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April 30, 2007

Sockapalooza 4

All of my life thus far has lead up to my finally being able to participate in Sockapalooza 4, the sock-knitting exchange. Ok, maybe I exaggerate a bit when I say that all of my life, but all of my knitting life would be accurate. I learned to knit after I came across The Blue Blog and saw how many people were having fun knitting and sharing socks. I learned to knit socks. Now, I have my very first name of a knitter, out there somewhere, to knit a pair of socks for. Wouldn't you like to know who it is? Well, I'm not telling! Not until August anyway.

But, sock pal who's knitting for me, I know you're reading this. I don't know who you are, and where you live. If you live in another country and would like me to occasionally write my entries in another language, I could only do that in Spanish or Swedish. But, let me know, cuz I want you to feel welcome here.

Let the sock knitting begin!

Posted by chri1010 at 11:23 AM | Comments (557)

April 20, 2007

The best thing about meeting the Harlot...

...really had nothing to do with the Harlot at all. It's funny how life works that way sometimes.

So, remember how I got there early? Remember how I had that extra time to shop at the Yarnery, to buy the book, and get some Fleece Artist? Well, a few things I failed to mention:

1. It was cold that day, so I was wearing my handmade felted mittens. I think felted mittens are one of the best projects to make. Really, I do.

2. I was holding my felted mittens while I was looking at sock yarn.

3. I forgot that knitters like to look at objects made by other knitters. What was wrong with me?

So, this woman approaches and says something like, "Now let me see, that must be the...Fargo felted mittens. Interesting choice to use the Lamb's pride. Now, I usually use the naturespun myself, but that turned out really nicely."

Let me begin by saying that I am totally impressed no matter what the case that this woman saw my mittens and knew the pattern and the fibers. Wow! I told her so. She responded, "Hi, I'm Theresa Gaffey."

For any of you out there who wish I'd write less about knitting, Theresa Gaffey is a local knitter and knitting pattern designer. Apparently, her patterns can be bought online. What I especially like about her patterns is that they are relatively simple, easy to follow, and not written in too much knitting jargon. If I'm going to try something new, I'll try one of Theresa's patterns if I can.

So, I was totally SHOCKED to actually meet her! And, to meet her by her admiration of my mittens. I told her how I'd been knitting just about a year and of all the things I've made. I also showed her my socks--her pattern--of course. She thought they were awesome, and she was impressed with my skill after such a short time as a knitter.

She was so nice, I'm thinking of taking a class from her. What can I say--I'm star struck.

Posted by chri1010 at 5:30 PM | Comments (603)

What's your favorite sight in the cities?

Someday, I really do hope to capture images of some of my favorite signs of the cities. I often find I don't have my camera with me when I come across a sign I really like. In the meantime, though, tell what your favorite TC places are. If yours isn't on the list, feel free to post it in the comments.

What is your favorite Twin Cities landmark?
The Missisippi River
The Guthrie Theater
The State Capitol Building
Hiawatha Line stop
The sculpture garden at the Walker
The Gold Medal Flour sign
Northrup Mall at the U of M
Minnehaha Falls
Crafty Planet (my personal fave)
The view inside the Metrodome when Joe Mauer's at bat (this one's for you, Doreen!) free polls

Posted by chri1010 at 2:58 PM | Comments (1861)

April 18, 2007

The Emergence of My Pragmatic Self

So, I've been knitting and knitting and knitting, and then, oh yeah. There's that thing called a disseration. Truth be told, there are several reasons why I haven't quite made the progress I'd like to have made by now:

1. Concerns about J, documented over time on this blog, have been a major distractor. And they should be! Who can do a good job dissertating when you're worried about your kid?!

2. We've had some interesting rental challenges since we've been in MN. I'd rather not say more, but let's just say that this has been QUITE a distractor. We're set to move--yet another thing to keep me from the dissertation--and after we're moved, I think things will finally settle down.

3. A problematic research question. Note that this one ACTUALLY relates to the dissertation itself. It really has been a hurdle, this problematic research question and subsequent complex reaction to my soon-to-be previous research topic.

So, challenges one and two are resolving themselves. We've figured out a schooling option for J. We're almost ready to move, and we should be settled for a little while anyway after that. But, problem three--the disseration question--doesn't get resolved quite so easily.

Yes, I've come to realize that the dissertation really is not the time to do something too innovative. Maybe it can be innovative. Sometimes. But, if innovation is the timely application of new knowledge in context, then timing is everything. Sometimes the timing might not be right. I've also come to realize that, to some degree, innovation is best when it's situated in context, and in order to be an innovator, one must be in that context. Doctoral students are still being initiated into the field--they may have innovative ideas, but the timing might not be right.

On the other hand, timing is everything. What if you just finished a project for your work that felt like a dissertation? What if said work project had another component that needed to be examined? What if it were meaningful? Had policy implications in a real-world context? Had data that you did not have to actually collect?
Would you change your dissertation topic?

Well, I am changing already did. And, even though my new topic has virtually nothing to do with the old topic, I'm feeling really good about it. I'm going to have to have a new prospectus meeting. I have to do a new lit review. But, I'm excited about it, and I've even already started!

So, stay tuned. In between knitting projects, I'll post a little more about my new topic and my progress toward that thing called a dissertation.

Posted by chri1010 at 10:40 PM | Comments (1578)

April 16, 2007


I DID make it to see the Harlot. Mid-afternoon, hubby began to feel a bit better (with my encouragement), and he decided he could make it to the potluck after all. I left work and immediately bought chocolate. Then, hubby and I drove to St. Paul, and on the way, we stopped and bought this. I confess I'm not a big beer drinker, but when I do drink beer, I like it dark, and I hoped the Harlot would like it that way too.

