Sunday, April 27

The silver-lined glass is half full

I got tickets #21-22 to attend the Yarn Harlot's reading and book signing sponsored by Nana's Knitting Shop last Friday. I was at the Oak Lawn Hilton at 6pm, got invited to be part of Nana's Team and sit in the front row, had tea from Argo as a gift - alas. We know how the story ends.

I started, knit, and finished the Lacy Top by Cabin Fever so I had a handknit to wear. Cascade Pima Tencel, just about 545 yds of color #7013 (needles size 6&7). I wore it to work with brown pants but the weight of the yarn, I am convinced, stretched it - the top of my bra showed under my arms. I bought a t-shirt at Target to be presentable to her Harlotess. Trish suggests washing it to pull it back into shape. I even steam blocked it, to make the YO pop in the pattern.

//picture to come//

Of course I paid a visit to the yarn shop beforehand. I have activated my membership in the sock club with the black/white Fixation. The simplicity appeals to me. I think I will try the Fixation on Lace pattern in Knitting circles around socks. I'm curious if the black smudges will line up with the lace diamonds.

The bit on the needles above was to pass the time on Friday

On the theme of socks, I prepared a new project to work on at the event, using the Froebe yarn I bought last fall.

Home industry, Chicago area. Buy local! Toe-up, this was begging for feather and fan. I forgot to make notes to bring so I saunter up to Trish, to ask her what the sequence is. Feather and fan! I just need the multiple and where to begin (YO or K2tog?) Little did I know that she was struggling under the weight of knowing SPM was still on the tarmac in Toronto. After 6pm, Chicago time. And SPM had plans to land at O'Hare. Trish briefly told me her brain was too full at the moment; I looked around for the writing on the wall. Instead, I spied the yarn's creator, Rebecca Froebe, who was especially delighted to see her product in the wild. Her mother (and business partner?) was also at the door. There are new colors coming out around May 1. Less orange.

As the hysteria was subsiding from Trish's system (she did a great job walking around, talking to the group who had become her guests), we met a mom with her baby from Joliet. The mom was wearing the Seascape shawl. Trimmed in, as Trish pointed out - feather and fan. Turns out the multiple is of 6/6/6=18 and the count for the instep of my sock is more like 30. I found the horseshoe pattern. The yarn is striping precisely

and is working with the pattern in just the way I envisioned. I will work with this yarn again!

Finally, a little bit of yarn for babies. I have extra pima that I thought would make nice baby burp cloths. One of my students might be having 3 babies so I needed more. Voila - not such baby colors but also gender-neutral.

Maybe there will be a reschedule. Maybe I will go. But I have plenty to go on with, so I'm not devastated either way.

Saturday, April 5

Something new to look at

I have spent the last two months knitting, although it's not apparent to anyone who is not privy to my living room. The cats know I have been knitting and some have tasted the yarn. DH knows I have been knitting because he has been commenting on the accumulation of bags by the recliner and the dust bunnies that apparently only I can vanquish with the vacuum. DD#3 knows I have been knitting because she has informed me she does not wear handknits. Maybe she doesn't.

Why project monogamy is a waste of time.

December 1 - the point where I realized my mistake. Very expensive yarn, worked carefully by alternating two colorways to make a variation on EZ's Bog Jacket. The variation is that I knit it from the top down, or from the bottom of the sleeve seam, over the shoulders, and down the back and around the front. I wasn't entirely sure that I had enough yarn so I postulated that making a slightly shorter jacket in reverse was better than knitting according to instructions only to discover would not be enough (discontinued) yarn to finish the project. Well, as one can see, this jacket might have worked if I hadn't planned for the wingspan of a California condor. Seems clear that there is enough yarn to make the jacket according to the impeccable instructions already worked out by Elizabeth Zimmermann. What was I thinking?

Lorna's Laces Chunky Swirl in Vera and Watercolor from Nana's Knit Shop. Whatever


To get that bad taste out of my mouth, I bought some books on, including America Knits and YarnPlay. America Knits is a compendium of wisdom and projects that could be the one and only book a knitter could have in her library. Any of the projects would be satisfying and keep one happy for a lifetime. I have plans to make the Latvian mittens with my $3 Dale of Norway yarn. I look at the pictures and plot my escape from reality. But YarnPlay has projects to scratch the itch now. One bathmat as seen in the wild:

4 skeins each of Sugar-n-Cream Potpourri Ombre and Countryside Ombre knit double-stranded on size 10.5 (I return over and over again to this colorway). The project did not turn out exactly but it's square when there aren't big wet footprints splotching it down.

What DD#3 doesn't wear.

I bought yarn for this project last year, when she was enthusiastic about me making her something. She picked the sweater vest from Louise Hardings Winter's Muse Classics (Audrey). Now she doesn't want it. A small project, with great interest at the beginning, then stockinette on 'til morning. I resisted adjusting the pattern to knit in the round. A little trim at the neck and armholes. If she still doesn't want it when it's beautiful, maybe my sister would like it.

Frog Tree, alpaca sport, from Loopy Yarns supposed to be on 3 and 6 but I think my gauge called for smaller.

A little snack

Inspired but unmoved at the time, by the afghan Kay organized for the Oliver raffle, I have begun to knit my leftover sock yarn into 4" squares. I can't say I will ever assemble these squares but I would have them handy to pass on to anyone who wants to make an afghan, for instance. Cast on 3, knit and M1 at the end of each row until the straight edge equals the required length. Then knit within 3 stitches, K2tog, knit 1. I remember that Kay especially appreciated knitters who slipped the first stitch of each row and blocked each square. This is yarn left over from Christmas present socks to DD#1 and DD#3. Maybe she wears stealth handknits.

I have other projects in progress but it seems I have 2 months to work on them before I post again. ;-)

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