Monthly Archives: August 2006

Off!

Looks like I’m all ready to go – other than a passport and my knitting, what else could I possibly need on my trip? :)

Coming with me: grandma’s Whitby socks, which, between this and that, somehow got almost halfway done:

However, I intend to focus on the Shetland Triangle. As you remember, I started it ever so cautiously well before my trip, just to make sure yarn, needles and pattern were all in order.

I’m glad I did! Remember how something about the US 3 KnitPicks Classic Circulars kept bugging me? It seemed that the needles were too thin, even for 3s, and my hands kept itching for something slightly more substantial. Then, as I was passing the needle through the US 3 hole in my needle gauge with much ease, it came back to me: KnitPicks has somewhat unorthodox needle sizing! I’ve been using the 3.0 mm needles, which KnitPicks calls US 2 (and I’d call US 2.5, because it ain’t fittin’ through the US 2 hole in the needle gauge). No wonder my brain couldn’t make sense of what my hands were feeling!

Anyway, 3.0 mm is definitely a stretch for this yarn, so I whipped out my tried and true INOX Express in a US 4 (3.5 mm), much better for this yarn, both in terms of size and feel. I reworked the first chart with the replacement needles… and I know I was supposed to supervise myself and not go any further, but I couldn’t help it and worked one additional chart repeat. Oops! :)

One last thought before I must go (and bounce up and down on my suitcase to close it) – I’m delighted to announce the 450th Jaywalker submitted into the galleryMarlena! Marlena says she’s the unlucky-ish sort, rarely winning anything, but her Tiger Jaywalkers changed that in a jiffy:

Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Powder Blue (you know where I got it)

Congratulations, Marlena!

And now I’m off! See you in about a week!

Eat that!

Pattern: simple stockinette sock worked over 68 sts, featuring a picot edge, short-row heels, and standard toes.

Needles: Susan Bates 5 dpns, US 0 (these are my #1 choice for sock knitting).

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in #26, wisteria, 1.5 skeins.

I see that Linda currently has some of this yarn in stock! And I believe you can special order if she runs out (also in wisteria: Shepherd Worsted and Helen’s Lace!)

Some laughed their wicked little laughs when I started knitting this pair of socks, knowing that Lorna’s Laces handpainted colorways pool terribly. But I never worried or paused, somehow secure (for no good reason) that the yarn would do the right thing. If it didn’t, I figured, I wouldn’t fight; I’d simply put it down and knit with a different yarn. Why complain and waste my time coercing it into something pretty when I’ve got an entire stashette of solid-colored yarns?!?

And the yarn behaved. And I was gleefully, smugly satisfied :-D.

But what about the second skein? Handpainted yarn is an interesting animal – change the length of the different color sections by only an inch, and all the beautiful patterning can collapse on itself. One friend in particular warned me with her signature, “I’m just sayin’!”

I entertaining this threat for a mere second, shrugged my shoulders, and (for no good reason) convinced myself that it would be fine. I said, jokingly, “I’ll will it to stripe.”

And so it did. Miracle? Coincidence? Luck? Knitting gods smiling down on my grandma’s wisteria-clad feet?

Yarn manufacturers throwing a bone my way so that I’d add variegated yarns to my repertoire? This one may be the real reason. The whole thing caught me by surprise! Who knew I’d enjoy working with this colorful yarn so much?!? Watching the colors change, stitch by stitch, round by round… And now my checkbook is suffering ;) (all purchased in the very recent past).

Bummed out

Update on kitty/bum mat interaction:

I am Kitty, and no one tells me where to put my bum.

Kitty prefers the empty UPS box to felted bum mat 100% of the time. No sweat, little kitty, not everyone likes felted wool. I will show my affection in other ways ;).

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Have you ever been curious about the voice behind this writing? Want to know what I sound like when I speak, in real life? I recorded an audio book review of Norah Gaughan’s Knitting Nature for my friend Guido’s podcast, It’s a Purl, Man. You can listen to the entire podcast by clicking the show link, or subscribing to the iTunes feed. A mini-review of the book and some project photos can be found here.