October 25, 2004
A lovely baby is due in four weeks, and this will be her jacket.
Hood? No hood? Haven't made up my mind. I'm loving the Morehouse Merino I'm knitting it out of, it's very, very beautiful, and very, very soft. Lauren asked in a comment how it compared to Koigu. It has the same beautiful colours, but that's where the similarities end. The Morehouse is a barely spun single ply, compared to Koigu, which is a two ply with a fairly tight twist. This yarn is actually so soft that I'm very, very worried about pilling. I'm hoping that knitting a baby jacket out of it will mean that it doesn't get too ratty looking before the kid outgrows it. I'd love a sweater for myself knit from it...but the neurotic, overwhelming concern about the downside of it's softness keeps me from considering it.
Speaking of neurotic, overwhelming concerns, I'm having some issues with the colour repeat of the thing. I'm breaking the yarn every so often (like, every 2 rows) to avoid pooling or flashing of the colours. It would seem that this yarn is dyed in intervals so regular as to be self patterning. Check out what Alison's Morehouse is doing. Freaky eh?
I decided last night that the jacket wasn't enough. I can't tell you what else will be knit for this baby. I may have had a few fleeting starts, but I don't think that any of them are going to "take".
I thought about a shawl. Then I remembered the soul crushing defeatism of having every row get longer, and longer and longer....I'm usually the *go to gal* for soul crushing defeatism, but I just don't have it in me so soon after the Rhinebeck thing. (It's important to take time in between insane project relationships, you don't want them getting the upper hand. Gotta regroup. Make a plan. Restore what's left of my watery self esteem. Everybody has that with sweaters? Right?) Then I got to thinking....why not knit a shawl from the edge up? Cast on the two long edges of a triangular shawl, then decrease at each edge and twice in the middle on every right side row....that would make a triangle, I'm sure of it. You would end up casting off a stitch or two at the centre of the top edge. No problem. I think. Now a reasonable knitter would knit a little sample, try out this idea on a little swatchy kind of thing. We all know that I didn't bother to do that. (Don't bother to remember this moment so that you may all mock me later. If it turns out that I'm wrong about this and have created a fluffy lace-weight gate to hell for myself because I thought the 15 minutes it would take to test the theory was stupid... I will engage in a knitterly version of self-flagellation that will exceed any "I told you so" that any of you could muster.)
I figured out the length of one of the sides of the shawl, picked an edging and cast on the 185 stitches I would need. Then I ripped it back because I'm a moron who only cast on one of the sides. (Yes, there was a moment there where I was so loathe to cast on again that I tried to figure out how I could just knit one side of the shawl at a time...)
I doubled the stitch count so I could have two sides. (Nice touch Steph) and tried again. Note: This means that I was casting on 370 stitches in lace-weight. There are several intelligent ways of doing this. Some knitters put a stitch marker every 50 stitches or so, that way you don't have to keep counting. Some knitters count off the stitches with contrast yarn marking off the sections of lace....I don't do any of these things. I cast on what I think is 370 stitches, then shriek "I'm counting! Stop it. Do not speak!" for as long as it takes for me to feel reasonably sure that it actually is 370 stitches. Then I count them again, get 372, take two stitches off, count again, get 367. Add three, count again, get 371. Take off one, count again , (wonder why in the name of H-E- double hockey-sticks I don't use one of the intelligent ways of doing this) and get 382. 382?
There's only so much one woman can take, you know? We'll see if I recover enough to try again.
In the meantime, everybody troupe on over and give a big Blogosphere welcome to Cassie (Cassie was winning my votes for cool knitting stuff at Rhinebeck, be sure and check her gallery) , and heap praise on poor blogless Casey, for she has thrummed, and it is good.
Finally, Bippy left the following challenge in the comments.
If you can manage not to turn on your heat until New Years...I will give you a prize. A good one.
Bippy. I have decided to resist. It has not been easy to walk away, since we have already established that I am exactly the person that this kind of baiting was created for. Still, I am walking away. I will forgive you this taunting because you live in Texas, and you do not know of what you speak. I don't mind being crazy. I understand that I have a more flexible relationship with traditional normality than most people, and I'm ok with them calling me "crazy" or "nutty" or even "delusional", but Bippy? I realized, (while I was just sort-of abstractly thinking about what kind of a prize it could be) I should draw the line at "dangerous".
