Tangled String

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” G. Bernard Shaw

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wip wednesday


I don’t know how knitters who knit multiple items at one time do it. How do they divide up their time evenly and make progress?

I WAS working on a sleeveless lacy top by Sarah Dallas called Lace TopIt was giving me fits because there was no chart, something I have discovered Rowan is famous for (boo, hiss), in a color called “blackberry.”


However, the weather went from the next-door neighbors putting up their Christmas lights in shorts to normal Valley Winter (foggy with icy wind — also, ironically, the only time the grass is green) in a matter of minutes and lacy tops just seemed so wrong.


I had made a sweater for Mr. B called Andoa some time back, but he seldom wears it.  I asked why and it turned out that he likes his crew necks a bit crewier than the sweater (even though HE picked out the pattern).  At first, I thought it would just be a matter of tightening up the neck — elastic thread, a few more rows — something simple.

As I took a look at the sweater, however, I realized it is just two rectangles with sleeves coming straight out of the shoulder seams and a neck in the middle.  No slope upwards from shoulder to neck (you know, the way humans are shaped), wherein lay the problem.

I have partially dismantled the sweater into four pieces with no neckband and am currently working on the back.  I have a few more inches before I begin my jerry-rigged climb to the neck.  Jerry-rigged because I haven’t the faintest clue what I’m doing being an inveterate follower of patterns.  Which partially caused the problem in the first place.


Once I get the back finished, I am going to take a break to make a pair of felted slippers for Mr. B — special request — as his old slippers were, like Lord Emsworth’s hat, something he should have been ashamed to wear.  Unfortunately, when he went to buy new ones, they only had a half size or a size larger than he actually needed.  He is tired of walking out of his slippers.  Odd.

I will be using WEBS’ Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky and approaching the Great Felting Experiment with trepidation.


I feel this is a manly enough brown if I can just get it to felt properly.  The yarn specifically says it is excellent for felting; here’s hoping it doesn’t let me down.  I have a front-loading washing machine, so other methods will have to be tried.

In travel knitting, I have just turned the heel of my second sock.  I have another doctor’s appointment tomorrow, so will hopefully get a bit further soon.











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not a good day

We are cat people.

Mr. T has had his cat since he was 10 years old. He is 27 now. They were about as tight as two friends could be. When he was younger and the target of every bully within a five-mile radius, I feared that if something happened to her, he would harm himself.

As she aged, the inevitable passage of time took its toll. She had arthritis, her hearing was going, she complained almost constantly, there were times when Mr. T did not think she recognized him. That was hardest for him — his best friend didn’t always know who he was.

Early this month, we went to the vet’s and he did the last thing he could do for her: he stopped her pain.

Last year we had three cats show up. The Widget got here first when her mother unceremoniously dropped her at the doorstep. We had met the mom earlier and she was far too young for motherhood. I am sure she was impregnated during her first heat and could not have been more than eight months old when she gave birth. They were close to starvation when they came to the door, so we fed them. When The Widget got old enough, we had her spayed. Mom left. The Widget stayed.

Tux was dumped after he had been neutered and Snooks just showed up. We fed them both. Tux loved people, Snooks had clearly been abused because she did not trust humans; but she was hungry. We moved the food to a neutral spot and she gradually got closer and closer and then we found out she was an absolute love. She craved affection. We gave it to her.

Shortly after that, she got to close too the road and was killed by a car. It was horrible. We had worked to gain her trust and she had loved us and she was gone.

When The Widget was small there was another cat who showed up and they kind of grew up together. I was laughing one day and said, “Have you noticed that when The Widget sees her through the window, she’s like, ‘Mom! Mom! Gloria’s here! Can I go out and play?” So she became Gloria. Gloria the Fearless. Gloria, the World’s Most Confident Cat. Gloria who would kick any intruder’s ass and didn’t put up with anybody’s sass.

We started feeding her and her coat got softer because she had time to groom herself. Whenever Miss B would go outside (which was most evenings) there was a purrfest and toe-nibbling; and if Miss B heard something untoward outside her window at night, out the door she went because she always had Gloria’s back.

She was dead in the road today when I got home. The road she never went near. I chased the vultures off, knelt in the road, and sobbed. I picked her up and Mr. T, Miss B, and I chiseled our way through the hardpan that masks as ground around here until we had a hole large enough for her next to Snooks.

