Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Idiot Cord for a True Maroon

Best Quote I Heard All Day  

  It is better of course to know useless things than to know nothing.--Tom Stoppard

If I spent time foraging in my brain to figure out how many useless things I know, I'd never get useless things done. 

Yes, this blog is filled with useless shit. Like the next bit about I-Cord. Whatta maroon!

Knitting Nancy, French Knitting, Spool Knitting...and then, I-Cord
Well, you all honored EZ with the invention of I-Cord, although she used her term "unvented" when discussing it. Certainly, EZ took I-Cord to the nth degree.

But as Ted mentioned in the comments, French Knitting (my mother always called the tool a Knitting Nancy) uses a spool with four nails hammered around the top edge--it has been around longer than EZ. 

I've found a wonderful book published in 1909 by Mary A. McCormack called "Spool Knitting." Check it out here in .pdf format. Now, if you need a chimney cleaner, you can put your I-Cord to good use following Ms. McCormack's directions.

Project Gutenberg is a free, open library where you can download books whose copyrights have expired. That's where I found "Spool Knitting" but the link I've given you is from American Libraries Internet Archive because the .pdf displays the book in its original, charming format.

Is there such a thing as Imbecile-Cord for seriously stupid knitters? There's a Ravelry group for Mensa members (I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members, as Groucho said). But no KnitDweeb group. What a pity. That means they're running rampant but at least I don't have to read their warshcloth, acrylic prayer shawl adventures.

Spun Out
I've got blisters on my fingers! (OK, skankettes, who said that? On what song? I gotta keep you sharp, dontcha know.)

I could write an article about spinning silk top. But I won't. Here's how ya do it:
  • Rule 1: Don't spin from the top without dividing it into little strips. If you don't break it down, you'll end up with a disgusting mess.
  • Rule 2: Always use Scotch tensioning (no Irish tensioning, no double-drive) and start with light tension. If your tension is too strong, the twist will get away from you. You can adjust the speed of your treadling until you're comfortable with the tension.
  • Rule 3: Don't fucking clutch the fiber! EVER. 
  • Rule 4: Measure and count, measure and count. That's a rule for any fiber, if you want consistency in your single.

Got it? Good. The picture below shows finished Bobbin #1 and a strip of the silk. I'm almost done with the second bobbin, hopefully with plied fiber in time for the end of Tour de Fleece on Saturday.

Can't wait to knit this shit.

Fiberality Fucking Around
Still designing socks and other things, although it looks like I'll be going back to work as of August 2. I'd like to introduce you to my premier sock model, Ms. Elisabeth Wagner, aka Punk Princess, prior to our recent photo shoot.
Such ebullient excitement! ("Yeah, OK, Gram. I'll do it if I can keep the socks. HURRY UP with the camera already!")

I've got directions to finish but here are two that will be available anon:
Miz Mermaid cuff-down socks, made with Black Bunny Fibers SoftSilk sock yarn. This is a simple slip-stitch pattern that works very well with hand-painted yarn. The pattern will be available on I'm going to give it to Carol, too, so she can give it away with the yarn, if she likes.

And here's the Leaves of Grass socks redo:
More SoftSilk. I love this stuff. I'll put up the link to the .pdf here, in the sidebar, and make it available via Ravelry too.

Tick, Tick, Tick
In just a few days, on July 25th, I'll be celebrating this blog's 8th anniversary. 

It's hard to believe that I've been doing this since I was a young'un of 52. I promise I'll do something special on the 25th, although I haven't quite figured out what. The heat's making my brain everso unrare, unhandy, and generally funky.

Later, skanks.


PICAdrienne said...

I think it was John, but not 100% sure. I know the song is Helter Skelter and it is by the Beatles, for what that is worth.

'M' said...

Paul sang lead vocals...excellent song, a favorite of mine!

Mary Lou in Central NY said...

Reminds me of a Bryan Adams song, Summer of '69.

I got my first real six string,
bought it at the five and dime,
played it 'till my fingers bled,
was the summer of '69....

FiberQat said...

Thanks for the silk spinning tips! I haven't done it but I do have some to try out.

Anonymous said...

Ringo Starr on Helter Skelter cos the original tune lasted for about 20 minutes hence the fade out and fade in again.
Philhellene in Liege, Belgium

anne marie in philly said...

the punk princess is a mighty pretty young woman! she has your eyes.

stay cool!

Sharon said...

I am in love with the Leaves of Grass pattern! It's next in the sock queue as soon as I finish the pair I'm working on currently.