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Thursday, September 29, 2011

UnAttic-ing Treasures

I really wanted to say unearthing, but I found this treasure in my attic. Because yes. There is Attic Stash too - in TheCastle. I am a knitter. What do you think is in my house?

Quite some years ago I saw the most beautiful red cabled sweater at some shopping mall store and thought "Hmm. I could knit that". Then I fell in love with this book and decided I wanted to knit the cover sweater. So for my birthday that year I purchased lots of balls of beautiful red Cashmerino Aran by Debbie Bliss from a very nice shop in Canada, the name of which I can now not remember.

And I cast on.

And I knit a good bit of it too before I realized I HATED that narrow cable on either side of the center panel. In fact, while I really love the look of cabled sweaters, I was not sure I had the discipline to actually knit a whole sweater's worth of them. So I set the sweater down. I cast on something new. I got tired of stumbling over that big bag of yarn. I packed it in a bin. I grew weary of having to move that bin to get to the stuff in the bin below. I banished the bin to the attic where I couldn't hear the yarn weeping. And there guilt was born. I know that we do get moths up in the attic. I know there's a chance that $$$ yarn was being eaten by hideous creatures who would live and reproduce and die in a wooly paradise.

Long stretches of time would go by when I could forget about that yarn but I always knew it was there and when I did think of it - it was with dread. I'd remember that yarn most frequently whenever I was considering making another big yarn purchase -  not when I was in a shopping frenzy at some fiber festival, mind, but whenever I was at home thinking "What do I want to make next?" - when I had to carefully consider, calculate and then lay out the cash. And since, lately I have been thinking about spending $$ AND knitting an Aran sweater, it should come as no surprise that the lovely red yarn, abandoned, but not forgotten, should at last take a stand.

And so I climbed the attic, flashlight in hand, and lo - in the very first storage bin I found Treasure. Lots of beautiful red cashmere blend yarn in a color I bet has been discontinued. After all, I bought this stuff 7 years ago!!! I inspected it carefully and then frogged it back to the ribbing. Not a single bite of moth damage in any of the  yarn - which leaves me feeling confident the rest of it, double packed in plastic, is in good shape.

So here I am - with a mountain of gorgeous yarn and a yearning to cast on something new (besides obligatory Christmas Socks - they don't count. I have to knit them). I won't try to make the cover sweater on that book. This is TheQueen. She always has to make up her own project. But I may use that pretty central cable. Or I may pull out my Barbara Walkers and pick something else.

Of course - there is now that big empty spot in the attic bin. I am sure the rest of the skeins inside are lonely and feel in need of some comfort shopping stash bin filling New Yarn. It's the end of September. Once I pay off Visa - I believe some oatmeal colored Cleckheaton tweed might come to live in that bin. Maybe. Perhaps. I'll think about it tomorrow. At Tara.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weather! - Baa Humbug

 I am SO sick of this weather.

I want my crisp autumn skies.

I want to put away sandals and put on sweaters.

I want to see stars at night.

I want my dogs' fur to dry out.

 If you look at the morning weather map on the left you see a little bulge of rain up there in Ohio and Indiana. Now look at the predicted evening weather map on the right! That darn bulge has dropped down to line up with soaked and dripping Virginia. So I am asking everyone in Tennessee to start blowing and maybe they can push that stupid weather front back up north.

Okay - 'nuff complaining. At least I have a roof and heck - even satellite internet! Which is more than the library had last night. Just before 5 the Internet went down and then the main server hung. Upon the advice of my IT guy I rebooted it manually and then it wouldn't come up again. Happily, he was able to make an emergency visit before 6 and at some point last night he got it fixed. I love this guy - he's smart, fast, and reasonable - he can talk me through lots of problems without having to make a call. He's really great - but whenever we have to call him in - well

I blocked the red Spirit Trail Orihime lace swatch last night - it is sooo pretty. I'm not sure if it is heavy enough for a sweater body for me - mostly because I am a heavy sort of person. But oh la - I am so in love with it and I want to wear it as a garment, not as an accessory.  It is fun to knit and this swatch was knit using a #5 (3.75) needle. 
Ah well. 'Tis after 8. Werk is calling. Ta.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Swatching swatching swatching

Oatmeal Tweed Aran
I always do at least a little swatch whenever I start a new project. Of course - I seldom knit from patterns so I had better get gauge - stitch gauge at least. Once I have some of the garment knit I can measure row gauge if I need to know it. And I usually do. Here are photos of the cables I'm going to use in the Oatmeal Tweed sweater that I will start once I pay off the Visa bill so I can order New Yarn. Or after I finish the Christmas Socks. Or after I knit the red and white lacy thing I talked about yesterday. Or maybe just someday. The fabric is still a little damp but I wanted to see what the real gauge would be on those cables.

