bits. I even knit her a cover.

dale-harriet said...

Hope Dolores hired someone to clean up before you get home - the in-house Fibertarians here had a mini-caucus (only they called it a "raucous" and the effluvia was shocking! (They're cats and teddy bears and I can only imagine). We were literally SNOWED IN! Had a very-nearly-record-breaking 13.3" in one day! (Dare I say....I love it, this necessary compulsion to stay inside and knit and blog and watch movies....)

Helen said...

I love the hat. I've been eyeballing doing one myself for a while...what yarn are you using? It looks smooshy. Btw, send Dolores my best wishes, and let her know if, by some mad twist of fate, she does not have a successful outcome in the forthcoming elections, us here in the UK could do with a change...

Joe said...

Despite having a job requiring me to schlep a laptop...I refuse to open it in public. While knitting, I will whip out at any chance I can.

As for the watch cap, in addition to being delightfully squishy, it's also a beautiful color.

You do have a good eye for the aesthetic. You've qualified for another 3-year gay card.

Kelly said...

Perhaps having your laptop out in public would be easier with a nice, knitted cover? I looked around and this one's quite nice (and not at all girly)

Kathleen said...

Thanks to Maggie Righetti's Knitting in Plain English, I now enjoy seaming - I hadn't learned to do it properly before. Congratulations (I think) on the laptop and sorry about the Chi-town weather. I'm not sad to have relocated to NYC this fall!

Anonymous said...


I hope you bought a MacBook.


Roxie said...

I found the notion of lap-top a lot simpler than the actuality. The sucker is heavy. Sometimes you need to carry cords and crap, which requires a case which then, in the way of large totes everywhere, begins to pick up stuff that you don't need but mind find handy later. Kleenex. Aspirins. Scratch paper and pencils. Business cards. A few copies of your book . . .It becomes heavier. Soon you are walking around tilted at a sharp angle with half your house stuffed into an attache case which is pulling our shoulder out of the socket.
Occasionally, you need to use those cords and things, so you need to find outlets and flat surfaces and you wind up splat on your mature backside, sitting on the floor of an airport next to the outlet that the cleaners want to use to plug in the vaccuume. And then things get ugly.

On the other hand, there is a certain security blanket feel to taking your e-friends with you wherever you go. You might want to put your lawyer's e-address on speed-dial with a pre-recorded request for help, just in case. It might come in handy.

Love the hat

Carol said...

Have fun with the new toy. Love the shade of blue on the new hat too, my fave. Guess we'll be seeing Dolores on the ballots~just think, the very first woman president!

Cheri said...

Have fun with your new laptop. I use a laptop, but the battery crapped out and the husband then took said battery and disassembled it (I have no idea why), so now my portable laptop sits battery-less on my desk firmly plugged into the wall.

Can I send all of my knitting that needs to be seamed to you?

Emy said...

I'm right there with you on the seaming. Absolute magic, and when I do a good one, and everything lines up and you can't see it, it really does bring tears (of joy) to my eyes.

MonicaPDX said...

Love that blue. Interesting angle in the pic. ;) And did you remember to engage a firehose - I mean cleaning company - to take care of the after-effects of the Fibertarians meeting? Especially all the dirty Martini glasses...

Courtney the Knitting Goddess said...

when I saw that photo, before I read the caption, I thought you had knitted a laptop cozy.

beautiful color for the watch cap.

Lucia said...

Hang on a sec. Brioche is the same every row, with no purling? How are you doing that? ...oh, I see. On short acquaintance I've become very fond of two-color brioche, which does require purl.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I love Kliban! I still own some of his T-shirts. Sex, mice, and rock and roll.

Formerly known as Abigail said...

Well, that cinches it! I'm changing my name to Jinx RIGHT NOW.

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