Baby hat
Sunday October 07th 2018, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit

Curious. And here I thought that skein looked pretty close to a solid color.



He’ll never be this tiny again
Friday October 05th 2018, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knit

Spencer, so very very new.

Meantime, a conversation two days ago: no, you can’t pay me to knit a cowl for your mom like yours but tell me her favorite color.

Her: Purple and pink and happily wears wool.

Me, now that I’ve finished the survivor’s one:



Introducing Spencer
Saturday September 29th 2018, 9:14 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit,Life

I wanted to officially finish the blanket the day the baby was born and so I held off on those last few things.

Meaning, I have some ends I need to go run in right now and a tag to sew on. (Edited to add, done!)

7 lbs 3.5 oz, 21″, and a perfect little baby boy in every way. We are over the moon.



Greens and blues, Sara said
Friday September 28th 2018, 8:40 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life,Politics

The last few days prompted a conversation wherein an old high school friend opened up yesterday and told me about her being a survivor.

I asked her her favorite color.

(Solis colorway. I had knit up all I had of that. I was actually out. I had to do something about that.)

Today I kept feeling like, go to Green Planet.

Cottage Yarns in the opposite direction has a better inventory on all things Malabrigo.

Go to Green Planet.

I finally said a little prayer, and felt like, yes already fer cryin’ out loud, honey, Green Planet.

Well alright then.

I brought the pair of needles I would be using, went there, found just the thing, waited while they wound it and dove right in, both the knitting and the conversation at the table.

Some old Purlescence friends happened to be there, and one of them asked me how I was doing. I told her the last few days had been pretty intense.

And with that everybody felt permission to talk about it and the conversation got going. Of the five of us sitting at that table, four had followed every hearing and every update.

The fifth, a younger woman, had not; she wanted to know but she’d shied away from finding out and was not even sure what the story was, and it hit me: we’re talking to a survivor and it’s still all too close to home for her. But we did not pry and we did not ask.

The woman across from me started talking about Jeff Flake and the woman in the elevator confronting him, demanding, Look in my eyes! We come to the courts for justice! We who are hurt, who have suffered injustice, we look to the courts and you want to put a rapist on the court! There are many of us and you ought to be ashamed! We come to the courts for healing, for justice!

I chimed in that Flake had gone back to that hearing room and had still voted yes–if. If the FBI were given a week to investigate, then yes, move the nomination to the floor. If.

Something changed in the room.

The witnesses will be interviewed after all.

The fifth woman gathered up her things now and said she had to go, but she had one request: could she give me a hug?

Yes! (Oh honey yes. Yes of course.)

She thanked me and then headed out the door into the waiting daylight.



Jimmy Fallon and…
Saturday September 22nd 2018, 9:20 pm
Filed under: Knit

On a lighter note: Lenny Kravitz and the giant scarf his friend had knit him.

Meantime, another hat, 7US needles, this time in the Paris Nights colorway: Malabrigo Mecha, 70 stitches, 8.5″,  at the top *k8, k2tog,* then one plain round, *k7, k2tog,* plain round, *k6, k2tog,* etc, till you’ve done *k3, k2tog,* at which point stop doing the plain rows between the decrease rows. This rounds off the top of the hat without making it pointy.



Here let me show you what I did wrong
Saturday August 25th 2018, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Knit,Knitting a Gift

There’s a knit two rows purl two rows knit two rows sequence between the squares. When I picked the blanket up again after not working on it for a week while we had company, I somehow only did the first two rows of that sequence of six. I did not see it till I was more than that much further along.

So my choices are:

1. Ignore it. Carry on. Got a ball and a half left to go. (It’s very stretchy sideways, while the picture is with it kind of scrunched in at the sides, so you can definitely add more length, not to mention their kids are tall. But then their daddy is over 6’9″.)

2. Cut it just above the spot, carefully undo enough rows to have plenty of yarn to be able to cast off right there (and where you would want that to be in the pattern), rip out the eighteen hours’ worth of wasted work and have a do-over at the top.