I'll double this wider cable and place it in the center with nothing separating the two. I might even cross the diamonds where they touched. 

This narrower cable would be on either side of the center panel with a few extra purl stitches on either side and framed by a twisted stitch mini cable.

The underarm portion on both sleeve and body would be in moss stitch - and here you can see why I didn't just make a swatch but wet blocked it too, because just look how the moss stitch, which is just a broken up garter stitch - both shortened and widened the fabric! 

And suddenly I am thinking I may have inadvertently solved a design problem. Anyone who reads TheQueen knows I need more length in the front of my sweaters than in the back. I have been flirting with Knitting Math to see how to fit short rows in the front of this sweater - a doable task - but also wondering how I will keep track of the different cable stitches I'd be knitting on each row once those short rows had been finished. I could knit the entire back of this sweater in moss stitch and the natural shortening of the row gauge might just take care of the issue for me. And honestly, people only ever look at the front of a good looking sweater. Maybe a knitter will look at the back, but the general public? Nope. Just the front.

Even if I decide to put those cables on the back, though, I shall knit this sweater from the bottom up so that I will have to pay attention to the differences between front and back for only the 10 or so inches I'll be knitting from underarm to shoulder seam. (instead of the 16-18 inches in the sweater body should I knit this from the top down)

As for the width - well - there - everybody knows moss and seed stitch widen your knitting - but wow - the narrow cable and the moss stitch are both the same number of stitches - but just look at the difference.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What Next?

So. Now it's time to start a new project. I spent the greater part of yesterday swatching cables from the Cleckheaton tweed that I ordered from Webbs.  The more I knit with it the more I like it and sooner or later some of it has to be mine. 


There is the issue of existing stash. There is the further issue of Spirit Trail Fiber Club Oaths taken last February when I signed up for MoreYarn. A small photographic sample of the Stash-0-TheQueen displays enough yarn to knit a plain sweater, the fancy (and pricey) Shelridge Farm kit, and a shawl's worth of lace yarn.
Worse than that - it all sits upon a small set of plastic drawers full of ...
you guessed it ... Y A R N

And in that hefty buffet peeping in from the left side of that photograph is


More Yarn.

Socks thinks I don't need any more yarn. Socks is a dog, though - what does she know?

As for the Spirit Trail Club yarn - from which the baaaaad green lace came - the next thing I really want to knit from it is a sweater from this ORIHIME, a Merino/cashmere blend in shades of deep red combined with this white cashmere. I'm imagining a kind of tank top bodice in red lace - not an open lace but something like you see in the photo. A scoop neckline. Not too long.

The sleeves would be full, 3/4 length, I think, gathered into a band with a bit of ruffle below the band, done in a much more open lace. There might also be some lacy ruffle sticking out below the red bodice and at least some sort of neckline treatment in the same off-white cashmere.

There are 2 other STC yarns - one I already have a project for and one I am still pondering. So yeah. Who do I think I am contemplating More Yarn.


But I so want to do a cabled sweater in oatmeal tweed, with appliqued autumn colored leaves inside large diamonds. Besides there was this from MsHoroscope!!

September 26, 2011

If you're worried about cash, then don't be! The more worried you are the worse things are going to be. Try listening to this. And then try to carry that thought with you as you go about your days. Money is energy, like everything else, and if you worry about it, you will find yourself going down a difficult spiral. This is your time to learn this lesson, as Saturn goes through your 2nd House of Cash and challenges you in all the ways he can think of to stay positive re: money.

Help me! I'm weakening! 

Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Finished Object - Irene

Yes! A 4 week sweater. A hurricane project. All it needs now is a name. I was torn between Irene - in honor of the storm that gave me the uninterrupted knitting time - or Eileen because I think it's the prettiest thing that I've ever seen. But I believe I shall let its beauty speak for itself and go with Irene.

She lies still on the pile of old beach towels on the dining room table because we can not seem to escape the dank damp wetness of September 2011 - but I couldn't wait to start bragging.

I thought long and hard about the neckline treatment and experimented with i-cord and appliqued leaves but in the end I went with a simple garter stitch edging. I felt that gave a polite nod to the garter portion of the leaf border. I knit a bunch of leaves and they all seemed a bit too big for the neckline. They'd take up too much space in the shoulder/chest area. It was a proportion thing. The same sweater knit in a fine gauge might have allowed for the clutter around the neckline because the leaves would have been more delicate. As is - I don't want to look like a downed tree when I walk into a room. I'd rather just have that flirt with the leaf shape in cuff and hem.

Another time one might have put a leaf treatment around the neckline would be would be if this sweater was being knit for a woman with a slender shoulder/chest area and wide hips. Obviously nobody would put ruffly leaves around someone's widest point. As it is, though, I can handle hip clutter and putting the border on the hem area was a whole lot easier than putting it around the neckline would have been.

So. Now all we need is cold weather - which doesn't look to be coming our way in the near future. Still, I'll see about getting a photo of me actually wearing this soon.

Cleckheaton Country 8 Ply and Country 8 Ply Tweed - 1806Next up on the needles is Christmas Sock Knitting - and some swatching. I ordered in the Cleckheaton tweed that Webbs has on closeout. I like the feel of the yarn very much and the only negative comment it got on Ravelry was that it was a weak yarn that broke easily. All I can say is that - this yarn is not weak. It is a wee bit splitty but you expect tweeds to be that way. Those flecks of fiber, lightly spun throughout the length of the yarn, are bound to separate the plies. My only sadness about this super sale yarn is that it's not quite the color I was looking for. The flecks are perfect. The yarn is a little more tan - more like oatmeal that has been already cooked, and not cream colored. I'll swatch with it though and experiment with stitch patterns and ponder making a purchase. Not yet ready to spend.

And so - it is raining, yet again. TheQueen is Not Pleased. Her only consolation is the long stretches of knitting time this rainy weather provides. She would give up the knitting if it would dry up.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Today is my birthday - I'm gonna have a good time

I love how Paul McCartney says "BUHTH day"

So in honor of my BUHTH day I'm posting some of my favorite you tube birthday clips.

A knitter's birthday

A dog lover's birthday

And because I was sort of an Annoying Orange sister

And I always try to find a Hoops & Yoyo birthday card for my mom - who always laughs when she gets them.  I love how they say "that was good" at the end.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Baaad Sweater All Fixed

When I joined front to back at the underarms, I was just a little careless about pulling them close together so there was always a little looseness at that right underarm seam. I was also a wee bit careless when I did the pick-up round for the sleeve. Not much, but just that little bit. I can remember the twinge I felt at the time. Such a small twinge - but in hindsight it was my subconscious telling me I would be sooooreeeey. And I was. Once finished with the sleeve cap and doing the round and round knitting - every time I came to that 3-way join where the sleeve, front and back were supposed to come together that ugly looseness irritated me.

I knew I could snug this all back together again with a tapestry needle and some matching yarn but I just hated the thought of that. So much of this sweater is knit well that having a poorly knit section - even beneath my arm where really, nobody should ever look - grated on me.

I tried snugging up the seam stitch. Then pulling the pick-up tail. Then I tried to snug some surrounding stitches and as I said the other day, the more I fiddled the worse it looked. And we all know that the REAL mistake I made was trying to do anything at all when I was on a second-wind high after working an 11 hour day while running on caffeine. Duhh.

So, yesterday I picked it back up, frogged back only a little, used a crochet hook and a tiny double point to spread out the looseness in the sweater body and twisted that original looseness into another stitch, and voila!

