Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Closer examination of the yarn from yesterday's post revealed that, while I have skeins and skeins of the stuff (it's that Dream in Color Classy in Not Really Cloud Jungle from this), the differences between skeins are considerable. The variations I like best, I don't have enough of. The sensible thing to do would be to knit from two or more skeins at a time but that just seems like too much work. I have enough complicated stuff on my plate right now (parade, Peoria, 4 seasons of Dr. Who, water streaming out of my bathroom ceiling, seminar, Arizona, high school, sheltered workshop - you would not believe the number of agencies who feel they should be involved in that last decision). Honestly, you should be impressed that I'm blogging at all.

Besides, I have complicated knitting aplenty. Two. No, three. No, counting Christopher's gray gansey -- which isn't fully charted yet but I'm getting there -- four guy sweaters. Frankly, at this point, even John's Island Embrace/Splendid Sofa blanket is too complex. I know it's all garter stitch, but there's those three balls of yarn to deal with (see problem with shawl above).

This craving for simplicity is what sent me to the Mustaa Villa version of the Wool Peddler's Shawl in the first place. Alright, alright. So I found it through Kay, but let's face it, if you're thinking garter stitch thoughts, Kay is one of the best resources out there.Then the yarn failed me.

Did I mention my summer resolution to only knit from stash (stop it Diane)? I have, as Clare comments from time to time, a "fabulous stash." Once I actually went looking, I found an amazing embarrassing exhilarating number, a lot of choices. In Cascade 220 alone, I think I could make 6 shawls. I settled on Veridian/4007 for the body. I do so love a nice Cascade 220 Heather. I'll figure out the border when I get there (Pumpkin Spice? Charcoal? Navy?).

Wait. There's more!

In between tossing the stash and making sure (again) that Falco gets the better of Severina Zotica, while poring over Ravelry trying to find something that would let me use up the D in C, I noticed a lot of shawl patterns from Myrna Stahman's book. I knew of her from the Seaman's Scarf patterns, but hadn't focused on her lace and shawl work. In one out of many moments of deep and blinding frustration, I ordered it.

It's wonderful. It would be worth the purchase price just for the stitch marker tip (She does this thing where, to keep the YO's from overwhelming the marker, she fastens a length of waste yarn to it with a lark's head knot. I can't wait to try it). It also had this.

This is the Fenna shawl. It's a top-down Faroese shawl in all garter stitch. A neckband and 13 or so rows of fiddly stuff and then plain and simple garter stitch - with four YO's per row to keep you from falling asleep. Note that it's knit with a hand-dyed variegated yarn. Note how beautifully the shawl displays said yarn. Remember that fabulous stash? It contains some of this.

A fabulous hand-dyed variegated yarn, to wit, Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester DK in Hercules, purchased a Long Time Ago from Tidal Brook Yarns. Stahman comments that the shawl looks best worked at a gauge of 4 spi, so I'm swatching on US 9/5.5 mm needles.

Either/Or is for sissies; I'm going for Both/And.

Monday, June 29, 2009

What To Do, What To Do?

I had a plan. It's not working. Now what?

Indecision is a terrible thing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gravity Is Not My Friend

This is not the post I expected to write. When next I discussed the Bubbly Curtain I was anticipating an entirely different outcome. One that involved victory and me modestly murmuring, "'Aw. T'weren't nuthin'. "

The warning signs were out there. Did I really think Ann and Kay would specify "The curtain shall be small" if they didn't mean it? And what about those pictures on Ravelry and elsewhere? Very few of the larger curtains actually end at the windowsill. Did you notice that? I noticed, I just didn't let it stop me.

I've blocked this this 3 times now. Okay, the first time I blocked it to 30" by 54" instead of 32" by 52". (Hey. They both add up to 84.) At first I was comforted. I knew it had seemed too squooshed. Blocking wider would open the pattern up better. Fifty-two inches would just graze the window sill.

Only it didn't. It still draped 3 or 4 inches beyond. I blocked it again, this time to about 35" by 49". Still too long. I basted in a hem/rod pocket. Still too long. I rolled it another couple of inches and basted again. Fine. At last. I figured I'd let it hang up for a day or so, experience the excessive humidity that comes with this bathroom (I sometimes suspect Marco was a selkie in a former life), then frog it down a few inches or six and re-knit the finishing rows.

Except it keeps growing. Like Silly Putty. Like warm taffy. Like honey spinning down from a spoon.

I'm beginning to explore alternative solutions. Maybe I want to "hang" the curtain by its sides. Maybe I need to make two curtains, the top one picking up the pattern where the bottom one leaves off. Maybe I need to knit shorter and wider and see what gravity does then. Maybe I just want to go ahead and buy some white Rowan Wool Cotton and start over.

In the meantime, I'm starting a shawl.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Sometimes I need to have it pointed out that my brain wanders down strange and obscure paths. I was having coffee with one of my favorite knitters this morning. Something she said made me aware that yesterday's post was not the paragon of transparency I thought it was.

