Tuesday, December 05, 2006

TUESDAY? It can't be! I haven't cast on yet!

I swear I don't know who's moving these days along. Before we know where we are, there will be carol singers at the front door and no tree up yet, nor greenery draped around. To say nothing of new Midwinter yarns created, skeined up and on eBay. Get going Celtic Memory, 'tis that time of year!

But I have been busy. Truly I have. First of all, there is that little matter of Starmore and the Red Sweater KAL. That has been sorted. Mostly by banishing the witch - no, sorry, I can't find a cross-out on my text indicator, that should have read lady - Starmore until I can cope with her better. In her place has come a perfectly charming Fenno-Scandian called Lavold with a perfectly beautiful Celtic Vest. This I am knitting in a triple-skeined poppy-red lambswool (spun in Scotland but don't hold your breath, Starmore, and hold off on the writs, I doubt very much if this is one of yours), and so far I am amazed to say it is progressing beautifully.

Nope, I took this picture, not DH. Yes, I know you can tell. You probably can't even see the cute little cables up either side of the back slit, nor the gradual widening out into the first of many Lavold motifs. But I'm loving the Lavold and it's so good tempered after OTHERS I COULD MENTION that this I believe, hope and pray, will be a happy relationship. More on it as we progress.

Then there's the Charcoal Crop Cardi to Celtic Memory's Own Design. That is going well too. A trip to a very damp frogpond (it seems to have been raining and blowing a gale here since forever), when it was discovered that 40 sts was far too wide for a sleeve. (Don't you just love it when 40 sts is too wide? Isn't it the height of luxury to go back to just 30 sts and work 12 rows of garter stitch, followed by - oh, I don't know, about 20 rows of pattern? Ah the heady delights of ultra-chunky yarn! Here's the resized sleeve so far.

All right, I know you can't see anything here either. DH was busy, OK? Take my word for it, there are 12 rows of garter stitch (why is it called garter stitch anyway?), followed by about eight rows so far of st st with a central panel of twist stitches to give it a bit of character. If I don't finish this cardi soon, the crop style will be out of fashion.

THEN there is the Travelling Cables KAL. Now sit up and take notice you lot. I want a WHOLE LOT MORE OF YOU out there and joining in on the Travelling Cables KAL. You can find the link on my sidebar, but you can just as easily look it up for yourselves. For heaven's sake, this is the most beautiful pattern you've ever seen or are likely to see this side of Tibb's Eve. Just look at it! Pure Karabella, every inch of it.

Lene , wouldn't your daughter look stunning in that jacket? She certainly would. Just ask her. Karen, this is the most restrained, English-style design I have ever seen. GO for it! Angie just show it to Holly. Just SHOW it to her, that's all. And the rest of you, go right over there to the Travelling Cables KAL and join up THIS INSTANT. I expect to see a whole lot of you telling me you've done so by TOMORROW MORNING, OK?

(Oh it's just that I hate to knit a new pattern alone...)

And the reason I have this pattern at all is because the adorable the wonderful Angeluna SENT it to me. It was there in my letterbox tonight when I crawled in, fierce of temper and ready to kill the first dog that crossed my path. A lovely envelope from Texas with the Travelling Cables pattern there and all willing to be used. Angeluna, you are the best. The best.

(To digress. I have actually been in to Schoolhouse Products or School Yarns or whatever they call themselves, the Karabella folk, in Manhattan, down on Broadway. It's upstairs, through a complicated system of doors and lifts, and it's quite small and crowded but utterly amazing in the way of yarns. All the Karabella range and all their stunning patterns. Plus cones of one-offs from Italy, France, anywhere. Not particularly cheap, but quite an experience. I'd go back. And one of my favourite hotels in the world, the Herald Square, is right round the corner.)

Digression completed.

I have to admit something. This superb design deserved to be made in nothing less than the famed, the legendary silk/cashmere twine-thing. Yes, the yarn that is of unimpeachable pedigree but which has, on first washing, the scent of the midden. It's fine after that first washing, but at the instant of getting that pattern into my hot greedy little hands the only washed silk/cashmere I had to hand was the big ball already in use on the Irish Hiking Scarf KAL. (The first one to suggest I have joined too many KALs had better keep an ear open for noises in the night. We Celts can move further and faster than you imagine!)

