Thursday, February 09, 2006

Goo? goul? goal?

as a child on the elementary school plaground, I was often caught up in the ages-old game of "Tag." Sometimes it went by the name "chase," but that depended on who was running after you. The teachers standing guard over us often said, in a very solemn and somewhat tired voice, "if you don't run, they can't chase you" when we'd run by them screaming "help us! they're after us!"

I don't remember ever winning the game of "Chase" but I do remember us trying to designate the safe "can't touch us when we're standing here" always-popular "goo." Sometimes it was the "goul(e?)" and at one point a teacher called it the "goal" and we all made fun of her for such a funny name. This sacred piece of the playground was where we'd stand around, waiting for the best time to let go, run around and then race back to put our hand or foot into the safe zone. I think it was fun. (fun when I wasn't the "it" person, that is. I grew tall and gangly well before other kids and that made for awkard running and lots of "c'mon guys, let go of the goo!" demands.)

So which is it? goo? goul(e?) or goal? I don't think I'm remembering it wrong, but I'm curious what you used to call it. I never though the game of Tag would reappear 20 years later, in a new form. (I am choosing to forget the years I spent overseeing lots of variations on the theme of tag: rush hour tag, freeze tag, blob tag, etc.) So yes, I was tagged. Answers are below....

On Sock Knitting Needles:
I love Inox 6in double pointed needles. The size US2's I have are my favorite needles - smooth, pointy enough without hurting my finger, and quick (for me). The six inch length is perfect for knitting under the table during lunch lectures and they are inexpensive enough that I can pick up a set every now and then and always find 4 or 5 needles to start a sock. But they, as some of your mentioned, only come in US 0's and 2's. (2mm and 2.5 mm - I will work on learning them in mm's...)

I have a set of Susan Bates 7" size 2.25, but that extra inch is enough to hit the underside of the table when I knit at lunch - and often I stop knitting because the sound of the metal needle hitting the table is enough to annoy the people around me. They are smooth and okay as far as pointy'ness goes. The price isn't too bad either for 4 needles, but it is nice to get five in a set because then I can use 4 OR 5 and have an extra needle (if needed).

Bamboo/Wood: I love them, but they are much more expensive and not as great for throwing into my medical book bag because they are more apt to break. Just last week Theresa had a Lantern Moon needle break, and I had a moment of silence for the poor thing. (to say that I'm rough on needles is an understatement: my metal needles often poke through the double layer of fabric of my bag. I fear that the wood/bamboo would break or shatter under the pressure.)

I'm going to look into the 5" options, and might have to turn to the internet for some answers. With any luck I'll have some size US 1's/2.25mm needles that won't hit the underside of the table soon....

Thanks to Danielle (and everyone else who shared pictures of their koigu objects - I'm slowly making my way around to your blogs), now I understand how koigu "works." Right now it's striping in a somewhat predictable way, which isn't what I thought would happen.

It used to be that I knit tight and had to increase my needle size; another year of medical school under my belt and now I'm knitting loose and have to decrease my needle size. (this situation is flipped from just last fall, so I don't think it'll last forever...) This means that a koigu sock knit up on size US2/2.5mm feels too loose, and the stitches have too much air between them. Dropping down to a US 1 creates a fabric that is more sock-like, but can almost be too thick and warm for everyday wear. (my defalt sock is 56 on a 2 or 70 on a 1 [which is what the koigu sock is]) I love knitting socks, but perhaps it's time for me to fool around with needles sizes and stitch counts.

Fooling around with yarn weights and patterns and needle sizes is going to come in handy - I have a special sock swap in the works (and will be dyeing yarn this weekend) and I'm still planning out my sockapalOOOza pal's socks. Between those and finishing up a few pairs for me, I'll keep my sock needles (whatever size they are...) busy.

The Knitting Olympics starts tomorrow, but I won't be one of the many casting on at 2pm. It's the last day of my hemeatology/oncology rotation and there is paperwork to do and a long day planned. With any luck I'll be able to get home and work on the cotton hat lining (simple knitting because it's knit in the round) without making any hasty mistakes. I hope to start on the fair isle section on Saturday, but I make no promises...

