Monday, January 23, 2006

A Thorn Without the Rose

Rooms: 75 Cents
Originally uploaded by Rozanne.
It’s probably a good thing that Seattle continues to fail to win my heart. It would kind of suck if I really loved it, because there is no way I could ever afford to live there. As it is, I’m surprised our rusty 1989 Honda Civic with the cracked windshield wasn’t run out of town by a posse of stretch SUVs. Yes. We saw some of those.

It’s not that Seattle is a terrible city that has nothing to offer. It’s in the Pacific Northwest after all, so that’s a huge plus. We had a good time. We enjoyed the play, and it was great to get a chance to catch up with FBF after not seeing her for more than a year. I might feel a little more drawn to Seattle if I could ever spend some time exploring it on foot, but that never seems to happen. Invariably, we’re swarming around on that insane maze of freeways on our way to some restaurant only to discover that there’s a two-hour wait. Then we get back in the car and swarm somewhere else.

There’s so much competition for restaurant resources. It exhausts me. Even with B’s list of places to eat and Anne’s valiant efforts to save us from mediocrity, there were complications. FBF shot down many of our suggestions and there was another out-of-town visitor who had his own set of issues, so reaching a consensus was a problem. Eating in at FBF’s house was not an option. All she had in her house were three boxes of chocolate, two pieces of shortbread, coffee, and a bunch of bananas. Remember she works for Microsoft. I did find this X-Box 360 rendered in chocolate amusing, although I wasn’t about to try to eat it.

Space Needle

We did manage to walk around a little bit before the play. The theater was, like, right next to the Space Needle, so we circumnavigated it (Why? Because it was there). We even went in it (but not up it) to take a whiz and to evaluate the cheese factor of the souvenirs. I played with this, but did not fork over the $6.95 for it. We also walked up some of the big hills in the Queen Anne neighborhood, where there were magnificent views of the city. I wish we could have done more hill walking and neighborhood exploring. I will venture to say that Seattle’s skyline may possibly trump Portland’s—although Portland’s is pretty darn good.

Anyway, it was probably our most successful trip to Seattle, but Seattle is not me and it never will be. It is too populous, too competitive, too damp, too chilly, too car-dependent, and too moneyed. I don’t feel welcome there somehow.

OK. I’m sure everyone gets the picture now: I like Portland a lot better than I like Seattle. I could have saved a lot of time by just saying that in the beginning and moving right on to the sweater saga, which is probably what I should have done, since the last thing I really should be doing at the moment is frittering time blogging. (I have a ton of stuff that I need to accomplish this week, and I owe everyone in the world e-mails as well.) Anyhoo, here is the sweater as it looks today.


I am rather thrilled with it at the moment. It actually looks like a sweater or, at least, a sweaterette. There are no hideous mistakes (because I frogged the whole thing twice and started over), only a few minor ones. I think it’s all downhill from here on out—and I mean that in a good way—all the tricky stuff is over with. I’ve knitted the neck, done all the increases, and knitted armholes. All I have to do before the next class is knit down to within three inches of the bottom, which is just mindless knitting in the round. No counting or remembering. I can turn my brain off.

However, before I go any farther, I am going to put all the stitches on a length of scrap yarn and try it on—you can do that with a top-down sweater—to make sure it isn’t too small. If it is, I’ll have to rip back a few rows and add another round of increases, but better to do that now than to knit the whole sweater and then find out it will only fit a munchkin, and, sadly, I don’t know any. I am no longer thinking of jacking in the knitting hobby. In fact, I’m already thinking about other top-down sweaters I might knit. I really like the top-down technique.

I’m afraid, however, that a good portion of our class let the sweater defeat them. Of the 12 people who came to the first class, only 5 (including me) were present at the second class. That seems like a pretty high attrition rate. I considered asking the instructor if that was unusually high, but, of course, that would be crass and tactless, as it might suggest that her instruction was at fault and it certainly wasn’t. I totally can understand why people might have given up. I came within a hair of doing so myself, but I think it’s going to be worth it. There’s nothing so satisfying as creating something tangible with your hands.

I swear this is not turning into a knitting blog, but here’s a close-up of the “raglan increase,” which I think looks really cool and, surprise, surprise—I did it perfectly!


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