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Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Family Filled Saturday

ThePrince and I spent yesterday lending familial hands. My sister is building a metal barn for her babies (what do you call pet horses? hoof babies? galloping babies?) This was a job for men with tools - well, men and a woman, just not this woman. As I said, I haven't a bit of skill with any outdoor tool besides gardening tools. These guys probably wondered what all the fuss was about but come snowy winter they'll be thankful.

I did help, mind - besides making parental visits - as important as being able to wield a drill. But this was basically a day for guys with tools.

The thing was very unwieldy, built in segments and bolted together . Here are the helpers

 Here's the boss, consulting with one of her helpers. And Cousins! Nothing like big helpful guy cousins.

While I was in Richmond ( if you can call Powhatan "Richmond") I visited the parents and between dad's place and mom's there is a yarn shop- Lettuce Knit, in the old Stony Point Shopping Center. You need not ask if I stopped in - of course I did. And who should I find but J and her sister L of Lawre's Laine  maker of gorgeous project bags - "Stuff for you fluff" she calls them. I have a large one that is so capacious I have used it as a weekend bag! But I've long coveted one of her smaller project bags - that are so pretty and practical they can be used as purses. And she had the most gorgeous red fabric - and for $5 extra I could have it shipped to my house. I mean. Sometimes you just get lucky, don't you? 

There is Other Knitting News and there are photos and such but I will post about them tomorrow. For now, there is a house-0-dirt waiting for me to attack with vacuum and broom. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday Chatter

The weekend began yesterday evening with a fancy schmancy cocktail party at a lovely home where conservation minded people gathered. There was an Agenda with Speakers, but for TheQueen, it was a chance to be plain old Mrs.Wife. BD is the one on this board; I merely smiled and nibbled and enjoyed myself. I am reminded of a line in a Georgette Heyer novel where one of the characters was quoted, saying "I like country parties where you know everyone. They are much more comfortable." In the novel it is a sign the character is witless and dull, but I responded with warm recognition. Perhaps I, too, am witless and dull, but I do prefer Country Parties. 

You will all be pleased to hear that I ordered one skein of each of those red yarns yesterday. With luck there will still be enough of my favorite left for me to order a dress' worth of it. But experiment I must before I plunk down the $$ for 3,000 yards of yarn. So - I shall end up with a bunch of red yarn hats or fingerless mitts this winter - which is always a good thing. These are Bess Reds and most of the people I know look better in the clear blueish reds from L. L. Bean. Whatever I knit up will be for memememe.

I am not always selfish, though. Today I am giving up a Saturday to go help my sister put up a metal building. Or rather. I am lending ThePrince and his tool belt for the purpose. I shall be a helpful gofer. I do not do tools unless they are traditional girl tools. 

And since I have nothing else to say... or to show... I offer you this lovely October view from my mailbox. Very autumnal, no?  Happy Saturday to you all.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thinking out loud about a knitted dress

From Mod. Top Down Knittng
by Kristina McGowan

I'm still drooling over the designs in Modern Top Down Knitting and as I read through the pattern for first design - the Soho Smocked Dress I discovered McGowan's ideas for adding sleeves. 

Whoa Nellie! Much as I heart the Promenade Dress at the very end of the book, this red dress stole my heart from the first moment. The only reason I didn't start planning to KnitThisFirst was because it's the beginning of autumn and the dress is sleeveless.

Elann 100% Wool
Elann Wool/Silk
Well! Thank you MissyMcG!! You knew I wanted this dress with sleeves in it, didn't you?    

