And Now for Something(s) Completely Different

The Victoria Day weekend was truly, completely different - we didn't go to the cottage - in fact it isn't even open! My Beloved is in Europe so in his absence I was on evening drop off and very late/early pick up duty for Number One Son. I even spent a couple of evenings alone with the TV and my knitting - very, very rare. More rare still I barely cooked at all.

And my knitting was pretty different too!
I started the "Guernsy Style Bag" from Spring/Summer Debbie Bliss Knitting. Its red and its in a heavy cotton and its more pattern than I've worked in quite a while. It has no shaping, required no math or customization and I'm using the yarn and even the colourway recommended in the pattern!

It starts at the top of the bag with a new (to me) cast on they call "Guernsey Style"
...Wrap a double thickness of yarn (a separate strand from the working yarn) twice around the left thumb counter clockwise.
...Bring working yarn over
...Knit the four strands...

...then pull them tight around the bottom of the stitch to form a little decorative knob
The yarn overs lie down flat between each knotted knob, further accentuating them.
...Well suited to the overall look of the bag, easy, fun, new - something completely different on a very different kind of long weekend!

Thanks for dropping by!


F.O.? Oh N.O.!

Check out this adorable wee knit. Its the "Trio" Cardi from Sublime.
Don't you love the knitting potential in long weekends? I know baby knits are generally quick and easy but this one was especially so!

Because I bought it! I bought a hand knit baby sweater at my LYS!

I went into Passionknit to pick up yarn for the project this morning and as I was pulling some beautiful Sublime Baby Cotton Kapok in these three colours, I was simultaneously handed this adorable cardi by the very woman who knit it! Her knitting is flawless - she is renowned for assembly and finishing other's knits to perfection and here she was handing me a finished knit (the store sample) for the same cost as buying the yarn?

And check out the buttons!
 First of all they're really sweet and perfectly set off the colours in the sweater but also

...notice she sewed them on with the colours that relate to the stripes in which they appear! How clever is that?
I also love the decorative stitching along the lower front edges kind of inferring a "button band". The shaping around the collar is also quite smart looking - again, notice how there is a "collar" of sorts across the back neck!
I love it! I got all the benefits of being able to give a hand knit gift without having to dedicate knitting time when I'm currently more amused with other things - other more, umm, "selfish" things. Things for me or things that will be more entertaining for me right at the moment.


But the family who, because of their affiliation with My Beloved, no doubt expect a hand knit from me/us, will still receive one...from us. It just won't be "of" us. I don't think that will matter. Will it?

I think this solution makes everybody happy. (Especially me!)

I do think, however, I can't bring myself to affix one of these....
Could you?


I Refuse to Consider Such a Thing at this Time!

Here I am in Canada as the first long weekend of our summer season begins. We look really forward to summer here in Canada. Summer weather is a very nice change from even a winter the weatherman characterizes as "mild" and its brief to say the least - maybe a couple of reliably hot months with a month or so either side of that better described as being "warm".

So technically, as this weekend marks what we think of as the start of the summer season (really when the "warm" can be relied upon to the degree that no further frost is expected!) and I plan to cast on my first cotton project of summer 2010 imagine my disgust and revulsion when I opened my email to find an "Early Fall Preview" from Vogue Knitting.

What!?! Ewwwww! That is a fully disgusting thought! Delete! Delete! Delete!

It is the first time I can honestly say a knitting related message came into my mailbox that made me shudder and turn away,

Sorry VK, nice gesture but not for this Northern Knitter, not in May, Nope.


Maybe its Because I never had a Barbie!

Robin Hunter's DKC talk last night was the cautionary tale of feeling inadequate in the face of unrealistic ideals of womanhood portrayed in the media. The notion being that it all starts in childhood playing at dressing the iconic fashion doll with the impossible measurements.

(It made me wonder about today's girls, playing as they do with dolls like Bratz - still with the ridiculous bodies but now with the added features of giant heads, eyes and feet! Just what are they going to grow up wanting their bodies to look like?)