Not perfect, but close enough for me. I don't mind snugging up this much looseness with a tapestry needle and yarn. I am now motoring down the sleeve. With luck I will get to the wrist today. I need knit only 3 leaves for the cuff treatment and the bulk of the sweater is finished. I still have hopes of completing it in a month - if not a month from the day I bought the yarn, then a month from when I cast on.

Not that that is important - that time-table thing - just - I'd like to say I knit a sweater in 4 weeks.

But already I am thinking of the Next Project. I have long lusted for an oatmeal tweed cabled sweater and I confess, I'm looking around on-line for the perfect yarn - that doesn't cost $15.98 for a 100 yard skein. Jimmy Beans Wool has Borroco's Blackstone Tweed for $10/130 yards - but that is a $100 purchase. and it has angora in it - and mohair - and will it get a halo or will it get pills after I've worn it a bit?

Webs has a sale on Gedifra Riana tweed in an oatmealy shade, but their website says it makes a subtle stripe.

 And there is this Rowan Silky Tweed in a somewhat darker than oatmeal color. Coming in at $6.49 - I could get 1500+ yards for less than $80. Hmmmm. 

Well! What do you know! Cleckheaton Country 8 ply in this color, is on sale for only 3.15! Granted, it's a 100 yd skein but I could still get 2000 for less than $70. It may be that a Birthday Order is in order.

What? Didn't I swear I would knit up all that Spirit Trail Club Yarn before 2012? Isn't it time to start knitting Christmas Socks? Don't I already have enough yarn? Well.What sort of questions are these? Who ever had enough yarn? Really. Some people ask the stupidest questions.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Alas - I am afraid I may have to take out the whole second sleeve. I noticed the underarm join was awfully loose. I picked out a thread and tuged it to tighten things up. Then there was more looseness somewhere else. And then I couldn't find the next stitch to pull up so I thought I'd rip out everything till I got back to the first round after the sleeve cap. And then a wrap&turn looked like it had not been picked up ... but when I wrestled that onto the needle and knit it - it left a hole. And then ...

And then I had the good sense to admit that trying to knit after a 12 hour day and no dinner was probably stupid. So I put it down. But my last thought was - at this point I am going to have to frog the whole (*&$%@!# thing.

Let's hope not. but at least I did not resort to a clandestine assignation with Mr.IceCreamBox.

As Mr. Bennet says, "Let us hope for better things."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Three Quarters of the Way Done

At this point I'm actually knitting to a timetable goal. I have always claimed it took 3 months for me to knit a sweater whether it was spread out over a whole year or compressed into 3 consecutive months. Mostly that's because I always want to make up my own pattern and whenever I get to the bust/shoulder area I start to worry about fit and, you know, just in case there's a problem, maybe I should put the project down and let it cook a while. And while I'm waiting maybe I ought to start some other new thing - or knit an always needed pair of socks. And then it gets put in a box or zipped into a bag or slipped inside a drawer and ... forgotten. It's pure cowardice, of course, but hey - it's a hobby. I'm only supposed to knit what I want ... when I want to.

Last year, though - something changed. Something in my confidence level, something in my skill level. And then there is this whole top down thing. As I said, fitting the neckline/shoulder/bust area - especially if you are not average sized or shaped, is soooo tricky. And if it doesn't fit it looks so bad. And if it looks so bad - one becomes so depressed. See where this is going? Knitting the hardest part first is just so efficient. I believe I can finish this sweater in 4 weeks instead of 3 months. And that only stimulates me to think about More Sweaters (and More  Yarn)

I did a much better job grafting the leaf border this time. That's because this time I was more careful about the provisional cast-on. Last time I really only had 7 stitches on the cast-on row and had to fake it,  matching those 7 to the 8 on the last row of the other end.

I've also kept much better records on this project than I am wont to do. Usually I have brief disjointed paragraphs, sprinkled with margin notes, a la Elizabeth Zimmermann. This time I actually wrote down how many stitches I picked up on sleeve #1 so I could do the same with sleeve #2. Ditto the decrease rate. I know these sleeves will match.

(I'm also putting notes up on Ravelry  - in case you need More Information)

And I am SO LOVING this cuff treatment. I just think it's the prettiest thing.

