Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another blameless week has brought me to the dawn of another Sunday of cider and cashmere. Today I should get the rib-to-body increases done on Theo’s gansey, start on the initials, and be at, or close to, the point where I can see what gauge I’m reeely getting – and rip if need be.

I-cording didn’t go quite as far, yesterday, as I might have hoped, but I’m more than half-way there, moving along the second short edge. MaryJoO, miles of i-cord isn’t as bad as miles of crochet, as far as I’m concerned – and notice that we are expected to do two laps of that. Your experience mirrors mine precisely, as to yarn. I started out with two balls of ZephyrSpun, and soon abandoned them (although they’re still to be seen in the early stripes) in favour of buying more KidSilk Haze.

The sun shone for a while again yesterday. The i-cord edge is grey, and can be dimly discerned along the bottom in this picture.

And Knititch, you’re absolutely right – dealing with ends is never as bad as you think it’s going to be, and I speak as one who has done quite a few full-scale Kaffe’s. I don’t entirely count the Earth Stripes, since they’re only stripes.


Thank you for what you say about “Creative Knitting”, Tamar. I’m still hesitating. It turns out to be one of those knitting books whose price has taken off into the stratosphere. Added to which, the only two copies on Abebooks are ex-library which always produces a depressing and shabby specimen, and anyway, what are the libraries thinking of, de-accessioning a book like that? I’ve got Debbie New’s “Unexpected Knitting” and although I’ve never used it, I can’t imagine anyone taking Creative Knitting any farther.

Jean from Cornwall, thank you, for that information about spray bottles from Boots. I will get one the next time we are there – which is often. And to think that day before yesterday, I wouldn’t have known what the word “spritzing” meant.

I can think of only two domestic skills I learned from my rather incompetent mother: one of them is how to sprinkle items for ironing (in those days before steam irons) with one’s bare hand. I still do it on the rare occasions when I iron linen table napkins – and then roll them up tight and leave them for half an hour to get uniformly damp. The other is how to turn a tough slab of beef into “Swiss steak” by laying it on seasoned flour and indenting it in a criss-cross pattern with the edge of a small plate. I still do that, too, sometimes.

And thank you, everybody, for not finding Jerry Lewis funny either. The hell of adolescence is thinking you’re all alone. I have a sharp memory of a huge cinema in Asbury Park (in those days before movie houses were divided up into small compartments) with everybody laughing except me. The consolation of old age is the knowledge that however bizarre one’s opinions, there are others out there who share them. And the great thing about the Internet is that we’re in touch with each other.


  1. Anonymous9:33 AM

    Ah yes - sprinkling the washing to dampen it enough for ironing. There waas quite a lot of that in West Cornwall, in the days before steam irons. My Mother was pretty sophisticated (or ingenious) - she had small hole punched into the lid of what I remember as a Welfare Foods Orange Juice bottle and used that for the water.

  2. oh yeah sprinkling. ironing can be nice....
    and the earth stripe is lovely in sunshine. how nice to get a peep of sunshine yesterday. today is grey as ever but spring is getting closer...

  3. Have you got a spray bottle for misting house plants? That's what I use for damping down blocked knitting, and pressing seams. (Not ironing though....)

  4. Dealing with ends is primarily a tedium, but it does pass eventually.

    I've never felt particularly one way or another about Jerry Lewis, truth be told. I'm not sure, though, if I'd have been more passionate about the matter had I been born a generation earlier.

  5. I agree with you on Jerry Lewis, although I'm of the younger, Jim Carrey generation who's not funny either.

  6. Earth stripe is definitely lovely. So now I have to be patient and wait ... was working on glove fingers this afternoon. Hmm. Maryjo

  7. Anonymous4:27 PM

    Your Earth Stripe is truly a work of art.
    Ron in Mexico

  8. The Earth Stripe is lovely! Please take close-up pictures of the border when it's finished.

    And I so agree with you about Jerry Lewis. My father passed on his appreciation for Laurel and Hardy, the Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, etc., to his kids. I love classic movies - but can't stand Lewis's movies or the Dean Martin and Lewis combo. I agree with Karen re Jim Carrey. The only movie of his I liked was The Truman Show - but that is not a comedy.

  9. Yes, it is lovely to be amongst people who understand you. That's the great blessing of the internet.

    I had the opposite problem that you had as a teen - instead of being the only one NOT laughing, I would laugh my way through (supposedly) Serious Scenes in (supposedly) Important Movies. There was much glaring and sh'ing at me. I vowed to marry the first guy I found who laughed at the same bits of movies that I did. (I did that; it'll be sixteen years next spring.)

  10. Anonymous9:46 AM

    Hello Jean,
    You probably know, but just in case you don't, I thought it was best to pass it on. Lorna has had a baby girl. Pictures on their hotel website. You may like the name!

    All the best,

  11. Anonymous6:42 PM

    Continue to hold off on the M.W.Phillips book - I just realized the color photo was in Debbie Newton's book, designing Knitwear. The Phillips book had a large, clear black and white photo of one of the 16th-17thC sweaters, from which I can almost get a stitch count for the pattern. I just looked and abebooks had one on offer for $300.00 - no way would I pay that much! It would almost be cheaper (given some airlines in the past) to fly over and hand carry the book to lend it to you!

    While the 'creative' part was new and exciting at the time (wire art forms, free-form knitting and so on, I agree that there has been additional creativity in knitting since then (Cat Bordhi's latest socks for instance).

  12. I would agree with Tamar--the book is great but no way worth $300. Who knew? Between Principles of Knitting (grossly overrated), my Starmore books, and Creative Knitting, I guess I could finance a vacation. But I never part with books. Ever.

    Somebody said that Jerry Lewis was funny? Were they French? My brother forced me to go to a JL flick when we were kids back in the late '50s. I never forgave him.

  13. Since the icord looks so lovely, I hesitate to mention it, but, crocheting is a very easy way to deal with ends. Just crochet over them. I actually like sewing in ends, though. It gives me time to admire whatever it is for a nice long stretch.