Anyway, back to the DKC - I was not able to raise my hand to indicate girlhood ownership of a Barbie.  Not that I didn't want one - I just never had one. I had, "instead" (my parent's word, not mine - clearly when it came to Barbie there was no "instead" - you either had Barbie or you didn't. I was never invited over to another girl's house to play "dolls", only  to play "Barbies" and I only ever owned a flat footed and chested doll named "Pepper".) Anyway, you get the idea - I never played at fashion.

Or maybe I did, depending on your view on when "childhood' ends and what constitutes "play" because when I was 10 I learned to sew my own clothes. It was a matter of financial necessity mixed with my mother's belief sewing was a life skill. My first project was from a Simplicity pattern. It was a deep orange jumper in a substantial broadcloth. It had a contrasting lined bodice complete with darts, a gathered empire waist, working buttons at the shoulders and patch pockets with rounded bottoms - decoratively top stitched around the curves of course.  The matching blouse was in orange, yellow and white gauze-like Georgette in an all over floral print. It had an invisible zipper, gathered cuffs in a sewn in casing and an interfaced collar that made the filmy fabric stand straight up.

After that anything other than school clothes was up to me to make. I used to be so thankful our sewing machine couldn't handle denim - how dreadful would it have been to wear home made jeans! Eventually I did home dec sewing and made quite a few formal dresses. (When I was 12 and 13 many of my classmates had bar mitzvahs for which a "Maxi" skirt was inevitably "required". And early in Grade 10 I figured out if I had a date in the graduating class I could go the formal every year and in those days Ontario High School went up to Grade 13!) Needless to say there was never a budget for ready made floor length gowns!

Anyway, what for me, perhaps started with the absence of Barbie and continued through sewing my own clothes now manifests itself in my knitting as disregard for the world of fashion and its images. After last night's lecture I'm feeling pretty lucky to be having such an unencumbered outlook because it seems like a lot of work to overcome a long held concern for fashion and a sense of not measuring up!

I'm not saying I want to design my own knits though - far from it. A bona fide designer can teach me many things as I work his/her pattern. So too they can introduce me to wearing a cut or style of sleeve or collar that it wouldn't otherwise occur to me to consider. Valuable stuff for sure! Besides I have to keep trying to improve. I need to take classes and learn alternate approaches. There's no guarantee every effort will be a winner. I have to be brave in the face of that and be prepared to fail. Hopefully I'll learn something while I'm at it.

Robin finished her very successful talk with encouragement to go out and knit something fabulous for ourselves.  I hope you feel like your knitting is fabulous for you - whatever that means to you! After all isn't that what knitting is all about in the end?

Thanks for dropping by!



I've been knitting and knitting on the first sleeve of the Simple Swingy Sweater but every time I think its long enough, add shaping.a cuff and bind off, I try it on to see its still too short. So while I have been knitting I've also been ripping. It'll be worth it in the end.

Yesterday (in a last minute effort hence no photos ) I knit a wee wee little 5 stitch ribbed scarf on 2mm needles using 6 strands of embroidery floss held together. The "scarf" embellished a birthday card for my Aunt. I want to knit her a full sized one for her birthday but 'knew she'd enjoy shopping for and selecting the yarn. The mini version was fun to make and give but also for her to open. The scarf I will make for her is the "Transitional Scarf" from my new favourite "Knitting 24/7". Its "intended to be worn between seasons....(in a ) cool combination of cotton and Tencel." (Classic Elite Yarns "Premier")

We'll see if we can find the stipulated yarn or not - a quick look on line at our various LYS's tells me we won't but its not like the hunt won't be entertaining or we won't be able to find a good substitute!

My Beloved tells me he'll need a baby knit for a boy in the next month or so for someone at work so I've been flipping through the patterns thinking about that.

He's also off to Europe again shortly (volcanic activity permitting.) I'm looking into yarn shops over there in the hopes he'll undertake another LYS "MuggleTour".

I have my little knitting class today. Its always fun to see them and their work and hear what they have to say so I'm looking forward to that as well as tonight's DKC meeting. Robin Hunter will be presenting a talk on body shape/image/fashion. It sounds like the lecture version of the workshop I took with her at the Frolic. I'll be interested to see how she treats the subject in this context.

