26 October, 2009

Finally, Some Progress!

Things have been galloping apace here at Chez Tika. My dad came to visit for a week and a half and just left earlier this afternoon. In the last week, I've also attended the new student orientation for grad school and gotten registered for all my classes through next spring. That's right, kids - this school allows registration a semester in advance. Needless to say, I am chuffed at that little perk!

I start up school again on Wednesday evening. I'm a little nervous, but it feels good to be traveling in a specific direction again. Also the potential to meet people who could be friends is exciting. My brother's friends are all well-and-good, but at 25 he's among the oldest in the group, and I find that I've outgrown a lot of the drama that ensues in the under-25 age bracket. I am not interested in who has slept with whom, or why So-and-so refuses to go out to a bar at which What's-Her-Name might be. I am also not interested in the martyrdom that goes along with undiscussed, unrequited love - but that's another story for a different day (it has nothing to do with me principally - I am a mere observer and Passer of Judgement).

What DOES have to do with me is the Return of the Knitting Mojo, and just in time if I do say so myself! I finished some socks today in a yarn that one person here at least will recognize:
Vanilla Rib Socks in Wildfoote "Brown Sugar"
292 yds.

These fraternal socks are a simple 60-stitch, top-down pattern that I winged (wung?) based on my toe-up Santa Fe Socks. Maybe I'll toss this pattern in a .pdf; I have narrow, petite feet for my size and it's tough to find sock patterns that are small enough to fit me properly. Sixty stitches over size 1 needles seems to work best, but apparently 60 stitches is a difficult number to work with; 64 is much more usual, and that extra 1/2 inch of fabric all around makes my socks just a little bigger than I'd like. I'm thoroughly pleased with these socks, despite their fraternal nature. About an inch into the second sock, I double-checked the skein bands to see if they were actually the same dye lot. The bands say yes, but the color pooling coupled with a few random forest green flecks in the not-pooling sock say differently. I toyed with the idea of ripping back to the drawing board and knitting 2-3 rounds from each skein, and then decided I didn't care that much. Score: Tika, 1; OCD, 0. At least this time.

It's a good thing I have regained my patience for knitting. I realized last night while cruising down the foot of Sock #2 that I leave for Portland in a week and a half, at which I am celebrating two birthdays (one only 4 months late!), and I had NONE of the planned gifts even considered, much less started. Sarah, your socks are coming, I swear! I have the yarn picked out and everything!

So that's the State of the Knitter. I'm a little concerned about the 12-Mile Quest, but if I even manage to get closer to completing it than last year I'll be pleased. For those interested, I do intend to participate in National Sweater Knitting Month by finish my neglected Salina sweater. Once I return from Portland, I'll pull it out and get restarted. That one should afford me a good chunk of mileage at the very least!

In terms of the 101 in 1001 update, I have completed the following things this week:

Lifestyle: I tried a fish I've never had before: barramundi fish from Australia. It is a flaky white fish with a smoky flavor, and I wasn't super-fond of it. But still, it was worth trying and I'm always interested in new seafood! I also tried a ratatouille, which it turns out is NOTHING like what I thought it would be. Eggplants remain on my not-preferred list of vegetables. And lastly, I tried a new kind of tea: a honey-pear tea that had the cloying taste of roses on the first taste and then resolved into the expected sweetened pear flavor on the second. It went perfectly with my brownie-and-cinnamon-gelato sundae, and perfectly ended the evening's dinner at McCormick & Schmick's with my dad, THB and our friend Karly.

Education: I finished "reading" Jane Austen's Mansfield Park in audio format. This book is not my favorite of Austen's 6 major works, but I did enjoy the familiar story and the narrator was excellent. Next up is Persuasion, then Northanger Abbey (my favorite) and I'm done with Austen for awhile.

Entertainment: I got my priest up to level 80! /geekflag

Craft: I finished one pair of socks (see above).

That's about the size of things at the moment. A few tick-marks toward the larger meta-goals of foods, books, and knitting; and an actual strike-out in the Entertainment category. Not too shabby!