She suggests picking up stitches all around the arm hole, putting in the short row sleeve cap (think 'sock heel') and then zipping on down to the cuff - where, wouldn't the smocked waist pattern look pretty around your wrists?
Sonne 100% Wool

So now I am just sort of looking, you know, for a luscious red yarn to knit one for me. I'm going to need something in the neighborhood of 3,000 yards if I want to add long sleeves. These are all possibilities from Elann dot com. I'm just, thinkin' out loud, you know. Just thinkin'. 'Cause I've got this little jar of SpendItLikeAMan money ...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Yarn Site of the Month

Well - at least, that's what I feel like calling this post. Even though, "as gawd is mah witnuss I don' need no mo yawn", when the weather teases us with frosty mornings and star-glittered evenings, I find myself perusing favorite yarn sources. Elann sends me bi-monthly missives, Spirit Trail Fiberworks has new colors, and GoogleAds has obviously profiled me to a T because 80% of the ads that pop up in my e-world are yarn related. Today, Knitters Review displayed Great Northern Yarns - purveyor of the most delicious fiber combo - 

cashmere and combed mink. I've knit with this yarn and it's one of the most delicious tactile experiences I've ever had. I skein knit up swiftly, using an open rib stitch, into a decent sized winter scarf - which I gave away to a friend, so I can't share it with you.

So. I am lusting after tactile deliciosity. I want a snuggly cushioney ab-fab luxury yarn something to tuck around my neck. I want to sit in a heap of pillows on a rainy Sunday knitting something all for me. I want to forget all about the skeins and balls and cakes of fiber goodness I already have and buy some cashmere/mink yarn in some Bessish terracotta red.

Greedy little puss aren't I?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Advice for Young Girls from The Little Mermaid

I am a huge fan of Second City Network  - creators of the Sassy Gay Friend video clips, featuring Brian Gallivan as every woman's (and tree's) best gay buddy. There are some SCN skits that just aren't funny enough to get me guffawing, but most of them leave me weeping with laughter. Can't help it - I seriously heart Big Bad Love ... and I didn't even know there was a reality show about a multiple wife marriage. But as a long time fan of fairy tales ... the girl who would gladly have swapped places with just about any girl in the Blue Fairy Book ... these satires on fairytale princesses totally tickle my funny bone. Hope you get a good laugh from this too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cutting those steeks

In spite of my absorption in stranded colorwork this week, I felt it I had to use my Monday Off Chill Day to make progress on the shawl collared alpaca vest - and its steeks. I sewed these things more than a week ago and then laid the poor thing away while I knit on OtherThings.  Cutting your knitting is not difficult to do once you accept the Point Of No Return -edness that cutting your knitting represents. I don't doubt my ability to knit a steek accurately or cut it correctly or to knit up a satisfactory edging.  My biggest worry has to do with my frittery ways and the serious and very real possibility that once it's cut, I'll get busy doing something else, stuff my knitting into a bag and pick it up months later only to find that the cut edges have begun to ravel. I don't like to put scissors to knitted fabric unless I'm ready to get serious about finishing it. With a whole sweet day to do as I pleased, I turned to the task, cut the center steek and the armhole steek and began the garter stitch edging. 

The joke on me was that once I was ready to join front and back at the shoulders, I forgot how to do the 3 needle i-cord bindoff!  Had to set things down and take a walk in the autumnal glory to let the technique work its way to the surface of my brain. Happily, it came back to me. Here is the shoulder seam, almost finished, snuggly holding front and back together.
 This photo shows the pretty slope of the v-neck, created by subtle decreases snuck in along the left side of that cable. I ought to be finished with this by the end of the week, or early next week, depending on how many OtherThings intrude. 

Today it's back to werkwerkwerk for me - with 2 more juggernaut weeks of busy busy busy and then wham! A vacation and holidays and feasts - the entire focus of my life will turn away from the job and onto friends and family.  That's right, my dears - only 8 weeks and a few days till Christmas!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A new sample hat

After the wildly successful sleepover at the library, coming back down to earth to knit a humble little cap seems a bit tame. But when I look at the magic that is stranded colorwork knitting - the creation of these beautiful curves and undulations - the magical transformation of dots on paper into stars and snowflakes - ahh - my simple little heart sings.