I got to the Yarnery in time to buy the book and a beautifully purple skein of Fleece Artist.. Then, I headed over to the law school auditorium to wait. And knit. Naturally.

I was 5th in line! Could it possibly be true?! I'm never 5th in line for anything. I was totally shocked and amazed. I was standing in line with other knitters, all patiently waiting and knitting socks, mostly. People were showing and telling and calmly waiting and knitting. Finally, we got to go into the auditorium, where we waited and knitted and waited some more.

Finally, Mary Lou came on stage and gave away some door prizes. Naturally, I didn't win anything. I sound a bit like Eeyore here, but let's face it: I don't usually win door prizes. Mary Lou also got us all to sing the Canadian National Anthem as the Yarn Harlot came onstage.

The Yarn Harlot took the traveling sock photo.New Folder 2007 079.jpg

She told us stories and made us laugh, and she did. not. speak. a. word. of her HORRIBLE travel nightmare to Ann Arbor. I'm amazed she was upright. I'm impressed she remembered her name, given the circumstances. It was all as good as could be or better.

After her talk, I waited in line for a long time (but not really that long in the grand scheme of things) to get my books signed. I ended up meeting some great knitters--newcomers to Minnesota (one's been here for more than 25 years, and yep, she still sees herself as a newcomer). We talked about some of the complexities of being a transplant, and how knitting really is a great way to find a community here in the Twin Cities. I chatted with a few other people, and I watched others knit while in line. The woman next to me showed the Yarn Harlot her own Bohus, and the Yarn Harlot was truly impressed.New Folder 2007 084.jpg

So, then it was my turn. My turn to meet the Yarn Harlot! I was not truly prepared for the occasion. I did not have a Bohus to share. I did not have some magnificently knit shawl patterned a la Harlot. I had a sock and a pair of mittens, which just happened to be in my bag because it was so very cold that day. I ventured the chocolate and beer I carried with me toward the Harlot.

She looked at them, and said to me, "You know what I call that?"

"What?" I replied.

"Dinner," she responded with a laugh. I laughed too. I showed her my sock, and she asked, "So, is this Socks that Rock?" Yep, I replied, admiring her skill for recognizing fiber. She responded by admiring my sock ever so briefly (there were only 365 knitters in line behind me!), signing my books, and sending me out into the night.

I just hope she liked the beer.

Posted by chri1010 at 8:05 PM | Comments (1422)

April 4, 2007

Represent: My donation hat

So, I might not get to see the Yarn Harlot after all. It's like this: hubby is really, really sick today, and J has his final potluck ever for his little kid school. He's moving on to another something else this summer, and this is it. J really really really wants to go to the potluck. Last year, we missed a potluck and he remembered it almost 6 months later. Gotta go to the potluck.

I'm hoping hubby will be well enough to go, so that I can still go to the Yarn Harlot event, but there might be other Yarn Harlot opportunities. Portland, anyone? Okay, so it's far away from here, but it could happen....

In the meantime, my donation hat, for tonight's even, should I actually make it:

New Folder 2007 067.jpg

This is a basic hat from Last Minute Gifts. I used Encore superwash wool in some bright pink color (I lost the label eons ago--I am that kind of knitter, okay? I admit it! I'm lucky I remember the brand of yarn) with Socks that Rock "Fire on the Mountain" for the in-between. I love this hat. i mean, the pink is not really me, but i think it goes well with the Socks that Rock. It's bright and cheery for a gloomy day in Minnesota. Hopefully, I'll be dropping it off with the Yarn Harlot tonight.

If not, we know I'll at least be well-fed.

Posted by chri1010 at 1:49 PM | Comments (736)

April 3, 2007

The Yarn Harlot's A-Comin'!!!

'Tis the eve before the arrival of the Yarn Harlot, and I am soooo not ready! The Yarn Harlot, for all you muggles out there, is only the coolest knitter north of Hibbing. Ok, she lives in Toronto, so that's a bit north and a bit east of here. She's only the coolest knitter on the blogosphere. Enough of the unfettered adoration. But seriously, if there's one thing I have come to appreciate in the last year is knitting humor. She's coming to the Yarnery tomorrow to share her new book, show us the traveling sock, and regale us with stories of knitting, home improvement, and life.

I'm so not ready. I need to do these things first:

Work. Seriously. Gotta prioritize this one because I'm working on a last minute deadline for a report that will be entered in the Congressional Record. I am such a geek to be thrilled about that, but it has made my day.

Buy said book: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off. I'm tempted to follow Shane Nackerud's motto and just check it out of the library but since it was just released last week, I don't think it's on the shelf yet. And, I don't think the library will be happy when I return it with an autographed tribute to yours truly on the inside cover.

Photograph donation hat. I'm planning to bring a hat for donation--as part of the tour, knitted items are being collected in each location. I made a fun hat for the occasion, but have not yet photographed it. I'll post it here when I do.

Buy chocolate and a beer. Seriously. These are two of the Yarn Harlot's favorite foods. She's feeling the blur of the tour already, so I want to show a little gratitude. If you were only getting one good bottle of beer, what would it be? This, I ponder as I prepare to see the Harlot.

Plan my route to get there early. The event starts at 6pm. I'm planning to get there around 4. What can I say? I'm a bit obssessed. Details of the event to follow soon.

Posted by chri1010 at 10:48 PM | Comments (2407)