February in May

February Lady Sweater is done and I really like it; I like how it knits up and how it wears.  Fun knit.  I might just have to make more of these.

Pattern: February Lady Sweater by Pamela Wynne (free download through Ravelry)
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease
Needles: US 6 (4 mm)

I went for my second round of fingerprint scans at Homeland Security this morning, and it was a bit more hopeful.  At least this time, I didn’t see little red boxes all over my fingerprint scans on the scanning machine monitor.  Last month, the agent pronounced my fingerprint scans done after I watched little red boxes appear all over my scans on the monitor, only to receive a notice in the mail a week later telling me that my scans weren’t good enough and that I would have to go back today for the re-scan.  So my husband and I did some homework and we asked professional fingerprint technicians about getting good fingerprints.  We talked to a private fingerprinting business, Kirkland Police and Seattle Police and they all said to use a little bit of Corn Huskers Lotion and that that is what they use when someone has dry hands.  The trick, they told us, is not too apply too much lotion because it will fill the ridges of the fingerprints.  So today, although the agent observed that I have really dry hands, it seemed like it went better because I didn’t see the red boxes on the scans on the monitor.  So, now we wait to see if we get another notice in the mail next week.


February is a Lion

Having finished Wine and Roses Mitts for my mother, I have resumed work on February Lady Sweater, which I actually just barely started on April 1, the same day I started Wine and Roses. When it took 11 days of swatching to get gauge on Wine and Roses, I decided that if I was going to finish them for my mother by Mother’s Day, I’d better focus on them solely. Now that they are out of the way, I’m making lots of progress really quickly on February Lady.

I want to have this as my wear-around-the-house sweater when we bring our daughter home from South Korea in the few months. For this reason, I am using Lion Brand Wool-Ease, so that I do not freak when it gets some form of something burped-up on it and just throw it in the washer and dryer to be worn again soon.  While making Nantucket Jacket a short time ago, it occurred to me that black would be a refreshing color to knit something in, so I chose black for this project.  I love natural fibers, especially wool, but there are times when a project calls for something more practical, and this is one of those. I do miss the smell of pure wool, and this stuff has a slightly, um, hard to describe smell, but it smells just a bit like plastic or something manufactured—I just try to push through and concentrate on the finished item.

Making progress at Pacific Beach, Washington from our trip in April.

Because of the Lion Brand yarn, I’ve decided to call it “February is a Lion Sweater”.

Progress, as of today.

This is a nice pattern, and the designer, Pamela Wynne, has put a relaxed feel in it by incorporating phrases like “…when you try on the sweater, the sleeves stitches almost meet under your arms,” and “Continue until the body is 1.5″ shorter than the desired length.”  Along with such a relaxed feel, all the information I need to successfully knit the sweater is there for me, and I find such non-specifics a relaxing tone to set; just what I need for my less-than-relaxed nature.

We’ve received notification that my fingerprints failed the ever-so-efficient biometric scanning machines at Homeland Security, and now I have to go for a re-do at the end of May (you get assigned appointment times, you can’t choose them). Frustrating, disappointing, heartbreaking, annoying, sad—words that float in my brain every day as I look at our little girl’s picture on my iPhone and I think of how being able to get her sooner has been pushed back because someone wasn’t doing their job carefully and really making sure my fingerprints were accurately scanned. Apparently this is really common. Next time I go, I will watch the screen closely as my prints appear on the machine, and when I see the red boxes appear in various places on the fingerprint scans (I believe they indicate undetected fingerprints), I won’t trust the agent when she says I am done. Next time, I will kindly request doing them again unless she can explain the red boxes, and if that doesn’t happen, I will respectfully request a meeting with a supervisor to make sure that I get good scans.