Sunday, October 11, 2009

I was heartened and cheered by your comment, Angel.

I used to have multiple WIPs all over the place. I think, as much as anything, I was set on the narrow path by (as she later became) Greek Helen, asking once, “What’s that going to be, Mummy – if you finish it?”

I have embraced with enthusiasm the concept of “locational WIPs”. I ought to remember who coined that brilliant phrase – Google can’t seem to help. For years I have had my Strathardle knitting, and my travel-and-waiting-room socks, and my knitting-knitting. But recently, things seem to be expanding past that point.

One very positive advantage of the strait-and-narrow is that it makes it easier to recognise the moment when something just Isn’t Working. And to decide to abandon it, formally, instead of shoving it to the back of the cupboard and doing something else today.

I had pneumonia at some point in the ‘80’s, no fun at all, and part of why I remain nervous about Swine Flu. (How penicillin changed the whole landscape of human suffering!) But the recuperation period was, at least at first, rather delicious, sitting by the fire without responsibilities. I remember facing up to several of those back-of-the-cupboard UFOs, and promoting most to the status of TOADs (Trashed Object Abandoned in Disgust).

All this is an embarrassed preliminary to saying that yesterday, far from ordering yarn from Sweden, I went up to Lewis’s and bought yarn, nor was it cheap, for a Mystery Christmas Project, which I will cast on today. I don’t think the intended recipient is likely to read these words, but if s/he does, it will mean nothing when I say that Lynn Barr is involved, and Rowan’s Cocoon.

As you see, I’ve mastered progress bars. To advance them, I have to go into the HTML and change the numbers, but that’s easy, and better in many ways than dragging them.

Another good day with the ASJ, which I now lay aside rather reluctantly for 24 hours. I have nearly finished the first wave of winding skeins – there only remains Mother Lode to do, for the stripe after next, and Franklin’s Panopticon, when his turn finally comes. It will speed things up not to have to keep stopping to do that. I must have decreased more than 100 stitches – it is just slightly depressing to think that I will soon put them all back on again – and the underarm turning point is only three or four days away.


  1. My 8-yr old nephew adores winding yarn. Of course that's because there is machinery involved, as i have a swift and ball winder. If you do as well, perhaps you can recruit some of those grandchildren. I had him wind many skeins of sock yarn on his last visit, so much of my stash is ready to knit. BTW I love TOAD. Besides, it raises my fond memories of Wind in the Willows.

  2. There's nothing more delightful than frogging something that Is Not Working and repurposing the yarn to something destined to be useful and beautiful.

    I too had a nasty bout of pneumonia in the 80's and have the same fears of the swine flu.

  3. i meant to post this yesterday ... you can use your progress bars from ravelry on your blog

    there is a group on Ravelry that has all the info.

    then you just update your ravelry project and it magically appears...

  4. Lynne Barr and Cocoon sounds like lethal combination - I've been looking for an excuse to buy some Cocoon for ages and you might just have hit on one.

  5. My mom and dad gave me a ballwinder and swift as a 30th birthday gift, so now I love winding yarn..... I just wish I had a spare room with a table, so I could keep my ballwinder and swift out....

  6. =Tamar4:24 AM

    Wow, I'd forgotten that nasty bout of walking pneumonia I had in the 80s. I tried to wait it out, as a cold, but it didn't go away.

    There's a neat design for a swift made of common household objects at from May 18, 2008. She called it the tilta-swift. If I didn't already have a good one, I'd build it.