Well what do you think I did. Out the window went scarf, in vague direction of frog pond (hadn't got very far with it actually, but please don't tell anyone over on the Irish Hiking Scarf KAL, OK?) In came the Travelling Cables pattern. Haven't got very far yet, but hey, it's early days.

By tomorrow I confidently expect to be halfway up the back. That's if life doesn't get in the way.

And the Blackberry Pie socks (yarn courtesy of the adorable Ms Knitingale ) are at last on their way again, after a pause. I'd been having some difficulty with these, mainly because I'd decided that little cables would be nice running down the leg. The 2.5mm rosewoods were just too fine, made too harsh a texture on the soft hand-dyed yarn. I decided to switch to some nice 3mm Brittany birches for the main part of the sock and bingo, things went better at once.

(Really must get DH to come and take the next lot of pictures. You can't even see the cunning little cables on this, but believe me, they're there.)

So did I just callously abandon the Irish Hiking Scarf and all the centuries of heritage for which it stands, you cry? No I didn't. It gave me the excuse (and in fact I'd been lying awake in bed last night, listening to the wind roaring over the hillsides and thinking about this yarn) to skein up some utterly divine cashwool in a lovely shade of purple lavender.

Cashwool is actually a supersoft merino which they've invented in Italy. It's not cashmere but by heaven it feels like it. Smooth, silky, ultra-soft. Beautiful. I have a big cone of it (yes, I'll be listing it on eBay again soon, under the Celtic Memory label, just as soon as I've got the Midwinter design out of the way), and I'd been casting round for something really nice to make with it. The scarf was the obvious choice.

Muffy sat at my feet in quiet concentration while I was winding up a quadruple-strength skein of this (it's very fine). I could tell that she was weighing the relative qualities of cashmere and cashwool in her mind. Yes, I have now shut the door firmly 'twixt Peke and yarn. But no, I haven't cast on for it yet. Can't remember the pattern. Can't remember if that matters or not. Maybe I'll make it in a Viking/Irish design. Now that would make the monks of old turn in their graves if anything would. Make a scarf that blends the culture of the invader and the invaded? Yo!


Anonymous said...

There she goes speaking Irish again. What is Tibb's Eve?

Wow, the Celtic Vest looks very promising. And you certainly won't go unnoticed wearing it. But then, you certainly don't want such beautiful work not to be noticed, admired, fondled, etc.

Oh my, TTC will be knit in that utterly gorgeous odiferous yarn. How wonderful, I love it. It will look very Irish in that. Totally approve.

Oh, no! You frogged the lovely Irish Hiking Scarf! Though I'm sure it will be beautiful in lavendar. And your Blackberry Pie are edibly delicious.

God bless wee Muffy.

gail said...

Your red vest looks marvelous--that's a Lavold pattern that I also want to make some day. You seem to have even more projects on the needles than I!!! Glad to find another knitter with attention deficit disorder!

LaurieM said...

Based on my readings, I've imagined story behind the name garter stitch.

In ancient times, all knitting was done in the round and no one knew how to purl. So socks were knit with out any ribbing. Of course they fell down! To keep them up, people used ties called garters. Most ties were woven ribbon, like we see in pictures of Latvian stockings. But some smart knitter just used the tag end of her skein of yarn and knit BACK and FORTH. It was a revelation! No one knew you could do such a thing! And it made some very nice stretchy garters.

Hence, if you were making stockings, you worked stocking knit and if you were making garters, you worked garter knit (stitch).

Anonymous said...

Sorry Miss, I'm only in Knitting Kindergarten and haven't done any cables yet, far less travelling ones. Maybe some day I'll be one of the Big Girls, too!

Joanna said...

Looking forward to seeing that purple cashwool on e-bay, I need that in my stash!
Glad to see the red sweater progressing now that you've banished she who cannot be named!

Laura said...

I *knew* you'd like that Lavold book, Jo. Just knew it. Sometimes yarn is very clear. We simply have to be open to listening to it. Clearly, your yarn wasn't liking the S* pattern. No, not at all. But it certainly seems to be enjoying the Lavold. Yeeeha!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, lots of exciting stuff on the go!

vanessa said...

i love that karabella pattern! your purple yarn looks scrumptious.
thanks for leaving me a swallowtail compliment, i love the shawl :-)

Peg-woolinmysoup said...

