Sunday, September 07, 2008

Calm after the storm

Not that a great deal is happening, particularly in terms of my kitchen, solidly mired in the astral plane. We have almost got the washer back. Almost.

I finished one of two (the usual number) sleeves on the raspberry Moss Stitch sweater (and if you live in Central NH and can figure out Norwegian/Danish purl the fourth one down, as approvingly adopted by Too Much Wool, do let me know. It is some comfort that even such a speed demon as Cassie finds moss stitch a slow proposition. About two inches of Moss stitch and three of K2bP1 cuff to go, and then I can pull out the neck (size 6 needles) and redo it on size 4 and I think it will be finished.

I spent Friday night very pleasantly at effectively blogless Sarah's working on the Philosopher's House Socks and worrying about early-onset Alzheimer's, since I could not for the life of me follow the heel directions. It is the second sock. I had no trouble with the first one. The second one did at least four different things to avoid becoming, including a triumphant dropping stitch that took out about seven rows of heel flap.

*** I like the idea of the different socks, and I want to like Cat Bordhi (I drool in anticipation of the book she has promised with weird historic designs from the First Nations people), but the layout of New Pathways gives me hives. I get dizzy and confused from the "turn to page this, and while there, turn to page that, and did you write down the secret numbers on enough small pieces of paper? No? Turn to where you stuck it, then. Now turn back," and I am somewhat comforted that Sarah, who is a better knitter than I shall ever be, murmurs "Was she on CRACK?" Jessica, who is pregnant and suggests that her brain function is not at its very best, is leaving the book for later. These are not things that should be making Bordhi's publisher feel comfortable.

Now I have looked on Ravelry and several people had their copy of the book spiral-bound, which might help somewhat. I am wondering about looseleaf.***

But no one seems to have made the mistake I made on BOTH socks that results in the increases not being centered on the instep. The same error? um, mutation? happened on both socks, which suggests to me either that I skipped something both times or misinterpreted it the same way both times. I don't entirely feel this is my ineptitude; I wonder if the pattern testers have somehow GOT Cat Bordhi in a way that makes things seem more obvious to them than to the least of the pattern-users (that would mean me). Stockholm syndrome among the manual writers.

I hope the next Pathways books are easier to use.

And I am making the little cute scattered triangles in the quilt borders. When OBD and I were looking at the pattern, I wondered how they made the little triangles. I was horrified to see, in this really nice book (okay, it's a mostly nice book, but it has interesting, easy patterns and you don't have to like her colors) directions to stick them on with fusible interfacing a) so they will eventually peel off, looking b) God-awful as they gradually dehisce and c) being stiff and unlovable before they do so. Not that I don't hate and fear applique (why does this spellchecker let me get by without an accent aigu?), but difficulty is less abhorrent than tackiness (and in the case of defused interfacing, untackiness). So I needed to hem the little things. One can iron them. If it is not sickeningly humid (as it usually is while you wait for the hurricane) and you don't mind handling very hot pieces of 2.5" on a side I-don't-really-want-to-fold-over cotton. Don't talk to me about freezer paper.
So I went to JoAnn's and found this. It is, as you notice, ridiculously expensive, but it does what it says it will and it doesn't seem to gum up the sewing machine needle. And I made about 50 little cute triangles last night, ready to sew on today. Even if it doesn't disappear when washed (I wonder, having accidentally tasted the stuff, if it might be very concentrated soap), it won't be the strange stiffness of polyester interfacing. Which is fine in its place, but not on a sleeping thing.

The Loom Room is becoming my main hangout. There is excellent light, but on a hot evening I think the track lighting is adding to the toasty sensation. The other end of the room is less well lit and slightly cooler; I moved the OttLite out of the living room and over to the 'sewing table' (usually a place to put things so I have to clear it off when I want a flat surface). Periodically I rearrange the furniture, including the big bags of fleece. Even if I finish the socks, the other socks, and the sweater, and the other sweater, and the quilt, I will still have enough roving to make many more. Only what can you make out of yarn that is too soft to make socks out of, not enough to make a sweater out of, and too dear to make a scarf someone else won't much like out of?

My son introduced me to The MiddleMan, which you can watch for free. It reminds me of the Avengers and the Man from UNCLE, and Buffy. It's pretty good. I am enchanted that my son or anyone in his generation knows about the Avengers.

Between this and Jon Stewart (now apparently available the morning after at Comedy Central), upon whom I relied for coverage of the political conventions, I can't be snooty about not watching TV. I wish could report a quantum leap in the number of hours spent knitting, but sometimes I just sit and stare.

Regarding Hanna, it rained really a lot, with no thunder but great enthusiasm.

I yearn to do laundry in my own home.


Laurie said...

When one has simple aspirations, doing laundry in one's own home, disappointment won't last forever, and then happiness has an excellent chance of ensuing. Until it wears off, of course.

I haven't knit yet from Cat's book. I'm afraid.

Alice said...

I'm halfway through the first coriolis and tend to agree with you about the layout - the main way I'm getting through is that I did mini test socks with the various toes/heels/etc. first and am mostly winging the pattern anyway now I've got the idea (This works with knitting and sewing and mostly with food. Less so with other parts of life.)