Thursday, September 14, 2006

Yippee, yahoo, and um.... Hallelujah! (The Cable Guy Came)

At LAST! Turns out they had misfiled the application. Now all I need is for Canada Post to deliver the box containing my camera software, and I shall have near-normalcy. (Aside from being apart from my beloved DH for the next three weeks, still doing without most of our belongings, etc.)

It has been cool and cloudy over the last few days - fall damp is in the air, and the leaves are turning with startling rapidity. Cloudy here is nothing like the dreary overcast one gets in flatter locales. The clouds play with the mountains, pooling thick and fluffy in the valleys while the peaks bask in the sun, then swirling up the slopes to turn peach and crimson themselves. Gentle drizzle casts a mystical soft focus over the forest, and the ravens and crows make black mischief across the treetops. Yesterday we had a prolonged thunderstorm and heavy rain, and woke this morning to snow 3/4 of the way down the mountain. On the prairies, early snow would just be depressing, but up here it highlights the ski runs in tantalizing fashion.

The bears are in the valley, filling up on the last juicy berries. This morning, as Liam and I walked back from the bus stop, an enormous black bear lumbered onto the path just behind us, looking supremely unconcerned with our existence, and ambled off in the opposite direction. Despite knowing that the Whistler bears follow a "mind your own business and I'll mind mine" pattern of behaviour, it still takes a little getting used to, especially with kids in tow.

It has felt odd and uncomfortable to do so little blog reading lately - I have tried to skim through my list to make sure not to miss any momentous events, but between the cost and the three year old on my lap.... Blogging already borders on the egocentric (then again, doesn't any form of published writing?), but talking without listening seems to cross that line. Things should get back to normal now, and I am immensely grateful to the kind folks who have continued to read and comment despite the lack of reciprocity.

There has been knitting: I am 3/4 of the way up one of the rather snug stripy sweater sleeves. This has been (exactly as I intended it to be) a very instructive design. It is fascinating to me how complex the issue of measurements and fit can be. It sounds so simple - grab a tape measure and decide how big around you are. It would be just that easy if we were made of wood, but we have squishy bits, bits that flex, relax, expand and contract, not to mention the whole business of body image and wishful thinking.

For this sweater I took several gauge measurements off the swatch, something I have yet to read about anywhere (though it is entirely possible I've missed it). I was looking to get a handle on the issues of ease and sagging, since knitwear does not remain in its perfectly blocked configuration once worn. I was also experimenting with the notion that negative ease could overcome the saggy tendencies of cotton. I tried out various degrees of stretch - maximal (for bending and bloating) and the "sweet spot" in between where the fabric would lie snugly against the body without distorting the pattern.

The body, as I mentioned earlier, turned out exactly as intended, but I am not entirely sure about the sleeves. In static form, they have the same degree of snugness as the body, but a couple of factors could make them overly snug. Firstly, arms move more than the torso, and with that movement, they expand (particularly since, despite the moving-induced layoff, I appear to have retained a decent set of biceps and deltoids). Secondly, X% of ease translates to several inches around the hips, but very little around an arm. So.... we'll see. It certainly wouldn't be the end of the world to reknit a sleeve.

Rob is mailing the camera software from Moose Jaw today, so hopefully I will soon return to real-time photo posting.