August 2, 2004

Harlot happy day

Today marks the beginning of the Harlots vacation. Not the vacation where I get on a plane with children and a husband and go explore the world, test my patience and hope for the best, but the real vacation. Last night, my Mother (I love my Mother) picked up all three of the children and took them away for five action-packed days at a rental cottage far away from here. They will swim, eat, play, look for snakes, whittle whistles (Megan's cottage obsession), and talk about how sad it is that I couldn't come. (My Mother finds this hysterical. She can't believe that the ladies are apparently not old enough to have figured out that even if I didn't have to work, you couldn't pay me to come). I started this week right by getting up late, having a complete cup of coffee before it got cold, and speaking to my husband in long sentences. Did I mention that I love my Mother?

Only adding to my happiness is the sexy new poncho, which - considering that I just knit the thing on the fly, is pretty freakin' cute.


I cannot tell you how fulfilling this poncho is. I understand that it is wrong to be this excited about a stupid fashion trend. I understand that tradition never dies, and that poncho knitting is a flash in the pan and I understand that this is going to look absolutely dumbass in the spring. I don't care. I love it. (I am smiling in the picture, not only because I am happy that I have a poncho, but because Joe is trying to convince me to model it wearing nothing else. Joe is very quick to adapt to the week without the children. Joe is also out of his mind, do you see how well it matches the pants?)
Check out the detail on the fringe.


Mine, mine all mine.

To redeem myself as a knitter who respects the traditions and value of the more perennial forms of knitting I give you the almost finished Cherry Aran. I fixed the problems with the button band, (20 extra stitches is what it took. The pattern was wrong by 20 stitches. I'd be bitter, but nothing can ruin the vacation week).


Now I have a new problem. Before I washed it, the Cherry Aran was the precise dimensions given in the pattern. Then it hit water and...well, it's not that size anymore.
It's sort of, well...huge. (Can we pause here so that I can answer a question that somebody is going to ask me? The answer is No. No, I did not wash my swatch. Yes, I sometimes wash my swatches, but only when I really, really care what size something turns out. With a toddler sweater I'm not going to do it. The swatch can only get bigger when I wash it, and coincidentally, so will the toddler. Yes, this means that I have no right to complain. Yes, I deserve everything that I get. I have angered the gods of knitting by being cavalier about the size of the Cherry Aran and I am being punished. No, I'm probably not going to start washing swatches for toddler sweaters. No, that doesn't mean that I'm done complaining.) The only time I've ever had this happen before was with a superwash yarn, and the experience was so negative that I've flinched in the yarn shop upon sighting it ever since. Still, I might have made a tactical error here. The yarn is Hayfield Natural Wool DK, and it says "Machine Washable" on it. (I just noticed that machine washable part last night, you know, after the sweater expanded). Here's the question. Does "natural" mean not superwash (which is what I thought) or does "machine washable" mean superwash ? (what I suspect). In either case, if it's superwash I'll try tossing it in the dryer, and if it's just a cruel twist of fate then I'll wait for the toddler to grow.

To even out the big needle poncho knitting I started another baby sweater, this time using baby yarn, 100% wool, with a tension that will erase the effects of 8mm circulars forever. Get this...


32 stitches and 40 rows to 10cm. Love it.
I really find that I start missing tiny little needles and yarn when I work with bulkier stuff. There's something about the delicate meticulousness that I love.
The bigger the investment of time and attention, the more worthy the project seems to me. We'll see if this is careful enough work to take care of the yearning. Usually when it gets like this, I need a lace fix.

Megans birthday is in two weeks, and the kid was trying to rip off my new poncho yesterday, so I've started a really wild one for her.


I briefly wondered what it meant that my almost 13 year old and I love the same poncho. I stopped thinking about it on purpose.

Posted by Stephanie at August 2, 2004 2:18 PM