Monday, February 8, 2010

Yarns, and other tales.

I decided that I needed to get on with using the lovely pale green cashmere yarn I unraveled from a thrift store sweater, and for reasons unknown to me, chose a lace scarf pattern to test it on. Well, I did warn my resident observers that knitters have a large and colorful vocabulary, most of it unprintable in this civilized blog, and I certainly justified that claim.

However, it's started, finally, after six different unsuccessful runs at it...starting with reading line one of the pattern instead of line three, and line five instead of line one, etc., even after I'd made my own little chart, check here if you've finished this line....the problem with lace knitting is that you really have to look back and forth between the stitches on the needles and the written pattern, and lemme tell you, with progressive lenses this is not so easy.

You tend to get the ssks and yos and k2togs kind of out of order as you glance back and forth. Then you tend to find you knitted one half of line one of the pattern and followed it up with a second half of line three because a kitty pushed the pattern aside to get on your lap in midknit.

Then you get desperate and get a big bulldog clip and clip the whole shebang open at the actual line you're supposed to be on. And remember to put in lifelines (those black threads are lifelines). You thread them through at intervals so if something awful happens you only rip back to the line, not to the beginning yet again.

Anyway, the scarf is now officially launched and I'm really liking it. Cashmere is lovely to work with, just slips gently through your fingers without taking off like a maniac or dragging back. Of course my observers are lying down quietly with a cool cloth on their foreheads.

Then there are the results of other recently harvested sweaters, one a cotton sort of wheaty blend color, which will be something for summer, the other a seagreen 100 per cent wool.

The arms of the seagreen sweater are now legwarmers for HP, perfectly warm and cosy in our recently ghastly weather, and the body part you see awaiting brilliant ideas, probably not involving lace.

The other two sweaters are going to be a mixture of legwarmers and hats and mittens and warm stuff for HS as well as HP.

They're MANLY colors, don't look like candy...and one is a lovely cashmere/merino mix, the other lambswool.

Which all raises the question, why, why, do all this? answer comes there right away: have you priced cashmere or good lambswool in the retail yarn stores lately? also these are sweaters that don't fit any of us or that nobody likes the style, or something very picky gang around here. But the materials are lovely.

And there's the thrill of the hunt...tantivy!

Speaking of which, I'm reading a massive biography of Queen Eliz. the Queen Mum, who lived to 102, hence the size of the book, I guess. I wonder if the bio writer knew what he would be in for when he agreed to it years and years ago...anyway, it's pretty good as a history of the UK during her lifetime as well as hers. And the PBS tv movie about her and King G. VI was pretty accurate, it turns out, many quotes directly from the research shown in this book, well done, too.

I'm the least monarchy loving of people, think it really never should have been and should be gone, and yet I'm still a fan of royal stuff! the Queen looking at horses, the Queen with herds of corgis biting her footmen, Princess Anne falling off her horse (actually she was on the Olympic jumping team, she's very good but everyone falls off sometimes), etc. etc. And the hats!!!! OMG the hats...anyway, it's a guilty pleasure.

And now I have to have a nice cup of afternoon tea with HP, Lapsang Souchong for him, fruit teas for me. Very civilized, very little profanity to be heard.


  1. On the knitting @%**# language ..I'm glad I'm not the only one. On the royalty front, I share your guilty pleasure and anyway, I rasther liked the Queen Mum with her glass of gin in hand. I also liked the way she took a glass of Scotch out to the lone piper playing throughout was a cold night in Canada! I rather envy your classy thrift sweaters - don't seem to have this locally. But lots of silk blouses which I grab for piecing etc. (and buttons)

  2. And I've added a new word to my vocab. They say if you use a word three times you "own" it. Not sure how I'm going to work "tantivy" into conversation three times!


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