this is my latest binge, oh my goodness. Doc and I both think we are so funny now. We keep working on new bits, cracking each other up, slapping the table. He had one at breakfast this morning about Alternative Sanitation. We worked up a whole hilarious idea about a coffee shop that only had decaf, called "Sleepy's", and we were breathless with laughing. Every single thing seems funny right now.
[edited: I had a question about how the reading + knitting thing works--basically, I sit at the kitchen table (we have comfy chairs there) with the book propped in one of these, and blaze along on the long stockinette parts of socks or sweaters, which I can do without looking at it. I learned to knit without looking when I got tired of having to decide between reading and knitting, just by practicing until I felt confident. It's one of the most useful tricks I've ever learned!]
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Arboreal, all blocked and dry and ready to be my armor against any upcoming blizzards. You guys, I am so pleased with this one. I washed it and spread it out to dry before lunch yesterday, and by dinnertime, it was ready to wear. Look at that smooth, well-fitting yoke! No billowing at all. Jackpot! And this ultra-fluffy, wafty, wooly and sheepy Plotulopi has completely stolen my heart. Like the Lettlopi, it is a little rough on bare skin, but that doesn't really bother me very much, and an insulating underlayer is always part of my winter gear anyway. Didn't my lovely mama choose the perfect colors, too? Her own tastes run to the beautiful jewel tones that look so good with her snowy white hair and rosy cheeks, so buying wool for me in Gray and More Gray probably stuck in her craw a little, but she did it. Thank you, Mom! In order to get the fit and silhouette I prefer, I made the yoke in Small, the body in Medium, and the sleeves in XS. So, a little easy math, no big deal. I also, as usual, made the sleeves and body longer than the pattern suggests. And I am thrilled with this result. Ever since I cracked the code on how yokes work, and then the penny dropped about my own shallow yoke depth, garments with round yoke construction--and there are SO many good ones--are all back on the table for me.
Monday, January 8, 2018
death grip of arctic cold that's been ravaging pretty much our entire continent is loosening temporarily and I'm feeling slightly joyful about that. Maybe I will be able to get the back door open! I guess it is all relative, then, because if 33 degrees F starts to seem like a relief, then I really can get used to anything. This post-holiday lull is when I am at my most gloomy, so I try to combat that by cleaning and tidying and generally getting the house--where I am sometimes trapped for days--back into shipshape. Thus, we took the whole house apart last week, and threw plastic over all the furniture and piled all the books and paintings and pillows and chair cushions in the corner in preparation for painting. I washed all the walls and we spackled over my forty-jillion nail holes and took off the outlet covers. Chaos, buckets, caulk, disorder, screws loose and scattering...and then the sky opened up and dumped a million tons of snow on our heads and everything was closed, and we were becalmed. We couldn't get any paint. We couldn't even get to the mailbox. And then the polar cold turned the road into a sheet of ice. And then the wind drifted a million more tons of snow into the driveway, and we had to alternate endlessly shoveling with just sitting bleakly in the middle of all the plastic while the catdog, who does not enjoy change, paced nervously, wondering where all the recognizable features of her life had gone, and (despite her very cute wardrobe of sweaters and boots) refused to go outdoors. I drank all the coffee in the house, switched to wine, and heartily sympathized. I didn't want to go out there, either. I knit monogamously (whoo, that's rare) on that sweater up there, "Arboreal" by Jennifer Steingass, and finished it this morning. It's sprawled in front of a fan right now, trying to dry, and I'll show it later, in action. I used the most interesting stuff: here). It comes in "plates" and it just looks like very thin pencil roving. I had never worked with anything like this before, and it was so fascinating. The wool of the Icelandic sheep is pretty unique, and the staple length of the fiber seems to be quite long, so while Plotulopi has a reputation for being fragile, I only broke it twice, when I sat on it accidentally, and otherwise was plenty sturdy enough. You'd never be able to sew a seam with it, though, hence the Icelanders have the good sense to use it for their famous lopapeysur--patterned yoke sweaters, knit without seams, and that's what I used it for, too. The structure of it, this unspun stuff (and this is also true of the other lopi yarns--"lopi", or "lopa", by the way, is Icelandic for "wool"-- which are spun, but loosely) traps a lot of air, so fabric knit with it is very fluffy and apparently will also be very hard-wearing. If you are thirsting for more knowledge about Icelandic wool, you can read more from the true experts right here.) In my own limited experience, Plotulopi is without a doubt the hairiest thing I have ever knit with--it shed like a Labrador--but the garment it made might also be the warmest garment in all the world. The heat of it on my lap as I worked on it was pretty unbelievable. It felt like it was plugged in. The extreme fluffy hairiness of the Plotulopi does somewhat obscure the leafy patterning of the Arboreal yoke, but I have decided to look at that as a design feature. This thing will be perfect when winter comes roaring back with a vengeance next week.
Friday, December 29, 2017
Moon Pulls, by Dianna Walla, in Lettlopi "Ash Heather" and "Golden Heather." The cream is a skein of Andy's Merino from the stash that I decided to use when I realized that the second lopi contrast color I'd chosen wouldn't work. (Value/contrast. This is the hardest lesson there is for me.) The collar and cuffs are lined with the oh-my-goodness-so-soft Woolfolk Sno. I may live in this until March. I want all the lopapeysas now. Shadow by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, in West Yorkshire Spinners Fleece, the very excitingly named "Brown" colorway. This yarn is dense and soft, and sort of cushy. It makes the cables jump right out of the fabric. Ravello, by Isabell Kraemer, in Holst Supersoft "Bleached White", "Verbena", and "Heath". I have knit and then unraveled two other Ravellos, and I almost had to do the same to this one when I ran out of white three inches from the end of the second sleeve, but my favorite LYS came to the rescue. We drove to them in a snowstorm, and it was wound and ready for me when we got there. Yarn Culture. They are awesome. This garment is so light and wooly and weightless--I think it would fit in my purse.
Friday, December 15, 2017
Strange Brew from Tin Can Knits. I used a different palette and a different colorwork pattern for each, but I tried to keep them all kind of relative to each other--these are our Family Hats! It was a little bit tough to stop at six. Choosing all the colors and stitch patterns and then drawing charts and then being able to finish one of these in a day or two made for a pretty satisfying project. These rode around in my project bag for quite awhile. There is definitely a Strange Brew sweater in my future.
Monday, December 4, 2017
Granito in Holst Supersoft since last summer, and from the very beginning, I sort of knew that Supersoft was the wrong choice. It was gray and in the stash at the exact moment I was ready to cast on for the project, and I got gauge. So, go for launch! Don't think about it or anything! On the plus side, Supersoft comes already wound and ready to go, but straight out of the cake, Supersoft is not supersoft. Supersoft has a hand only a mother could love, and it requires a leap of faith, and you have to keep on leaping for the duration of the project. Actually, I have to carry that unrelated purple swatch along with any Supersoft project, and I need to keep it right in front of me the whole time I'm knitting with Supersoft, and I have to keep cuddling it now and then to remind myself what that yarn really is inside, because otherwise, I will completely forget about how it transforms with washing and becomes a nice fabric and I will hate my knitting. Witness. Supersoft before a bath: these in time for Rhinebeck 2018?] That up there, the cream-and-olive striped thing? That's neither the sweater I unraveled, nor the yarn I unraveled from it, nor a new Granito. That is Yet Another Sweater, on my needles. I am running out of size fours. Ravello, by Isabell Kraemer. In Supersoft.