Sunday, July 01, 2007

no beer or butter

One week from now I will be strolling the streets of San Francisco. A week and a day from now I will be out on the trail, beginning my first of 13 days worth of hikes. At an average of 8.6 miles and 1,543 ft. of elevation gain per day (assuming we stick to our itinerary), combined with camping every night, I don't plan on getting much knitting done. I also don't plan on seeing a computer, much less having internet access during those 2 or so weeks. There will obviously be no blogging, but I also want to make it clear that if you want to buy the Smoke Signals Hat pattern, buy it by Thursday afternoon of this week, or wait until after July 22 or 23 for delivery. Let me repeat that in bold, so my butt is covered, and I don't have people pay for a pattern they won't get for 2 weeks:

If you are thinking of buying the Smoke Signals hat pattern in the near future, please send your paypal payment by noon (Eastern Time) on Thursday, July 5. If you wait longer than that, I cannot promise delivery until the evening of Monday, July 23, as I will be surrounded by trees and mountains and bears, but no computers.

So no knitting for over 2 weeks? Okay, I will be bringing some. I probably won't bring it on the plane, because I'll want to bring something on metal DPNs, and I don't want to play the guessing game about whether the will or won't be allowed through security. I have plenty of things to keep me occupied on the flight out, and plan to sleep on the overnight flight back, so I am in prime condition to devour Harry Potter upon my return. (Said pointy DPNs will be impaled into the flesh of those who would dare utter one sentence from the book before I am able to pick up my copy on the 22nd and finish reading it, at my own preferred leisurely pace, the following week. I refuse to waste the book on 6 hours of ravenous, rushed reading. You have been warned.)

Excuse the digression. It took all my strength to squelch a squeal when I saw the countdown sign at the bookstore yesterday, when I went to pick up my beautiful new trip journal. I have been eyeing the notebook selection at my bookstore for months, plotting out the perfect new journal to splurge on for the trip. I plan to use it partially for regular journaling of the events of our trip, partially for other writing projects I've been working on or thinking about recently, and partially for sketching and working out some knitting design ideas that are floating around in my head.

my trip journal

Isn't it beautiful? The cover art is by thirteenth century artist Ma Lin, and perfect for a trip that will involve many mountains. The book lies flat, has a pocket in the back to hold a few reference pages I'll want to print out for various writing projects (the submissions guidelines for the current series of Cast-On being key), has lightly lined pages that will make writing easy without distracting from my attempts at design sketches, and has the most charming binding. I worked in book preservation at the library when I was in college, and have wanted to learn how to bind books ever since. The simple beauty of this notebook's binding strengthens that urge.

trip reading

In addition to writing, I have some exciting reading materials. I just finished listening to Jane Eyre from Librivox in preparation for reading The Eyre Affair. (I admit that I've started it prematurely, and may finish it before the trip. But I just had to take a peek inside, and by page 4 there was absolutely no turning back.) Great Expectations is in preparation for the next book in Fforde's series, and Cold Comfort Farm is there because Brenda has convinced me that my world is not complete without it. And of course I opted for the version with the cartoons on the cover. It was only $1 more than the printing with the characterless cover, and I find it reassuring to be reminded that "There'll be no butter in hell!" I'll take that to mean that, like in the polka song about the beer, I should better eat my fill while I'm still here! (Wait, I suppose that means I think I'm going to hell. No beer in heaven, no butter in hell. Hmm. What a decision. I wonder where they serve fresh strawberries and chocolate truffles...)

I have faith that my writing and reading will keep me well occupied during the trip, when I just won't feel comfortable knitting. While the essay on the latest Cast On did give me second thoughts about my knitting plans (or lack thereof), I'm still not convinced that living out of a tent mixes well with Schaefer Anne and 1.75 mm needles. And I'm really looking forward to the chance to concentrate on the craft of writing for a couple of weeks, without distraction from other hobbies. Alex thinks this is a hiking trip, but perhaps it's part hiking trip, part writing retreat.

Some of my other trip preparation includes working on some spinning I want to finish before we leave. I'm more than halfway through the second half of the BFL, and want to get all of those singles spun up before we leave so there isn't a drastic difference between how long the first and second half of the singles have to set before I ply them. Here are some photos of the first 25 grams, which I moved onto the niddy noddy so I could begin the second 25 grams. This came out to 265 yards, which I'm quite pleased with. Definitely lace weight, and after it and the rest are plied, should be enough for a lace scarf.

