June 22, 2004
On a roll
Yesterday turned out to be pretty darned good here in Harlotville. Our daughters brought home report cards that made me a satisfied and delighted mother, (although I haven't seen the teenagers yet...)We went for a bike ride to buy beautiful fresh fruits and veggies (and wine) in the Village, then returned home, moments before the rain. I love getting home minutes before the rain, I mean we were outside for over an hour. It could have rained on us, but the planet chose not to. I feel respected. Then it rained enough that for sure I'm getting out of dragging the hose around the yard to water the garden. Today I am cherished by the earth. (This is what you get for having a godless heathen union anniversary on the solstice, and knitting with glorious orange yarn, Co-operation)
While I was feeling pretty good about getting to skip the bi-weekly rousing game of "hose wrestling", my brother called (I swear he was giddy. Absolutely giddy) to tell me that he had sold his house. He and my darling and lucky sister in law sold the thing for an obscene amount of money and it was only on the market for three hours. Perfect. (This is especially good since the preparations for putting the house on the market and dealing with "open houses" and stuff was driving him so crazy that he was going to make us all nuts)
Joe called to tell me that due to a string of bizarre and unlikely events, he had gotten some crazy expensive piece of super cool recording equipment practically free, and then said he was coming home early because it was our anniversary. (Aw...he remembered. This is especially significant. Joe doesn't remember squat. Last year I found out what he was doing about my birthday. He knows that my birthday is "when it's warm" so as soon as it starts to get warm , he waits until one evening when I'm asleep and then checks my drivers license. Touching, isn't it?)
Dinner was lovely, the children polite. The wine good and the knitting? Well let me tell you. That Amy is a smart girl.
Amy said that I should try a blunter needle with the splitty yarn.
I've used Microspun, and can testify that I had better results with it by trying out different needles. Blunter needles seem to handle splitty yarns better by sliding past each individual strand instead of gouging right into the middle like pointy needles do.
This was the exact opposite of my plan. I had this theory that a really sharp needle would...well I don't know. Frighten the stitches? Scoop them up? I've got a preference for sharp needles and I always think that if something isn't going well it's because my needles aren't sharp enough. I went and got a blunter circular and lo and behold, what Amy says is completely true. All hail the mighty Amy....blog saviour for the day.
(psst...Amy...got any ideas about speeding up the laundry?)
And Rams? The blasphemy of circulars, (though I agree with all the points made by Rana (including irrational predjudice) is because I knit like this:
My right needle is tucked under my arm and my right hand pivots, throwing the yarn without holding the needle. It's a really, really fast way to knit.
This can't work with a circular.
Rams also asks why, since I wanted more modesty with the tank, I'm not knitting it in the round. Executive decision. It turns out that the tank isn't sewn up at all in the front, the ribbon is just threaded through the lace pattern. Seemed to me that I could just thread it through a little lower, depending the modesty of the moment. This was of course before it dawned on me that this means that all that stands between me and public nudity is one ribbon. Normally, this wouldn't be that high risk, but I live with Joe. There's no way he's not going to spend the whole summer pulling that ribbon. It's going to be beyond his ability to control himself, so I may just add a stitch or two. In any case i thought that knitting it back and forth would give me choices.
All in all, it was a very good day. So good in fact, that Joe and I bought a lottery ticket. Hey, we're on a roll.
Posted by Stephanie at June 22, 2004 11:52 AM
May the planets stay on course for you!
What you do is, you take the zipper out of Joe's favorite pair of jeans and put in a lace up dealie - maybe something more like a shoestring than a ribbon - in the interest of masculinity, you know. Then when he pulls your string...
Sauce for the gander :)
Wow! Never been called a blog saviour before! In fact, as soon as I pressed "POST" yesterday, I wondered why I sounded so confident, when I probably had no idea what I was talking about. So... I'm glad that blunter needles worked out better for you.
I understand your sharp needle preference, because blunt needles are horrible for tricky stitch patterns for me. I keep losing stitches off the end when knitting more than one together, or similar maneuvers.
Now about your laundry problems, well, that reminds me I need to go move a load into the dryer. So, NO, I have no suggestions for that one. Sorry!
Whew! I'm glad to be forgiven for posting my circular needle rant yesterday -- it was longer than I'd intended. :)
That is some beautiful knitting. And now we know how you can churn out so much in so little time!
