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


Ummm...pre-Thanksgiving questions, Dear Bess:

1. What's combination stitch?
2. Why's it called Black Friday? (We don't have it here. Up here, Boxing Day -- which used to be a day to take gifts to the poor -- is now Shop-till-you-drop Day here. Sigh.)


By Anonymous Marg in Mirror, at 8:57 AM  

Combination knitting means you tension the yarn with your left hand, like continental knitting, and when you knit the knit stitches everything is familiar, but when you purl, you catch the yarn from the top and sort of scoop it through the loop on the left hand needle. It's easier to pick up the yarn that way, and it also helps prevent guttering, but it lines the stitch up backwards - as in the little sketch below. If you don't purl or knit into the "back" of the stitch on the next time round, you'll twist the stitch. Much like when you've ripped out a lot of stitches and then put the loose ones back on the needle, you sometimes have a stitch lined up backwards. Your choice on how you realign the stitch, but I usually just "knit into the back".

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, in the US. It's the traditional start of the holiday shopping season and it's the day that's supposed to put retail merchants "in the black" by the end of the year.

By Blogger Bess, at 9:05 AM  

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008  

Let the Holiday Season begin!

Thank you C and M, for the compliments. I can't wait to cast on another one of these fun hat projects. Now ... how did I keep those holes at bay? Seems to me the yarn had a little stiffness to it. It's a generic wool, not a soft merino or slippery alpaca. So the extra twist of the purl 2 together made the yarn tuck beneath the 3 purl stitches to the right. Also, I had that first of the P2tog stitches, which is a purl stitch, lined up backwards, with the right side of the stitch behind the needle instead of in front. (I use combination stitch and it always lines up purls that way... just need to keep that in mind when I'm knitting.)

The advantage of that line-up is that that stitch, which lies on top of the stitch to its left, will then lie flat and untwisted when I complete the stitch. P2tog really does look neater if you've got your stitch lined up “backwards”.

The holidays started for me last night. Due to travel and illness and holidays and business, we haven't had a knitters gathering all November. We tried to set it up for last night and I stayed late at work in case any knitters showed up. Ooops. The meeting room was already booked. But only one girlfriend came, so we took over the nice chairs in the reading area of the library and knit and talked and dumped my Surprise Sweater bag on the floor and tidied up all those little bits and pieces of yarn. And talked some more. It was delicious to visit with C who has been a special friend for 25 years.

And today I am off. Yes. It's bizarre but the library is closed Wed-Fri. of Thanksgiving week. That is – the county gives us these days off and though that seems excessively indulgent, I have never quite been able to make myself work those days and if I'm not willing to do it, I'm not asking staff to.

But it always niggles at me and driving in to work yesterday I hit on the perfect solution! I will work those days, the W and F of next year. It won't be too busy since most people will be shopping on Friday and school closes early on Wednesday. I won't need to make staff come in though they can if they want to. But I will take those two days at Christmas time. Yes! The perfect solution. I'd far rather have Christmas off than T'giving, though I admit, there's a sweetness to knowing I have the day before guests come to clean house. But I never shop on Black Friday and I can visit my parents on Saturday just as easily as on Friday (what I traditionally do on BF). I only wish I'd thought of this earlier, before we posted our closing hours. Because with 2 extra days off this year I could have the entire Christmas week off. Well. The days will be all the sweeter for saving till next year.

So. I'm off to town (what?!?) - but for a hair cut and a manicure and last minute shopping. I'll be home by 1:30 and ready to tackle the button band of that surprise sweater. I still hope to meet my November goal of finishing that thing. Maybe. Maybe pictures by Sunday. Of course, May Bees don't fly in November. But maybe sweaters get done.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

posted by Bess | 8:01 AM