I just love love love stranded colorwork knitting. I really need to plan something BIG to knit - something like this!
Available at Allegro Yarns

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sleepover at the library - because there's never enough time to read!

I've always wanted to do a sleepover at the library and this year, with the help of a special library volunteer - we did it!  MissE works at the library every Thursday and late in the summer she suggested we try doing a sleepover with her girl scout troupe. I liked the idea of doing this with a limited number of people and I knew that with all the volunteering moms, there would be plenty of chaperons so together MissE and I set dates, developed an agenda and issued invitations. Last night was our Big Sleepover and it was a 100% hit.

First there was the setting up and getting ready for everyone.Then there's all the excitement of waiting for your friends to get here. 

Once inside there was so much to see. The troupes had made wonderful posters about the library, reading and books. Most of them were also informative and would help the girls earn their G S badges. 

So which movie that was made from a book is your favorite?

 Just the idea of being someplace "after hours" makes it more exciting. Everyone seemed sort of pumped and energized. And hungry! Dinner was pizza eaten on the floor - with nobody to tell you to sit up straight and get your elbows off the table!

There was an hour and a half of crafting time - with loads of supplies - especially stickers!

No sleepover is complete without a  movie and pop corn.  

Then comes the really fun part - finding your own, special place to put your sleeping bag! Will it be in the fiction section? Non-fiction? Magazines?   Whatever place you pick though - it's going to be a place you've never been before and it was truly a night to remember!

So - what did you do on Friday night? And guess who is going to have a nap this afternoon? 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Keeping up with my students

I am teaching knitting again after a long hiatus and am finding some new challenges. It has been quite a few years since I taught in a formal setting, as opposed to merely giving someone a little help with a ticklish problem. The language thing is very different in the two situations. Someone with a knitting question presupposes that someone already knows how to knit and has her favorite mode of tensioning the yarn and describing the stitches. Newbies are blank slates who come with a variety of dexterity levels and comprehension styles. It's the teacher's job to find the language that makes it all clear. I'm having to dig up descriptions and explanations that had rusted in the dormancy of my brain for long months. The challenge is good for me, though, and since I can always talk, I don't mind ferreting around in the dark recesses for aNOTHer explanation. 

Something else that has begun to fade is my sample hat - knit perhaps 7 years ago, hauled out for classes, grabbed, also, on frosty winter mornings to be pulled over tender ears before heading off into the woods. It just looks so sad. It's on display at the shop across the river where I am teaching and I'm pleased that it has still tempted students, longing to expand their needlework skill sets, into giving two sticks and some string a try. But each week when I visit the shop I'm disgusted with how shabby that poor hat looks. 

So I am knitting a new sample hat - which gives me the advantage of having exactly the same project in my hands as my students. I'm using stash yarn - I could not bring myself to purchase More Yarn, especially for something I shan't wear. Alas, with stash yarn, it's going to be in warm buttery autumn colors, not the L.L.Bean colors that are so popular down here. I am unable to follow Bess' Theory of Blue that claims that when all else is equal, people prefer blue. But at least I have something close to blue - something teal - and since I haven't any white worsted weight yarn, it will work well with this buttery yellow stuff -- label-less, but looking very much like Brown Sheep Lambs Pride. Heaven knows what the teal yarn is but it's somewhat fluffier and fuzzier. The pattern is my own design.

And isn't it wonderful to be able to feel virtuous about starting another project? After all - I need to be able to show my students what comes next, right? 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Daunted by completion - unchallenged by goals

I hate it when the threat of completion looms up to terrify me. Right now there are so many unfinished knitted garments tucked about my house, I could probably clothe the whole county if I ever sat down and finished them. That's not all - there are the uncluttered closets, the undecorated screened porch, and the final un-lost pounds on my body. Sometimes I just feel daunted by it all. I imagine my poor son, shoveling through the detritus of my life, all snippets and plastic zip-lock bags with $15 circular knitting needles in them, tangled in faded, flattened merino yarn, wondering if he should just set a match to everything.

