Thursday, January 22, 2004

Phoenix was kind of a mixed bag. Yeah, sure the weather was great. But downtown Phoenix is pretty useless. There are a couple of museums and a half-empty outdoor mall, and otherwise it's all office buildings. There are hardly any pedestrians except for homeless people. Most of the restaurants only serve lunch because their clientele are the office workers. Oh, and the bus system is decidedly NOT tourist-friendly: there were no schedules posted at the stops, and the Desert Botanical Gardens was over a half hour walk from the nearest stop. It would have taken an hour and a half to get to the big yarn shop by bus. I wish we'd stayed in the suburbs and rented a car.

However, I did get to see several old friends, and the restaurants we ate at were all pretty good, and when we finally got there, the Desert Botanical Gardens was smashing. I especially liked the display of mutant succulents ("X-Cacti"). And I really enjoyed buying a souvenir T-shirt for myself in a regular rack size misses XL.

The other souvenir I brought home was a cold, which I probably caught on the plane. So I haven't done any tremendously interesting knitting since we got home. I did finish a pair of Opal socks for CH, and today I got a sleeve finished on the Celtic Dreams. Right after I put it on to check the length, the Schwan man showed up. He seemed a little disturbed that I only had one sleeve, but I waved my needles at him and assured him that I'm knitting as fast as I can.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Hey, guess whose hotel has free high-speed internet access. :)

I am in Arizona for a Giant Geekfest. There are six thousand mathematicians assembled in downtown Phoenix for this shindig. The part I came along for was the Knitting Circle, which CH and I just got back from. Grand fun. Would you believe there are actually other people who like to reframe knitting problems as mathematical questions? One of them is trying to organize a session of talks about mathematics of fiber arts and next year's conference, and I volunteered to talk about picking up stitches as Diophantine equations. Plus some of my old friends from math grad school were there and we got a chance to catch up a little.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

I'm off to warm, sunny Arizona for a few days. I was a good girl and did not pack All the Knitting in the World, although I wanted to. I admit, so I did pack a sweater project instead of an appropriate-sized travel project. So I guess I wasn't all that good. But I couldn't put the Celtic Dreams sweater aside right now. I've finished the body and picked up for one sleeve. My sweater and I have been having many exciting adventures over the last few days, which I will have to recount later so I don't miss my flight.

I know you were thinking about sneaking into my house and pillaging my stash while I'm gone, so let me remind you that since this is Indiana, my neighbor will shoot you. Cheerfully. (Seriously, I made sure the neighbors knew the make and color of the housesitter's car.)

Saturday, January 03, 2004

I suppose I should have done something more profound for New Year's Day, but instead I cleaned up my kitchen. At least I was knitting when the ball dropped.

This week I've made two slinky scarves from Crystal Palace Splash and knit about 9" of torso (in the round) of the long-dormant Celtic Dreams sweater. Lest you think I have been delinquent by setting aside the Manos shop model, it is stalled out awaiting the arrival of more yarn, since two of the skeins from the original kilo turned out to be spun at a significantly different gauge than the rest. How annoying. Meanwhile, I blocked the sleeveless portion, and now that it is dry, I think I will go ahead and put the front and bottom bands on, and crochet around the armholes, so that it can be displayed as a vest.

By the way, Sylvester Stallone's attempt to pretend to knit in "Demolition Man" is PATHETIC. Somebody should have set that boy down and taught him to cast on.