BFL singles
(click on it if you want to get to a bigger version)

To a large extent, this yarn has been spun while listening to Jane Eyre. I think that is going to have to influence the eventual scarf design and name, though it will be a while before that gets set into motion.

Oh, and while I'm at it, here is the first Scroll Lace Sock. It's in black and white because my feet are a bit beat-up looking now, and the fancy photo settings allowed me to salvage an otherwise nice photo while sparing you too much detail of my feet:

Scroll Lace Sock

On a completely different note, I know that a lot (probably the majority) of the people who read this blog are themselves bloggers. A friend of mine is starting to gather data for her dissertation, and is looking for personal bloggers to fill out a survey. I offered to help spread the word. Bloggers, stand up and be counted! Take the “Public and Private in the Blogosphere” Survey!

Well, I guess that's it for now. I anticipate that this will be my last blog post until after the trip. Since I don't plan to knit (or at least not a lot) on the trip, and plan to be immersed in Harry Potter-ville after we return, I don't know if I'll be posting anything here until late July or early August. I do feel bad about that, so here is a list hinting at things to come over the next few months (or, for those of you on Ravelry, look up bowerbird and take a look at my overwhelmingly long queue, which contains pattern ideas as well as more traditional projects):

* A pdf of my Komi bag pattern, with several stitch design options.
* The sock pattern I alluded to this past winter. I plan to knit the socks and write up the pattern in August, then decide whether to submit to Knitty or self-publish.
* A variant on that sock design. Or 2. Or 3.
* Finishing the Autumn Color Cardigan
* (And at this point I am already so overwhelmed that I have to refer to my Ravelry queue to straighten out my thoughts...) Some sort of sweater for Alex, if we can settle on a pattern that he wants to wear and I want to knit. Keeping my fingers crossed about EZ's saddle shoulder aran cardigan, or some variant thereof.
* a colorwork hat design
* a colorwork mitten design, with an idea for the cuffs that is either quite clever or profoundly stupid. Time will tell.
* after this, things are quite hazy. Desperately want to see me knit something in particular from the queue? Let your voice be heard! I can't promise that it will influence me at all, but feedback is always good.

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Blogger Natalie said...

I adore Cold Comfort Farm. "I saw something nasty in the woodshed!" Brenda's right--your life isn't complete without it.

7/02/2007 12:28 AM  
Blogger LaurieM said...

Have a safe journey!

7/02/2007 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also traveling when Harry Potter is released and won't be able to read it until I return (on June 24), and I expect to have to preface any and all interactions around that time with "Please don't tell me anything about Harry Potter." I hope we are both lucky and avoid spoilers.

Have a great trip!

7/02/2007 7:22 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I'm excited to see all your ideas become full patterns! Have fun on your trip, both the hiking and writing.

7/02/2007 4:09 PM  
Blogger Dove Knits said...

Your trip sounds lovely, and what a nice journal to match. Have fun!

7/03/2007 10:09 AM  
Blogger E to the M said...

Happy trails!

7/03/2007 10:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Have a great trip!

7/03/2007 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely adore those socks... can't wait for you to post the pattern so I can knit them. And please please when you've knit the other one show us what they look like on.

7/04/2007 12:17 AM  
Blogger Rebekkah said...

Thanks folks!

And there *will* be a modeled photo when the pair is done. I just didn't want to use up all the tricks in the book for a project that isn't finished yet.

7/04/2007 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scroll Lace is a perfect name for the socks. I am looking foward to seeing how the lace opens up when they are worn. Great Job!

7/06/2007 2:15 AM  
Blogger Becki said...

Hope you're having a good time in CA!

7/08/2007 10:28 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

You have already left and won't read this until your return, so I will say: I hope your trip to my state of CA was without the high heat temperatures at a higher elevation, than I am experiencing at Sacramento. Hiking in the mountains and camping is exactly my "cup of tea". We go every year for up to two weeks at a time (we are a bit hard core and extreme about it, according to friends and family). I can't wait to read about your journey and hopefully see some photos too. Knitting can be a troublesome item to carry and keep clean while camping and hiking.

BTW: I tried logging on to take your friend's survey about the blogosphere but it wouldn't make the connection...

7/09/2007 9:50 AM  
Blogger jenny c said...

How did you like the Eyre Affair? I love that book!

7/24/2007 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Socks! I love them. My girls will love them...and when will we get to knit them too? Great idea.

Cute feet there too ;)

7/26/2007 2:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The texture of your socks is fantastic, like a piece of sculpture. Well done!!

8/30/2007 4:25 PM  

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