So what is it about completion that is so ... so awful?

Well. Of course, there is the FearFactor. The doubt about the success of the finished project. Will it fit? Will it make me look like a sausage, cased in wool? Will I ever wear it in public?

Then there is the ShameThing ... closely tied to the FearFactor. Will I have to admit to others that I am not so clever, talented, skilled, as I puff myself off to be. Worse yet! Will I have to admit it to myself?

These two evil genies swirl around me till they conjure up the evilest genie of all, the PityPrincipal - which means, the longer you put off completion, the sorrier you feel for yourself - till it becomes the unfinished project's fault and you can start something new.

Traditional thought is that when mired in procrastination, one identify a goal, the steps to reach said goal, then transform each step into a goal on its own. Stringing successful goal achievements, like beads, is supposed to get you to the final, gleaming, blocked and darned garment goal!

Alas, I as your classic, solid
Strength of the preferences %
I'm not too likely to be too tickled about reaching goals. It took me nearly 10 years to actually feel any pride in my part of the new library building. Compliments about my finished objects usually hit my flattery button about a year or two after I receive them. So - tell me - what do you do when you are completely unchallenged by goals? 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Werk Werk Werk, datz all I doo

Anyway, that's how it feels this week. So much needs to get done between now and the next government holiday - which is Nov 11. After that, it's easy sailing through the New Year. At least, easy sailing at work - for, while I adore the holidays, they are often just as busy as a flat out frazzled work week.

Ms.Horoscope says this:There is a strong healing vibe in the air today. The Sun is energising the healing planetoid Chiron. Chiron is the planetoid that helps us to “build a bridge and get over stuff”. When it’s active, as it is today, there’s a chance to leave behind a hurt. Acknowledge it and move on. Clinging on to pain because we’re still mad about something is tempting but pointless and ultimately damaging. For you as a Virgo, you’re getting a chance to heal a wound connected to your daily working life or health. If you’ve had a rough time in either of those parts of your life of late, the healing can start here. Talk it through. Chiron loves to talk and heal. Life can start to get better, if you’re willing to look at where you lowered your standards.

Ah well. TheQueen can always talk. 

Happy Hump Day to you

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Swim a mile in my suit

Uh. Well - I will swim in my suit and you can swim in yours.

This fall I finally gave in to my reluctance to immerse myself in chlorinated water and took up swimming laps. Injuries and age have taken a toll on me over the last few years and the core muscles paid the highest price. My l'enfant doctor suggested swimming as a way to get the benefits of sit-ups without stressing neck and spine so I began in late August, wearing my oldest saddest swimsuit. No way was I putting the expensive fashion suit in chlorine.

It's been about 2 months now and I'm almost swimming a mile. My goal is to hit a mile before November and then work on speed. It would be nice if I could swim one mile in 30 minutes but I think to get there I will need some technique lessons. But 2 months has absolutely trashed the old sad suit. It was already pretty stretched out but now it's seriously faded. So - try living in the country and finding a swimsuit in a store - in October. Yeah. Right.

Happily, I found something wonderful (and half what I paid for my fancy schmancy fashion suit at the big city mall last summer) at Swim and Sweat (who thinks of these names? Ugh.) I was nervous about making an on-line purchase of such an intimate garment but they said they'd take it back for a 15% restocking fee. Fair enough for me. It came on Saturday and it fit perfectly. I'd swear they used my body as the sloper! I also popped for the suit saver chlorine rise - just a squirt in the water and the smell is gone!

I tried it out yesterday. So - what is it about good exercise clothes (togs, for A) that make you want to try even harder at your workouts? Man I was a swimmin' fool. Slept like a baby last night too.

