Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Second Tuesday in November

Here we are. At last – it’s today. I’m really going to miss election news as a counter-irritant to everything else that’s going on around here, but I do understand how glad all the rest of you will be when it’s over tomorrow.

At the end of the day yesterday, I sat in the kitchen with Perdita and watched, not television on the iPad, but Ella Gordon’s podcast. I’m not entirely suggesting that you do it; it’s rather long. But it’s most engaging, and interesting at least in parts. She works for Jamieson & Smith, and designed the Crofthoose Hat for this year’s Shetland Wool Week. She was there at J&S the happy day when I was, and when I ordered the yarn for my recently-completed Hansel Hap, it came with a note from her saying “Happy Knitting”. I felt very grown-up.

I did – you won’t be surprised to hear this – send for the stripey hat kit mentioned yesterday. Lisa, I am grateful for your comment and will follow it up. Joining-in-a-new-colour (or ball) is one of the (many) aspects of knitting I have never mastered. I’ve tried spit-splicing. It falls apart, for me. I can weave in a new colour a few stitches before it’s needed, as for intarsia, if I apply myself. Otherwise, I knit two stitches holding both yarns together, as a friend showed me when we were both at Hampton Elementary School in Detroit.

And there are always the happy instances when the new ball can be introduced at the end of a row.

Today, indeed any moment now, I am going up to the National Gallery to meet our niece and see Carel Fabritius’ picture “The Goldfinch” which is on loan here. It was the subject of Donna Tartt’s book (which I haven’t read). My husband fears that there will be queues down Princes Street. Maybe so. In that case, we will console ourselves with coffee and inspect a couple of Raphaels instead.

I could take Perdita. She likes birds.

I still have a few yards of the Kaffe Fassett yarn to incorporate into the foot of the first sock – it lasted longer than I expected. I’m not far from the toe shaping. And I did finish the first half of the front of the half-brioche yesterday, and attached the yarn, at least, to the second.


  1. haha, the comment about perdita and birds reminded me of this ad: I like elephants, but I couldn't eat a whole one:) I am sure perdita would manage, given half a chance.... and congrats to your finished Uncia! I knew you'd manage....

  2. I've had some success with the spit-splice thusly....1)make sure both ends (at least an inch on each one as the longer the splice the better it holds) look like you put 'em against a plasma ball, 2)spit-splice twice (per section if you need to, as I do. I can't splice an entire inch in one go), 3)knit in with great care, and 4) attempt to place splice in area of plain knitting, not in a yo or decrease (those don't hold as well, possibly there's more stress on the yarn there?). I make no promises that this will work 100% of the time, but so far it's worked fine for me on any non-superwash wool of fingering weight or greater.
    Enjoy the National Gallery!

  3. I've never tried the spit splice with anything other than 100% wool; synthetic wouldn't respond to the friction I think. Pull apart the plies, if using jumper weight it would be three ply. On one end pull off two of the strands and on the othe pull off one strand. Wrap the single strand around the the length of the other two strands. Hold either end between your index fingers and thumbs. Run through a substantial amount of spit in your mouth, roll the now wet yarn ends between fingers and thumbs to start the felting process. Now spit into the palm of your hand, lay the join on your pale and put your other hand on top and rub together with vigor. You may need extra spit and to rub until you hand feel quite warm. Disgusting but the heat generated does produce the desired felting.

  4. Ooo... "The Goldfinch". The book is a fascinating read, but very long. In particular it examines the notion of great works of art as valuable objects, which could be used as security for deals in the criminal underworld.

    I'd be interested to know how you do select your reading choices. I had no idea the R.C. Sherriff wrote novels. Was it a present from someone?

  5. Carol M4:24 PM

    I find it fascinating you went to Hampton Elementary; I went to nearby Gesu (in the 60s with daily Mass in Latin). I'm now thinking you are a native Detroiter, too? Enjoy the musuem outing today.

  6. I'm currently spit splicing a lot on Hapisk. It's a 2 ply wool yarn that felts like a dream... I remove about 1.5 inches (4 cm) of one ply off each yarn. I find pulling better than cutting as it doesn't leave such a sharp edge. Then I fold each yarn back over itself at the point where they change from 2 plies to 1,making sure that the two yarns are looped together (think interlinking fingers in pinkie promises, or a Russian splice). Then spit a bit and rub well. if needs be, I will use the edge of the moving hand rather than the palm, so as to get more pressure. The extra thickness from the third ply is removed in the felting. That gives a secure join and a sharp colour change.

  7. Anonymous7:15 PM

    Hope you get to see the Goldfinch, but the book's success will probably ensure a long queue. There will be some visual treats even if you miss the big attraction. Uncia looked lovely - sorry for long lurking-without-comments during a busy time and a trip away - have still followed your doings with interest. Uncia looks lovely.
    - Beth in Ontario

  8. I hope the line isn't too long but I would be prepared to sit & coffee while others stand in line. To hell with the spit splice, mostly I just overlap & knit a couple of stitches or if necessary, remove a ply & do the Russian join. I've had spit splices come apart in the past & don't trust them at all.

  9. I ordered the hat kit too. I saw it on a US website but sold out so was very happy to see Loop had it. Thanks for the heads up!