Jo - I crown you Queen of the KALs! This coronation is done with a pair of Rosewood Needles tapped on both shoulders and a skein of beautiful cashmere wreathed about the Queen's head! Now, do I have to call you MAM? Sure hope not, cause that would make both of us seem old!
Poor Muffy - the temptation might just get to the dear wee girl!
No garlands hanging here yet, but the cookies are made for the paper carriers, post man (always be nice to him, as he brings wonderful goodies) and others who make our life more pleasant.
Christmas cards are arriving already - when do these people start to get ready for the Christmas season? - perhaps sooner than I do!

knitspot anne said...

ooh—that blackberry pie sock yarn DOES look good enough to eat. and the red! yay!
and even though i'm not ahuge fan of light purple, the cashwool got me going too.
all that temptation . . .

Ms. Knitingale said...

Jo, you're a shameless temptress. That TTC patterns is calling my name quite persistently now. 'Cause, you know, I don't have a single other project to knit.....
I can't wait to see your cashmere version. And now I'm not going to go try to find that pattern. I'm not. Really. I'm not.

LornaJay said...

I can't remember exactly where you are, but was listening to Radio 4 in the car this evening (back from a Food Hygiene Course, yuck) when they were doing a special on the Book of Kells. I remember you visited that recently.

Then they moved on to this - the Leviathan of Parsonstown, at Birr Castle. I wonder if you've seen it?

Charity said...

The red is lovely, the Travelling Cables, divine! I'll have to check that pattern out - I've been on the hunt for a "perfect" cardi. :0)

Kate A. said...

Hi Jo! This is in response to your comment on my post. I apologize for not linking straight to that fuzzy feet pattern - I usually remember to do that, but oh well. It's at Knitty.com, in the Winter '02 issue - here's the direct link:

They're totally yummy and quick.

As for my thesis...erg...I hate trying to describe it as much as I like hearing about other people's theses! The (current) title is:'The Importance of the Woman of the House': Gender and National Identity in a Russian Gentry Family, 1821-1871. It's essentially a micro-history based on the huge archive of a single gentry family. The mother of the family managed their estates and kept a series of very unusual diaries. The father tutored their children when they were young, and then in later years re-articulated his ideas on upbringing into a sort of theory of national identity, all of which is documented in his diaries. My diss explains all this by going into the diaries at some length and contextualizing them within early 19th century European thought, and explores what this somewhat strange family arrangement meant for their marriage, their understanding of gender and identity, and how all this informed their reception of 'big' ideas like Enlightenment, Romanticism, etc.

Thanks for commenting - I'm glad to have discovered your blog, and will certainly be back!

Montreal Mama said...

Hey. Send me an email at graphicdesignchick@hotmail.com (got your comment from IRISH HIKING SCARF KAL) and I'll invite you to my blog. It's currently PRIVATE due to a stalker situation. Sorry for the set-back!

Anonymous said...

Oh I'll show it to Holly then suggest she learns cable ! At the moment she wants a twin-set knitted on needles so tiny I wouldn't be able to locate them with my glasses on ! . To be fair she is knitting me Belle so I will knit her a chunky fair-isle jacket as I have a stash of D.Bliss's chunky merino from last winter's sale. I don' t like decorations until the week leading to the very day ...all those pine-needles in my feet! I also have to make the paper lanterns if only I could stop knitting . That Blackberry-Pie is gorgeous. "Get-Knitted" now have Colinette's sock yarn b.t.w Jo.

Jan said...

Such lovely yarn and so many great ideas! I signed up for the TC KAL but haven't heard back yet. In the mean time I have 5 projects going at once so I don't know how many more times I should visit your blog without getting something done. I would love to make that cul de sac you have started....

Jan said...

Such lovely yarn and so many great ideas! I signed up for the TC KAL but haven't heard back yet. In the mean time I have 5 projects going at once so I don't know how many more times I should visit your blog without getting something done. I would love to make that cul de sac you have started....

Anonymous said...

Well, I'd join Traveling Cables, but I am curently bogged down in a 50 inch chest ribbed sweater for the husband.

If I ever see the end of that wall of charcoal gray, I am only knitting for babies, and tiny ones at that, until I recover my will to live.