December 06, 2004
The Holy Grail
Since I've been reading the knitting blogs, I've seen it mentioned everywhere. Now I want it. Really want it.
It's like when Doctorow told our class that everyone should own all nine volumes of Writers At Work. Guess who went out and bought all nine volumes? Yep. Me. And did I mention they're ALL out of print? (OH MY GOD - they're ALL (well, at least the 1950s for now) online, for FREE! These are must read interviews for anyone who likes to read, or write, or live.)
Anyway, I want it.
So I managed to get all my work done last week and had the weekend free. I knew I was going to knit - but didn't know it would end up being all day and night. On Friday I spent some time on the Geometric Scarf. I wouldn't recommend this project if you're thinking you're going to knit a quick scarf. On size US#4's it seems nothing goes fast.
Then on Saturday I spent the day working on Georgie's Vest. I finished all the straight knitting and now I need to shape for the v-neck and arm holes. Sometimes I'm pretty dense because it took me awhile to really grasp that I'm going to have to split the neck in half and work on each side at a time. If it's not written explicitly in the pattern, I have to think really hard to see it in my mind. But I'm getting better, I think, at the vision thing though the more I knit.
Along with the Jo Sharp, the Filatura di Crosa Primo arrived. Which meant Max's hat. I found a simple pattern on the web and got to work. Since my yarn was perfect for US#8 and the pattern used US#8s I started knitting. My nephew is only four and he inherited my abnormally small head, so I went with 72 stitches. The yarn was really nice and I'm going along making my cute stripes and things are good and then I lay it flat to look at it (the hat is seamed.) It looks a little small to me. Real small. I mean teeny tiny small. So I took out the tape measure and it was 11 freaking inches. Flat.
I'll spare you the gory details but I frogged the damn thing literally three times until I ended up with 92 freaking stitches. It's done - except I've got a nice hole that didn't get cinched shut on the top - but Max wants a pompom, so the hole shouldn't be a big deal. It really is a cute hat - I'm sure Max will like it, but it took me almost ten hours to make a hat for a four-year-old. I know, I know. I have no one to blame but myself. Gauge is a dirty word in this house, in case you haven't noticed. I'll post some pictures tomorrow. The weather here is so dismal there aren't enough lights to brighten it.
I went into not one, but two yarn stores today AND I DIDN'T BUY ANY YARN. I'll repeat that in case you didn't hear me scream. I didn't buy any yarn. Do I get thrown out of the club now?
Seaport was okay. I don't know - maybe it's the weather (icy rain with a dash of freezing wind) - but I had a million things in my hands to buy - things I really wanted too - and I didn't get anything. They didn't have any Cascade 220 and I didn't feel like being shown any substitutes, although I'm sure there are plenty of good ones. I had the Buton d'Or Layette #12 book in my hand. Didn't buy it. Had Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns in my hand. Didn't buy it. What I did buy was size US#15 Addi Turbos for Jen, a pompom maker and a pumice stone. That's it.
Then it was onto Purl. I want to like this store. I really do. Whenever I've gone in and Joelle, the owner, has been there it's been great. She's nothing but warm, inviting and helpful. Unfortuantely the last few times I've been there Joelle has not and my experience has been less than nice. Not awful. Less than nice.
I couldn't really see the Cascade colors well because of the aforementioned weather and I don't know, I wasn't in the mood for yarn. (Sorry, Norma! No Sophie yet!) But I do need some new needles. I'm trying to knit the gloves in the new Rowan Magazine using Kid Silk Haze. I don't like this yarn. It's like dental floss with hair. Really. I tried to cast on my Addi Turbos but it wasn't comfortable. I wanted something, I don't know, maybe not metal. I asked for help at Purl and a whole discussion ensued. The pattern calls for 2.75mm and 3.0mm needles. Addi #2s are 3.0mm. Crystal Palace Bamboo #2s are 2.75mm. #3s are 3.25mm. Same with the Bryspuns. Do you see the problem? One salesperson kept telling me just stick with the Addis. I didn't want to stick with the Addis. That's why I was asking for help. Another salesperson didn't understand why I need to switch needle sizes. .25mm is nothing. The first salesperson insisted on using the same size needles the pattern called for. Back to my original problem - which needles to use. I got fed up and left without buying anything. I think I want to try Swallow Caseins.
No yarn. And no cavities either.
Posted by Cara at December 6, 2004 03:53 PM
I've seen Principles of Knitting in person (checked it out from the library). I was not impressed. My other reference books are much more helpful, with better descriptions & clearer pictures. PoK is a thick book with a lot of info in it (meaning it may take 2-3 other books to equal the information in it), but it didn't even answer a few of my questions on certain decreases and increases...I had to search the internet and use other books to find that.
The only reason I'd ever want a PoK book if I ever came across one is to sell it for a ridiculous price on eBay. :)
Posted by: Natalie at December 6, 2004 05:50 PM
I feel your pain on the hat frogging experience, I am onto take 3 of my market bag at the moment and I am far from done so there could still be further revisions. The yarn store experiences sound, I don't know, depressing... But no cavities is good. Very GOOD.
The PoK book sounds similar to the Montse Stanley book, which I use a lot, incredibly dull but very detailed and useful, a cast on or off for every situation, a gazillion ways to increase or decrease and one of the best indexes I have ever encountered in any book.
Posted by: Jo at December 7, 2004 06:44 AM
Very cool geometrical scarf. I have some Elann Peruvian Highland I may try this with.
Those salespeople--so unhelpful! Would they let you swatch with the various sizes in the shop if you brought in your yarn?
Posted by: Toni at December 7, 2004 11:16 AM
I've been told (by helpful but probably even less pleasant people) at another local yarn store that Bryspun flexible (the plastic needles) are the best for Kidsilk Haze. Having just started a scarf with it, using the Bryspuns, I'd tend to agree. I wouldn't even try KSH with Addis.
Posted by: Cassie at December 8, 2004 07:39 AM
Hot damn, girl! I saw that the PoK book is priced at $35 at Fletch. So I thought this would make a perfect Chanukah gift for you. Then I realize that I can't actually buy it for $35, it actually costs $288 (!) through Amazon. Sorry, chica, maybe another year. ;) Great hat, btw!
Posted by: Jen at December 10, 2004 09:42 AM