Throughout it all I'll be toting my Swingy Sweater in the hopes of attaining an acceptable sleeve measurement. Sleeve #2 should proceed much faster despite/as a result of the more halting progress of sleeve #1.

I'd like to cast on a new project over the upcoming long weekend so it'd be nice to have this knit in the FO list by then.

Thanks for dropping by!


My Own Personal Math Camp

My computer is still in for service but my brilliant Darling Daughter took the above photo from my camera memory card straight to a memory stick and from there to a laptop so I could post. To be honest I can't really see the detail of the pic on this tiny laptop screen I'm on today but I'm using it nonetheless in hopes its okay and because I'm just so impressed we could do this! (DD insists there is nothing at all impressive about this, that everyone knows how to do this stuff. Its new to me me though so I'm impressed anyway.)

The picture shows the little calculation campsite I set up over the weekend to apply the learning from my class with Veronique Avery on customizing patterns to my next knitwear project the Lace Saddle Tee by Lisa Rowe from the 2010 Summer IK. I want to put the methodology into practice while its still fresh in my mind.

The gist of what we learned with Veronique was that the chest measurement (and related questions re: waist shaping/length are relatively simple areas to customize in a pattern.  Much more difficult to alter are the various elements related to setting sleeves, shoulder fit, neckline etc.  Hence her suggestion is to select the size for each element based on what best fits each part in that topmost region of the sweater and then alter the rest.

This process starts by identifying which size measurements of the pattern most closely match the measurements of the person who will be wearing the garment. Simple! 

Here's the inventory of my difficulties with this simple premise...
  • My chosen pattern features a saddle shoulder so I'm having trouble identifying when exactly the shoulder ends and the sleeves start and so just which sizes I should select for these areas.
  • The overall length of the body of the pattern features measurements that get progressively shorter as the sizes get bigger.  This is consistent between  the numbers on the schematic and the written instructions in the pattern. Does that seem right to you? (Yes,I checked on line for errata - there are none identified for this fairly new pattern as of yet). 
  • On this short sleeved "tee" I measure for the next to smallest size at the "cuff"  but three inches higher my "top of arm" measurement is in the range of "extra large". (Who knew I had such relatively massive armpits! How am I going to get these two disparate sizes to meet in the middle over the span of an inch and a half or so without a mass of bunched up fabric under the arms?
  • Finally, we all know how hard it is to kill old habits - I did all the calculations the first time and then selected the bust size that most closely suited my measurements. Yes, just the opposite of the point of the exercise - I must be just "south" of "dim" on the knitting IQ scale.
I'm not discouraged though, and I won't get that way if I just work at the problem in my math campsite over the course of several days, keeping myself sane with my other knitting projects when the math becomes frustrating. At least that's my plan!

I'll let you know how that goes - hopefully tomorrow from my fresh newly updated Desktop!  

Thanks for dropping by!


Fingers Crossed

I'm taking my computer in to get a new operating system installed and the old one completely removed.  If I do it myself the best I'll be able to do is overwrite it. That just seems like more problems waiting to happen so I'm going to bite the bullet and pay them to do it.

Its been coughing and sputtering and freezing for weeks now - I've taken it in twice and they haven't been able to find a thing wrong with the computer itself (which is just barely 2 years old) so it must be a software issue. (I hope)

I think I've done a complete back up of all my data to my external hard drive.

I feel like I now just have to take a deep breath and dive into unplugging everything and haul it off to the geeks.

Hopefully it'll be done lickity split and you won't even notice I was ever off line.

'Fingers crossed - here goes!


Book Review - Knitting 24/7 by Veronique Avery

This week has been quite crazy with a confluence of birthday celebrations, end of school year events, annual medical appointments/tests and with even the demands of my usually independent Beloved and the teen/twenty something social calendar impacting my agenda.

Throughout it all I have optimistically toted a bag of knitting "stuff", dragging it everywhere with little to show for the effort because I haven't stopped moving long enough to even peek into it.