So. I go back tomorrow - wonder if I can hit the 30 lap mark?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Simple things

This is a jam packed Monday in a Jam Packed October in a JAM PACKED AUTUMN at work. Needless to say, I'm pushing back the mounting tension growing inside because no matter how I feel, what I know is that this week can be handled if I just take everything step by simple step. As I cast around for the right image for my sidebar picture, something I can carry with me throughout the week, I stumbled upon this photo of one of my favorite flowers, the humble polygonum known as smartweed . This is a ditch flower - fringing the roadsides and damper edges of farm fields with leafy green all summer. It's a hardy, even invasive, plant that, in our neck of the woods, throws up pink bud clusters that never seem to open. They wave and dance with the slightest breeze. They cluster together like old schoolmates. They show up in autumn to add to the sense of harvest fullness. They last a long time.

What I love about this flower is it's simple beauty - made up of a basic shape and a basic color. It quietly fills in the gaps of a flower arrangement or, if left in its habitat, delights with a swath of pink foam above a green base to cheer you as you tool along down the lane. Simple, quiet, step by step dependability, one thing at a time. Yes. This flower reminds me that all I have to do to make it through a chaotic week is to quietly, simply, one thing at a time, take each step - and it will be Friday and I'll look back on the pink swath of completion with satisfaction.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Anniversary: That old story you've heard before

I hadn't intended to post this again, but there was a request from a friend and - since it is a favorite story of mine, it seems good to bring it from TheOldCastle to TheNew.

* * * *** * * * * * * * 
Long long ago there was a cheeky teenager, just past her 19th birthday, who was studying music at a big city university. One Friday, as she walked into the orchestra room, the flute player spun around in his chair, looked her straight in the face and asked her if she wanted to drive to North Carolina with him the next day.

“Sure” she said, desperate for anything to do on a weekend, when most of her friends split for home, leaving her to rattle all alone in a monolithical dormitory. Besides, he was one of the really good looking guys she and Robyn had decided were “cute enough to take us out”. And he had such a voice - deep sonorous basso profundo with the most delicious country southern drawl - not hick, in fact, very cultured, but oh so Southern. And startlingly blue eyes. Blue like autumn skies. And he was big - not fat or anything - just big with a big aura, a big presence. Nothing hesitant or shy or effacing. This was a man, not a boy, and he was inviting her to spend all day with him.

“Right.” he said. "Meet me at my house tomorrow at 10 a.m." and he gave directions to a row house in the Fan district, a few blocks from school.

Poor thing. Little did he know that he’d just arranged a date with his exact opposite in theGreatClockUniverse. She was no ditherer. No lingerer. No procrastinating late comer. She was anEarlyBird - always 15 minutes before hand, sometimes more. For this important assignation she was a full 30 minutes early, knocking on the dark and silent door of his first floor apartment.

“Stood up!” she thought. “Impossible” Nobody stood up this girl, no siree. And she stomped the four blocks back to school, snatched her fiddle out of her locker, slammed the practice room door shut and began to saw away, muttering imprecations, curses, indignant affronted descriptions of what is expected in this world, and other dark and damning words. But ...

She was also innately fair and as she scraped away at Kreutzer, she had to admit that the man had said come at 10. Perhaps he was out filling up the gas tank. Or perhaps he was renting a trailer. After all, the purpose of the trip was to retrieve his piano, waiting for him in his old place in Chapel Hill, NC. And so, at 10 o’clock for sure, she rounded the corner of Lombardy and Floyd and there he was, waving an arm, smiling happily and calling out “Hey Baby!”

