Monday, June 16, 2008

two new projects

I started two new things over the weekend, but I'm not exactly happy with either of them. One is the seascape colors cape. Well, due to the unavailability of a lot of the yarn I originally planned for this cape, it's actually not going to be a cape at all but a very open, drapey wrap, perfect for summer nights and air conditioned restaurants. I got all inspired by the fact that I was working on it at a World Wide Knit in Public event and decided to knit this one. I made a swatch, trying a bunch of different things to add texture or interest, but actually, the yarn is all rayon boucle except one, and all the stuff I tried just looked like mistakes. It looked best in simple garter stitch. So, I cast on with a plan to do that.

So far this hasn't been any fun, though, to my surprise. I was having a blast with the swatch, but I'm doing the real thing on these plastic circular needles. That's not a problem in itself--I'm doing something else on one of the other circs from this set, and I'm loving it. But on this one, the tapered part is exceptionally long.

That means you have to pull each stitch way up on the needle before it gets to the full thickness. This has resulted in one three-stitch kamikaze disaster already, and I've only done one row, plus you end up with all this extra slack yarn between the stitches. And it's just no fun knitting this. I need to get some better needles. Honestly, I really don't like working with circular needles that much anyway, although it does make me feel like an official knitter--I like to prop the end of one needle up in my lap when I'm throwing the yarn, and that just doesn't work with circs. I'm considering just buying a pair of 14" straight needles in this size and stuffing it all onto them. Well, except I'd start over due to the kamikaze thing mentioned above. But then I was thinking, if it's just going to be garter stitch, does anyone really need me to knit this (with the purpose being to make a pattern)? Maybe I should just say "cast on 165 stitches with yarn A. Do garter stitch until you feel like changing yarns. Switch to yarn B. Repeat process until you run out of yarn. Bind off." and be done with it. I really was having a great time knitting the swatch, though, and I really want to make this.
The other thing I started is a rectangular wrap in that luscious Jaeger Roma.

It's a lot denser than I really want; I'm definitely not doing the whole thing in solid dc like this. I was trying to figure out Solomon's Knot from the stitch explanations on Lion Brand's website, but I must confess it makes no sense to me. (That's what the three little confusion stitches are in the last row.) I guess it's time to make something up.
Also, I found this great quote from the Mishnah in The Complete Spinning Book:
And these are the duties the wife performs for her husband. She grinds, bakes, washes, cooks, nurses her child, makes the bed and spins wool. If she has brought one servant with her, she doesn't grind, bake or wash. If she has brought two, she doesn't cook or nurse the child; three, she doesn't make the bed or spin wool, four, she sits in the salon. Rabbi Eliezer says: Even if she has brought a houseful of servants, he should force her to spin wool, because idleness leads to insanity.

As far as the husband forcing her to do anything, forget that! But wouldn't you love to be the woman with three or more servants who has no duties and is free to just spin for her own edification?

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