Monday, September 03, 2012

My husband was shaken by his low-blood-sugar experience Saturday night, but is otherwise OK.

All went according to plan yesterday, knitting-wise. The Italian socks are finished. They are made from Candace Strick's book, "Strick-ly Socks". Those clumsy-looking heels are the basic ones, precisely identical to the toes. Candace goes on to offer pages of adaptations, including gussets and things. 

And the next ones have been cast-on:

I think I can say I have mastered Judy’s Magic Cast-On. The break-through moment, for me, lay in the instruction in my “Cast On, Bind Off” book to wrap the yarns around the needles “as if for a yarn-over”. I think what I was doing wrong was grabbing at the yarns with the needles, as I concentrated on top-yarn-bottom-needle and vice versa, in a way that wound them in the wrong direction.

Whatever, I’ve got it now.

I had some trouble as I started the actual knitting, including, on one attempt, the dread purl bumps. The answer to that one seems to be EZ’s maxim, look at your knitting. Those few little stitches, clinging valiantly to their needles, must be regarded as an incipient toe, to be knit around from the outside (not back and forth).

I also had trouble with a loose stitch at the far end of the circuit, so to speak – at the point where the casting-on had begun. Maybe I should start with a slip knot instead of just laying the yarn over the needles?

It is going to be hard to abandon the new socks, now that the agony is over. That’s a truly wonderful olive-green Crazy Zauberball you see above. But I mean to stick to the plan. The mitered cardigan begins with a provisional cast-on. I intend to use the one I regard as gold standard, that cat’s cradle affair. Surely it has a mystic affinity with Judy’s Magic Cast-On and I expect it to be easy, today.


Democratic National Convention

My nephew Theo is in charge of practical arrangements for the Convention, as you may know. When his parents, my sister and her husband, went to see him in February, he showed them the Convention Hall with its huge television screen.

All three of them are fans of the Strathardle Highland Gathering, and Theo’s father, in particular, is an expert at the Pillow Fight. None of us entered this year – it is a fairly savage affair. You sit on a log, suspended just high enough that your feet don't touch the ground, with one hand behind your back, and swing a heavy sack at the other player until one of you falls off. Roger’s secret is to let the other man swing first, and then clobber him while he is off balance.

In the upper left-hand panel of the big screen, you can see Roger in action, under the word TONIGHT!. What you can’t see, although I am assured it was there, is the banner reading “Coming Tomorrow: Tilt-the-Bucket”. Remember that, as you watch this week.


  1. I'm impressed by your growing sock repertoire. I should follow your lead - perhaps next year's resolution?

    Having just finished the toe of a sock on the bus this morning, I'm certain I'll need something I can do on automatic pilot - which is generally how I view sock knitting and the top-down heel-flap which I can do from memory these days.

    Hope the blood sugar is behaving today.

  2. Good morning Jean, so glad to have you back...I miss you when you are not posting!
    I'm so happy that you've finally conquered JMCO; no doubt it will soon become second nature. My first few were very fiddly, but now I pretty well can do them in my sleep (which would explain all the WIP socks lying about!)
    I just purchased the book "Beyond Toes" which takes Judy's Magic Cast on into other realms, and used it immediately to do a provisional cast on for a hat brim. I'm beyond thrilled, as the PCO has always been my nemesis, whereas, I adore JMCO. I used a second, longer circular needle with a flexible cable (Knit Picks interchangeable), and then after using JMCO for the requisite number of stitches, pulled it through to where both needles were free, unscrewed them and put on the stoppers. Then free to knit with the main needle. Hope that is of some use to you.

  3. Don't be lured into making a slip knot for the first stitch in JMCO. You should be able to snug it up with the tail.

    Maybe the presidential candidates should decide who wins with a pillow fight series best out of five. ;)