So. It's motoring down the second sleeve time. And when I am taking a break from that I'm perusing my 6 linear feet of knitting books to get inspiration for the Next Project. I've always been a huge fan of Nicky Epstein. What she does with color is magical. Unfortunately, her marvelous stranded colorwork designs are all knitted flat!!! Now - I would rather slit my wrists than try to do stranded colorwork on flat knitting - but I can convert and/or adapt her stranded designs to circular knitting and she has the cutest jacket in her book Knitting On Top Of The World. She calls it the Ottoman Empire Jacket. If you click on this link you get a page of images and on the second row, second from the right is a photo of it. (at least, here's hoping you will)

Another of her designs I really like is the Londonderry Rose Coat. Or rather - I love the idea of a bulky tweed cabled coat with that particular shawl collar. I don't like the hemline she designed, which is stepped and odd looking and definitely doesn't look like it would keep me warm where I want it to. But the idea ... and that collar. Yum. Again - here is a Raverly Link  - onnacounta I don't want to dig through the copywrite process.

So. All that's left to ask is "Will TheQueen finish this sweater by 9/21 - which happens to be her birthday?" We shall just have to see. There's at least one more weekend ahead - but let us all hope and pray there are No More Hurricanes.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Another Day In Paradise

Eight more inches of rain - on top of Irene's 12 or so added to August's bountiful supply - washed my road away yet again. It's a good thing I worked my *ahem* off the first half of the week because I sure wasn't going off the farm anytime soon. I think we are done with the big storms - though there is some rain on its way tomorrow - but only a 30% chance. This weather pattern looks like it's going north of us. And since I happen to know that northern tip of the state needs rain ... it's all good.

I spent yesterday with my green sweater (I really don't intend to keep calling it the Hurricane Irene sweater) I also screwed up with the camera memory card and, though I took progress photos, they're on the camera's internal memory and I have to paw through the clutter to find the cord that connects camera to computer. Probably find it sometime today - so - Sweater Pictures coming soon.

But look at this!!!
World's largest shawl woven from spider silk

My niece posted it on Facebook and I have to share. Here's a bigger article from the American Museum of Natural History, where it's on display. It's enough to get me to drive into DC! In fact ... hmmm.... A Birthday Trip? A day trip into the Big City? Have to talk to BD about this.....  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Three Good Things

Cause - enough already. My phone is out (again - 3rd time in a month). My lane washed out a second time. I don't yet know if it survived last night's deluge. After dark it rained 4.25 inches and Jacob's Gut drains a thousand acres of soaked flat land. And it's as dank and humid as a steam bath - so not just the scent of present dog hairs, but the ghost of all dog hair past is wafting throughout the house. I swear, I don't know what I'd do without Zertec and Flonase.

Okay. I spit it out. Rant over. Because honestly there is a good side to this. Maybe a couple of good sides. In fact - yesterday was filled with Three Good Things.  First off - we have power. Blessed, comfort giving, life easing electricity - flushing toilets, keeping scant refrigerated foods cold or frozen as needed, even percolating my morning brew. There is a God and he gives us electricity!

In second place - I finished knitting the leaf border on my sweater. Ah yes - and I did not rip out the earlier leaves. I tried that sweater on once more and lo - it really wasn't too short. Lesson learned? Do not try on a garment - whether to fit it or to purchase it - after a weekend with Diet Pepsi and Cheetos. Nothing looks good on a body suffering from salt bloat. A few days away from junk food and a second fitting and that sweater was the perfect length - so I just kept on knitting those leaves and last night I grafted them together in a passable kitchner stitch. Fortunately, the seam is at the side and slightly towards the back. You will have to be stooping over to look at my derriere to pick it out. Also the seam is right between the scoop of  the original leaf, so it's not too noticeable.

I've picked up stitches for the first sleeve - that's why there is a knitting needle coiling around the armhole on the right in that first photo. I believe, though I want more width at the top of the shoulder so I may take out the bit of knitting I've done so far and do some increases right at the very top of the sleeve. That will be for a later photograph.

So. Third good thing? Neighbors! I have a wonderful neighbor who owns a front end loader and has a pile of gravel already on his property. And by 2 o'clock yesterday you could hear that diesel roar. He was packing down the fill in the not-so-grand canyon in our lane. I know. It could possibly have washed out again in the night. I wouldn't be surprised. But the fact of that good neighbor. That is one of the Best Good Things in the world. 