In the few lucid moments I have had in the evenings or early mornings I've found myself going to the bag to retrieve this...

I can't stop looking through it! I want to make almost everything in it!

Maybe I'm drawn to it this week in particular because of its theme...
"30 Projects to Knit, Wear and Enjoy, On the Go and Around the Clock"
...and because of our early spring-like weather in the midst of our late spring calendar (not unusual in Toronto). I'm feeling the value of multiple knitted layers, many fabulous examples of which are found in this new compelling book.

The Book's divided into sections of a.m., p.m. and weekend, each starting with an empowering little list of times when a knitter might squeeze a few rows of grounding/energizing knitting into a busy day. Sensitivity to the wider life of a knitter doesn't end there though. The patterns seem demanding but they're all easily memorized.. Many are also small and so, by definition, portable. And they all seem sooooo wearable!

Of course socks fall readily into this category but Veronique gives these a wonderful twist with faux cables that pass through each other rather than in front or behind; a toe up version that includes a slipped stitch heel for better wear than the more usual short row heel found in many toe up patterns; lace knee highs with a manageable (even for me - generally lace averse as I am) four row repeat, all over pattern.

  • Bags and hats - with a distinctly French flair.
  • Slippers, one felted for winter the other, knit in the same pattern in cotton for spring and summer.
  • A tea cozy - easily adaptable for any size pot.
  • Mitts, gloves and hand warmers long and short in styles from traditional to funky. All patterns with careful attention to ease of execution, fashionable and easy to wear paired with all kinds of things and whatever your personal style.
  • Scarves and an ingenious wrap

I am even considering taking a run at the skirt knit in Cascade 220 Heathered yarn to pair it with the stunning alpaca "Elemental Pullover"! (Tamara at Passionknit suggested Galway Heather as an alternative which sounds even better!) As it says in the notes, the skirt, knit in the round is the perfect take along project. For me it also sounds like great motivation over the summer to keep up with my exercise regimen to be able to carry off a knitted skirt in the fall! (Darling Daughter is horrified at the prospect of a "grey haired woman" as she put it wearing two knit pieces together. I do love getting a reaction out of that girl!)

Perhaps this book has come into my collection at just the right time for my wardrobe or lifestyle or just my interest in knitting a variety of items but I can't help thinking any knitter would want to knit and have a number of the pieces in this book.  I am generally loath to buy knitting pattern books but I'm thrilled to have this one. I  know I'll be knitting from it in the weeks and months ahead but I wouldn't be surprised if its also a collection from which I draw for years to come!

Thanks for dropping by today...have a good weekend and if you happen to be near a book store, check out Knitting 24/7!


Life Affirming Button

On Saturday, while walking around the Frolic, I mentioned to "Lisa RR" (of the comments) that it bothered me how Ravelry randomly moves new FO's on the projects page. I would like to see the progression of what I'm knitting, the periods of focusing on one type of knit or another or times when I might be binging on one colour for weeks or months on end and I can't do that when the projects aren't arranged chronologically.

Lisa said "Oh but there's a button for that! Its right near the top of the page near the "add a project" button. "I must remember to check that out" I thought.

Amid the yarn fumes of the Frolic Marketplace I then promptly forgot.

Lisa was kind enough to message me on Ravelry and remind me so I used the button and with a single click my knitting from the past two years appeared illustrating my little self imposed journey of trying to catch up with the knitting world around me.

My projects have value to me in isolation but as elements in a sequence they are so much more illustrative. Its tempting me now to add the projects I knit in '07 - pre blog, pre Ravelry. (2007 was when I really decided to ramp things up on my needles.)

Documentation can be a powerful thing. Blogging is great but it can't yield a concrete, one glance snapshot like my Ravelry notebook can. Especially now that I've discovered that button! Okay maybe "Life Affirming" is a bit strong but with one click I saw my "progress". That's "affirming" something!

Thank you Ravelry! Thank you Lisa!

Thank you for dropping by!


Frolic Workshops 2010

I took two Frolic classes on Sunday - one on judging body type and how to dress it, one on customizing knit patterns for the best fit. They were great classes to take back to back.

