Sunday, September 19, 2004
This week, my diploma arrived in the mail. It's official, I'm done with my English graduate degree. For the past six years, I've been taking grad classes of one kind or another. Truth be told, the return on my investment in grad school has been pretty slim. I have two masters degrees, a stack of old term papers, shelves full of textbooks, and a modest job at a community college to show for it. Basically, it's been a very expensive (but fun) hobby. Randy's been quite patient with my quest for higher something-or-another, and I adore him for it. (Though if I breath a word about wanting to get another degree, he may start looking for a lawyer.)

So in the words of the Indigo Girls, "I got my paper, and I was free..." To celebrate, we're making some changes to PrairieTide. This weblog is officially becoming a journal of my knitting. Sure, we'll still explore Midwestern culture and local history. My favorite books and some poetry will make appearances from time to time. Family stories, workplace gossip, the scoop on the latest movie will join the mix. The focus, though, will be my latest wool creations. Knitting is grand, and I want to blab about it.

And for your viewing pleasure, we have my latest finished project. It's the Aran Knit Jacket from the 2002 edition of Knit It! It's designed by Ann E. Smith, someone I've never heard of before, but I admired the sweater for a couple of years, and finally got around to knitting it this summer. AKJ accompanied me on the epic journey to Maine and Quebec. The long, long car ride made for some quality knitting, and the rainy weather in Maine offered up prime knitting time.

That's lattice stitch all over and diagonal window-pane stitch on the front panels. Posted by Hello

Along the way, I made some changes to the AKJ pattern. The biggest change is the collar. The pattern called for a shawl collar, and I tried three times to make the collar curve gracefully around the V-neck. After a week of knitting and ripping, knitting and ripping, I gave up. There are just only so many times I'm willing to rip things out. So what you see is a simple garter button band, and it's good enough, damn it!

A few weeks back, I stopped by the fabulous Northwoods Mall here in Peoria. (It's worth noting that the woods are rather scant in this part of the Heartland.) Anyhoo, there at the Eddie Bauer store was a sweater rather remarkably like mine. Wearing the AKJ, I may for once be fashionable.


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