She crossed the street and he invited her into his apartment. He offered her a beer, and though she hated the stuff - still does, in fact - she was also aware of what is cool and for a still-teenage girl at college, drinking beer at 10 a.m. was truly cool, so she said yes. He was back in a flash with a mason jar full of the most delicate, most mellow drink she’d ever tasted. His own home brew. There were gallons of it in his little bachelor kitchen. Now, be it gallons or pints, this stuff was potent and it was only moments before she was definitely in the mood to be entertained. And entertained she was, with music, books, ideas, and talk talk talk, tumbling out of this delightful man with his shelves full of books, boxes full of sheet music, head full of poetry in three different languages and kitchen full of nectar. Best of all, he was happy. Neither cynical, sarcastic nor jealous of another’s musical ability or progress, he was ready to share, to learn, to listen and to admire. In the highly competitive world of performing arts, here was someone with a blend of such innocence and courage there was nothing to do but laugh with pure pleasure and maybe fall in love a bit.

After a while the two of them tooled off in search of a U-haul place. Across the Lee Bridge at an Esso Station on Cowardan Ave., where Caravatti’s Junk Yard used to be, he stopped and went in to arrange a rental. Minutes passed and when he returned he stoood right in front of the car and grinned at her through the windshield; one of those beaming, sunshiny “Ain’t this Grand?” grins. And as she stared up at him, suddenly he turned into an old man, still standing there, still grinning. She blinked; gawped; stared again. She looked down at her own hands and they had turned into an old lady's hands, the skin papery and spotted with large brown freckles, sunk down between the tendons. They were her grandmother’s hands. And she thought “My god. I’m going to be riding around in a car with this man when I’m an old lady.”

For some reason he had decided to rent the trailer in NC. Probably the Richmond outfit didn’t have what he was looking for. They motored on down I95, past the tobacco plant and warehouse district of south Richmond, past Petersburg, through Emporia. They talked the whole time, chattering, discovering, opening, sharing. At one point he said “well, there’s a lot you don’t know about me” and she thought “oh boy, there’s a lot you don’t know either”. And at that, there were some surprising points of contact. He had graduated from the same high school her dad had gone to. She had played a concert in Chapel Hill that he had gone to hear. He had taken lessons in Winston Salem while she had been a student at the School of the Arts. At Herndon, NC they stopped for lunch at a Kentucky Fried Chicken place. She had never been to one. In fact, fast food then consisted almost entirely of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, milkshakes and fries. Fried chicken was a real treat and, of course, to a 19-year old, it didn’t fortell the diet doom it was to present later on.

The October skies had been gray all day but they grew heavier and more threatening as evening approached. Rain began to fall. At a Carolina gas station he picked up a small box trailer and two ice cream sandwiches. “How did you know ice cream is my all time favorite treat?” she cried and to his question of “Then don’t I deserve a reward” she answered with a resounding kiss. Of course, this was in the days when, first off, girls worried about being thought forward or even worse; fast! It was also at a time when she was very wary of anything that would cause boys to sidle away from a touchy feely woman. Of course, this was no boy. 28, he’d told her. But when it’s the right guy, with the right gift, only a kiss will do.

It was harder to be chatty on the long dark wet drive home. Especially when the passenger was one of those Superior Morning Persons. For an SMP, darkness means it’s time to close one’s eyes. She still didn’t realize she was dealing with one of those Stubborn Night OwlsSNO’s think SMP’s are silly, especially the types who creep out of cozy warm beds before the sun is actually above the roof tops of the houses across the street. All those delightful discoveries were waiting up ahead for them. On that day, in the hypnotic glare of headlights on raindrops, she grew pretty drowsy. “I like to drive. Go to sleep” he told her and eventually she did.

It was too late to get back into the dorm when they reached Richmond. She’d known it would be and had signed out for the weekend. He gallantly put her up for the night. She was there the next day when other friends came around to help shove the piano down the narrow hallway and into the apartment. It was well into the afternoon before she made her way back to her place, to pace the dormitory halls till her girlfriend should show up and she could tell her the exciting news about the upcoming nuptials.

There have been many more rambles, in half a dozen different cars, since that October 16, thirty three nine years ago. In 1991 the two of them took the trip to North Carolina all over again, even to starting at 1617 Floyd and to looking for some sort of U-haul place on the south side. They found the KFC in Herndon had moved a block but it was still serving up the original 11 herbs and spices recipe. They even went off on a ramble today, the two of them, getting older, but not yet quite as old as the geezers in her vision.