3. Cut it and do all that but flip it over and kitchener (ie graft) the now-live stitches from the top of the bottom to the bottom of the top (only 210 stitches, who’s counting) after I finish those balls and ignore that the stitches will be suddenly upside down to the rest of the blanket. Like nobody will ever know.

4. Which brings us back to, well then hey, ignore it without all that extra work.

But if I just leave it It. Will. Bug. Me.

I think reknitting every one of those inches will be dependent on the baby hopefully refusing to be too much of a preemie, but it’s what I should do.

Like any kind of ribbing, it’s a slow-going pattern.

The thought occurred to me today that y’know, if I could find a match on the dyelot (wishful thinking) then I could actually come out of this with two afghans, after all, one’s a third of the way there already…

Although I think I’d make a plain wide border all around the shorter piece I’m going to cut off. One can only do so much.

Now, who has a full bag of Rios in Cian in stock in a lighter shade than some and with no green in it that I can buy?



(And then I explained what qiviut was)
Tuesday July 24th 2018, 7:02 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life

How to make people laugh in church:

We were studying from the Book of Psams in Sunday School, and after a goodly discussion, the teacher handed out paper and pens and asked us what we would write for our own personal psalm. After giving us a few minutes, she asked if anybody wanted to share theirs?

She got one taker. Here goes.

“The Lord is my knitter.

I shall not unravel.

He increases my stitches in cashmere and qiviut and broadens my hem

His purls shall sustain me forever.”

(Because, you know, the front is the flat stockinette side and the purls mean He’s got your back.)



Take your time
Tuesday July 17th 2018, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Knit,Life

I had nothing ready. No portable project. My doctor appointment was in 40 minutes, c’mon, just pick something! I grabbed my one-and- only-ever cone of now-sold-out lavender Piuma and needles–no stash hoarding for you! Use it!

I got there early, signed in and cast on.

They apologized that the doctor was running 45 minutes late; I motioned towards my yarn and said, You’ve got twenty hours before I get antsy. For that matter, if someone’s appointment is after mine but they’re in a hurry they’re welcome to go ahead of me.

The guy laughed and clearly his day was suddenly a whole lot better.



Almost endless
Saturday July 14th 2018, 11:09 pm
Filed under: Knit

Back to the long-neglected baby afghan.

A question for the knitters: if you had to have four stitches out of every twenty-five in a second color nine times over, would you make nine bobbins to dangle and tangle? Or would you carry the yarn all the way across back and forth? Note that I am compulsive about twisting across the back of every stitch while doing fair isle, so that’s an intensive amount of untangling anyway.

I started with the bobbin idea. I ditched it after the first color change and went with the carrying but I’m second-guessing myself constantly. Bobbins would make a less dense fabric, less warm. They live in San-fer-cryin’-out-loud-Diego.

Right now it’s nice and thick and almost baby-proof. And very very slow going.



Someone’s about to get her choice of oranges
Friday July 13th 2018, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Knit,Knitting a Gift

Pattern: same old same old potato chip knitting.

Sixty-six grams out of my hundred and fifty and a generous-sized scarf you could actually wear on a summer’s cooling evening around here with plenty left to make a second one. It wasn’t quite done when Constance was here; she said it wasn’t quite dark nor red enough of a shade for her and she chose the deep teal green hat instead.

Color being everything.

The yarn is 65/35 cashmere/silk, exquisitely soft, but the version I bought was cobweb weight and thus very much on sale. Not a lot of people hand knit cobweb straight up. A shawl can be made out of a thicker yarn than that and still be fine enough to pull through a wedding ring.

So I paid Colourmart the $5 fee to twist it into a balanced (I did the math to see how many yards I wanted it to come out to) twelve-ply rather than fussing with it on my wheel. Well spent. I knit it before I scoured the mill oils out–I could just picture thousands of yards felting into each other coming out of the bath and trying to pry it all apart. Let’s not.

Unwashed, it split easily and drove me a bit nuts but I knew I would love it when I was done.

And oh I do. This is glorious. All those strands have settled down now into a proper yarn, and I wish I could hold it out through the screen for you to touch it.

I like things a little redder and darker, too, though. I’ll just have to give this one away. Such a shame.



