Thursday, November 6, 2008

Progress on Botticelli

I posted a few weeks ago about finding out from a fellow Raveler that I was using an erroneous chart for the Botticelli sweater from the latest Rowan magazine. I have to reiterate that for the money they charge - both for the yarn and for the patterns - they really should get their books right on the first go. It took a lot of the fun out of the project to have to rip out all the intarsia work I'd done up to that point, and I was close to just scrapping the thing altogether. It's a lovely sweater, though, so I have persisted a row or two at a time while watching TV. I'm finally back to where I was, in fact I might be a bit further along than I was, when I had to rip out. So here's a shot of the thing's progress so far. This is the back.

Also of interest to intarsia knitters may be the simple tool I broke down and made out of half of a 3x5 index card (cut lengthways) with holes punched along one side and labeled A-H (and the corresponding symbols in the chart) with lengths of each yarn drawn through the holes. I got tired of juggling the balls of yarn, which I wrote the letters on, to figure out what a square with a small dot in it was as opposed to a square with a large dot in it, etc. This has already proven quite helpful and I recommend it if you have more than a few colors to keep track of.

You can also see that I use a post-it note and cover up rows as I go along. Honestly, I really find intarsia to be much more work than I enjoy in my knitting. You have to pay too much attention for it to be especially meditative or soothing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President-Elect Obama!

I am, of course, very gratified that the candidate I voted for was elected President yesterday. We watched the returns come in and the speeches at the end of the night. I was struck by how gracious Senator McCain was, how carefully the camera avoided Governor Palin until cued in Sen. McCain's speech, and how much humility and grace President-elect Obama displayed. It was deeply satisfying, not least because after the past 8 years I've become afraid to hope. To say I was "relieved" is not exactly right - since it suggests fears of riots or whatever if the outcome wasn't the way it was; I know there were people who darkly prophesied those things if Obama lost, but I wasn't thinking about that. I don't know the word for when your hopes come true when you have seen them dashed in the past and are afraid to hope again, so I guess "relieved" will have to do.

I gave some money (small amounts a few different times) to the Obama campaign, so I have gotten a lot of emails from them over the past few weeks, not surprisingly. But I was delighted to receive this, sent late last night:

Barclay --

I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don't want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing...
All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,

I think this was incredibly gracious and humble. A thank-you note for helping him get elected!

I certainly do hope that we will see improvements in the economy, in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, etc. in the next few years. I liked that Obama stayed sober in his speech, focused on the hard work to come and emphasized that things will take a while to turn around. I liked that he used the words "service" and "sacrifice"; I think that Americans as a whole don't like to live within their means and tighten their belts and hunker down, but we can do it if we know we must.

I love that we elected a smart, educated, erudite person as president; I love that the prevailing climate of denigrating intelligence and education will be swept out in the next few months. I am looking forward to a president who requires great things of people - blacks, whites, reds, blues.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween costumes 2008

First, Adam made the supreme sacrifice for his costume of shaving off his facial hair! Here's before:

and here's after (he looks like a different person!):

Now, here's the object of all that work - Archie Bunker:

And his faithful Edith:

Wigs are incredibly uncomfortable - hot and itchy - and they always feel like they are gradually coming off your head.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wedding News - We Have a Venue and Date!

The date is November 13, 2009!!! and the venue is ...

We're super excited about this place, which has terrific food and is gorgeous, old, historic, and grand. It should be a wonderful place to get married, and we expect our friends and family all to have a terrific time at the celebration.

You can also check our wedding website for news and (for those working on the wedding) planning tools. I'm also working on setting up online RSVP, which should be online by the time it's needed (which is not until, like, next year some time anyway).