Posted by Stephanie at October 25, 2004 12:17 PM
I'm hoping to make it to Oct 31.
Hail Casey's fabulous thrummed mits.
And all hail the Harlot for regaining her sanity.
Thanks for the push, Bippy. Now go and put some stitch markers on that shawl cast-on. Geez.
You were right to sacrifice the shawl. If I had the temerity to do a shawl from the bottom UP, I would definitely run out of yarn before the end of it (the beginning of it?). Even your laceweight MIGHT run out at some point. I am fresh from this kind of disaster myself. Cursing the pattern does not, I find, actually give you enough yarn to finish the cast off -- the yarn fell short THREE TIMES during the latest shawl thingie. I finally ripped the whole thing back and ended one repeat earlier. Arrgghh!! The fourth time worked, but the process was ugly!
I've been thinking along the same lines, re making a shawl. If I start with the LONG bit, it will get easier and easier as I go along. Realistically, the same amount of work is being done, but psychologically - whoo boy! BIG difference :)
You'd be pushing it to wait til Halloween if you lived here. We have tons of snow on the mountains and it will be in our yards in the next day or so. I just couldn't tough it out with you as we would be wearing all our clothes to stay warm and it would be too hard to knit!
The sweater is so sweet. You are a very caring mid-wife.
Love the baby sweater, those are MY colors! Good for you for not taking the 'no heat till NY's' challenge. I mean geesh, we live in CANADA ;) (I finally convinced hubby we were not going to make it till Cmas Day as he planned and flipped that sucker ON.)
Working on a Yarn Harlot Poncho at the moment. A smaller version for my 7 year old daughter. Thanks!
You promised to try to hold out until the water in the toilet freezes. Could we get a picture of that for all of us who live in areas where toilet bowls sweat but never freeze? It's like never seeing snow for your entire life until a "snow vacation" where you figure out your butt gets wet and cold from sitting in snow and snow usually dirtier than the "White Christmas" fake snow look.
BTW- the high tech toilets in Japan have seat warmers. Personally I think it feels like someone was taking a (uhhh) "long-potty-break" before me and that is just icky. But if the toilet bowl/tank truely does freeze in Canada, does that mean you hope someone has "pre-warmed"?
Sorry, it may be 54 F outside in Northern California right now but I haven't seen a toilet freeze. ever.
The sweater is gorgeous!! May I cast my vote for a cute little collar and a matching cap (&/or mitts)? In my experience as the mom of 7 former babies, hoods are usually good at swallowing baby faces every time they turn their heads, and make really good puke collectors.
You absolutely crack me up! Love your blog and having to snarfle my laughs as I read it at work. How was the weekend of french horn playing?
Where is the rest of the Rhinebeck yarn??? I want to see it all!!!
Regarding hoods: The problem with baby hoods is that when the baby is not wearing the hood, the hood is bunching uncomfortably around baby's neck or baby is chewing on it. I preferred no hoods when the Bean was small because a hat was far easier. Then again, it doesn't get that cold here so...
Cute sweater!! Uh.. some people cast on about 4 sts and increase every so often until they have 370 sts....but whatever knits your lace! Made the kid a cute top down hat with a top knot. E-mail me if you want details on the pattern.
On the furnace contest. If you don't turn it on when you need it, you might find family members burning fires in their rooms using homework or some such thing for fuel. Not worth it at my house.
I live in Idaho. Toilet bowls don't freeze over because the dogs keep the ice broken drinking out of them. :-P
That sort of decreasing scheme is what's going on with the Faroese shawl I'm knitting, so it should work just fine.
re: hoods on baby sweaters. I'm with Liz and Tish. And they can't see either which really ticked my boys off.
Re: pooling yarn. I once knit a striped baby dress from a Debbie Bliss pattern. It had a colour change every row. She had you work on a circular needle, and you worked from both ends. ie knit a row of white, go back to the beginning, knit a row of burgandy. Purl a row of white, go back and purl a row of burgandy. I adapted this for "pooling yarns" and work from the middle of the ball and the outside. Works pretty well.
I admire your caston method. That's how I do it, especially if its a yarn where the ply "splits" making it harder to count. Does this mean we have deeply hidden masochistic streaks? Or are we adverturers!
