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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ganging aft agley - those plans of mine

I am officially on vacation. I don't have to go back to work till the 29th of November, which seems like a long time from now. Considering I was only in the office a day and a half this week, I have almost the feeling of a 2 week-er about this vacation. But this is not the vacation I was expecting to take - which was an extended weekend in NYC with special friends that included - along with delicious meals, thrumming urban sightseeing, and Real Shopping - two evenings at the opera. Instead, I will be spending quality knitting time here, in their waiting room, while BD has More Eye Surgery. 

Ah well, the best laid plans of mice and men, hmmm? And even agley plans can have their silver linings. I mean - there will be quality knitting time. There will be other operas and other trips. But there are only these eyes and the prospect of better health for a big darling. All in all - I'd say it's a fair swap. 

Besides - I am never sorry to spend time at my house with my dogs and my toys. Right now I'm moving slowly down the bodice front of my Soho Dress. The directions are for you to knit the two pieces at the same time - these shoulder fronts, both right and left. Using 2 separate balls of yarn, I might add. Now. I know there are eager super efficient types who do this all the time. I have a friend who always knits 2 socks on 2 circulars, gleefully exclaiming that this way she never suffers from second sock syndrome. I tried that once. It was horrible! Theoretically you're supposed to get through things faster this way - it's so efficient. 

What nobody tells you is that the 2 balls of yarn are always getting twisted around the cable and around each other. You pull on the yarn and suddenly your garment is strangled. Nothing flows. Nothing moves till you painstakingly weave balls of yarn back the way they were twisted. Where is the time saving when you are constantly stopping to untwist the mess?  And for that matter,if you're going to knit 2 socks at a time, why not 4 or 6 or 20? Well. Here's why. 

The Reality
The Dream
And as for Second Sock Syndrome (for non knitters it means you finish one sock but can't bring yourself to knit the same durn thing all over again so you end up with .... yup. Just one sock) -  my solution is to just wear a sock once it's finished.  Who's looking beneath your trouser cuffs? And miss matched socks are stylish - in a youthful funky way. 

The generous and very warm hearted author of Modern Top-down Knitting wrote and told me Not To Worry - that she didn't knit 2 shoulder pieces at a time either - never had done and didn't write the directions that way either. Evidently a pattern editor or perhaps a publishing director, had decreed that 2 pieces at a time was their policy for knitting patterns. Since no less a knitting designer than Elizabet Zimmermann struggled with this same editorial policy - I'd say Ms. McGowan is in good company. EZ tells the story of how her first seamless circular fair isle yoke sweater pattern ended up being printed as a flat knitting design with the yoke sewn on after the body was assembled!! I mean - what were they thinking?!? Why would a pattern publisher want to torture so many knitters? Getting revenge for childhood sufferings? sheesh!

Anyway - I have nothing but More Adobe Colored Knitting to display right now and I am sure, it's Tangled Adobe Colored Knitting. Even though every stitch of this dress is interesting for TheQueen to look at, I will spare my viewers till I have a little more geometry to display. Instead I close with yet another beautiful autumn view of TheCastle's back yard. Since I am on vacation, it just might be a good day for a picnic, hmm?


  1. Hope BD recovers quickly.

    Sorry about your trip but you're so right. The trade-off is a good one. Sometimes I tell myself our plans get changed sometimes to helps us be aware of something we were overlooking. Maybe for you, it's just a chance to enjoy all the beauty of what is around you.

    (Hope I'm not being to corny. I'm feeling sentimental.)

  2. I too wish to send get well wishes to BD! And I remember how well knitting carried me through many hospital/surgery/recovery periods with my own DH...

    Right mow my knitting (Christmas gifts and commissions) is carrying me through Snow Days. Comfort food for hands and soul.


  3. Please add my get well wishes to the others!

    As for your knitting, if you can remember, try turning your knitting in the opposite direction each time you end the row (i.e - turn clockwise one row, counter-clockwise after the next row). That, theoretically, should take out the twist put in the threads when you turned it on the previous row.