(And I love the explanation of how Joe remembers your birthday.)
Hey, I didn't know you were an armpit knitter! When I was in University and rode the wretched GO Bus home a lot there was this homeless, well must have had a home but looked homeless, lady who sat in the bus station everynight and knit. She was a crazy armpit knitter and I would watch her with fascination.
Harlot you ARE my hero!!!
Except I disagree with you about the circular needles. I have all manor of all varieties of knittting needles and nothing pleases me more then a vintage plastic circular needle. They are the 'anti-splittingest' needles I ever met, delightfully smooth and quiet. There are older varieties that are essentially one long round dpn (rather then with a soft coil-y cable connecting them) and I love them because it simplifies things to holding one needle. I find this very useful for knitting while I walk to work (25 min!)and I don't have to worry about dropping a needle. Anyway these needles are found at yard sales and thrift shops. I don't think anybody makes them anymore but I widh they did. The best part is they come in all sorts of fun colors.
Yeeeeeeehhhhssss, I've read about those armpit knitters before, but I never saw a real one. It's an "Irish" thing, innit? You should charge to have people watch you. Course, I flail about with my right-hand-throwing so much, I'd be too embarrassed to have any of you uber-knitters watch ME! I'm not worthy.
After your entry from yesterday, I've decided to refer to yarn that splits as J-Los. So, if your yarn is splitty, it must be J-Loey. If it is splitting, it would be J-Loeing.
Yes, I'm good at pounding a joke into the ground, why do you ask? :)
Yay! I knit that way, too! And, if The Mighty Harlot does what I do, all my wacky, continental-knitting friends must be full of beans for mocking me!
Oh, Harlot!! When I pulled up your blog this morning, I just knew you would be talking to me today!! (that sounds nuts, eh?) I am driving myself (an all around me) crazy right now because I am getting my house ready to sell. Now I can only hope that it sells in THREE hours, oh my. My knees shake at the thought. Keeping it "show ready" with three little tornados is going to be like herding cats.
Not only that!! Your Joe and my dearest husband sound a lot alike too! They both get all hot and bothered by audio equipment!?! Although this house is on the listening end, and it sounds like Joe is on the making end.
We do part ways when it comes to needles, though. Life without Addi Turbos just ain't worth living. And armpit knitting? I've never even seen that! Maybe you should do a short video to post ;-)
Norma: Close, it's not an Irish thing, but a Scottish one. Or at least that's the story one often hears. I knit in a variation of this, with the butt of the right needle jammed (imobile) into the top of my thigh (clearly this only works while seated. It is indeed a Very Fast Way To Knit. It also causes the scary clique-y ladies at the LYS to look at you funny and say "wherever did you learn to do that?". The attribution of this "tucked" technique frequently mentions the "knitting belts" used by women in the Shetlands. These had a leather bit with holes in, you put the non-business end of your needle in one of the holes, holding it still, and knit away at a great rate. Guess I am embracing my Scottish side! Hope things keep going well for you Stephanie, your blog brings us all so many smiles, you surely deserve a few for yourself!
Best of all, there's heavy documentation (Gladys Thompson's Guernseys, Jerseys and Arans) for armpitish knitting being the authentic way to knit (wait for it...) ganseys. I think I remember that instead of a knitting belt the Cornish women generally used a wooden sheath, often carved by one's sweetheart, tucked in the waistband. (Sometimes a needle sheath is just a needle sheath.) Of course they were securing one of the long, curved-through-use double-points on which they knit their ganseys in the (ahem) round. Looks very authentic, Harlotta -- all you need is a barrel of freshly gutted herring to top it off.
Would just like to congratulate you on your bright children. But as we say in Denmark "Ęblet falder ikke langt fra stammen" Does that make any sense to you at all :o) I“ll try and translate: "The apple does“nt fall far from the tree"(In fact I don“t know if this is a saying in english?).
Here the planet is not working out for me, I think it set out to start a whole day of raining as soon as I had put my laundry out i the garden to dry???!!! As to your laundry, do the same as you did in the house! Major decluttering in all of your wardrobes. Less clothes, less laundry ;o)
Wow! There are other armpit knitters out there? I have no idea where I picked that skill up, but I definitely think it's faster!