But that is the story of my anniversary. We also celebrate a lovely wedding anniversary in April. It’s important, but not more important than October 16, when my favorite cute couple started out on life’s journey. Sometimes it’s hard to believe I even had a life before that day, although I can tell stories from that Mesozoic Era. It’s as if 10/16 were my real birthday; the day I began living my grown up life. BD, who had a head start on me, says he feels the same way.

There are a lot of stories in my bag of tales, but this one is my favorite.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Playing with blogger

Well, my dear friends - I can't resist playing with the new blogger. Evidently I seem to have climbed up over the hump of resistance and slid down into the valley of experimentation. I promise - I shan't offend with too much format alteration, but until I have played a little with the options, LtQ2 is going to throw up variations on its theme. 

I began a new knitting class last night, at a new craft supply shop across the river, Espe D's. So far there are only 2 students but I hope this picks up as the cooler weather comes on. I'm always glad of a chance to enable other knitters, of course, but it's fun when there are several students. It's actually been quite a while since I taught knitting - funny how life shifts and changes and new things come in while other things go out. But I am always glad to enable someone down the fiber path. 

What has become obvious to me, though, is how shabby my sample hat has become. Of course - I wear these hats when the weather turns cold and I'm not teaching, so they aren't going to remain fresh, but this poor thing is downright pathetic - and so - during this particular session, I will knit along with my students and make a new sample hat with stranded colorwork stars circling round. It looks as if I'll be in the car tomorrow, with BD, celebrating a 39th anniversary and neither lace gloves (too fiddly) nor shawl collared vest's shawl collar (too big) seem like good automobile knitting. Perhaps a hat is just the thing!

Happy Friday to you all - I hope you none of you feel as guilty as I do for frittering away an entire week. Let us hope TheQueen can do better, next week. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Knitting fingers with my knitting fingers

Having reached the point where it was time to start knitting the little finger in these lacy cashmere gloves I couldn't resist just continuing on with that little finger. I used the last 6 stitches of the palm and 5 stitches of the glove back and added 2 more stitches to create the stitches needed to join this finger to the rest of the glove (between pink-y and ring fingers) 13 stitches seemed to make a snug, but not tight finger width for my hands. Of course, I have big hands. For a smaller hand I'd stick with a more manageable even number like 12. 

At first I considered making i-cord fingers but these few stitches knit very nicely using only 3 needles. The palm stitches were on one needle and the back stitches were on the other and I used the 3rd needle as the working needle. This is a very comfortable way to knit tiny tubes so I'm not tempted to experiment any further. One of these days I'll try some i-cord gloves because the technique looks like such fun - but I have never minded fiddly bits and nor darning loose ends. It's all fun to me and these last steps, which are rather more like fondling a project, will be all the more delicious since I'll be fondling cashmere lace! Red cashmere lace. Oh la! 

All along I've been most worried that there wouldn't be enough yarn to make fully fingered gloves but I am happy to see there is plenty  - this also means that I'll be able to knit a pair of white lace cashmere gloves with some stash yarn, for someone very special, as a Christmas gift. But I am going to have to rip out this knitted finger and put the base stitches on a thread, because otherwise I'll have to start a new ball of yarn to knit the rest of the glove hand up to where the rest of the fingers get added - right at a purl 1 yarn over!!  So - frog this I shall. It's a wonder to me how cooperative this cashmere yarn is when it comes to ripping out. There has been a lot of it in this project  - imagine being silly enough to design with cashmere yarn! 

Here's a view of the thumb gusset. I particularly like the lacy increases, done with yarn overs.

What I am not completely thrilled with is the 8 stitch lace stripe. In another pair I will use a narrower lace repeat. I will not change this pair - just planning ahead.

Happy Thursday