Re: cold toilet seats. I grew up on the prairies with an outhouse. You haven't lived till its -20C and your butt sticks to the frost on the nails in the seat. I learned to use a countersink punch at the age of 8 and fixed those suckers. The frost still froze the rear, but at list the skin wasn't stuck to the nail anymore. (To those who haven't seen the cold, when it gets just the right temp and humidity, your skin sticks to cold metal. Every winter at least one kid in your neighbourhood will test this theory with his tonque on the chain link fence at the playground)
Barb in frozen Gibbons, -13C (5F)with my furnace ON.
You're having counting problems AGAIN?? Remember that great definition of insanity?
Mmmm, pretty colors like Koigu but softer... Sort of like Artyarns. Sounds very yummy. Great idea using gorgeous yarn that might pill on a baby sweater. The beauty gets appreciated but the pill may be avoided in the sweater's short lifespan.
Heaven's woman, don't even get someone started on Southern names. I have two relatives- father and son... one named BoBee and the other named BoBo and that's not even starting on their cousins. Argh!
Shawls from the bottom up -- upside is that the rows getting progressively shorter. Down side is that you could run out of wool before finishing. How dangerously do you want to live?
Thanks so much for the Cassie link. I was deperate to find her. I loved her shawl she had on at Rhinebeck. Poor girl she has been blogger stalked :)
Hello, my name is roggey and I'm a shawl addict. I own five woven shawls and have knit three shawls. I have collected at least 9 shawl patterns and have designed 6 of my own to date. All of this since relearning to knit on February 24. Now you understand when I say that I would have chanced running out before abandoning the shawl.
Then again, I've just recently admitted defeat on a cotton chenille shawl after eight months of denial (I can make it work, I know I can, so what if the pattern is best for a worsted weight wool!).
And yet, the Rhinebeck and your dedication to it just kind of freaked me out. I've seen marriages perpetrated with less commitment... Maybe that's what this shawl addiction of mine does to people.
Do what you have to... and when counting? I use old plastic stitch markers that I've cut once (or even old bread twist ties) - I put them after every 10 stitches I count, because I'm lousy at numbers that way.
I've made a shawl from the long side up, there's a picture of it in my blog. Started with around 300 stitches and decreased by 10 every 8 rows. I love your blog, very funny and lovely items.
hey madamme harlot... i've got one for ya. make it to thanksgiving, and i'll send you a tin of oatmeal chocolate chip recipes, grandma's recipe. eh, eh?? best of luck to you frozen folk, my environment is kept relatively temperate due to the whole being surrounded by water. (long island). it gets COLD... but, ya know.
I vote for no hood. Like the others say, the baby will have it over the eyes oder it will be uncomfortable in the neck when not worn on the head.
I would do some booties which wont slip of the feed. And a cap would be fine. But my experience ist, that the perfect cap for a baby is hard to find. I have only one year old daugher and every season i buy 4 caps until i have one that wont slip into the eyes while covering the ears.
that baby sweater is so colorful and fun! i love yarn like that. sometimes i just want to leave it in a big ball so it looks all stringy and pretty like that. but then it's also so pretty all knit up! :)
as i said before, i am thinking you can for sure make it to rememberance day. and if you do (because it is almost two weeks longer than you are planning) i promise to send something your way :) you might make out big with this heat thing, hmmm? alice - she already made it to thanksgiving ;) hehehe.
and i am so with diane on wanting to see the yarn. you promised us individual pictures!!!! how am i supposed to live vicariously through your stash enhancement if i don't get the detail shots??
I'm afraid you might be right about the Morehouse and how it will wear. I have a huge stash of it from when I visited their shop a couple summers ago. Plus, I have enough in one lovely variegated red to make myself the sweater of my dreams. I have just been hesitating (for about 5 years) because I want to make someething that is worth the yarn, you know? I've loved this yarn so long, I would be afraid to make something boring, or something that will pill a lot and wear out real quick. That's why I have mostly been using it for hats. You didn't find too much grass in yours, I hope. I've heard some people complaining about that. Love your blog, by the way... but then of course, doesn't everyone?
This is lovely! What pattern are you using?
I'd love to have a copy, if they are available.
The sweater is gorgeous - I'd go for the hood. I made a balaclava out of Morehouse Merino and it has taken a beating (including left in the snow for weeks) with nary a pill.
