Friday, October 17, 2008

Glasgow today. I should be back here on Sunday, insh’Allah. Ketki is returning from New York this morning – she may be making landfall just about now. (I love that phrase, and hope I’ve got it right.) She has to work this afternoon, her husband says, and by this evening may be too tired to explain high finance and the world situation to her aged in-laws, although I’m sure she’ll try if asked.

My eyes continue to function perfectly satisfactorily. What happened, Wednesday morning, was that I saw huge black “floaters” when I tried to look out through them, like patches of oil on water. I don’t suppose it lasted more than two minutes, three at the outside, but I was terrified. It kind of underlined the precariousness of life, and what can happen between this moment and the next. It’s true of all of us all the time, but it gets true-er as one gets older.

I got a bit of sock-knitting done yesterday while my husband was trying on trousers in Marks and Spencer. I don’t usually carry knitting on such expeditions, but fortunately I had it with me then. I have joined in the new skein, and after the initial two or three rounds, it looks fine. The colours are OK – this is Araucania “Multi” we’re talking about – but wound into a ball, the new yarn looked as if the proportions of the colours were seriously different, much more green and grey than in the first skein.

The journey to Glasgow takes about ¾’s of an hour – plenty of time to knit a couple of inches and discover the truth.

Lisa, you’re right (comment yesterday), that the change, if it turns out to be apparent, won’t matter for this sock, because by now we’re well inside the shoe. Trouble is, this is the first sock.

Maureen in Fargo – yes, thanks, that’s the pic I was thinking of. (Surely it appears in one of the books?) And that’s a Bog Jacket EZ is wearing, surely. And you’re also right -- Hanne Falkenburg was the name I was groping for yesterday.

Mary Lou, I’m inclined to agree with Maureen (because that’s what I want to think) – that garter stitch isn’t intrinsically droopy, and that your trouble must have been the yarn. I’ve found a source for Lorna’s Laces worsted-weight in the Panopticon colourway (sock yarn is easier to locate); I think I ought to go ahead and order. The eye trouble was one of those crises that makes one feel that one is temporarily exempt from the normal rules of caution and prudence.

I read with concern about your political anxieties. Fortunately, all of my own cousins, even the seconds and the once-removed's, are rock-solid. Is it significant, Freudian-signal-wise, that you chose to knit a hat with circling wolves?

The calmer political articles at the moment are saying that no candidate, as far ahead as Obama is now, has ever lost. The Obama campaign itself, appealing to me daily for money, says that Al Gore was in this position in October, 2000. But then – Al Gore didn’t lose....

(Obama Campaign: if one of the five Vogue Knitting Books I still lack comes up on eBay, you’ll get your donation. I’ve been mentally promising that for a long time – I don’t think I’ve had a VKB to bid for in all of ’08.)

I’ve reached row 23 of the 9th repeat of the Princess centre. There are more than 400 stitches per row now, and life is serious.


  1. i think the bog jacket is interesting. even though the shape looks easy peasy it obviously takes a lot of calculation. i also like the baby bogs a lot. and the pattern is said to be inspired from danish bog people.
    i also like her jackets with the moebius collars. very elegant kind of collar.
    and why not go for dear franklin's yarn. great colours.

    today there were patterns for a mccain and an obama fingerdoll in crochet in the lion brand newsletter. maybe one day they will be on the antiques roadshow.

  2. Anonymous12:53 PM

    Perhaps the circling wolves are meaningful -- in addition to registering voters, I'd better light some torches! I do think that a plied yarn and relatively tight gauge in garter are important. I've seen some of those Hanna F. jackets that are several years old and they look fine, too, so the un-plied yarn must have been the problem.

  3. we are alreadying hearing about voter supresion in OH,Mich and Fl. Lets hope the GOP can't steal this one. If there is even a hint of that 2000 kind of funny stuff, I think there will be riots.

    I love the Bog Jacket. I have been thinking of knitting one for myself

  4. Anonymous2:18 PM

    There is a huge skerfuffle going on in the courts here regarding Ohio- the Republican party is contesting 200,000 of the new voter registrations from the last six months and is trying to get those people off the rolls. Ohio has appealed to the Supreme Court but we shall see...

    As a young person of color who just moved to Ohio and is a newly registered voter in this state, and who is a lifelong Democrat I fear being stopped at the polls on election day. I have to say that when I was younger and voted in California and North Carolina, I never had that fear. Something is terribly wrong in this world when someone has such fear in a democracy.

  5. Anonymous2:39 PM

    Handknitting, Meg's book pg25

    I hope the polls hold but I'm worried enough to know we still need to work for every vote; have to cover all the ones that will be, essentially if not literally, stolen.

    Gerrie in MN

  6. Anonymous2:41 PM

    oops, Meg Swansen's Knitting. I'm doing the shawl collared vest from Handknitting...

    Gerrie in MN

  7. I don't know if EZ's designs were not droopy because she was using the un-spun icelandic yarn for many of them. While the stuff may be fragile in wheel (ball) form, it can take on the heaviness of an army overcoat when knitted up - especially on smaller than called for needles. The unspun icelandic also seems to be Meg's favorite, too.

    Most of the yarn SHP offers (other than the Ultra Alpaca) does not have a "soft" feel to it. Not that I don't like the yarn - it's great for projects in which there is a steek - but it is not as soft to the touch as Lorna's Laces. I don't know if the minimal processing has anything to do with whether or not the garter stitch becomes droopy.

  8. I'm not concerned about the people's vote or the polls, it's that dratted electoral college, which is something that needs totally doing away with and gee, why is deciding an election when we're supposedly deciding it with our votes (ask Al Gore) anyway? So Obama could win and then have the Electoral College people give their votes to McCain. Yes, such a scenario is possible. These people don't have to vote the way their state went.
    As to garter stitch, it does have a tendency to droop. This is fought by using a smaller needle and by measuring your swatch slightly stretched out, so you're basically giving yourself that extra tension to fight it's droop. Good wool helps, too. I've done garter stitch garments in handspun singles and they aren't droopy yet. Or rather, the droop was taken in by the use of being tighter with tension to begin with. It was figured into my knitting calculations.

  9. Anonymous10:57 PM

    One further comment on garter stitch and yarn affinity - I recently finished a Tomten for my grandson, and taking into account my son and daughter-in-law's wish to machine wash, made it from Bazic Wool, a superwash wool. Very slippery to knit, and it just didn't hold the garter stitch to my liking. I finished it and, while I wrote about it in my knitting records, I didn't take a picture of it. I am prepared to forget about it unless I see him wearing it. I think I would enjoy knitting a Tomten or a bog jacket in a good sturdy wool.

    I should add that this same son and daughter-in-law asked me to knit a Christmas stocking for this one year old, and I am happily knitting that from Shetland wool, in stranded knitting loosely based on the Knit-along that Meg Swansen recently hosted on the website. I'm using some of her motif choices, and others of my own choosing. So all is forgiven.

  10. What a relief that your alarming eye-symptoms have subsided. That is the sort of fear I can really relate to.
    Do you think it is possible to anticipate which garments will be a) flattering or b) favourites?
    I always find these to be completely unpredictable ie something in lovely yarn which took hundreds of hours will live in a drawer whereas something serendipitous from a charity shop will never be off my back.