Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two more followers! 99! What exquisite excitement!

Arne and Carlos’ Christmas-bauble-knitting book turned up yesterday – three days later than Amazon predicted, when they told me it had been dispatched. Have Xmas delays started already? It is totally unnecessary, but maintains the charm promised by the cover.

Wednesday is my osteoporosis-pill day, when I have to spend the first half-hour not drinking coffee or eating anything, and not going back to bed. I regard it as my half-hour, for gross self-indulgence, and today I spent it attempting a Christmas tree bauble.

All this stash reduction of late has left me sadly short, but I found a couple of oddballs left over from the Grandson sweater. I have no suitable red except the madelinetosh scarlet itself – surely there will be a few yards at the end for bauble-knitting? But for today, I started a black-and-white one, which Arne and Carlos also allow.

I say that the book is unnecessary because the basic bauble-pattern is simple, and surely to be found on the internet. Cast on 3 stitches for each of 4 needles, increase every other round to 16, knit 12 rounds straight, decrease at the same rate. There, I’ve told you. The colour patterns themselves are to be found in many a Scandinavian book, and locating them on a bauble doesn't require much ingenuity. There is a rather nice pig: I’ll aim at that for the Loch Fyne bobble.

The work is fiddly, dealing with all those needles when you have few stitches on each, and then doing colour-work on short dp’s. I’m not good at fiddly, and don’t enjoy it. On the other hand, the just-one-more-row syndrome never operates so powerfully as on a two-colour pattern on a small project. I overran my half-hour, and will probably sneak in more bauble-knitting later today. I still have a bag of stuffing left over from Sam the Ram in ’07, so that’s all right.

I wound and joined in a new skein for the little Brownstone yesterday – that’s progress, I guess, even if the project itself is obstinately unchanged. And in fact it isn’t – I’m only two inches short of the armpits, and could reach them today. “Armpits” means attaching the sleeves, and I absurdly feel that things will go faster once I’ve done that.

Your point about children’s head sizes is well taken, Tamar. It was a long and painful lesson for me to learn. I remember bitter struggles to pull too-small neck openings over too-large heads, when the children and I were young. In this case, I’m just anxious to avoid gaping. Jared starts the neck opening below the armpits. I mean to begin it when I’ve done maybe four rounds with sleeves attached.

Kristie, I didn’t take much persuading – I ordered both Van Gogh and Hundertwasser yarns yesterday. Only 100 grams of Van Gogh, which is going to mean a fair amount of something-from-the-oddball bag to finish the toes; a whole 200 for Hundertwasser. The latter yarn is merely inspired by the artist’s work (and what fun he sounds, Barbara) whereas, for the former, each colourway is based on a particular picture.

I don’t get as many socks done as I used to, now that we stay so close to home. And, as I’ve remarked, by husband’s stock is low. I’m sort of thinking maybe a sock-blitz for January and February, before I start my Effortless. So much to knit, so little time.

Thinking even further ahead, I’m imaging a gardening sweater for Rachel’s husband Ed. I took careful measurements from a sweater he was wearing last weekend, and perhaps soon will start contemplating the madelintosh page at Jimmy Bean’s again. Or do I want something slightly tougher? Ever a sucker for a book, I've ordered Knits Men Want.


  1. Hi Jean - I just wondered if you knew you can get the Opal yarns here:
    With sparkles! ;)

  2. Claire12:54 PM

    Hi Jean - you actullay have 100 followers as I read every post. I just dont know how to make myself an official follower :)

  3. I have knitted my baubles on two needles and seamed them - less fiddly. I note on the Rainey Sisters blog that the knitting covers a polystyrene ball. this must give a much better shape than loose stuffing does. They are addictive though.

  4. Anonymous1:09 PM

    Hi, Jean..... I'm with Claire, a follower in every way except the technical one. That's also why I post under anonymous, since I don't have a google account and the other choices have me baffled!

    I think you'll enjoy the Opal yarn, as it makes great socks.

    Barbara M. (aka "anonymous")

  5. add me to the "me too's" I'm another Claire that follows you through a subscription in Google reader

  6. Anonymous3:59 PM

    Another "me too" from one of the Beverly's. I wouldn't be surprised if you have twice as many followers, we just don't show up as we are blogless and google-less. I check in every day for the variety! and notice when you are away for the weekend.
    Beverly near Yosemite, CA

  7. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Dear Jean, another "anon." to join the ranks, just think of - a lurk of lurkers? a shy of lurkers? anyway, what fun. Count me in.

  8. Anonymous5:30 PM

    "A shy of lurkers"! - I like Marilyn's phrase. Of course I follow you every day without showing up in the head count.
    -- Gretchen

  9. Anonymous5:44 PM

    Ditto to Claire's comment!


    PS There are probably hundertreaders out here, reading your blog daily, in a similar situation. Able to do some things, but not all, on a computer...

  10. Anonymous10:26 PM

    Oh, all right. I'll out myself as another long-time follower who doesn't show up the statistics. I think I annoy my mother who is about your age by quoting you frequently!

    Also I am knitting six of Arne and Carlos' balls for this year's "cousin ornaments", one of my traditions. I am squeezing plain glass balls inside them and then knitting the last few rounds to close the top. Very round! Then I gently wash them to even out the stitches and hang them to dry. Fiddlely, but cute. I'm glad I'm only doing six.

    Betsy, in Maine, USA

  11. =Tamar12:07 AM

    I'm another unrecorded follower, though instead of posting anonymously I use the Name/URL spot and just ignore the URL part. Thanks for the pattern; I may try a few of those baubles this year; I have about two bushels of fairly short pieces of yarn in many colors and weights, and that sounds like a good potential use.

  12. Anonymous5:23 AM

    Count me in as another anonymous follower! I have a Google account, but Google doesn't recognize it. If I try to sign up for a new account, Google says I already have an account! I finally gave up playing Google's games and just sign in as Anonymous.

    Jean's Knitting is the first blog I read every morning, because you're the first to post your blog each day.

    Mary G. in Texas