Additional updates applied
Thursday July 05th 2018, 11:18 pm
Filed under: Knit

WordPress had a botched upgrade which hit many sites including this one.  I did some surgery yesterday to get the site back, and another update just a minute ago that appears to have succeeded.  Hopefully things are now working better than they were.

–Richard



Happy Fourth of July!
Wednesday July 04th 2018, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Knit,Knitting a Gift,Mango tree

Another Piuma peach cashmere cowl, and I just cast on yet another. Except what I really want to knit right now, for no particularly good reason in the heat of the summer, is a thick warm hat. Maybe for variety’s sake? We’ll see.

The mango tree is loving the warmth, meantime (and me the air conditioning.) There are five smaller sprays of buds coming along quietly further back that will soon be as big as this one.



Flower power
Monday July 02nd 2018, 9:44 pm
Filed under: Friends,Garden,Knit

The physics of knitting. Cool stuff.

Meantime, the little miniature hydrangea that my friend Edie gave me several years ago is holding its own against the encroaching coffeeberry bush, blooming in both sun and shade. I love that what had been a small tender potted plant from a florist actually held on and thrived out there even after a stump grinder took out the olive roots right by it.

It is small but it is determined to live up to what it was meant to be.



Maybe I do want to knit some more of that after all
Wednesday June 27th 2018, 10:22 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit

I’d been meaning to get the other half of this finished for some time. It was two strands of splitty stuff and not my favorite to work with, although I always love how it comes out when it’s done.

Yarn: one lighter shade one darker, vintage stash 95/5 silk/lycra, which I bought quite a few colors of when Colourmart had it. Hudson got a thoroughly impractical but gorgeous blanket out of it in neon royal blue when he was born. (And a cuddly Rios one later, which he wadded up and kneaded into his mommy’s side as she held him and then plunged his head into it. Wool for the win.)

In my experience the silk/lycra shrinks a lot in hot water. You do need some heat when washing the mill oils out.

Photo 1: Straight off the needles.

Photo 2: Hours after being scoured and spun out in the washer, still damp. It definitely shrank (note the buttons), but the pattern looks a whole lot better and both upper and lower edges are lying nicely flat.

I promise not to spend the next month waiting to run the ends in. That’s the easy part.



Drawing a turkey
Tuesday June 26th 2018, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit,Life

Dad had a folder he wanted to show me while I was there. I’d never seen it before.

Carefully preserved, pristine inside the plastic, were sheets of lined paper with carefully near-perfect handwriting. Just ever so slightly faded from age.

Words had to come right to where they lined up at the right, which meant that there were hyphens announcing ‘to be continued’ plunked into the strangest places within those words. But the penmanship!

It was a five (or was it six?) page report on Thanksgiving by a third grader one hundred years ago that her parents had clearly been proud of and had kept.

The budding author was my grandmother.

And on the cover of that report was a drawing of a turkey.

I did a serious double take–I thought at first Dad had saved an old drawing of mine and why was he showing me that in the context of this and it totally threw me a moment. But no, it was his mother’s.

My grandmother the avid knitter, who ran the county chapter that knitted for the troops during The War in hopes that somehow that would bring her three sons home safely and sooner. (They all made it back, though one was deafened by the sounds of the warfare the ship he’d captained in the Pacific had gone through.)

I loved to draw as a kid and I can still pick out something I drew any time I see it all these years later. The inside covers of the books that belonged to me all had to be so adorned, with enthusiasm that sometimes spilled onto other pages, too.

To be charitable, you could at least figure out what the thing was supposed to be, and judged against some of my peers I really wasn’t too bad a doodler. But there was no great talent there.

My little sister on the other hand is a gifted artist–truly, go see for yourself. Yeah. Me? Only with yarn. I have forever been in awe of what Anne can do.

But I am absolutely gobsmacked that as a kid I drew exactly like another third grader whom I knew as the sweet elderly grandmother I only got to see a few times in my life before she was gone. The proportions, the angles, picking up the pencil here and moving it there, that careful control that thickened the line while trying to make a perfect half circle at the top of the head. Even the wattle was my turkey wattle.

Twins. In childhood and, with a nod yarnward, adulthood. Sixty-one years apart.