Sunday, August 01, 2004

Best Quote I Heard All Day
My socks DO match. They're the same thickness.—Steven Wright

I am in sock mode. This in response to my knitting ennui. When bored, knit socks.

Spin, You Fool, Spin
I have my dear Joseph to thank for inspiring me to spin again. There’s times when I read other people’s blogs to get my juices cranking again, and Joe’s new Louet and his lovely handspun was just the thing to get me back to my Schacht double treadle. (Jesus, they've gotten pricy!)

After endlessly (and not very happily) spinning a pile of merino/silk/angora, I plied what I had on two bobbins this morning at 8 a.m., changed my drive band, and finally picked up this incredible handpainted Romney that I bought three years ago at The Fiber Studio in Henniker, NH. Sometimes it’s good to shitcan what you’re not happy with. The m/s/a will have to be dyed—it’s snow white—and I simply don’t know where I’m going to do that. Crockpot dyeing seems to be the only answer and I’m not in the mood. Perhaps when the weather gets cooler.

I’m spinning the Romney finely enough so that as 2-ply, it should work perfectly for my usual 7spi socks. This is something that I’m thinking of adding to the book’s chapter on socks—socks made in commercial and handspun yarns. I don’t want to get into spinning heavily but I do think that quite a few people spin for socks.

When daughter Corinne returns my digital camera, I’ll have pictures of the Romney. It should be quite interesting to see how it plies up, since the large color areas run from midnight blue to magenta.

More on IK
Although Elly has decided that she will not knit the Threepenny Pullover because, as she says, it’s too complex for her if she wants to watch TV, I think I’ll probably knit it in the fall, after Stitches.

This pullover is a perfect example of outstanding detail and shaping, plus stitch patterns that are guaranteed to keep you interested. If you really want to stretch your knitting skills AND your finishing skills, you can’t beat this design. I spent a half-hour last night really reading through the directions and they appear to be quite good. I find that IK’s directions are A) usually very complete and well written and B) they don’t jump to a page in the back, thank God.

After considering Cashmereno as a substitute, I may well use the original yarn. Why? Because the sweater is worked in double-strand Lana Gatto VIP, but the seaming is done using a single strand. There’s a bit of band attachment here and rather than find matching crewel or needlepoint yarn with which to do the sewing, it makes sense to me to use what’s called for.

I’d love to make Annie Modesitt’s Spencer jacket but since the large cables run horizontally, I’m way too busty to wear something like that.

Oldies And Not-So-Oldies
After I’ve pawed through any knitting magazine, I read the ads. All of them. And I was glad to see Penny Straker is back in business, though I’m not quite sure she ever really went away. I cut my knitting teeth on those patterns 28 years ago. They always had excellent written directions with a lot of extra information—good for the beginner—with classic designs that have stood the passage of time.

One of my favorite websites and another regular IK advertiser, is Fiddlesticks Knitting. Incredible lace shawls and lace scarves. Ya wanna make a scarf? These are scarves worth making, in my opinion. If I ever finish the Forest Path Stole, which is, by the way, half finished, I will make Fiddlesticks’s Garden Shawl. It's a bit busy but I very much enjoy the challenge of doing lace.

Sheesh, a lot of links this time.

Ya Know, Hey?
John and I say that a lot. It's all in the intonation.

The point being, I get a fair amount of e-mail from Tontant Weaders asking questions. So here's my challenge to you. Write me if you've got some interesting knitting questions that need answering and I'll publish the best ones with my answers, complete with your name, if you'd like. (Make sure you put Blog Question in the subject, otherwise I might miss it.) And please don't send me questions like, "How do I do Kitchener Stitch" and other Google-able questions. Send thoughtful ones that might benefit everyone, including me. I learn from your questions, you know.

I'm always ready, willing, and usually able to help people, if they're interested in improving their knitting.

Anyway, enough of this. Back to my goal of finishing a bobbinful of Romney. And then it’s back to socks. The Yankees are on. The ever so rare and handy Big Unit is not coming to NY. Ah well.

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