I spent all winter knitting it, here is the lacy little top.  Bambu 7 from Woodland Woolworks, pattern from Lanaknits.   2008 02 29_0005_edited-1
I do apologize for the poor focus mirror pic. Best I could do without a helper.

I like the drape, though it reveals more of me than I am altogether comfortable with. I love the feel of the fabric.  I think I got the fit pretty much right, though if I knit it again I’ll probably increase the number of stitches in the lace part, for a roomier skirt, and I’ll give it some short sleeves. Cap sleeves may be a little young for me. There are amber glass leaf beads on the ends of the ties. The ties are not i-cord, but something my grandmother liked to use for drawstring, which I found in the Mary Thomas Knitting Book. My grandmother made them by the dozen from crochet cotton, and they have a nice elasticity, hold a overhand knot and bow (like you tie your shoes) well, come untied easily when you want them to, and do well in the washer and drier. I don’t think it would be violating copyright if I told you that it is as easy as cast on two, yo p2tog until you have the length you want.  It’s an unvented kind of a thing.  I took the liberty of copying this quotation from the linked page:

The ur-geek of knitting is Elizabeth Zimmerman, whose many innovations include EPS, and the primogenitive Pi Shawl. EZ had the Bach-and-Escher turn of mind for structure. She referred to her inventions as “unventions” because to her, they were all just logical extensions of the existing technology, a matter of seeing something that was always there rather than creating something new; so she could never believe that someone else hadn’t done it before:

Do you mind the word “unvented”? I like it. Invented sounds to me rather pompous and conceited. I picture myself as a knitting inventor, in a clean white coat, sitting in a workshop full of tomes of reference, with charts and graphs on the walls. Not real knitters’ charts, which are usually scribbled on odd and dog-eared pieces of squared paper, or even ordinary paper with homemade squares on it, but charts like sales charts, and graphs like the economy. I have a thoughtful expression behind my rimless glasses and hold a neatly-sharpened pencil. Who knows but that I don’t have a bevy of handknitters in the backroom, tirelessly toiling at the actual knit and purl of my deathless designs?Rubbish.

But unvented—ahh! One un-vents something; one unearths it; one digs it up, one runs it down in whatever recesses of the eternal consciousness it has gone to ground. I very much doubt if anything is really new when one works in the prehistoric medium of wool with needles. The products of science and technology may be new, and some of them are quite horrid, but knitting? In knitting there are ancient possibilities; the earth is enriched with the dust of the millions of knitters who have held wool and needles since the beginning of sheep. Seamless sweaters and one-row buttonholes; knitted hems and phony seams—it is unthinkable that these have, in mankind’s history, remained undiscovered and unknitted.

EZ  left us a legacy of many wonderful creative things.  I think it is quite possible that no one ever thought of most of them before she did.  She’s one of my favorite gurus.

I think I like the top.  I think I’ll keep it for myself this time.   And wear it with a hoodie.

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a ripping good yarn — at last!

Some photos of the polwarth/silk, at last plied, skeined, into a ball, swatched.

It knitted up at 6.75 st/in, which is 27 st/4 in and (according to the Craft Yarn Council of America) weight #1, sock, fingering, baby. At 23 to 26 st/4 in it would have been sport weight, so next I need to learn to spin evenly just a few more microns thick. Got to go pick up my furry boys from the beauty parlor now, maybe I’ll put an eye candy photo of them here later! . . . .

As promised:

They smell nice too! Too bad I can never get a good photo of Arthur’s face. No contrast. I’m just happy when I get them both in the same frame without too much blur!

the ruinous spectre of BPD raises its ugly head

BPD: Bored Poodle Disease. These used to be 3 skeins of Patons Classic Wool, neatly skeined into 12 foot circumference, for the purpose of laying just so out onto a 6 foot table. They were intended for handpainting, for practising colorways. The wonder of all is that Arthur ate the plastic bag they were in (well shredded first) and not the yarn. You see, if you do not plan exercise and intellectual stimulation for a standard poodle, he will invent games of his own, and you may not like them. I’ve never seen him look quite so ashamed. Will it keep him from doing it next time? Not likely.

On the positive side, he was at large in the room with my spinning wheel, and he decided to eat a plastic bag instead. My spinning corner, largely untouched, with the polwarth/silk mostly spun into singles, in the kate awaiting plying. It’s a miracle.

He’s scheduled for a day at the beauty parlor on Monday. He richly deserves it. Under all that hair, he might still be looking guilty, it’s hard to tell.

Merlin has that “it wasn’t me, I’m the good dog” look. Uh huh.

spinning my wheels

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I have adjusted my woolee winder to wind the bobbin more evenly by rotating the moving eye a bit. Looks better, doesn’t it? Used to look like this:
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Can’t wait to give this next stuff a spin on my wheel:
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My first go at handpainting roving! Or dyeing fiber of any kind, for that matter. This is Lanaset/Sabraset colors at far too high a depth of shade. Next time I’ll go a little easier. Now for the closeup:
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I spent most of Sunday at this, and had great fun. I spent most of Monday recovering, as I was having far too much fun to notice that I was demonstrating very poor ergonomic behavior for someone with a spine in the shape mine is in. But ooh, pretty!

pie, rats: not to worry, no connection

Juliet and I spent yesterday evening baking a beef, onion and zucchini pie.  It is as delicious as it is beautiful, and the pie crust is perfect.  Juliet has every right to look proud.  She did this crust, and it is her first one.   It was her idea to make a pie out of roast tenderloin leftovers, and I’d share the recipe, but I pretty much winged it for the filling.

a girl and her pie

We made cinnamon sugar twists out of the excess pastry:

pastry twists her hand in pastry

They didn’t last very long!
The next creation is mine.  What’s on the needles right now is a kit from Morehouse Merino Farm: The Rat Race Scarf.  Jay wants this (for business purposes?).  Apparently he often runs into individuals to whom he won’t give any part of it.  The last rat will have a tail.  That’s the part he doesn’t give.  Only on appropriate occasions, of course.  The pattern and one skein make eight rats, but as he’s a big guy, he gets two skeins of different colors, and more rats.  I can’t wait to get to the part where I sew on the beady little eyes!

rat race scarf

The bamboo lace top is finally off the needles, I only need to weave in the ends and block.  I’m starting to itch to get back to some lace again, 1st assignment being to finish the bee stole, waiting patiently since before Christmas.  I wish I had more hands!  Happy Friday to all.

even more headlines, still no news

I got these terrific pictures of my small friend from his mom, and they show the colors of his cap much more truly than the ones I took, besides, what a great model, huh?

soren on bike

Yes, he really is that cute.

And now for the closeup–

soren in cap

I think he might even like it! Nothing makes a knitter happier than finding a good home for a small work of tangible love. A veritable wooly hug for his little head. I’m getting all verklempt, I have to go now.