In class #1, Robin Hunter explained  the "ideal" female body for the fashion industry has a standardized shape that is slim and rectangular, facilitating mass produced clothing. Yet she also cited the classic hourglass as our societal ideal.

In the face of these realities we spent the working portion of the class developing objective assessments of each student's figure, recording  the factual details on personalized charts and in so doing our own ability to "see" the qualities of different figure attributes and types.

In Robin's blog post after the class, she expressed surprise at learning from us that...
Often what we think is (a woman's)...best attribute is the one that bothers (her) the most.
So we've got...
  • The fashion industry 
  • Society
  • Our own view of ourselves and our judgement thereof
  • Reality
Wow, no wonder it feels claustrophobic in the change room - We're dragging so many differing opinions in there with us! Who gets to call the shots?

For this knitter, its got to be me!

So how fortunate for "me" to go from that to a class to one where I could begin to learn how to call the shots with my knitting.

In that second class designer Veronique Avery asserted nothing flatters more than good fit, favouring a clear understanding of that fourth point - "Reality" - the kind that comes from a measuring tape held by a good (and kind ;) ) friend.

Like Robin, Veronique cited how profitability dictates not only limited variety in the realm of ready to wear, but also "ready to knit" patterns. So our own "custom" knitting of patterns as written won't yield custom fitted garments unless we alter pattern schematics to our custom measurements before knitting a stitch.

Achieving that schematic using fairly simple math and a few equations then took up the majority of our time with her.

"But we can't even get people to swatch!" sighed one woman who works in a yarn store.

But then that is a knitter's choice.  We can choose not to bother and just live with results. We can even choose not to knit ourselves garments at all.

My knitting, however, is funded by my clothing budget. My knits need to perform in my wardrobe so I need and want and plan to work towards good fit which is why I chose to take the classes I did and why I was so happy with them. I learned a lot about how to achieve my goals. I hope now going forward to enjoy less "crowded" fitting rooms when I shop and sufficient patience to customize my patterns before I cast on when I knit!

Thank you Robin and Veronique for your help with this!

And thank you for dropping by!


My Frolic 2010

First things first - here's what I got...
Sheldridge Farm Soft Touch DK in "Navy". Its rich and handsome. It will become a vest for My Beloved. He is happy with it so I am too.

Elizabeth Zimmerman's Green Sweater Pattern. I printed a copy of the (linked) story of this now famous cardigan.  Stored together in my pattern files it feels like owning a wee piece of knitting history sprinkled with  EZ magic! (Note: additional instructions have been developed to make a slimmer sleeve here)

Glenna's new pattern Royale. 'Too much to say about this today but I'm thrilled to have it. Glenna posted  it on Thursday and its already in over 220 Ravelry queues. Congratulations Glenna! I think this one might become a classic!
Glenna's fantastic glove pattern "Nouveau" from a few months ago. I bought the DK yarn from Tanis for which the pattern was designed in the "Grape" colourway - more purple in person than the bluish look above!
Also from Tanis, sock yarn for a pair of "Leyburn's. Tanis' version featured on the right side of her home page has been inspiring me for weeks. Mine will be more muted than hers but still fun and "multi-colourful".
In complete contrast to that, I grabbed a blushing pink sock yarn from "Viola" as soon as I saw it at the Naked Sheep Booth. I've been wanting a pair of soft pink socks for a couple of years now!
Up to that point in the day I'd been with some kind DKC knitters who let me follow along with them. It made me look at and consider so many more things than what I was specifically shopping for! Around noon they left but I was far from done so on I went. Having seen to the contents of my list I was free to wander, literally and mentally, discovering new to me yarns like Waterloo Wools all natural dyed sock yarns and her wonderful hand spun. Yesterday at a break in the workshops several other knitters commented on her yarns too. Its so great to see young independent dyers being so well received!
Then in the Lettuce knit booth the books, trunk show and full selection of Veronique Avery's new line of yarn St. Denis Nordique was on display. The "hand" of this yarn knitted up is exactly like the vintage knit pieces I discovered in my Grandmother' cedar chest when I was a child. Those knits spoke to me then, prompting me to learn to knit. Veronique's yarns and knits spoke to me Saturday in just as compelling a manner. I bought a copy of her most recent book with a plan to have her sign it on Sunday when I was to take her class on revising patterns. I'll be heading down to Lettuce Knit to look at the yarns with more concrete ideas in mind because I can see a lot of her patterns and yarn in my future!

