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


Jane & I are toying with the idea of ordering the Knit Picks needles. We've read lots of reviews--all very positive. The problem is deciding what to get first!! Since they are back ordered I should order now. Enjoy another "warm" day today. Bess, where I come from this is called b****y HOT!

By Anonymous Isobel, at 7:19 AM  

From one Virgo sis to another, thanks for sharing that horoscope - I shall keep you posted on how my July goes.

By Blogger Martha, at 8:26 PM  

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Sunday, July 02, 2006  

Knitting First - how about that?

Thank you, dearies, for the kind words about that horrible heel. It actually is horrible, but more for the decision I made to knit it on 60% of the stitches instead of 50% than because of the holes. In fact, the holes didn’t appear till I got towards the end of each side of the heel stitches - the part that was up in the front, rather than in the back. I have a smallish heel, proportional to the rest of my large foot. The instructions for this sock suggested I knit on 60% and I thought I’d give it a try. It was dreadful. The lovely little diagonal seam that bisected my heel stretched way up over my ankle bones, pulling and gaping and rather torturing the yarn. The heel seam on a short row heal should stop right before the ankle bones. So even if I’d left nary a hole behind - I would be ripping out this heel.

The magic of the experience was that as I knit this particular shape it’s native geometry began to unfold in my mind so that I knew what I was doing - I understood it’s movement. I felt the dawning of mastery - which I suspect is why I knit anyway. I am sure that’s why I’m such an inveterate swatcher. I want to know what’s going on. In only a few things in life have I ever really wanted to have fundamental and deep knowledge. Most of the time I’m perfectly satisfied with Librarian’s Knowledge - To know where the information is stored. But in a few areas, the yearning for both depth and breadth of knowledge drives me to probe and try and explore. Cooking is one. Knitting is another. Not that I can know it all. Probably wouldn’t even want to, for then what would there be to look forward to? But I’d like to have the knowledge and confidence to drive those needles in any direction I want - just because I can.

Then there is the "rising to a challenge" effect; another rarity with TheQueen. Most of the time, when I’m flummoxed, challenged, stymied - when life tells me I can’t do something - I can just shrug my shoulders and do something else. Secretly, I am disdainful of people who can't resist a challenge or a dare. In my dark prejudicial heart I tend to think they're dupes of the control freaks of this world. Of course, that's only on those days when I feel like the world is making demands on me. It's just that, being a Virgo, I feel like that most days. Heavens! There are a bazillion things to do in a very short life. Who cares if one doesn’t do it all?

But every now and then that challenge is flung down with a particularly sneering tone and I rise to the bait. I take umbrage at the implied insult. I tilt my chin a bit higher and square back my shoulders and just show the world a thing or two. This short row heel is one of them. Perhaps this time, I'm motivated because I love short rows for so much else that is shapely in knitting. I use them all over the place to make three dimensions out of two. I smooth over rough edges with that final picking-up-the-wraps row along shoulder seams. By golly - no short row technique is going to slip through my fingers.

In the case of this sock - I will put some of the blame on the needles I’ve been using. I started knitting on BD’s sock this week - the one hanging from a pair of lovely Addi Turbos with the perfectly smooth joins and immediately my knitting improved, my pleasure returned, and the pain in my wrists began to fade. That’s the main reason I ordered those (backordered) KP circs. I have no problem ordering more AddiT’s but I was lured by the promise of pointed tips. If there is anything I could criticize about the AT’s it’s their blunt tips. Mind now - sometimes I want blunt tips but other times, especially when sock knitting, I’d prefer they’d ... come to the point a bit more. (insert smirky face)

So. Of course they’re back ordered. They won’t even be processed till 2 weeks+. Till that time, the LL sock will languish in the basket, because I ain’t going back to those Susan Bates needles. They’re going to a swap table next time I’m around one. As for the needle sets. Well. Hmm. There’s something about a needle set that doesn’t really make sense to me. I mean - when I need a different needle, I need the whole thing, not just the shank portion. I’m quite a project abandoner - if project neglect were a crime I’d be in jail. I’d have to own 10 cables for every pair of shanks. The needle sets I’ve seen make sense for their organizational capabilities. At least you can put them back in their specifically sized grooves. And the Denise set - the only one I’ve ever actually handled - has a lovely join and delicious tips - the two features highlighted in the KP catalog. But having lots of extra cables - with little buttons to put on the ends when you abandon a project doesn’t really seem more efficient than having lots of needles. It may be cheaper - it may not. And their organizer is not size specific. It's a bunch of plastic pouches in a book and I have one of those already - and a much prettier one, made by Lawrie’s Lane.

What would prompt me to buy a needle set would be needles that were substantially better than what I already have - because ... I already have a lot of needles. Even when most of them are lost I have a lot of needles. But I don’t have enough sock needles. I knit socks on 2 circulars and I haven’t any good circs smaller than #3. When the KP needles come in - I believe I ordered a pair of #1’s - I’ll slip them into that Lorna’s Laces yarn and try that short row heel one more time.

Yesterday was a truly lovely day. Warm up to the point of hot but not over. All my laundry is done. The east door is scrubbed down - it takes the brunt of crud from storms and since it’s also the darkest doorway in the house - it seldom gets cleaned. It opens onto a dirt patch because the pin oak has shaded out every blade of grass east of the house. There ought to be a patio out that door - even if we do take down the oak - because it’s always going to be shady. It’s the east side of the house. Besides. I’d adore a patio there. An oasis of shade on a hot summer day.

In fact, as I scrubbed away on that door I began to think that it would be a good idea to make ... A List!!! A list of everything I would do to this place if money and time were no object. What would perfect be? What are all the things we would need to add to our home and yard to make it AbSoLuteLy PlusPerfect? And the most daring thought of all .... what if BD and I made this list together?!?!

I am one of those inward looking, secret keeping, ask no favors Virgos. Yes, yes, my Virgo sisters. You know of what I speak! We would rather die than expose our deepest desires to those who have the power to refuse us. We certainly would rather do without than ask for gifts. The year my parents forgot to send me a birthday card or call, I could find a hundred dozen reasons why I wasn’t loved by them. I sank into self reproach, bordering on masochism instead of calling up and saying “Hey! Where’s my happy birthday?”

Well. It’s not a personality flaw. It’s the star’s fault. It’s something I work on all the time. And after 35 years together, I’m finally ready to talk about the perfection of material things with BD. Giggle if you wish. You shan’t be gigglign at me - but with me.

So. Here I am, thinking about opening up a conversation of tremendous delicacy with someone I’ve only know a few decades and here comes Yasmin Boland with my July horoscope - portions of which I offer here to all my Secret Keeping Virgo Sisters:

Facing up to fears now will pay off big time ... The New Moon takes place in the most deep and secret part of your chart. What you can let go of now - fears, paranoias, anxieties, can be released forever.

Meanwhile, the powerhouse planet Mars is headed into your sign for the first time in two years, on July 22 ... Having Mars in your sign is will be like having a rocket put underneath you - warn your loved ones and colleagues you could be about to go into overdrive! The plus side of Mars is that you will find it much easier to Get Things Done. The negative side is that his energy can be downright anxiety-producing. It's therefore important that you pace yourself thought the month but especially in the last 10 days of July.

Lovewise, if you're one of the single millions venturing on-line in your search for love, you could be in luck! Go for it! If your love life is driving you around the bend, hang on until July 29 (yes, that long!) and it really should start to make sense again. It's time to review your plans and dreams - do it like only a Virgo can, only this time, don't be afraid to change your mind a few times.

Okay sisters - you know which ones of you need which parts of this month!

posted by Bess | 7:50 AM