Sunday, January 06, 2008

no escaping the tension

the weather in this part of the world has been a little weird for a few years for, oh, about 200 since whitefellas arrived and decided to plant wheat and grow sheep on a giant landmass where it never rains. the other day there was an article in the newspaper about how we should stop thinking about "when the drought ends" and accept that the south east corner especially is going to stay dry. well d'uh.

having said that, things have been weirder than usual lately - it was quite cool all the way up to christmas with lots of rain indicating that this particular drought season was ending (el nino was gone, and la nina had arrived), and then since boxing day it was hot hot hot. about a weak ago a big storm, sorry, extreme weather event, they're calling it, hit the queensland coast, and that has sent big surf our way. yesterday it rained and the beaches were all closed. i got some pix:

that is a ship out there somewhere

usually you can see the lighthouse on the point and the buildings of wollongong city from here

for scale in the last photo you can see the little fence of the saltwater pool that is usually well above the water line.

meanwhile, back at the ranch, the knitting gods have yet again reinforced to me that there is no escaping the importance of tension when it comes to starting new projects. the lovely taph sent me two new balls of the black faux fair isle patonyle i made the contrasting contrasts out of, so that i can make two new contrasting socks to match the other two. this means that there is no need to hang onto the bits of yarn left from the previous socks and i thought i would make one of those sock topper hats in the latest yarn magazine for the wife of an academic friend in england about to have a baby.

the problem with this pattern is that its on a needle size i dont have and for a 9-12 month old, and also i am desperate to make a hat 'in-the-round' proper, ie, using magic loop. i love my knit picks options, but they dont go well with magic loop for socks or little hats because the smallest tip size is 3.5mm. so then i thought i would double up the yarn and make the rolled brim hat on the circular, but the pattern called for 'worsted' yarn which i read somewhere was a 10 ply.

yet again, the spectre of mr howarth my high school maths teacher rose to taunt me as i contemplated my complete ineptitude at all things calculatory, and how perhaps paying more attention to the whole dx over dy thing might have been of some use to me today. instead, i will have to experiment with the tension, in the old fashioned way, and work it out from there. having said that, i am going to go back to the sock topper pattern and just use my closest needle size (3mm rather than 2.75) and reduce the stitch count by a multiple of 6 to make it more of a newborn size. yes, i do remember my 6 times tables.

also, on the tension front, but of a different kind, is the pensky file. on friday i did some very good work and i now have only one last section of chapter six to write, then the conclusion and some changes to chapter three and digging up a few lost references. otherwise it is nearly all formatted, all one document (158 pages so far), nearly ready to go. however, someone said to me last week that i must be excited, but im not, not at all. im feeling some relief that its nearly there, and some fear about what lies beyond, but mostly im just tired. tired of thinking about it, tired of it being in my head all the time, tired of how emotional and sensitive and tense it makes me, tired of the pressure of it, tired of the black shadow it casts over everything else in life. i will be, and this is an understatement, so glad to see the arse end of it i will probably have a ritual burning of all my readings with the words hegemony, gramsci, subjectivity and lacan in them. my head hurts from thinking too hard about stupid obscure theories that no one ever really understands, they just pretend they do.

for some reason, i think knitting is infinitely more creative.

speaking of which......

k xx

note: i edited the original of this post to take out a rant about stupid people swimming in storms and the ideological function of the surf lifesaving movement. i decided just because i was tense didnt mean that reading my blog should make everyone else tense, so i deleted that part! sorry if you caught the pre-edit form...


2paw said...

I saw the Tempest on TV, very scary. Down here we are having a dry La Nina - yes there is apparently such a thing. We have water here, no rstrictions, but everything is so dry and most of the island is drought declared.
Yes, why did they want to go out in the storms????? Darwin Awards fodder.
Good luck with the writing. I remember my thesis, and I was just glad to see the end of it- it was just hanging over my head.
Happy Knitting!!!

Bells said...

I love stormy pics. Yours are great!

I get the tension thing and the lack of mathematical ability and the yearning to go back and pay attention in maths.

If someone had said to me in about 1987 that one day I would really wish I'd listened more so I could sort out my knitting, I'd have snorted loudly. Ah, youth. How stupid we were!

m∃ said...

I'm a random visiter - via Margit's blog.
What a relief to hear that I'm not the only one who just pretends to understand Lacan etc! I've always had a secret fear that I'm just an articulate fraud. Now I feel much better! =)
Good luck with the last of your thesis!

Fernicle said...

Weird weather indeed...who would have thought that in January in the far north of Norway there would be no snow! Totally crazy! Am thinking about writing a book about how climate change ruined my holiday! (not really, we still had a great time and I will post soon to prove it!)

Taphophile said...

Maths - blek! My brain hurts and it's not even my maths. Good luck with it.

Great stormy weather shots. Love me a good storm.

TinkingBell said...

And THIS is why I hardly eve3r worry about guage (except when knitting for others) and I liked maths!!!
BTW - you inspired me so much I raced off and cast on a pair of Vog Ons - using your telepathic powers again!

kms said...

i loooove the vogs, they are my fave knit so far, i am thinking of making another pair! looking forward to seeing yours tink!