First, while I currently live in Texas (and, indeed, I am wearing sandals, capri pants, and a t-shirt right now and in my house, the air conditioning is on), I grew up in Colorado. There is nothing to stop the cold fronts from Canada except for some barbed wire in Wyoming. I do understand cold, and there is a reason I live in Texas.
Second, due to a snafu on my part, this paycheck is actully 2.5 paychecks. Lots of money for your prize.
Third- Did you know that if you google for Fleece Artist your blog is the third link, and they do custom colorations? I'm still toying with what the prize should be, mind you, it might NOT be an unnamed amount of cashmere or silk fleece artist yarn that you will be able to get done, just for you, in whatever color you want. Then again...
Fourth- Upon further consideration, New Years is probably too much. After all, Joe or one of the children will have doubtlessly flouted your authourity by then to prevent their untimely demise. However, I'm not going to blow what (for me) is a huge sum of money on a wager for Halloween. My birthday is November Sixteenth. American Thanksgiving is November 25th, I think. December first is also a good, memorable date. You have knitted plenty of things for Joe and the children to wear and keep themselves warm over the years. They'll stay warm.
I would be willing to change the date for a sliding scale wager. While the prize (obviously) won't be as spectacular...well, it might still be really spiffy. You have my e-mail, you know how to contact me.
Or, ya know, you could chicken out. I understand that not everyone is comfortable accepting challenges, it'd be cool. I don't mind if you back down.
dear Harlot, you could actually offer a counterchallenge to the prize-offering Bippy... something like: she will get a really spiffy prize (no, i am NOT offering my paycheck, maybe a secret prize to throw in the arena which contains something black and something cashmere? )if she manages to leave off the AIRCONDITION lets say until the 1st of July, which happens to be my birthday?
well, I am quite well off here in Virginia where it rarely gets really cold, but I know the canadian winters and I think they are absolutely fabulous.
Great restraint on the contest, but what do I know, I still have my air conditioning on. (Sorry about that.)
Okay, personally I am amazed you made it this long. It has officially reached the point where I can no longer wear my sandals every day here in SoCal, and dagnabbit that heater went on! I get frostbite below 70 degress in my house, LOL! Oh, just a side note, I started a project a while back, almost didn't swatch, but I thought of you and knit that durn thing anyway. Know what, it didn't help. Swatches LIE!
That's impressive waiting until Oct 31 - how does your family like it? (or do they have secretly hidden space heaters :) ) I live in Toronto and I cracked Oct 16 - once the house gets to around 16 or 17C my fingers are too cold to knit/type and I get cranky. What's the current temp in your house? BTW, thanks for the thrummed mitten inspiration, I bought some roving today and hope to follow your links.
OMG.......do you ever sleep?? I am continuously amazed at how much knitting you get done!!!!!
All hail Casey of the thrummed mitts.
Child, I hope you live in Canada. Those things are gonna be *warm*!
The baby sweater is gorgeous! Knit a hat, no hood for obvious previously stated reasons. It's kind of like dogs and cats that are inside and outside, do they puke outside? NO! They wait till they come in. Which is why we should either own or buy stock in the Bounty corporation.
Okay, the heat thing. We have a wood stove, period. In the kitchen, of a 120 year old farmhouse in Northeast Iowa, I want it in the living room. As it can be so freaking cold I cook all the time to keep warm! It has been known for my DH and DD to show up wearing shorts (and for DD tank top) to meals in the winter.
Upstairs in the winter, no heat ducts, one grate (big whoop), pile on the quilts, some of which I have made, some DH's grandmother made about five feet high. Frost on the windows, ice crystals floating in the air, I won't even discuss how short the visits to the bathroom upstairs is, okay, I lied, lets discuss nanoseconds.
Turn on the heat! Your immediate family will love you! Lie to everyone else, who has to know?
The thrum mittens look wonderful, way to go Casey! Send them to me! I will pay you!
Love the baby sweater!! The umbilical cord hat in STICH N'BITCH would look real cute with it...
The baby sweater is darling... If anybody recognizes the patter, I'd love to see it... I don't immediately recognize how the ribbing/button bands "work". My babies did best with watch-cap type hats... but then we lived in Texas and they were never in danger of frost bite or anything.
How DO y'all get so much knitting AND blogging done? Do you get to stay HOME all day... with children/pets/friends tied to tent poles or something? What about jobs?