Having arrived at the show at 8:40 to stand in line before the doors opened I didn't leave until 3:30. The next morning,Sunday, I was back by 9:45 for my first class - what a shock to see the lobby that was such a bustle the previous afternoon utterly empty!

I'll post a few more details about Saturday and about the Sunday workshops tomorrow. Thanks for dropping by today!


Mother's Day Weekend

Looking ahead to Mother's Day, my gift is ready for my mom. I hand stitched a little collection of note cards last night...

I love the scalloped edge on both cards and envelopes...

I also love ice cream!...
(I may not stash yarn but the same cannot be said about DKC embroidery floss ;)!
For my own Mother's Day "gift" to me, I'm prepared for my two Sunday workshops at the Frolic - one on "fit" and the second on adjusting patterns so they will. This second class is with Veronique Avery. I probably would have taken any class she was offering but I'm so pleased the one she's teaching will compliment my Sunday morning class and that persistent knitting challenge for me - making things I want to wear.

My list is ready for the marketplace tomorrow (I'm happy to vicariously "shop" for you too Sandra!) After seeing this yesterday on Glenna's blog, I've added that to the items I plan to seriously check out at the Tanis Fiber Arts booth!

I took one item off the list yesterday after I found a credit note in my wallet and took a trip to Passionknit. Another Mother's Day Weekend "gift" for me! I applied the credit to getting this cotton/linen blend...
With which I plan to make the Lace Saddle Tee from the current IK.
As for the Sel and Poivre knitting basket, the leg of my "wheaten" coloured sock (Lyn used the term in the comments the other day in reference to the Minimalist Cardi but I think it suits this colourway even more!) is done and I'm onto the chart for the heel.
The Simple Swing Cardi is fabulous on the go/drowsey knitting and is the perfect foil after following the sock charts. I've probably got 4-6" more on the body before I turn my attention to the sleeves.

Well that's me as of this morning. I'm looking forward to a knit filled weekend and all the more so since I saw the weather forcast - unlike the last couple of Frolics its supposed to be cool enough for people to wear their knits which should mean there'll be even more to see!

Thanks for dropping by!


Good Morning from the Garden!

Things have taken a decidedly purple turn...
Maybe because their heavy scent fills the yard and if the windows are open, the house, the lilacs are calling the shots ;) Here are peeks at a few of the many who are falling in line...
...Peonies in bud
 ...Climbing Rose "Don Juan"
...Clematis alpina "Willy"
...Drumstick Allium

...See what I mean?
 Thanks for taking a walk through the garden with me this morning!


Avoiding Yarn "Tharn"

A state of paralyzed fear or confusion. Can also...mean "looking foolish", "forlorn", "heartbroken".
If you've read "Watership Down" (and if you haven't you should!), you've encountered this "lapine word" describing how the rabbits faced with overwhelming events or circumstances freeze.

The tech world has adopted the term for people writing code who "go tharn" while trying to anticipate every eventuality or potential conflict and stop seeing any possible way forward.

My own variation is "Yarn Tharn" - a not uncommon state for me when surrounded by yarn fumes stirred by giddy yarn fans as will be the case Saturday at the 13th DKC Frolic.

The Frolic is held indoors. There are no breezes freshening the air, no sheep, alpaca or angora bunnies adding a hint of "farm yard" to dilute the mix. Its just yarn, hundreds of happy women, a few tormented children being told not to touch anything while the adults paw every possible skein and ball and a very few stoic men waiting for it all to be over. (Except of course for Patrick Madden who has no doubt helped to organize and promote the Frolic and who will make it all that much more fun for anyone lucky enough to enjoy a bit of his company!)

In the face of all this many will buy. I will go first yarn tharn and then home empty handed, "foolish" and "forlone" indeed.