Miss B knew her best, but I can’t stop crying.

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wip wednesday

Not much in the wip category today.  I have turned the heel on the first Horcrux sock, but I haven’t taken any pictures.

When we were getting ready to go to Tahoe, I tried to skein up my Madelintosh Malachite Tosh Sock and discovered the bugs had destroyed a truly beautiful yarn.  I was distraught and went into the stash and grabbed the first thing that didn’t need skeining, which was Schoeller & Stahl Fortissima Socka Teddy Color.  Which is sport weight, fluffy yarn and completely wrong for the pattern (and sport weight is just completely wrong for size 1 needles).  I am afraid the Frog Pond is in the very near future.

I was distraught over the Tosh Malachite — which is no longer available — and not thinking clearly.

Any suggestions for suitable substitutions on the Tosh???

I did start Katie’s Beret by Kirsten Kapur in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport Multi in Tahoe colorway.  Not a lot to show, but I am halfway through the twisted ribbing.


Impressive, right?

I do have pictures of the Decidedly UnTweedy Vest:

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Tweedy Vest from Knitscene in Dale of Norway Heilo.  That is a rough yarn, so I am glad it is not going to be next to my skin.  Norwegians are apparently hardy folk.

And the Cabled Shell:

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Crystal Palace’s Choo Choo Cabled Shell in Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale Multi — unknown colorway and the band is long gone.  I modified it by adding five rows of ribbing at the hem, neckline, and armscyes.  It was 78 degrees outside at 9:30 this morning, so this tank top is just in time.  (My apologies for the cat butt.)

Tonight I plan to use some Posh Yarn from the stash to cast on Evelyn Clark’s Leaf Lace Shawl, and find a sport-weight sock pattern.

Last year I knit two hats.  This year is better.

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wip wednesday

Everything I started last year is off the needles. Mr. B’s Spring Jacket, my Weekend Sweater, the Decidedly Untweedy Vest, and the Shadow Rib Socks are all finished, blocked, and worn.


Oddly, these socks fit me right up to the moment they went in the water. Something relaxed (the bamboo?) and last night Mr. B was smugly pattering about in them telling me it’s what I get for accidentally felting his sweater.

I am recycling the Plymouth Fantasy Naturale from an earlier attempt into Crystal Palace’s Cabled Sleeveless Shell. I am endlessly mesmerized by the patterns the variegated yarn is creating. Once this goes in the water, the yarn will relax and the bumpy look caused by knitting with previously used yarn will go away.


I also have a few rounds of the Horcrux Socks done, but it’s nothing to look at.

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experience is a lousy teacher

I do not have a problem with moths. Therefore, I thought my yarn was safe –especially my sock yarn arranged sooooo artistically in a wicker basket.

I was wrong. Not the moth part –the safe part.

We do have teesy brown bugs — they are freaking miniscule! not worth mentioning small — with hard little shells.

They eat yarn.

They ate my Madelinetosh sock yarn. In the beautiful jewel tone Malachite. That I was going to use to make Embossed Leaves socks.

The remaining sock yarn has been sealed in plastic bags; some with lavender.

This is known as closing the barn door after the horses are gone.

There may have been weeping.

And unladylike language.

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just barely wip wednesday

I actually only have one thing still on the needles — the Shadow Rib Socks.  I am a bit confusticated with the second sock.  The first looked like a fairly normal sock.

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I understand that bamboo and Merino take dye differently because they are completely different fibers.  However, Sock #2 looks like it has a very bad case of dandruff.

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I realize that, in the larger scheme of things, the sock will be under jeans and none of this will matter, but really?  It looks like it has a disease.

I am about 20 rows from the toe and expect to finish it on the drive to Tahoe.

In other news, Gingko Shawlette is blocked.

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This was a great pattern and it just flew off the needles.

I just pulled the decidedly Untweedy Vest off the needles, so I will be blocking it when I get home.  There is a short section (about an inch) all the way ’round that seems to be slightly lighter in color and I am not happy about it; but yarn is yarn and has its own way of doing things.  I am hoping that it will settle during blocking, but I expect that is futile.  Hopefully, it will not make me totally insane every time I wear it.

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The shawlette is off the needles and blocking.



It is supposed to be near 90 tomorrow, so it should dry quickly.

Gingko Shawlette using 2/3 of a skein of Wooly Wonka Arianrhod in Woad colorway.

This was a lovely knit.


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