Pictures: are coming. Setting up the camera and cables isn't practical right now. This weekend.


and now, what I'll call "what happens when three people tag me and I pick and choose the questions I want to answer two memes just smooshed into each other with some other randomness thrown in and this is the result."

what I was doing a year ago?
- thinking about how great this year in the hospitals would be while I made it through the rest of the year of lectures and book studying
- considering starting to study for the boards (had I known how that turned out, would I have put more or less energy into that?)
- knitting socks (I think?)
- living in my now-very-much-missed (favorite) apartment

Four jobs you've had in your life:
- lifeguard and swim instructor (I'm no longer certified, but still have the swimmer shoulders)
- casual carrier for the postal service (I had the best tan lines that summer)
- chemistry and biology lab TA/lab instructor and, later, a year spent as a substitute teacher (grades k-12, but with many, many days spent at the middle school level because I wasn't afraid of them and they did their work and mostly behaved while I was there; it runs in my family.)
- babysitter/cat-dog/house sitter (going on 14+ years and no sign of stopping soon)

Four things that I want in my (eventual) future home:
- lots of windows that line up to let in lots of natural light
- many floors with an attic
- a claw foot tub
- wood floors
(extras would include radiators, kitchen island and more then one bathroom)

Four movies you could watch over and over again (and do):
- anything Cirque Du Soliel
- Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls, Faulty Towers (we have all seasons on DVD) and anything Monty Python (not (yet?) all owned)
- Winnie-the-Pooh
- What the (bleep) Do We Know?

Four places you've been on vacation:
- Las Vegas, NV
- Prince Edward Island, Canada
- Fort Myers Beach, FL
- San Salvador, Bahamas (does that crazy trip I took as a "tropical" biology class count? It wasn't very warm, the food and beds were awful but the trip solidified a few of my best friendships)

Four of your favorite foods:
- tomato soup with a whole wheat bread mozzeralla and fresh tomato grilled cheese sandwhich (bacon optional)
- homebaked english muffins toasted with butter and honey or homemade applebutter
- burgers cooked over a firey charcoal grill with in-season tomatoes and toasted bun
- chocolate malted milkshakes with fried mozzeralla sticks and raspberry sauce eatten with good friends at a local dive/diner

Four teams I was on in high school:
- swim team (not one of my varsity sports but I loved it)
- football cheerleading
- basketball cheerleading (both, I'm afraid, at the varsity level. We were actually quite athletic at the time and my height was handy for throwing people around in the air)
- the math team (I was more of a mascot and did better when I guessed (really - I guessed "4" at one point and it was the right answer. A guess! but again, I loved streching my brain with mindboggling math problems, even if I never got them right.)

Four things I'd do if money were no object:
- travel to Ireland (and never come home again?)
- bid on a Starmore book on Ebay, and then all the yarn it takes to whip up her sweaters
- buy all of the books I read and loved as a child (that are no longer in print)
- take my car in and replace/repair all of the things that need replacing/repairing

no one (I think?) is left to tag, but it goo? goule?


Anonymous jess said...

don't know if goo or what, I am afraid. I grew up in Spain, and attended a convent for my primary education where running around was frowned upon. We were encouraged to particpate in structured activities, like 'elastico' which involved jumping on and over a strip of elastic - it was quite difficult because the elastic could be raised armpit high...

6:01 AM  
Blogger jessb said...

Thanks for including mm needle sizes as well, I'm a Canadian exchange student in the U.S. and am still getting used to your needle sizes. Yours is one of my favorite blogs to read, thanks!

8:50 AM  
Anonymous naomi said...

Have you tried 2.5mm needles for the koigu? It might be worth it...

9:53 AM  
Blogger margene said...

How cool to mix up the meme's. Good luck with the end of your rotation and getting the right sock needles, too;-)

11:52 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

We called it Base. I think we also played 'Elastico', like Jess, but we called it Chinese jumprope - is it the same thing?

I'm using size 1s and Koigu to make socks for the Knitting Olympics. I did swatch a little, but I'm sort of flying by the seat of my pants. I got some lovely rosewood 5" dpns for the purpose. They were pricey ($20), but oh so lovely to work with. I'm loving the Koigu.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Nikki said...

I think we called it "safe" or "home".

Your favourite foods part is making my hungry. Mmmm....grilled cheese!

7:07 PM  
Blogger Clara said...

We always called it "goal!", yelled at the top of our lungs.

For other games we would call out "safe!"

I grew up in the western part of the US, so it was probably different than where you grew up.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous etherknitter said...

Home for us in the Northeast. I like the meme consolidation. Many of your future things as SO attainable.

I like the bamboo dpns. They don't fall out of the stitches on the floor very often. I store the extra needle in the middle of the yarn skein. I also have a plastic tube with a cap that they go in for travel. It's very small in width.

11:56 AM  

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