Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fuzzarelly, I think it’s wonderful that you’ve got a Dawn Redwood a.k.a. metasequoia glyptostroboides, just like us. I’ve been reading about it in Wikipedia; interesting, as that source often is. The name “metasequoia”, I believe, refers to the fact that the leaflets are opposite each other on the stem, as an illustration in the Wikipedia entry shows. On other sequoias, they alternate. If I’m right. I have a half-memory that the man who initially described the fossils said he would have called it something snappier had he suspected that such trees still grew.

Another restless day, knitting-wise. I decided during the course of it that maybe the thing to do was to start on my Adult Surprise with my lovely new Lorna’s Laces sock yarn. Overturning the laboriously-acquired-over-decades one-WIP-at-a-time discipline of recent years, as I have no intention of abandoning either the jabot or the Thistle Stole.

So when knitting time came, I wound a skein of Amy’s Vintage Office and got started on a swatch. Splendid yarn. I’m going to enjoy this.

Two anxieties, though. I plan to start with an inch or so of solid charcoal before I let rip with colour. That’s going to make the vital centering of the decreases even harder. I’ll just have to be careful. The other is, that I notice a couple of split stitches in the still-very-small swatch. I think EZ says somewhere that that’s the one mistake in knitting which can’t be disguised as a Feature. And laddering down to fix one is next to impossible (for me) to do neatly in garter stitch.

Try a blunter needle? I’m using one of those fancy-schmancy made-from-musical-instruments ebony ones, and it’s heaven to hold and wield. But I can’t wear a jacket full of split stitches.

It’ll take a while to work out exactly what size I’m going to aim at, and the whole point of swatching is to get this right. I don’t want it slipping about off the shoulders, nor yet straining at the bosom.

As promised, I also worked on at the Thistle stole, and discontent seized me there, too. I am having trouble seeing exactly what is happening, what with the fine, dark yarn and working in garter stitch. The stitch count keeps being a bit wrong. I’m afraid the current batch of thistle stems aren’t straight.

Should I save this beautiful yarn for something I can actually do with it, and go back and knit the Thistle Stole in the yarn Cynthia and Sue intended for it when they made me the gift? It’s called Buckingham, from the Bristol Yarn Gallery. It’s Peruvian, baby alpaca and silk. It’s slightly heavier, so I would knit the stole as the pattern is written – fewer stitches than I’ve got at the moment, and st st which makes patterns easier to see. It feels wonderful, inviting one to imagine cuddling oneself in it.

It’s a nice gentle alpaca brown, representing thistles hit by glysophate, perhaps. I think I’ll do that.


  1. I'm a multiple WIP person as you know, and I think it's important to have at least one project going which you can just sit down at and rattle off a few rows when you feel the urge. Mindless knitting, for Zen moments, you know? I'd hate to have three things on the go where I had to concentrate on every stitch and worry about fudging it.

    So..yes, blunter needles or change the yarn. Or both. Or how about a nice pair of socks until your knitting mojo settles down again?

  2. Anonymous1:20 PM

    I am in the same situation as you. I can't settle down to a single project as I am going to be travelling soon. I sympathize. If you are not happy with the stole now, you will not be happy with it in a week. Good luck on the ASJ - I made one for an eight year old with left over sock yarn and it is beautiful.
    Ron in Mexico

  3. I'm with spinningfishwife. I need at least one simple project for the times when I don't want to concentrate. Lazy knitter that I am, I often have more simple things on the go than complex. Addi Turbos are nice and rather blunt even in the smaller sizes.

    Much as I hate to rip out, I'm usually happier after I accept the necessity and do it.

  4. Anonymous3:23 PM

    Hi Jean,

    Sue and I really weren't thinking of thistles attacked by .....whatever that is...when we bought the yarns. We were thinking more of what you can't get easily in Edinburgh, like alpaca.

    My suggestion would be to do a swatch with the alpaca, and then rename the stole. If you don't think of it as representing thistles, would the yarn look nice? Maybe the Old Lyme stole or the Florence Griswold stole would make it seem more appropriate.

    As Fleegle wrote me last week (I'm also going through a fallow period)...."hope you get gruntled soon".

    You've got to think about that for a moment to realize what a clever comment she made.

    Knit something that makes you happy.

    Best from here,


  5. I second Mary Lou's suggestion. The Addi Turbos are quite blunt even in the smaller sizes.

    I can be the queen of too many WIPs, but I second the idea of having at least one mindless project on the needles. It's like a bit of sorbet - helps to cleanse the knitting palate, so to speak.

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