The Round Up:
Here is what I have been (or haven't) been knitting lately.

The Something Red cardigan is stalled at the moment. I keep meaning to ask my mom to help me pick up all the stitches around the neckline (which is to say, 200 + stitches). I can do this for socks, but when it comes to sweaters, picking up stitches like this makes me break out in a cold sweat. That, or the arctic air conditioning on the train. Better than none, I know, and a real incentive for finishing a transition sweater.

That adorable Colinette Lasso top? Also marinating on the needles. I've knit all the way up to the bust shaping, which suddenly requires me to pay much more attention. A stay-at-home project. Also, the pattern skips around a bit, requiring much reading and re-reading. When am I supposed to join the front and back? As if by magic, they're sewn together for the armhole shaping. I might want to finish this before fall, no? Also planned: a trip to Soutache, a trim store in Chicago said to be as good as a mercerie in Paris, to pick out buttons.

So, this is what I have been knitting on the train, in front of the telly, etc. It's a jacket from Colinette's Femme Fatale collection. I found another blogger, in Canada, who says she knit it in like two days. Perfect, I thought, I like instant gratification and I'm trying to finish, finish, finish before my vacay in September. Well, like is the operative word in that sentence. It does knit fast, due to crazy large gauge. However, the 1x1 ribbing really slows me down. At least it's not moss stitch! I've been working on this for a little over a week and have the back and one of the front pieces done. Well, there are a few other reasons that my knitting overall has been neglected lately.

One of my work friends, Mr Cher, took me out to an after hours bar for the 3rd/4th of July. Getting there was like some kind of crazy, gay update of the Odyssey. You see, I can't leave my car overnight in the Metra parking lot or I'll get a ticket or towed. So, we decided to go get the car and drive back in to go to Drag Queen Bingo. No, you don't have to drag to go; the caller is a drag queen. Small snag: it was the 3rd of July. For reasons that are unclear, the City of Chicago shoots off its fireworks on the third, so there were a ridiculous number of people around Millenium Park and trying to take the trains. So, they were running extra trains. We took one, figuring it would be better than waiting for the next scheduled train. This turned out to be a huge mistake. We got sidetracked for over half an hour. A woman sitting near us declared, "This is how I imagine it would be to be on a cruise ship---if you were held hostage". That pretty much says it all. Hours later, we finally get to my car, having completely missed Drag Queen Bingo and drive back in. Mr Cher painted my face fiercely. Geishas take about as much preparation. We then went to an extremely warm club, full of steam, fog, and gay men. We didn't stay long. We ended up at the Afterhours IHOP. The wait was long and the clientele fabulous. Well, probably fabulous earlier in the evening. It was light when we left. I'm too old for this: I need sleep regularly and I don't know when that happened.

Then my Dad, Stepmother, and Stepbrother were in town. A large dinner was had, requiring much phone tag, personal calls at work, and an evening off. It was great. I hadn't seen them in a really long time and I had a great time hanging out with Adam.

Then, one of my best friends from college was in town. Willie is producing a documentary about the CHA and miraculously has obtained their cooperation and permission to shoot one of their pull downs. Whenever they actually do it (they keep pushing it back). We started with lunch at Hackney's, where I used one of my numerous gift certificates from work, and ended the evening at the Neo-Futurists. I've wanted to go see Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind for years, but never got around to it until Willie came into town. I was tired, I'd had a few. I nearly dozed off during the action-packed show. We had brunch the next day, then went to Union Station for Willie to catch the train to Mt Pleasant. He'll be back in a few weeks. I hope I'll be over my sleep deficit by then.

My car was stolen Wednesday night, from the parking lot blocks from my grandmother's house. I got off the train and there were three cars in the lot. None of them were mine. So, I had to call my mom and ask her to check the other station. It wasn't there. Someone stole George!
So, we went to the local cop shop and filed a report. At least the officer on duty was cute. I didn't get home until 1.30 am, then totally couldn't sleep. I sent out a mass email to friends asking them to send good energy my direction. I asked St Anthony to find the car. He did, in Joliet. They called at 6 am to report its location. How did the police find it so quickly, you ask? Well, the kids who stole it used it in an attempted armed robbery. They hadn't even stripped out the radio. So, a trip out to Joliet that evening to retrieve the car revealed that George is undriveable. Not just because he has no license plates and is missing a window, but because the car thieves broke the steering column. It really feels like the Perils of Pauline. I can't help but feel lucky that the car was recovered so quickly. All of my stuff is still there (as far as I could tell when I visited it in the impound lot) and it can be repaired. I'll still have to take a cab on Monday. The response to the mass email was really wonderful. Nearly everyone responded, with offers of rides, knitting supplies, and moral support. So, I should have George the Buick back in a couple days, never to be parked in that lot again. And I'd like to say thanks to everyone who sent out their love, sympathy, and good vibes. I really needed it.


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