Surprises abound here at Chez Harlot today.

1. Check out the beautiful scarves that Tish mailed as a special thank you for the Afghan sewing up business.


They were sent from Afghanistan by Tish’s sister Jenny, who is serving in the armed forces there. Beautiful, yes? I have a real love for things from far away places, and these are exotic and cool. There are also two of them, so as per Tish’s suggestion, I’ll be putting all the names of the sewer-up-ers into a hat (or bowl or something…don’t fence me in) and selecting a happy recipient. (She sent them to Ann and Kay too…generous, isn’t she?).

2. I have developed a huge case of Startitis. (That, I assure you, is not the surprise.) The surprise came when I discovered that I don’t have the right yarn in the stash for a pair of mittens. Who knew that was even possible? I mean, knowing what you do of my stash, would you think that there was even the scrawniest possibility that I wouldn’t have a wee little bit of the right kind of yarn? It’s not like it’s a sweater or an afghan or something really big where it would be presumed that the stash *might* offer limited choices. It’s mittens. Stunning.

3. There have been some surprising comments on the blog in it’s lifespan. Like when Meg Swansen left a comment, or even yesterday when the guy who wrote my favourite little blogging interface App. Ecto (he called it an App., so I am too. I want to be cool) left a comment. Still, nothing prepared me for late yesterday when I checked my email and discovered that The Mysterious K had left a comment. You read that right. The Mysterious K read my blog. (If you don’t know who TMK is, get right over to Ryan’s place and read up.) She doesn’t even knit. What an honour.

4. This yarn,


Knit up like this.



5. This yarn:


Knit up like this.


I know! Shocking, isn’t it? I mean, who was ready for that? Didn’t you think it would stripe? Didn’t ya? This is why I love knitting. 30 years at it and it’s still just a bag of surprises. You think you know a thing or two about yarn and then Whammo..right out of left field you get that kind of stupefying result.

Every once in a while it’s like finding a stack of magazines under your kids bed, bracing yourself, pulling them out and discovering that it’s a huge stack of “Angler Alive” or something. Weird.

Flashing, pooling and puddling

Yesterday in the comments, Dana asked…

Is there a difference between these: Pooling, flashing and puddling? In knitting, I mean?

Yup. I think so anyway, but I tend to over analyse. Pooling and puddling are simliar, with your overly picky Harlot differentiating them by shape.


Remember the Lorna’s Laces sock I had trouble with? It’s showing symptoms of both Flashing (The part that looks like it’s shaped like lightning) and pooling, which is when the colours stack up on top of each other for a good long time. (Look at Barbara’s Interweave Knits “Pooling colors scarf”) Puddling is when you end up with isolated areas of colour. If you could call it a blotch, I’d probably call it a puddle.

Keep in mind that just because I don’t like these effects, they aren’t all bad. Some knitters love ’em, and there’s tons of information out there on getting yarn to do this (I can’t hardly believe it) on purpose.

Kim has an excellent example of “flashing” here, along with all of the infomation you could ever want about it. Elaine pointed this awesome site out to me, and I highly recommend it for anyone seeking a higher understanding of variegated yarns.

Me? I might be developing an avoidance pattern.