Therefore, let me state, simply: the knitting is done. The Very Big Bubbly Curtain is off the needles.

You may not recognize it here. That's because it is in stage two of the blocking process, undergoing that step in metamorphosis that is the knitting equivalent of caterpillar to cocoon. There it is. Concealed. Secluded. Wrapped in an old, colorfast, cotton towel whiling away the time while the miracle of osmosis does it's work. (That's a fancy way of saying I want to go from one sopping wet and one dry object to two damp ones.)

With any luck it will emerge this afternoon and the final transformation will begin. (That means the pinning-out will commence.) After which it will take it's rightful place in the back (not the company) bathroom and you will know where to find me for the next few days.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Knit On*

Let's see. When we left our intrepid heroine she was running a lifeline. Now? Well . . .

The little things that you say and do
Make me want to be with you
Knit on. It's a crazy feeling and
I know you've got me reeling
when you say, "One more row." Knit on.

Well, knit on. It's a crazy feeling and
I know it's got me reeling
I'm so glad that your revealing yourself to me.
Knit on, knit on tell me,
tell me not to be lonely.
Tell me there's the weaving in ends only.
Knit on.

*With Apologies to Buddy Holly.

Monday, June 15, 2009


My life has gone all boy-centric lately. All the mad activity of late May and early June has culminated in the family's second graduation. (I actually have a post that I'll finish up and publish about all that. Someday.) It's just that I forgot to think beyond. Now, John is out of school and Marco is on half-days and they're rather lost. They might be, dare I say it, bored. This is a bit of a strain. While I don't feel it is my job to provide them with endless entertainment -- I have even been heard to say that boredom is good for them -- I can't deny that watching them fluctuate between constant videos and aimless wandering about the place is not conducive to peace of mind.

I think all the looming boy-ness is having an effect on my knitting. Once I knew I would fail to finish the bubbly curtain as part of the Graduation Frenzy, I expected I would discard it until the next Family Event loomed. That would be Marco's Graduation. In two years. Plenty of time to pull it out and knit to another artificial deadline. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found I had so much curtain in my lap that the project had become unwieldy. No longer portable. People, this is lace, complete with all the baggage attendant thereupon: yarn overs, k2tog's, and lifelines. I like lace only slightly more than I like stranded knitting, which I despise only slightly more than I despise socks.

Yet it grows. If you look closely, down there on the bottom of the photo, toward the left, you'll see an orange stitch/row marker. B.G. (Before Graduation) ( that would be June 1 through June 5) I knit from there to a couple inches beyond the lifeline. Now we're Post Graduation and instead of stopping and turning to some other, more overtly congenial project, I'm here tracking a chart, counting stitch repeats. It's been marvelous, actually. I'm so occupied counting and muttering that I forget to entertain the resident males. Heck, I forget they need to be entertained.

Things had gotten to the point where standing on the toilet seat and holding the knitting up to the window no longer gave any useful information. The time had come to do a serious measurement, hence my takeover of the kitchen table.

It's pinned out to 30 inches wide, although I could probably yank another inch or so out of it. At that width, I've passed 44 inches. As of yesterday, when I conducted this investigation, I had less than 10 inches to go. Pinned out, my actual row count it 7.2 rows per inch, not the 5 I was guess-timating. Even still, the end is in sight, completion looms, there's a light at the end of the tunnel and it may not be a train.

Not only that, John has started perusing summer program brochures.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


That's an Unidentified Flying Blogger. Definition: Long absent blogger who flies by her computer and attempts to placate her dwindling readers with the most rapidly conceived and written post she's ever done.

It's not my fault, though. We have another graduation here tomorrow. The ceiling fixtures are done. Apparently that wonky branch on the kitchen light that stopped lighting weeks ago? It just wanted to be clean. I've pulled everything down from the top of the cabinets and washed them (the stuff and the cabinets). The thing is, if the cabinets and tchotchkes were that grubby (and they were, trust me), imagine my kitchen curtains. There's really no way to sugar coat this. An examination revealed that they're, well, fuzzy. As in my husband suggested this morning that if I left them, we could start petting them. We were not amused. Those suckers are going to be washed and ironed by the time he gets home. You betcha by golly. I am alive, though, and if not well (I despise washing curtains), at least more or less accounted for.

Now to the placating part. I have some month old yarn pr0n for you. I know it's a month old, because we just got the notice for the June shipment. I'd like to hold out the hope that there's at least another yarn pr0n post in the near future, but I really can't see beyond tomorrow at 5:00 PM.

This is what Erin at Eat.Sleep.Knit sent for the Malabrigo Club May offering.

Ooo. Pretty.

Speaking of curtains, I have breathed life into a long dormant slog. Yes, I had some mad idea that one of the graduations would impel me to finish it. Ten inches per 50 row repeat, Think I can knit another 135 rows and block it by tomorrow?

Me neither.