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


OH what a heavenly color! What an awesome story!

By Blogger Alice, at 7:30 AM  

As I've read your posts this week, I've been thinking, "Wow, Bess really had her eyes wide open to take everything in." And now look what your wondering eyes found!

By Blogger Jane, at 7:51 AM  

Bess, dear, perchance is that loverly yarn 'English Tweed'? If so, you and the Yarn Harlot are in love with the same yarn -- albeit, doing very different things with it. She got hers at SOAR last week, I believe...Of course, you are both spinners, and yarn afficionadas, so-o-o-o...I'm not surprised!


By Anonymous Margaret in Calgary, at 10:51 AM  

Oh, Happy Day! (I can hear the gospel choir singing now...)! :-)

By Blogger Mary, at 11:44 AM  

P.S. Your drawings are just a hoot! Love them! So glad you found old pictures of Flidas to post here, so we could see what it looked like.

By Blogger Mary, at 11:46 AM  

What a wonderful story. I begin to see why you would have been a popular storyteller at FFF. Have you ever thought of publishing a book of your stories and drawings -- for children or knitters? I'm glad you found your long-lost yarn and wish you joy of recreating your burnished gold sweater!

By Anonymous Cathy in Va., at 11:35 PM  

Like Margaret (in Calgary) said, the Yarn Harlot has a very similar yarn (from Webbs, I believe), and the big leasson she learned is that the yarn changes significantly once it's washed...the color changes slightly, and the yarn itself has a different texture. Just so you know. Her gauge changed, too...

By Blogger Nerdy Knitter, at 7:04 PM  

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007  

Final Stitches Posting

The Story of Flidas

In February of 2002 I cast on some golden tweedy yarn with flecks of turquoise, green, red, and blue

that I thought would knit up to look like byzantine gold if I used a heavy textured cable stitch. My favorite cable of all is the Hollow Oak Cable found, among other places, in Barbara Walker's first treasury of stitches. The Blue Book, I call it. It was my first creation, a simple sweater with that beautiful cable wrapping wrist and hem and neck and making a single line up the center. The idea was to knit the set in sleeves a la Elizabeth Zimmermann's very pithy instructions found in her Knitting Workshop.

Everything went well till I got to the very last bit where the cable, the neckline, the sleeve cap and the shoulders all had to get together and play nicely.

And there I crashed into the wall of technical ignorance. All that beautiful yarn and careful knitting got stuffed into a basket where it spent the next 12 months sulking and resentful.

'Ware the Wrath of an Unfinished Sweater, though, for after a year of neglect, that sweater decided to do battle for completion and it started by imprisoning my creativity.

No matter how I tried, I couldn't start anything till I figured out how to finish that sweater. I ducked it. I avoided it.

I thought about it. I wrote about it,

but finally I surrendered
and got down to some serious engineering. There were many struggles with those difficult shoulder shapings,
but eventually, I conquered that knitting math and ended up with exactly the sweater I'd dreamed of.
I named it Flidas (Flee Daws), the Irish woodland goddess, in honor of that Hollow Oak Cable.

There are scant photos of it and they're all dreadfully dark
or squinchily tiny.
I wore it with joy and pride for about 6 months when, one day, somewhere, in a state of mindlessness, I left it on some chair, or behind some counter, in some restaurant or bookstore or at some meeting. I looked, I backtracked, but I never found Flidas and can only hope that somewhere someone is wearing a really fine hand knit sweater with a golden cuff that looks like Byzantine jewelry.

I promised myself that one day, when I found just the right yarn, I would knit Flidas again and at Webbs, last weekend, at Stitches in Baltimore, I found it. I'd been through the booth a number of times already and was actually trying to match my lovely JoJoland yarn to whatever woolen browns they had left when I glanced up and saw this
sitting on a shelf. I couldn't believe my eyes!

Here it is sitting next to a ball of the original yarn!

The grist (amount of fiber) looks the same, though the new yarn is more tightly spun so it's a wee bit thinner. The gold is a little darker in the original yarn, which, btw, was already a discontinued yarn when I bought it! Indoors I can't really tell the difference, but outside you can see it. Maybe.

So here is a happy ending story about a triumph, a tragedy and hope for a new Flidas, sometime after Christmas.
Good knitting to you all.

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posted by Bess | 4:52 AM