Thursday, February 16, 2012


I'm not, not when it comes to yarn. It's just not one of my virtues.  I'm more the fits and starts kind of fiber enthusiast.  Into every crocheter's life, however, a little discipline must, alas, fall. So it is with the Blanket of Many Circles.

Despite my erratic tendencies, I'm down to the last six center motifs. All very exciting, except that all circles must get a navy border that turns them into squares. I begin to foresee another Blanket Which Must Not Be Named.  In an attempt to circumvent such an event, I'm instituting a new rule:  before I can knit a center motif (which, truth be told, is where all the fun is), I must finish at least five navy borders. There is an element of self-deception here; I'm not allowing myself to count the eight squares I have already completed.

Harsh, I know, but necessary.  There are four pattern variations.  I have six of each variation completed. Finishing five squares to every new circle means I get caught up on one of the variations before I knit the last circle (or two in the cases of variations 1 and 4) to that set. Factor in the eight completed squares that I am pretending to ignore, and I wind up way ahead of the game. 

It's really just an elaborate hoax I'm playing on myself in order to guarantee that I don't end up with 30 circles and nothing to make out of them.  One that I'm disguising as discipline.

Friday, February 10, 2012


The answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

On a little less cosmic level, the answer is Their Father's Broken Hand.  It involved a car (ours) or two, black ice, and a high school memory where four football players managed to slow a car with their feet on a sunny August afternoon. At least, that's what he thinks he was thinking of when he put his hand on the door latch as our car slid on the black ice and made contact with the rear bumper of the car stopped in front at the instersection on a wintery Sunday morning.  It's made life a little demanding, what with doctor's appontments and surgery and the fact that he's not allowed to drive, so if he has to be at a hearing or deposition or meeting outside the immediate (as in, accessible by public transportation) area, he needs me to drive him.

Oh, as they say, well.

All this wating around in anterooms and parking losts has, however, led to some productive knitting.  Look at this.

Is this cool, or what?  It's the Ashby Shawl by Leila Raabe for Brooklyn Tweed. Well, it will be, at any rate. Terribly clever and attention-demanding construction, which made it excellent knitting while waiting for himslef to come out of surgery.  I had originally considered some of the lacier shawls I have in my queue, then reflected on how much I don't really enjoy knitting lace and how long it had been since I had an adventure in cabling.

The yarn is a wild and irresponsible indulgence.  It Miss Babs Northumbria Aran in Navy.  That would be hand-dyed to order 3-ply superwash Blue-Faced Leicester.  The pattern only calls for 740 yards, which would mean about 4 skeins, but I am seriously considering adding in a couple border repeats, just so I can knit more with this yarn.

And yes, I really did order a whole box full.  I pretended to convince myself I needed to knit Their Father an afghan and purchased accordingly.  So much for altruism and generosity of spirit.  Apparently they fly right out the window when I am confronted by the merest whisper of a hint of Something fo Me.

Back to the cleverness of the construction.  The border is knit first.  The narrow cables are twisted on the wrong side and travel on the right.  The larger cable emerges gradually as you knit your way through the first of five charts.  The border then somehow makes a sharp turn at the third chart with the cleverness of short rows to form the point of the triangle.  Once the border is completed, the body of the shawl is knit from inside it.  Okay, I admit that piece has me a little baffled, but the knitting right now is fun and creative and I'm willing to make a leap of faith and accept that the rest of it will come out as promised.

Who knows, I may find the ultimate question to go with the ultimate answer. I'm betting it's something like, how many yards more will a knitter knit after she says, "Just one more row."