Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Got Luckier

After SOAR 2006, Nancy and I agreed on a trade, and I made this
and she made this
which is a close-up of this
which even though it's a lousy photo, you should be able to tell is a stunningly gorgeous hand-dyed handwoven silk scarf.  I'm a lucky girl.
And then this week in the mail, this (once again, my photography skills are lacking)
which is a pair of yummy merino sock blanks dyed to match my scarf. From memory.  While there are times when I'm able to wax lyrical about very little of substance for far too many words in far too long a paragraph, apparently when I'm in need of eloquent heartfelt thanks, words fail me.
I need to hurry up with the other socks, the knitting of frequency of which has been relegated to Almost Never  since it's too dark and too cold to knit in the car when I'm at long stop-lights to and from work.  I don't spend hours in waiting rooms, which would otherwise be a choice Knitting Occasion, and my home knitting is at the exciting bit, so the other socks are stalled.
See? Racing towards the finish.
No, it's not wider at the bottom, and the cables are definitely not off-centre, but apparently I wasn't too careful with the laying-on-the-desk-to-take-pictures step.  That dark streak? Errrmmm, well, that must be the result of not stirring quite often enough when I was dying the yarn (I'm guessing I was doing seventeen other things at the same time). Interesting how the width of the body corresponded so well to the length of the hank: 2 metres.  My dad made that niddy-noddy back when he was able.  He doesn't do much anymore, he doesn't even talk.  Actually, realistically, the person who was my father has long gone, leaving his wreck of a body to an ever-ebbing fragment of a consciousness.  He also made my swift, and a really nice mahogany nostepinde.  And the desk that's now in my daughter's room, and a host of toys, some with moving parts: cams and gears and handles and wheels and whatnot. I made him my first ever socks.


Back to the Blue Streak.

I just love doing raglans, and fortunately (Kate told me, it absolutely must be so) I'm one of those who is able to wear a raglan and not look dreadful.  I'm so taken with the weird pacing of knitting a raglan sweater, it surprises me every time. Somewhat.

I tend to start with the sleeves because I don't swatch much, and they serve well.  I suppose I don't have terribly long arms (I don't have terribly long anything since I'm not the tallest person in the world, certainly not as tall as Juno - did you see the picture of her folded into a seat that I would have been sprawling on?) so the sleeves don't take all that long, and make me thrill for the body, which starts off slowly - those first two or three inches take weeks! - and suddenly, magically, is long enough.  Binding off those underarm stitches fakes me out every time, because I'm also adding all those sleeve stitches - well, not all, because some of them are doing duty as underarm stitches, but still, a lot, but those bound-off stitches make me feel as though I'm about to fly to the finish NOW.

The first few rows of the Everything are painful, awful, tedious, and epic.  Then I notice that it's no longer awkward to knit around the sleeve part, it isn't tugging anymore.  But still progress is invisible.  The armhole remains perpetually an inch and a half deep.  I consider creative shaping involving many more decreases as I continue with four every other round.  I start thinking about the neck, certain it's too soon.  I'm impatient so I start it anyway.  Turns out I should have started it two inches ago.  I reconsider my neck design, and suddenly, there it is.

This weekend, most likely: the armhole is still an inch and a half deep, but I can anticipate, can't I?


fibergal said...

The blanks look pretty magical. I am dyeing, whoops, dying to see what you will do with them. Nancy is brilliant. And lucky to have your great necklace. Say, when are you going to write up the pattern for that wonderful piece you wore at SOAR. The dark sort of triangular piece? Dangles. I am rooting around to find a photo of it. My favorite piece of yours ever. Make a kit!

Charlene said...

Actually, the necklace was for Adriana.

The triangular piece? You mean the one with the circles? I actually do have a kit for part of it here:


The central bead was bought from one of a trio of very cute, very young lampworking guys at BeadFest in Philly in 2006. I imagine it's a one-of-a-kind, so a bit difficult to kit