Saturday, November 12, 2011

November - that explains it.

Now November is a busy month, for some it is Movember, for others NaNoWriMo where those that can aim to write a whole novel. and here, after 11 or so years I've finally realised that November is a month that I shouldn't have too many plans for, that I should just roll and flow and ebb, rather than have any specific goals and expectations. For you see November is the end of the academic year, and for me in my school  that means end of year show, and all of the finalizing marking that goes with preparation for graduation for the students. It also means invites from other institutions to visit and be part of their assessment for honors and final year graduates .... all in all a busy month. I feel like there should be a catchy acronym or such to describe my November - but given its November the best I can do is 'busy'.

Hence today's post, there is a little bit of spinning together with a hint of promise and a little bit of knitting and and the distraction of a new pen and ink combination.
Spinning, sometimes I knit, sometimes I spin. And when I am in the midst of knitting something and need to make some decisions on shaping or patterning or some such ... and its November .. then I default to spinning. There is a calmness to spinning, a rhythm or easy pace to spinning that isn't about each round and shaping and fitting. With spinning I can just spin. This is the second 50g bump of Merino Silk and Cashmere, so once plied it should be a continuation of the first bump which is now a skein of 212m. That is the promise, that the two skeins will be similar enough to work in one project.
I will let it sit for a week or so, as I want to ply from a center pull ball and for that it needs to be quite relaxed and settled, not all twisty and energetic.
Both socks are at points where decisions need to be made, and for reasons already explained that meant both socks have been shelved pending more thinking space. Friday there was a presentation  by a CAPL Student, who presented a designed collection that included three hand knit items. The hand knits were a beret, cuffs/wristers and a rather spectacular zip fronted cape/collar. As you might guess I have a soft spot for nice hand knits ... seeing her work was enough to tempt me to start a new project. That and I came across a link to a matching cast on for Jenny's super stretchy bind off so had to find something to test that on. There is a video, and I tracked down the instructions in Montse Stanleys book which are slightly different. Maybe it is because it is November but this one took me a a while to come to terms with. I cast on and unraveled it I don't know how many times on Friday night, and then last night a few times more .. before finally achieving something that looked even and regular. I think the cast on become one of those things that I wasn't going to walk away from .. so I kept trying and trying. At the end, it is a nice cast on and super stretch, and there is a knack to working it ... but I'm not sure I need this much stretch and yet I want to be good at this one - you know because I consider my self the kind of knitter who can do most things. So this is a 2x2 ribbed wrister, the first of two,  where the 2x2 rib transitions to a cable pattern for the hand.

This is my other distraction at the moment, Diamine Deep Magenta ink. This is an ink I bought for littlest cub, who is very much into letter writing at the moment. I picked the pinkest ink that was listed as in stock by the local online Ink Trader on Trademe. When the ink arrived I helped little cub fill her pen and then realized that this was an ink I wanted in one of my pens. Who knew, I thought I liked soft browns, blue greys,  blues and deep grey plum purples ... and then this ink sucked me in with its deep pink with a slight blue tinge. That was over two weeks ago and I've refilled the same pen and am thinking this might just become an ink and pen combination I keep on hand. I picked this pen, a vintage Burnham button filler with a Greg Minuskin retipped nib, because of its colouring, with the deep rose pink it seemed a good match for Deep Magenta. I know it probably isn't professional to write marksheets in Deep Magenta, or to sign letters in that ink .. but I want to. I'm trying to convince myself that using an ink like this is a fantastic way to identify my comments and prevent any incidents of tampering with marks. I've never had any of my comments or marks tampered with,  and there is a stash of 28 other inks in the drawer ... but not like this one. Still I can write drafts for most things in Deep Magenta with no professional worries. On  FPN there is a forum thread, what is your current favorite ink?, and I know now what they mean. Just like knitting - what appeals today is not necessarily what appealed yesterday, or what might appeal in a few weeks or months.

As they post on FPN - what colour are your fingers today and what is your current favorite ink?

Take care - na Stella


Knitting Linguist said...

Right now it's the lovely saddle brown that I got from you, but I admit to marking papers in purple in my marking pen from time to time - it may not seem professional, but it keeps me interested in the grading, so it's worth it! Good luck with your November - I sympathize completely!

adriene said...

It's so interesting to see how different your November is than mine. Here, it's getting colder and darker and all I want to do is snuggle up on the couch and knit and listen to music. Hearing about your November makes me yearn for sunshine!

As for the ink, I think if my teachers used such a beautiful colour, I would be inspired to write so well so that I got as many comments as possible... or maybe make so many mistakes for the same reason. Use it use it use it!