I'm a comment virgin on this blog and wanted to start with the obligatory "I love your blog!" Everytime I read it I end up laughing hysterically and then trying to explain what I find so amusing to my oh-so-not-a-knitter boyfriend. He usually doesn't get it. Well today I was in tears over your cast on exploits. I haven't cast on more than maybe 50 yet, but I just know this is what I'll be like when I have to do more. Thanks for a wonderful blog!
My housemates in Kingston and I are too 'brave' (read: cheap) to turn our heat on til at least November each year...so we wear our duvets around the house like very poufy bathrobes. It makes a hot shower much more exciting, living in a chilly house. Our threshold is when the plants and fish start to look frost-bitten. We 'won' against all of our friends last year in turning the heat on, but not by choice...when we finally wanted our heat, the furnace was broken and it took another five (chilly) days to get it fixed! Be brave Stephanie, and be sure to tell your girls and Joe about all of the poor boys and girls in the equatorial regions of the world who have too much heat, and how they should be grateful that we have a cold season etc. It's like clearing your plate because there are starving children in other countries!
Soul crushing defeatism should be properly spaced out to save your sanity. I totally agree with you on this :)
And leaving your heat off till January is not just dangerous, but might actually be suicidal!!! I've never been to Canada, but I'm willing to bet you can't fight a Canadian Winter with Koigu socks alone! Even THRUMMED ONES!
Speaking of which, can I join your thrummythrum along?
you really need a copy of Flanders and Swann's "Ill Wind." http://www.hornplanet.com/hornpage/museum/articles/ill_wind.html
"I once had a whim and I had to obey it,
To buy a French horn in a second-hand shop.
I polished it up and I started to play it,
In spite of the neighbours who begged me to stop."
Love the jacket, btw - those are my colours. Loud. But I won't fit into it, alas. And as for counting, I can cast on a scarf and not get the same numbers three times in a row.
Glad you are still around - Wendy Knits has decided to stop blogging just like that. Very sad!
I have made hats, scarves and mittens from Morehouse Merino kits. I love knitting with the yarn! The items I have made have held up well but like you, wonder about the pilling factor in an adult sweater. I have too many projects now but will try a Morehouse Merino sweater at some point.
I laughed out loud at your counting experience, shaking my head at your silliness in not using markers. Then I realized that I was laughing so hard because it sounded so familiar, because it's what happens to me EVERY TIME I cast on. For the past 15 years. 61 sts - oops, 58 sts - oops, 63 sts - oops, 59 sts - oops (I usually just start knitting at that point and correct the always-wrong stitch count in the first row.) No, you will never learn. I haven't yet.
Steph...the jacket is beautiful! Can you hint at where the pattern comes from...or, if you have a fairly easy pattern for baby booties or little socks, please let me know. I just finished a hat for my sister's new baby, but feel that something should go along with it.
As for the heat...hell, I live in Ohio and we've had a couple of nights where I've turned the heat on already, and it hasn't even dipped below 40 degrees. What can I say? Maybe I should move in with Bippy.
I think you could make a case for collecting those cookies from Alice now, since in Canada you've already made it past Thanksgiving. It might be a little unfair, but hey, cookies are worth it.
I don't think it'll be a problem to keep the heat off until Oct. 31st, though, at least down here in Ontario's balmy south it's going to be rather warm for the next week, and Toronto is only two or three degrees colder than here. Thanksgiving was way colder and you made it through that.
I think Alice and I mean American Thanksgiving. That happens to fall after my birthday.
Petra- I would LOVE to take you up on that. My house is an ice cube. Ed, however, works from home, and has been known to turn the air conditioning DOWN when it's already 68 degrees in the house. While Stephanie might win out past her neighbors without her kids or Joe turning on the heat, the second I go to the bathroom the AC will be on full blast.
And I'm glad to see other people offering goodies.
Muah hahaha. I mean, ahem, it's nice to see people willing to give our beloved Harlot nice things...
What a great sense of humour you have - love your posts, and your work.
Your shawl dilemma seems to have been shared by quite a few people, including me - I went for the single stitch, and just finished my last row (which took an hour) tonight.
Thanks again for the thurmming inspiration and for the honor of having my mittens on your marvelous blog. More Harlot, please!!