So. Ta. And count your blessings.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Progress photo

Thought you'd like to see what the leaf border looks like ... before I rip it out. Yup. There are two tiny flaws right at the beginning - the sort of thing I notice but could make myself ignore except that last night I tried the sweater on and decided I want the body to be a few inches longer. How the sweater looks ON me is more important than how perfectly it is knitted. Still, since I won't even wear it if I don't like how it looks on, might as well fix the knitting error at the same time. So. Off comes this border - 2 more inches of sweater body will be knit and then the leaves shall return. But isn't it a pretty finish to a garment?

Monday, September 5, 2011

September Sweater Progress

My Hurricane Irene pullover is behaving as predictably as the hurricane did - only much much nicer. Of course - nothing in sweater land is as predictable as something like, oh, say, weather. I've knit about 8 inches of sweater body from the underarm down so I am very close to edge treatment decision.

I spent a chunk of yesterday swatching leaf edges from my Nicky Epstein  Knitting ... the Edge books. Of course, I'm missing the middle one and secretly fear that is the book that holds the perfect edge treatment ... but I know it's not true. Anyway - when I swatched some of the bigger leaf borders they turned out to be huge! So I am going with my original idea - the small leaf border.

I'll put this along the hem and the sleeve cuffs but I have a different idea for the neckline - especially as you can see how very large the leaf border is when casting on only 8 stitches!

Looks like there is one, or at most 2, inches of sweater body to knit and then I'll go ahead and do the border. I'm ready for something a little more interesting to knit and it will be nice to have the hem out of the way so that when the sleeves are done the sweater could be worn immediately. If it is cold enough, that is. BTW the color in the knit only photos is much more true to the real color than the photo with the book and sweater. Used a flash.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

3 Day Weekends

Yea for 3 Day Weekends - and for the delicious autumn season that has so many of them. I seriously

them. And I am sure there are so many in the fall and early winter because we have so little daylight during those months. The Powers That Be must think we all need a little more daytime to ourselves - so hey - let's give 'em a Monday Off.  Yes. I know. I could take off a Monday from my little store of annual leave, but these? They feel like freebies. Bonuses. And I appreciate them to the max.

It's been a hard summer to be a good Virgo. My brain has been so fuzzy at times I've wondered if, well, maybe I wasn't getting .. um. ah. well ... old!!! I haven't been goal directed - as little goal directed as an ENFP ever is - nor have I been particularly creative and projects I have started have crashed and burned. But I am going to blame it on extreme heat, extreme losses, and oh - anything else I can toss blame on for my Summer-0-Sloth.

But now there is this lovely 3 Day Weekend - in honor of the 19th century Labor Movement. In school, in the early 1960's, I was taught that the labor movement was a vital and good thing that finally freed the American worker from industrial serfdom. To some extent, I still believe it - but I am such a non-joiner  collective activity always gives me the creeps. That is - until I want to get something done and then - well - then I wouldn't dream of taking on a big project without gathering a team around me. So. I have mixed feelings about collective movements and as I sit here writing this I realize it's not the collective that bothers me but the size of the collection. The bigger a group gets, the more it resembles a mob. (to me) I never trust a big crowd and I love a tidy committee. And so it should come as no surprise that I moved to a farm just outside a tiny little town in a county with a population under 12K people.

I like miniatures and doll houses too.

So along comes Columbus Day - which is a much newer holiday and isn't even celebrated on October 12 anymore. In 1992, BD read to us from the Log Book of the Santa Maria every day. It was one of the most interesting out-loud reading experience I've ever had and I came to have a much deeper understanding of, and respect for, Columbus. It's why I was so disgusted with the caliber of commemorations produced by museums and media, which mostly portrayed him as Satan afloat. History is a touchy subject anyway because so much of it involves winners and losers. Each generation puts its own interpretation on whatever record exists - a record that was created under the influence of the mores and values of a specific place, time, and culture. I love to read history - but I always try to absorb it with a good dose of skepticism -  or at least with the caveat "so the author claims" hovering always in the back of my mind.  