But I can avoid yarn tharn if armed with a list to ground me, currently my tharn avoidance list looks like this...

A DK cotton and linen blend in light, silvery blue. Something that would look fresh and cool with white and would suit the Lace Saddle Tee from the 2010 summer issue of Interweave Knits. I like the square cut collar and the prospect of tackling the saddle sleeve with its lacy leaf detail. I also love the idea that knit in this yarn it promises to just get better every year. Now that's the kind of distance I want out of a hand knit!

A worsted weight cotton - no preconceptions about colour just something pale and clear. I have this in mind for Petrie from the current summer issue of Knitty.

My Beloved has been asking when the next knit for him can be expected off the needles so I'll also be looking for yarn suitable for a vest for him. To this end l'll be looking at the soft touch DK weight yarns from Sheldridge Farms. and the offerings at the Tanis Fiber Arts booth to see the Midnight and Sand colourways. Tanis recently posted her plans for this year's Frolic with details on what she will have on sale so I'll be cross referencing my ideas with that list before I head for the show.

There is also a helpful DKC discussion thread going on over at Ravelry right now between Dr. Knit on behalf of the DKC and some vendors who will be at the Frolic. The vendors are talking about the kinds of yarn and colourways they will be bringing. I'll read that towards week's end for additional ideas.

The list will be refined as the week progresses. The more certainty I feel the less likelihood of yarn tharn. For me, its the only way to go!

Thanks for dropping by!


I Thought I'd Feel the Love Too!

I used to follow Jared Flood's knitting raptures on his once personal knit blog "Brooklyn Tweed". In 2007 just before he published garter yoked "Cobblestone" he was working his way through some books I had never heard of by a woman named Elizabeth Zimmerman.  His references were (to me) oblique with regards to her influence. Only later when I too undertook to read her books for myself and knit some of her patterns last summer did I realize the enormity of the presence of her ideas in his queue and eventually his published patterns.
Garter stitch was one EZ notion he seemed to spend a lot of time on. He knit miles and miles of it, always gushing how he never tired of it, how it showcased his favoured tweedy yarns. It seemed to contain some magical ingredient for him, prompting a zen like eurphoria as he knit.
"Wow!", I thought, it seems pretty tedious and it looks less than interesting. My first hand experience with garter left me less than impressed with the texture of garter fabric. Like so much of what I was reading in knit blogs those days, I imagined I was just insufficiently experienced to be able to appreciate garter's innate "magic".  "Someday" I thought, I hope to "get it" too!
Well here we are in 2010 and I've got the Simple Swingy (all garter) Cardigan on the needles and I'm not feelin' it! At. All. Don't get me wrong, I think garter is great for this slightly nubby, tweed yarn. I am amused by the top down construction that is shaping and finishing itself as I go. "Good" but not magical or hypnotic or worthy of anything approaching knitting reverence. Just "good".
I made lots of garter progress over the weekend, toting it around on errands with My Beloved, in line at the driving centre to renew my license, visiting friends, waiting for a table in a restaurant, sitting in the dark watching "Blind Side", sitting up half asleep until it was time to retrieve our socializing teenager from a friend's house (Friday and Saturday nights!).
A couple of times I found myself forgetting I was even knitting as I chugged along the rows. Maybe that's what Jared loved - the fact it didn't engage the mind - leaving it free to wander over other thoughts and ideas or even activities and outings. As he put it, signing off a post regarding his adult Tom Ten jacket...
"Until next time we'll be floating away, down garter river dreaming of that pointy hood at the top of the mountain."
I am, myself, toying with the idea of undertaking an Adult Tom Ten but more just to have done it and to have one to wear. A dreamy float down "garter river"? No, more like a bumpy toddle along a cobbled road.

Its another demonstration to me that knitting really does offer different things to different people. Having said that, I could also assert that adage "great minds think alike" by linking to Brenda's post this morning entitled "Hate is Such a Strong Word"? Can you guess what aspect of EZ she's referring to at this point in her blog year with Elizabeth?

I hope you had a good weekend. Thanks for dropping by!