Friday, October 11, 2002

Lately I've started working on Christmas presents. Hat for brother-in-law, blanket for the little Guatamalen girl that my sister and brother in law are adopting, the cloche from Vogue's little book of hats (you know which one I mean, I can't remember the proper title). A loooong time ago I had started knitting Lily Chin's pattern from better homes and gardens Knit It magazine, the cardi, and I almost ripped it out to start the Knitty topsecret sweater, but I figured I should finish it.

Friends of ours went thrifting and at Bible study last night Steve gave me a bunch of old knitting patterns and Dan some tapes of Thomas Merton. Let me tell you, those old sweaters are hi lar i ous. Ok, I'll have to take pics to show you the cover where there are these three perfectly coiffed women smiling and one has a bag of peanuts and one is holding a peanut and there is a stuffed squirrel perched on a fake styrofoam wall in front of them. Whaa? You know, the old magazines where they still modeled the men with pipes and golf clubs.

I picked up a bunch of Stitch by Stitch books from the thrift store the other day and they have lots of good techniques illustrated and some neat patterns. So I've laid off on the yarn acquiring and now I started with pattern acquiring. I always check out the sale annex of the local barnes and noble but usually there's nothing.

I'm really into blankets for some reason. I knit essentially a large washcloth pattern to make a blanket with some acrylic and this fake mohair that changed shades called Bianca by Lion Brand I got at the thrift store. But it's too small. The cats love it. Maybe I can add on a huuuuge border to make it a little more decent of a size.

I'm making the Pi circle shawl for a blanket and doing invisible increases instead of yo's and instead of using lace patterns between the increase rounds I'm doing slip stitch patterns. So far it's okay, I hope it doesn't end up all bunchy because of the tight fabric.

I was looking through my copy of Knitting in America the other day and found the section about Mary Phillips Walker, whose Knitted Counterpanes book I had just checked out from the library. I dig that heart wall hanging they photographed and I looked at it and tried to decipher it but knew I didn't have the knowledge to really figure out how she did that. So then I picked up Creative Knitting from the library and she gives all these funky new stitch patterns in there so maybe I can figure it out now. Also, one of the knitting pattern books I got from my friends is a Macrame (?!macrame wtf!?) booklet and it's by her. Any macrame nuts out there who want a Mary Phillips Walker booklet? Why all this Mary Phillips Walker stuff suddenly in my life? She seems like a really cool lady. Very creative and I can't wait to try those new stitches. I wonder if she's still around...

I have this devilish desire to go cash in all my change and then take the resulting money and spend it on yarn at the thrift store if there's anything good there. Really I should be knitting. I started this wool/mohair hat with this brown Anny Blatt yarn I got from the thrift store (where else?) and then I was reading through my copy of The Knitting Goddess and inspired by the scarf she has in there decided to do the ribbing in two colors so I grabbed some wool mohair lamb's pride oatmeal yarn I had in the stash and held that in the right hand to do two handed color work and boy did I have a hard time remembering how to throw with the right hand and keep the yarn tensioned. I have been knitting like how Anne Modestitt(?sp?) I know I'm spelling that wrong, sorry anne, but ANYWAY I knit how she knits if you want to see clicky on her linky I think it says Continental Uncrossed BTW the Creative Knitting book also has a very nicely inclusive illustrated bunch of pages showing the myriad of ways to throw and hold the yarn. When I was throwing with my right hand I was like, boy this sure is tedious.

I was trying trying trying to hold the yarn loosely and not pull it too tight when carrying the yarn in back, we'll see. It was supposed to be for my brother in law as mentioned above, but it may end up too small. He works as a gravedigger and I was thinking that the double layer around his ears would be nice for those frigid Wisconsin winter days. They have to set up this big 7x2 heater on the plot where they're going to dig and melt the permafrost. Another bit of trivia while I'm at it; did you know that granaries used to and some times still do, explode? The corn/grain is very insulative and the air is saturated with dust particles and the organic material starts to decompose and if the heat level reaches the ignition point it will explode and apparently they were big catastrophes because lots of people could be killed. Wow. I did not know that. When's the last time you heard of that? Same thing with hay and this one guy (protecting myself if it's a doobie (dubious) fact) told me that farmers sprinkle salt in the hay to keep down the moisture and rotting. And the animals need salt anyway so it's all hunky dorey.

Okay, I'm done now.

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