I feel a little differently about Veteran's Day - but that is because my daddy was a WWII veteran and maybe also, because we were on the winning side in both of those "Great Wars".  And truth to tell - I hate all wars and I haven't been able to read much about any of them in a long time. The older I get, the more I resent warfare. I understand. I know that we are all humans and so each of us is as fallible as the next - but I wish wish wish the urge to fight had not been put into our DNA.

Wait. No. That's not what I mean - I love a good fight against some things - a fight to improve myself, to learn something new, to create something wonderful. Fighting against internal sloth or stupidity or disease - the fight against suffering or poverty - I love that sort of struggle. It's the fight that's based on greed, that stems from the belief that there is only so much of goodness to go around and if somebody has something good it means you don't have it - so you better grab it from him - it's that sort of fight that depresses me.

Hey. What's this? I was all up about the 3 Day Weekend and now I'm getting all gloomy and political. Well. Enough of that. Just know - I love me a 3 Day Weekend. I particularly love this one 'cause I'm gonna eat crabs on the porch, with friends. After I clean the house.

Oh. Yes. That's another reason I like a 3-DW! Because I will clean house on a Saturday and when it's a 3-DW I get 2 days to enjoy it!

Happy Labor Day to you all.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hurricane Irene Pullover - knitting content

Yes. Real knitting content - with pictures. Because TheQueen does still pick up sticks and string. She just hasn't been very productive, this long, hot, summer of adjustment. Perhaps she is not knitting tricky Victorian green lace, but at least She's still within the same hue. Here I offer you glimpses of a wonderful green yarn - not really electric green, not spring green, though perhaps you could say it's baby leaf green - The label says Lime Green  but it's got sunshine yellow blended in with the green fibers. It's happy and bouncy and vibrant without being loud. The fiber is soft but still has some scrunch to it. I know this sweater will cheer me up when I am sick of my winter clothes; all brown and dark and sad.

Munro Clan/Family (Weathered Colours) TartanIn fact - I am imagining it with a Munro plaid tartan skirt - either pleated like a kilt or in something narrower. The Munro plaid is BD's family tartan and I've always wanted to get myself something in the old colors. Yes. there are "new" plaid colors too - pretty much the same, but slightly more vibrant.

As I said in a previous post, I got this yarn at the most darling yarn shop - Dog House Yarns -  in my favorite shopping town - Culpeper, VA. Poor Culpeper took some wicked hits last week with serious earthquake damage - to the point where several downtown buildings will have to be torn down. Weep weep - the Culpeper folk have really worked hard to keep the town vibrant and alive so to lose actual buildings seems so unfair. To have inches of rain dumped on them too seemed doubly wicked.

Dog House Yarns has one of the best selections of sock yarns I've ever seen in a shop. My mouth drooled at the different offerings - and if I didn't know I already had miles of sock yarn already I might have maxed out the Visa card. Instead I was really looking for something to make a go-to sweater. Something plain, but beautiful, substantial, with crisp heft, but not scratchy. I almost succumbed to the Cascade Echo Wool - and I still plan to get some - but I fell for the Shepherd's Wool colors. Both are super reasonably priced - coming in around $5 per 100 yds. These are prices a knitter can indulge with.

_DSC2581Anyway - I am making this sweater a pullover, knit from the top down, with set in sleeves. For the most part I just used the schematics of Kristy McGowan's red dress that I knit last winter from her book Modern Top Down Knitting. The gauge is different - but the proportions are similar. I'll add sleeves and short row bust darts, and of course I'll stop somewhere around my hips. I'm getting a gauge of 6 rows per inch so the rule is I have to knit 6 rows every day till I've knit 60 from the underarm join. Then I'll decide on a hem treatment. I have an idea but I want to see how much yarn is left.

Because you know TheQueen can't do something completely plain. There needs must always be a wee bit of fancy to everything she does and she has such an idea for the fancy bit. I'll let you know about it when get body done. In the mean time - don't you believe it - it is easy being green - when it's such a pretty green.

In the mean time - it's Friday evening of a 3 day weekend. How good is that? Lots of knitting can be done in a 3 day weekend. May your needles speed you ahead.