Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


So jealous of your girlie girl weekend - I'm sure it will be lovely, and please each of you give an extra hug for me, please!!!

By Blogger Amie, at 5:06 PM  

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Saturday, February 12, 2005  

The silence yesterday was caused by having to dash out of the house at Crack-0-Dawn to get to a class at the far campus of the local community college. We’re taking a year long series of technology classes, taught the first 2 Fridays of every month. Every other month we go to the campus that’s an hourand a half away. Leaving here at 7:30 really curtails my morning Internet routine.

The teacher we had for the past 2 months was one of the best teachers I’ve ever listened to - and he was teaching what could be the dullest subject on earth - an overview of computer networking plus network maintenance and security. Not that it isn’t a riveting subject for many; just ask any of the new priests. But for middle aged librarians - you know, those traditional bookworms - English majors - that sort - trying to grasp tcp/ip and packet switching and a whole host of acronymious secret code stuff can be excruciating. A bright, articulate, clear speaking, eye-twinkling teacher can carry us all much further down the knowledge path.
I hope he teaches some of the other classes.

On the knitting front, I came to a decision with the lace cardigan. The pattern I was following was from a Vogue Knitting mag from a few springs ago. It has a pretty, scalloped lace pattern along the bottom - first a 10 stitch pattern for about 3 inches and then 16 stitch pattern for another 2 or 3 inches. Now - fitting 16 over 10 is not easy. Think this sort of fraction: 16/10 or 8/5. Worse than that, the 16 stitch pattern wasn’t even centered. It began with 5 knit stitches, had 4 lacey holes in the middle and ended with 7 knit stitches. I mean, why not begin with 6 and end with 6? I already had a beef with this design because it called for casting on X # of stitches, knitting for 3 inches then decreasing by 20% at the switch from the 10 st. to the 16 st. pattern. Now - think if what a sweater would look like if you knit the bottom for 3 inches and then decreased the sweater by 20% after that. Yeah, a trapezoid.

Now, if that’s the shape you want, well, okay. And if that is the shape the garment is going to be, why in the blankety blank did the photographers at VK give us a photo that makes the sweater look like it drops straight down from the underarms? Why? I’ll tell you why. Because a sweater knit to those specs makes even a fashion model look dumpy (ugly, fat, unfashionable) The photographer took one look at that garment and had his assistant pin the back of it together till it hung straight and looked attractive on the model. Of course you'll never know that till you’ve started knitting - and then you’ve got something all your fiber instinct will warn you about, but you’ll keep looking at the photo and going back to the pattern and trying a little more. In time you’ll realize you’ve been bamboozled and rip it all out, drastically reduce the number of stitches you’re working with and begin again.

This happened to me at cast on and again, when I switched to the 16 st. pattern, following the written directions. Lace is nothing if it is not precise. Imagine how bad bad geometric shapes scattered here and there over different geometric shapes will look. After ripping the yarn out twice I decided to skip the second lace pattern, incorrectly graphed, btw, and instead, to continue knitting the 10 stitch pattern till I had the depth I wanted in my border.

Ahhhhh. Yes. Nothing feels as good as a making a good decision.

In addition to not liking the math of the two patterns together, the second pattern (which I really do like and will use in something else) had a lot more stockinette knitting in it and I don’t care as much for this particular variegated yarn in flat st. st. knitting. It’s more stripy than I really like. I adore it in the lace pattern, which breaks up the stripes and color blocks into beautiful dynamic pulsing shapes. Sometimes a variegated yarn doesn’t look so good in a textured design, but this yarn looks good in this lace. Just goes to show you that there is a pattern for every yarn.

The pattern is knit for 8 rows and I will knit it at least 6 times. At some point I’ll switch to a solid colored yarn. I’ll experiment with making the change within the lace - I think that might make the transition more fluid, not so abrupt. Once in the solid yarn I’ll knit it up in a diagonally arranged eyelet stitch.

The weekend unfolds before me in the most delightful way. Jen is visiting with her daughter C, a knitterly sleepover. We haven’t’ seen each other since November, at the KRRetreat. BD is off to do some woodsy stuff with LD, while GD is visiting friends away, so it will be a girlie girl weekend. Nothing planned beyond having fun. Fortunately, Jen is a good enough friend I don’t have to clean up for her, since this is not Sheryl’s week to perform magic in my house and I didn’t get home early enough to make much difference in the dust&dog hair department.
It’s cold, but it’s sunny. What a great woolly weekend. Ta.

posted by Bess | 7:17 AM